The Limpurg Inheritance


The castle of Limpurg (near Schwäbisch Hall) at the limit between Wurttemberg and Franconia was built by a family of ministerial origin who exercised the royal office of butler (Schenken).  It is first named around 1230 or 1240, and the family itself appears as early as 1144.  Over the course of time they increased their holdings, in particular with the lordship of Welzheim, a fief of Wurttemberg (1335), Speckfeld (1411, by marriage with the heiress countess Elisabeth von Hohenlohe-Speckfeld), Sommerhausen and Mainfranken (1435), Gröningen (1436), Schmiedelfeld (before 1437), Sontheim (1441).   From 1356 the family held the hereditary office (Erbamt) of Imperial butler in fief from Bohemia. 

In 1441, the family divided itself into two branches: Limpurg-Gaildorf-Schmiedelfeld (ext. 1690) and Limpurg-Speckfeld-Obersontheim (ext. 1705 and 1713).   They belonged to the imperial knighthood, but from the mid-17th c. they took the title of count and belonged to the bench of the counts of Franconia in the Imperial Diet.   At the extinction of the family in 1713 the fiefs returned to the various overlords (Bavaria, Wurttemberg, the Empire) but the allodial goods, collectively known as the county of Limpurg (6.8 square miles, 11,000 inhabitants) were divided between many heirs. 

The eldest line of Gaildorf ruled over half of the county of Limpurg, and resided at Gaildorf.  The junior line ruled over the other half and over the lordship of Speckfeld in Franconia (5 villages, 5000 inhabitants), and resided at Obersontheim and Sommershausen.  When the eldest line became extinct in male line in 1690, its possessions were divided between the last count's daughters and the junior line; the portion of Limpurg that went to the junior line was the lordship of Schmiedelfeld.  Then, in 1693, the remaining junior line, consisting of two brothers who jointly ruled, partitioned their inheritance, forming (however briefly) two lines, namely Limpurg-Sontheim-Schmiedelfeld and Limpurg-Speckfeld.  The eldest brother died in 1713, the younger brother in 1705.  At their deaths their possessions were divided between their daughters.  Further partitions, intermarriages, sales and cancellations of sales in the ensuing 120 years resulted in considerable confusion.  The following table (taken from Allemagne dynastique, vol. 2, p. 464-66) summarizes what happened.

Wilhelm Heinrich von Limpurg-Gaildorf (d. 1690)
  • Juliane Dorothee (1677-1734) 24/48 (Wurmbrandische Antheil) ~ Wurmbrand-Stuppach
    • Juliane Dorothea (1694-1734)12/48  ~ Heinrich I von Reuss Schleiz
      • αβ Louise (1726-73) 12/48  ~ Johann August von Sachsen Gotha (1704-67)
        • Auguste Luise Friederike 6/48 ~ 1780 Friedrich Karl von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt ( d.1793)
           sold 6/48 to Wurttemberg in 1780
        • Luise (1756-1808)  6/48  ~ 1775 Gr Duke Friedrich Franz I von Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1756-1837)
           sold 6/48 to Wurttemberg in 1780
    • Marie Marguerite / Maria Anna Magdalena (1702-56) 12/48 ~ 1722 Wilhelm Karl Ludwig zu Solms-Rödelheim und Assenheim (1699-78)  6/48
      •  Christiane Wilhelmine Luise (1736-1803) 18/48 ~ 1749 Carl Wilhelm Friedrich Fst zu Leiningen-Dachsburg (1729-1807)
        • Elisabeth Christine (1754-92) 12/48 ~ 1768 Carl Ludwig Theodor Wildgraf u. Rheingraf zu Salm-Grumbach (d. 1799)
          • Franciske Auguste (1771-1810) 12/48 ~ 1792 Furst Wilhelm Christian Karl zu Solms-Braunfels (1759-1837)
            • Wilhelmina Caroline (1793-1865) 12/48 ~ Alexius zu Bentheim u. Steinfurt (d. 1866)
              carried 12/48 to Bentheim-Steinfurt
        • Louise Charlotte (1756-85) 6/48 ~ 1776 Franz Graf von Erbach-Erbach (1754-)
          sold 6/48 to Wurttemberg in 1790
  • Wilhelmine Christiane 1679-1757 24/48 (Solms-Assenheimische Antheil)  ~ 1695 Ludwig Heinrich zu Solms-Rödelheim und Assenheim (1667-1728)
    • Wilhelm Karl Ludwig (1699-78) 6/48
    • Dorothea Sophie Wilhelmine (1698-1774) 6/48 ~ 1725 Josias Gf von Waldeck-Bergheim
      • Josias Graf von Waldeck (1733-88) 6/48 [sold to von Lynar 1801, Pückler 1802, repurchased 1813]
        • Josias (1774-1829)
        • Carl  (1778-1849)
          • Richard (1835-1905)
            inherits 13/48 from his aunt Amelie Wirth, cedes to his sister Mechtild
          • Mechtild (1826-99) 13/48 ~ Karl Graf von Bentinck (1792-1864)
            13/48 carried to Bentinck
        • Caroline (1782-1820)
        • Georg Friedrich (1785-1826) ~ Amelie Wirths (1785-1852)
          inherits 3/96, buys back 9/96 from his brothers and sister 30 Sep 1816,
          buys
          6/48 from Solms-Rodelheim-Assenheim 6 July 1819
          buys
          1/48, from Frau von Roder 23 Apr/31 May 1819
          leaves 13/48 to his wife 
          she leaves to her nephew Richard
    • Eleonore Friederike Juliane 6/48 (1703-62) ~ 1725 Carl Heinrich Gf zu Isenburg-Büdingen in Meerholz (+1774)
      • Johann Friedrich Wilhelm zu Isenburg-Büdingen in Meerholz (1729-1802) 6/48
        • Karl Ludwig Wilhelm (1763-1832)
        • Joseph Wilhelm Friedrich Albrecht (1772-1822)
          both sell 5/48 to Wurttemberg
        • Louise Christiane Eleonore (1770-1808) ~ 1784 Carl Alexander August von Pückler (1751-)
    • Sophie Luise Christiana (1709-73) 6/48 ~ 1743 Friedrich Ludwig Gf zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Virneburg (+1796)
    • K Johann Ernst Karl (1714-90) 6/48
      • Vollrath Franz Karl Ludwig (1762-1818) 6/48
        • counts of Solms-Rödelheim-Assenheim
          sell 6/48 to the Graf von Lynar in 1801, repurchases in 1813 from Graf von Pückler
          sell to Graf von Waldeck in 1819

Vollrath von Limpurg-Speckfeld zu Obersontheim (d. 1713)
  • Wilhelmine Sophie 1677-1735) (Amt Schmiedefeld) ~ Rodolphe von Prösing
    • Juliane Franciska Leopoldine (1709-75) ~ 1728 Karl Wilhelm Walrad Wild- u. Rheingraf zu Salm-Grumbach (1701-63)
      sold to Wurttemberg 1781
  • Christiane Madeleine Juliane (1683-1746) (Amt Groningen) ~ Ludwig Georg Landgraf von Hesse Homburg (1693-1728)
    • Sofie Charlotte Dorothea (1714-77) ~ Karl Philipp von Hohenlohe-Bartenstein (1702-63)
      exchanged with Colloredo Mannsfeld, then sold to Wurttemberg 1827
  • Amone Sophie (1684-1746) (Amt Obersontheim) ~ 1703 Heinrich Friedrich von Löwenstein-Wertheim-Virneburg (1682-1721)
    • Johann Ludwig Vollrath (1705-90) ~ Friederike von Erbach-Erbach
      the issue inherit all Michelbach and 2/6 Obersontheim
    • Friedrich Ludwig (1706-96) ~ Sophie Christine von Erbach-Erbach
      his 1/6 Obersontheim inherited by his nephews
    • Karl Ludwig (1712-79)
        1/6 Obersontheim ceded to Wurttemberg in 1829
    • Johann Philip (1713-57) ~ Sophie Henriette Friderike von Schönburg-Waldenburg s.p.
    • Wilhelm Heinrich (1715-73)
      cedes to his sister in 1768
    • Amone Sophie (1718-79) ~ Bertram von Gronsfeld-Diepenbroick
        2/6 Obersontheim sold to Wurttemberg in 1782
    • Karoline Christiane 1719-93 ~ 1737 Karl Christian von Pückler (d. 1786)
      the inheritance was allegedly divided in 504 lots, and later completely acquired by Wurttemberg
  • Frederica Augusta 1694-1746 (Amt Sontheim-Gaildorf) ~ Christian Heinrich von Schönburg-Waldenburg (1682-1753)
      • Julienne Marie Friderike von Welz (1739-65) ~ Friedrich Philipp von Pückler
        the inheritance passes to the children of Gf von Pückler by a second marriage
        • Caroline Sophie 1765-87
  • Sophie Eleonore 1695-1738 (Amt Michelbach) ~ Fred Charles Erbach-Erbach

Georg Eberhard von Limpurg-Speckfeld (d. 1705)
  • Amelie Friderike Alexandra (1689-1754) ~ Jean Georg comte Wolframsdorf ~ 1711 Joachim Heinrich Adolf Graf zu Rechteren (1687-1715)
    • Jean Eberhard Adolf (1714-54) von Rechteren
      the Grafen von Rechteren inherited their father's share and the share of Christiane Caroline Henrietta
  • Albertine Suzanne (1690-1717) ~ Friedrich Ferdinand von Welz
      • Marie Friderike Amone (1739-20 Mar 1765) ~ 1764 Friedrich Philipp Karl von Pückler (1740-)
        • Caroline Sophie (1765-87)
          the inheritance passed to the children of Graf von Pückler by a second marriage
  • Christiane Caroline Henriette (1691-13 Nov 1765) ~ Victor Sigismond von Grävenitz s.p.
    her share went to the closest living kin by degree, the Grafen von Rechteren


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François Velde

Last Modified: Dec 08, 2005