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Family coat of arms of those of Brentano

The Brentano family, belonging to the Lombard nobility , can be traced back to a family of farmers who lived in the wine-growing region around Lake Como . Brenta is the name for a wine butte whose image on a blue background in red and silver bordered shields is inserted into the family coat of arms of the "nobiles de Brenta, dicti de Brentanis" , framed by the Lombard lion and the serpent of the Visconti , the dukes of the Lombardy . The imperial eagle , the decoration of the Ghibellines, appears in the head of the shield .


The family was first mentioned in a document on April 25, 1282 in Como with Johannes de Brenta . The tribe series begins with Johannes de Brenta dictus de Brentanis, who was born around 1330 .

Lines and nobles from Brentano

In the 14th century the family divided into the different lines:

  • The Brentano-Cimaroli house , from which u. a. three highly decorated imperial generals emerged.
  • The Brentano-Gnosso house , which acquired the baron status in Austria in 1857.
  • The Brentano-Toccia house . It was elevated to the rank of count in a branch by Emperor Charles IV .
  • The house Brentano Tremezzo acquired with his now defunct Bavarian branch Brentano Brent home the free earldom .

There are also two other noble families from Brentano:

  • The à Brentano Moretto ; they received the imperial knighthood with "Edler von Brentano" in Munich on September 17, 1790 for Balthasar Brentano à Moretto , Medical Councilor of the Elector of Palatinate and medical court pharmacist.
  • The von Brentano-Mezzegra : they received the Bavarian aristocratic renovation with "Edler von Brentano" on March 7, 1808 for the accountant of the Gilardische wire factory in Allersberg, Josef-Anton Brentano-Mezzegra .

Both sexes have completely different coats of arms than the primitive nobles of Brentano.

Decorative coat of arms from the family table of the Brentanos

coat of arms

The ancestral Arms of Brentano: Blazon : "Within a red-silver gestückten Bordes in blue a golden Butte (Italian: Brenta). On the blue and gold bulging helmet with red and silver covers on blue and gold there is a growing gold crowned, red-tongued black eagle . "

There are also today ( gemehrte ) Coat of arms not enforceable lines, (gemehrte) arms of Brentano from the home Gnosso of 1857 and the arms of the letter noble Brentano Brent Home from 1745 and the Barons Brentano Brent home of the 1787th

The coat of arms of the citizenry of Rapperswil shows a variant above the addition "vom Comersee 1699": In silver, a golden brente, held on the right by an inward-facing red lion, on the left accompanied by an upright golden snake, crowned with gold. On the crowned helmet with red and silver and gold and silver covers on the right and red and silver covers on the left, a golden eagle.

The lines of the Brentanos in Germany

All lines settled in Frankfurt am Main during the 17th century , which was then a center of long-distance trade between Italy and Germany. The Brentanos traded mainly in oriental and Italian wines, spices and spices, including the coveted citrus fruits . 1649 is the first family member Martino Brentano from the Cimaroli line, who initially ran his office in the Schweizer Hof and later in the City of Antwerp house on the Neue Kräme . In 1673 Carlo Brentano (1644-1700) from the Gnosso line lived in the same house. His son Joseph became a partner in the Bellini & Brentano company , which among his descendants was divided into the companies Joseph Brentano (until 1827) in Töngesgasse and Anton Maria Brentano & Son (until 1794) in Schnurgasse. In 1695 Antonio Brentano came to Frankfurt from the Toccia line and founded a trading house in the Nuremberg court , which existed until 1848.

The Brentanos, later known beyond the borders of Frankfurt, came from the Tremezzo line . The progenitor of the German lines was Magnifico Ser Stefano de Brentano di Tremezzo , who, like his son Magnifico Don Bernardino de Brentano di Tremezzo, held the dignity of consul in Tremezzo. The grandson Giovanni-Pietro d. Ä. held this office. He had several children with his second wife, Donna Lucretia de Stoppanis. Nobile Stefano was their eldest son. He was born on June 5, 1605.

Frankfurt line Brentano

The house at the Golden Head in the Große Sandgasse
Family grave

His son Don Domenico (born January 8, 1651 in Tremezzo, † 1723), married to Donna Maria-Magdalena Bellini, moved the headquarters of his Milan trading company to Frankfurt am Main in the Nuremberg court in 1698 . He already gave his son the name of the local patron saint Martin, which is very popular in the Archdiocese of Mainz, as his middle name. In contrast to other family lines, the Brentanos no longer carried their nobility titles in Frankfurt. Like other merchant families who immigrated from Italy, e.g. B. the Bolongaro and the Guaita , the Brentanos adhered to their Roman Catholic denomination and were therefore initially unable to acquire citizenship in the strictly Lutheran imperial city of Frankfurt . With generous foundations they supported the collegiate churches and monasteries that remained in Frankfurt after the Reformation , including the Carmelite monastery in particular .

Domenico's son Domenico Martino Brentano (* 1686 in Tremezzo, † September 19, 1755 in Frankfurt am Main) married Donna Maria-Elisabetha Brentano-Riatti (1700–1736). After a successful trial against the City Council of Frankfurt, he was the first Catholic to acquire Frankfurt citizenship in 1740. He extended the business connections of the trading company Domenico Brentano & Sons to Holland, founded branches in Amsterdam and Mainz . He maintained close relationships with other Brentano branches in Vienna , Nuremberg , Günzburg , Trieste and Naples .

His son Pietro Antonio , called Peter Anton (born September 19, 1735 in Tremezzo, † March 9, 1797 in Frankfurt am Main) was considered one of the most important Frankfurt merchants of his time. Until 1753 he was a partner in the company founded by his grandfather, then he founded his own trading company in the Nuremberg court. In 1777 he bought the Golden Head house in Grosse Sandgasse. Appointed Privy Councilor and resident of the Free Imperial City of Frankfurt under the Elector of Trier Clemens Wenzeslaus of Saxony , he became general collector of the finances of the Kurheinische Kreis in 1785 and then lived most of the time at the court of the Elector in Koblenz . He played the violin and wrote poems in Italian, but probably spoke only broken German until his death.

After the death of his second wife Maximiliane, a daughter of the then Electorate Chancellor Georg von Lichtenfels, known as La Roche, he handed over his business to the sons Franz and Georg and retired completely to Koblenz, the royal seat. There he married a third time, this time Friederike von Rottenhof (1771–1817) with whom he fathered two children, both of whom died early.

  1. Children from first marriage to Paula Maria Josefa Walpurga Brentano-Gnosso (1744–1770)
    1. Anton Maria Brentano (1763-1833)
    2. Franz Dominicus Josef Maria Brentano (1765–1844) - married in 1798 to Johanna Antonia Josepha von Birckenstock (Antonie Brentano, 1780–1869). The business of the family company was transferred to Franz because his father was overburdened. After the death of his father, he became head of the family. He was the owner of the so-called Brentano house in Winkel im Rheingau , a summer house of his in-laws.
      1. Mathilde (1799-1800)
      2. Georg Franz Melchior (1801–1852) married Lilla Pfeifer (1813–1868), sister of the Cologne industrialist Emil Pfeifer ( Pfeifer & Langen ) in 1836 . Georg and Lilla are buried in Frankfurt's main cemetery in crypt hall No. 48 (Schillings / Brentano).
        1. Marie Agnes (1837–1916) ⚭ Franz Ignaz Schwerdt (1830–1916), classical philologist
        2. Johanna (1839-1885)
        3. Franz Brentano (1840–1888), genre and portrait painter
        4. Maria (1842–1867)
        5. Josefa (1844-1875)
        6. Emil (1845-1890)
        7. Louise (1848–1866)
      3. Maximiliane (1802–1861) ⚭ Friedrich von Blittersdorf (1792–1861), civil servant from Baden
      4. Josepha (1804–1875) ⚭ Anton Theodor Brentano-Tozza (1809–1895)
      5. Franziska (1806–1837), called Fanny
      6. Karl Joseph (1813–1850)
    3. Maria Josefa (1767-1770)
    4. Peter Anton Ludwig Brentano (1768–1788)
    5. Dominicus Martin Franz Carl Brentano (1769–1825), Dr.jur, a so-called black sheep of the family, was considered a drunkard and womanizer.
    6. Paula Maria Walpurga Brentano (1770–1805), married in 1800 to Johann Wilhelm von Wasmer.
  2. Children from second marriage to Maximiliane von La Roche (1756–1793), friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe . She died six months after giving birth to her twelfth child in 1793.
    Petri house in Rödelheim
    1. Georg Brentano (1775–1851), Frankfurt banker, builder of the Brentanopark in Frankfurt-Rödelheim with the Petrihaus dedicated to his favorite niece Maximiliane . This summer house ("Der liebe Maxe") was renovated in 2006. Georg called himself Brentano-Laroche to differentiate. His wife Maria Schröder died in 1815. Four children survived:
      1. Claudine (1804–1876)
      2. Sophie (1805-1856)
      3. Franz (1809-1830)
      4. Georg Carl Ludwig, called Louis (1811–1895), baptized Georg Carl Ludwig, had an only daughter with his wife Maria, born Guaita, widowed Berna:
        1. Maria Magdalena (1841–1919), later called Mickelchen . In 1862 she married the historian Karl Friedrich Stumpf (1829–1882) and took the name Stumpf-Brentano. The family lost their fortune in the 20th century due to war bonds and inflation. Finally, the villa and the 13 hectare park were sold by the children of the city of Frankfurt in 1926.
          1. Marie (1863–1932) married Rudolf, Freiherr von Schorlemer-Volperhausen (1853–1929), with whom they had 5 children.
          2. Clemens (1876–1945) married Agnes von Ellerts, a second cousin. Her grandmother was Antonie von Guaita, the younger sister of Marie von Guaita. Clemens had 5 children:
            1. Annemarie (1906–1929)
            2. Elisabeth (1908–1987), mother of Thomas Royen
            3. Bernward (1910-1977)
            4. Dorothea Krohmann (* 1912)
              1. Monika (Wiegandt)
            5. Franz-Josef (1915–1980)
    2. Maria Sophie Therese , called Sophie (1776–1800), died young and buried in Oßmannstedt , the estate of Christoph Martin Wieland .
    3. Clemens Brentano (1778–1842), more precisely Clemens Wenzeslaus Brentano, was a German romantic writer . His godfather was the Elector of Trier Clemens Wenzeslaus of Saxony . Brentano was married a. a. with Sophie Mereau (1770–1806).
    4. Kunigunde Maria Ludovica Catharina Brentano , called Gunda (1780–1863), married in 1804 to Friedrich Carl von Savigny , Prussian Minister.
    5. Maria Francisca Catharina (March 3, 1782 - June 5, 1785)
    6. Christian Franz Damian Friedrich (1784–1851), writer, married to Emilie Genger
      1. Franz Brentano (1838–1917), German philosopher and psychologist, married Ida Lieben from the Lieben banking family in 1880
        1. Johann Michael (Giovanni) Brentano
      2. Lujo Brentano (1844–1931), German economist
      3. Sophie Brentano (1839–1916), married Théophile Funck (1830–1906).
    7. Elisabeth Catharina Ludovica Magdalena Brentano , known as Bettine (1785–1859), German writer - married to Achim von Arnim (1781–1831). Her portrait was shown on the five DM note of the fourth series of DM banknotes issued from 1989 to 2001 .
      1. Maximiliane von Arnim (1818-1894), married Eduard von Oriola (1809-1862).
      2. Armgart von Arnim (1821–1880), married Albert von Flemming (1813–1884).
      3. Gisela von Arnim (1827–1889), married Prof. Herman Grimm (1828–1901).
    8. Maria Ludovica Katharina Brentano , called Lulu (1787-1854), married the banker Carl Jordans ( Jordis ) in 1806, who settled in Kassel in 1806 and bought a city apartment and Schönfeld Palace there, which he had to sell on to King Jérôme in 1809 . After her divorce, she married Richard Peter von Rosier des Bordes from Brussels in 1827 . After his death, she bought Wasserlos Castle near Alzenau (now the district hospital) and lived there with her adopted daughter Meline (1817–1908) and her husband, Count Moritz zu Bentheim-Tecklenburg- Rheda.
    9. Magdalena Maria Caroline Francisca Brentano , called Meline (1788–1861), was married to Georg Friedrich von Guaita (1772–1851), who was several times mayor of the city of Frankfurt am Main.
      1. Franz Georg Carl von Guaita (1810–1868), co-owner and director of the Frankfurt Theater
      2. Leberecht von Guaita (1814–1875), married to Mathilde von Guaita , born Mathilde Thérèse Amalie Mumm (1815–1890).
      3. Marie von Guaita (1815-1859) married businessman Anton Berna, their son Georg Berna , widow since 1836, painted by Philpp Veit, 2nd marriage to Louis Brentano, their daughter Marie (1841-1919). In 1862 she married the historian Karl Friedrich Stumpf (1829–1882) and took the name Stumpf-Brentano. The family lost their fortune in the 20th century due to war bonds and inflation. Finally, the villa and the 13 hectare park were sold to the city of Frankfurt in 1926.
      4. Antonie von Guaita (1816–1881), married to Jacob Georg von Hertling (1805–1851), whose only child Georg von Hertling (1843–1919) became German Chancellor.
      5. Sophie von Guaita (May 15, 1824 -?), Married in 1850 to Johann Hermann Detmold (1807–1856).
    10. Caroline Ludovica Ernestine (born January 29, 1790 - † September 23, 1791)
    11. Anna Maria Francisca Ludovica (born September 20, 1791 - † April 26, 1792)
    12. Susanna Philippine Francisca Ludovica (May 11, 1793 - September 2, 1793)
  3. Children from 3rd marriage with Anna Friederike von Rottenhof
    1. Friedrich Karl Franz (born July 29, 1796 - † August 5, 1796)
    2. Franz Peter (* 1797, † September 7, 1813) was killed in the Battle of Dennewitz near Jüterbog .

Binger line Brentanos

Don Natalis de Brentano di Tremezzo (born December 25, 1611 in Tremezzo, † 1674) was the second son of Giovanni-Pietro the Elder. Ä. and Donna Lucretia de Stoppanis. He married Donna Margherita di San Justo de Croce, who was born in Menaggio in 1616. Her son Nobile Giovanni-Pietro the Younger (* 1644 in Tremezzo, † 1707 ibid) married Donna Maria Bellini dei Marchesi di Sancino e Volesio in 1672. From this marriage came Don Natalis the Younger (born March 17, 1674 in Tremezzo; † January 6, 1756 in Bingen ). He moved to Bingen and married Maria-Anna Wiegand on November 9, 1698 in Mainz . This marriage had two sons:

  1. Peter Anton Franz Brentano (born July 8, 1704 in Tremezzo; † November 6, 1756 in Bingen), landowner and city governor in Bingen. He married Maria Catharina Margarethe du Pont in Homburg near Zweibrücken in 1728 . She died in Bingen in 1776.
    1. Franz Anton Brentano (born January 8, 1730 in Bingen; † May 31, 1798 ibid) was the landowner and city governor of Bingen, married to Maria Anna Theodori from Geisenheim on November 23, 1773 .
      1. Johann Baptist Brentano (born September 27, 1774 in Bingen; † September 17, 1833 there) married Anna Maria Antonia Harth (born April 29, 1787; † September 12, 1849 in Bingen) on October 20, 1811 .
        1. Jacob Gustav Adolph Brentano (born May 4, 1816 in Bingen; † April 13, 1884 in Mainz) was the post director in Friedberg (Hesse) . On February 10, 1849, he married Auguste Eleonore Charlotte Hofmann , daughter of the court judge Hofmann.
    2. Johan Peter Paul Brentano (1740–1813), married to Helene Heger (1784–1861).
      1. Lorenz Brentano (1813-1891) was a German and American politician and in 1848 a member of the Frankfurt National Assembly
  2. Franz-Xaver Brentano (born June 20, 1712 in Bingen, † 1786 in Regensburg ) was married to Sebastiana Antonia Corti . He received on May 24, 1745 in Munich from Maximilian III. Joseph , Elector of Bavaria, the imperial nobility and called himself Brentano von Brentheim ever since .
    1. Georg Anton Brentano (* 1746 in Regensburg) was elevated to the status of baron by the emperor in Vienna in 1787. With the death of the grandson Carl Anselm Franz Xaver in Vienna in 1843, this Bavarian branch line became extinct.
    2. Marianne Brentano (born November 25, 1755 in Rapperswil , † August 14, 1795 in Stuttgart ) was supported by her uncle Dominikus von Brentano after the death of her parents . In her second marriage in 1786 she was married to Theophil Friedrich Ehrmann , a lawyer and writer. From 1788 Marianne Ehrmann-Brentano lived and worked as a novelist in Stuttgart.

The following descendants came from the Friedberger line of Jacob Gustav Adolph Brentano and his wife Auguste Eleonore Charlotte Hofmann (1821–1902):

  • Karl Maria Willibald Josef von Brentano di Tremezzo (1851–1915). He had three daughters and a son, Franz Anton Otto Natalis von Brentano (1884–1914).
  • Rudolf Otto von Brentano di Tremezzo (born December 9, 1855 in Darmstadt , † July 21, 1927 ibid), German politician ( center ). In 1884 he married Lilla Schwerdt , a daughter of Bonn university professor Franz Ignaz Schwerdt and Agnes Maria Brentano from the Frankfurt line
    • Clemens von Brentano (1886–1965) was the first ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Italy and San Marino from 1951 to 1957.
    • Franz von Brentano di Tremezzo (born May 8, 1888 in Friedberg, † August 15, 1956) was temporarily consul in Lille .
    • Peter Anton von Brentano di Tremezzo (1891-1956) was senior councilor in the government of Middle Franconia in Ansbach .
    • Maria von Brentano di Tremezzo (1884–1973) went to the monastery.
    • Bernard von Brentano (1901–1964) was a German writer. In contrast to his two brothers, he only rarely used the suffix di Tremezzo .
    • Heinrich von Brentano (1904–1964) was a German politician ( CDU ), 1955–1961 Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany. He recommended Konrad Adenauer the village of Cadenabbia near Tremezzo on the west bank of Lake Como. From 1957, Adenauer moved a total of 18 times, mostly to Villa La Collina, which has been owned by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation since 1977.

The Brentano-Cimaroli house

This line originated among other things

Emilie Eskeles, lithograph by Josef Kriehuber , 1846

Luxembourgish / French relatives by marriage: the Funck-Brentanos

  • Théophile Funck-Brentano (born August 21, 1830 in Luxembourg , † January 23, 1906 in Montfermeil ) was a philosopher and writer. He studied law, philosophy and medicine in Paris, Brussels and several German universities and settled in Paris. Here he became a professor at the École libre des sciences politiques in 1873 and was one of the founders of the Collège libre des sciences sociales. Together with Albert Sorel (1842–1906) he wrote several books. He married Sophie Brentano (1839–1916), one of eight children from the marriage of Cristian Brentano (1784–1851) and Emilie Genger (1810–1882).
    • Frantz Funck-Brentano (1862–1947), French-Luxembourg historian, was the son of Théophile and a writer who is known in France to this day.
    • Claudine Funck-Brentano (born in Luxembourg in 1863) was a translator and poet. Her mother was Sophie Brentano (1839–1916), a niece of Clemens Brentano, whose works she translated.

Property owned by the Brentanos


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Genealogical handbook of the nobility, Adelslexikon Volume II, Limburg (Lahn) 1974
  2. Document from Bishop Avoccati of Como in the Bibliotheca Ambrosiana in Milan, printed in Historiae Patriae Monumenta, Volume XVI, p. 453
  3. ^ Coat of arms of the laudable citizens of Rapperswil , Zurich 1855 ( digitized version )
  4. ^ Genealogical page of the Eskeles family


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