European family tables

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The collection of European family tables is a comprehensive reference work on genealogy , one of the historical auxiliary sciences. It was first published in two volumes in 1935/1936 under the title Family Tables for the History of European States by Wilhelm Karl von Isenburg (1903-1956) and has not only seen a number of new editions since then, but - under Isenburg's successor Frank Baron Freytag von Loringhoven (1910–1977) and Detlev Schwennicke (1930–2012) - also experienced an expansion to 29 volumes (some of which are available in several sub-volumes) with more than 4000 family tables .

Isenburg's first edition dealt with “The German States” (1935) in Volume I and “The States Outside Germany” (1936) in Volume II and limited itself to the ruling families of European history. The second edition from 1953, which was already published by Freytag von Loringhoven, added two more volumes in 1955 and 1957, in which the nobility from Germany and Austria-Hungary were dealt with, and which already had the new title “European family tables. Family tables on the history of European states ”. The four volumes were reprinted and improved, but not supplemented, over the next 20 years.

In 1977, Freytag von Loringhovens' estate contained enough unpublished material to have Volume V published in 1978: “European Family Tables. Family tables on the history of the European states. Volume V. By Frank Baron Freytag von Loringhoven. Edited from the estate by Detlev Schwennicke. "

Then the plant was put on a new footing by its third supervisor. It was now called: “European family tables. Family tables on the history of the European states. Founded by Wilhelm Karl Prinz zu Isenburg, continued by Frank Baron Freytag von Loringhoven. New episode. Edited by Detlev Schwennicke ”. Volume I was published in 1980, Volume XVI in 1995.

After Volume XVI, the title was shortened while maintaining the number. The work is now called: “Detlev Schwennicke. European family tables. New Series ”, from which seventeen (partial) volumes are available, some of which continue the entire work (Volumes XVII to XXIX), but some are also being reissued.


The more recent volumes contain detailed information on the sources from which the family tables were created, but no individual references. So if you want to find out the source for a specific filiation, you have to look at all of the works included in the list of sources.

Especially with the highly controversial high medieval aristocratic genealogy, one is well advised not to rely solely on the European family tables, as speculative conjectures from the specialist literature have often found their way into them. This applies, for example, to a family that is so controversial in research as that of the Konradines .

Heegewaldt (see below) writes in his review of Volumes XIX and XX, which appeared in 2002: “The source situation also played an important role, as no intensive basic research can be carried out in such a series and previously published representations have to be used. Nonetheless, the tables always gain in value when unprocessed, printed and unprinted sources are used beyond what has already been published. "


  • Werner Heegewaldt (Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv) on Volumes XIX and XX (2002), in: Herold-Jahrbuch, New Series, Volume 10 (2005)

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