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Migration Period[edit]

Do we have any information actually linking the Uradel to those with leadership positions back in the Migration Period? Any sources? It's a fascinating piece of information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:58, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Some are linked on wikipedia if you allow male and female lines back. See e.g. Fred Barbarossa. (talk) 10:50, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
this is complete nonsense. Almost everyone in Europe can trace their ancestry to the migration period "if you allow male and female lines back". This has nothing to do with nobility, let alone with "Uradel". I am easily able to trace my lineage back to Charlemagne, as is anyone else who has a few centuries of genealogical records. You are just making stuff up here. Most "Uradel" families arose out of undocumented local lineages in the 12th or 13th centuries. Yeah, so they presumably have ancestors who lived during the migration period, but so does everyone, and everyone with the same complete absence of documentation. --dab (𒁳) 12:34, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Merger discussions[edit]

I see merger proposals but there is nothing on the relevant pages mentioned. (talk) 10:50, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

actual significance[edit]

it turns out that the term is specific to North German genealogy, recorded in a generic or descriptive sense since the 1820s, and used with a strict definition in the Gotha Almanach since 1907. It doesn't go beyond that application, even in Southern Germany, the term is avoided in favor of "alter Adel".

In addition to this, we have unreferenced claims about the situation in Scandinavia, where the term apparently ended up as a loanword. All we have is unreferenced stuff on other Wikipedias[1][2][3]. The Norwegian article claims that Betegnelsen uradel ble lansert på 1800-tallet under påvirkning av tyske slektsforskere. This is not implausible, as the German term pops up in the 1820s. But it does not appear to be used in any strict sense prior to 1900, so it would be rather instructive to be shown some example of 19th-century usage in Scandinavia.

The best we seem to get is a gesture towards a possible source for any of the Scandinavian stuff is "Bernhard Linder, Adel og godseje : adelsleksikon, Aschehoug, 2004" (tagged at the bottom of "Dansk uradel", but no specifics whatsoever. You would assume that genealogy geeks are people who care about documentation, but apparently not. --dab (𒁳) 10:02, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

It is correct that the construction ‘uradel’ is borrowed from German ‘Uradel’. The separate words ‘ur-’ and ‘adel’, however, are regarded as Norwegian (Danish etc.) words, the latter being introduced in the times when the North German Oldenburgers came to the Kingdoms.
I do not know when this term earliest is documented in Norway. Its usage has never been widespread, though except in popular genealogy/history.
I have never liked this term used as a scientific term, as I suspect it to be a product of the romantic nationalism. It was coined in the 1820, i.e. during the Spätromantik. Do you know whether there is a relation?  — Breadbasket 19:47, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
The 1926 edition of Nordisk familjebok asserts that

Uradel kallas vanligen en före år 1350 som adlig nämnd släkt, hvilken dessutom bör kunna påvisa en alldeles klar genealogi för minst 200 år och bevisadt samband med medlemmar, som lefvat vid midten af 1300-talet. Att just denna tidpunkt valts, beror därpå, att det äldsta kända adelsbrevet är från 1360 och därmed brefadeln framträder.[4]

(which roughly translates as:)

"Uradel" is the term for a noble family attested before the year 1350, which also should be able to show a perfectly clear geneology for at least 200 years and a proven connection with members living in the middle of the 14th centry. That this specific point in time was chosen is due to the oldest known letter of nobility dating to 1360 and that the patent nobility then arose.

The encyclopedia is, sadly, not more specific than that. Gabbe (talk) 13:08, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

it's just a technical term in genealogy. You don't need to bother about its "Romanticist" connotations, I do not think that German ur- has the same grandiose implications as English "ancient" or "primeval"; in this context it just means "original", meaning, the nobility which was there before it became fashionable to issue letters patent.

The bit about "migration period" roots which I removed was just pulled from thin air. Yes, it appears to mean "before 1350". This is not an arbitrary date, but based on the fact that letters patent began to be issued in Germany right about then.

Apparently the technical meaning is exactly the same in Scandinavia. This doesn't confirm that the term was introduced before 1900, but at least we have your 1926 reference now, so let's quote that. If you want to go into how the term is "avoided" in "scientific literature" today, you'll have to show sources for that too. Genealogy isn't necessarily a topic of "science", it is a field of its own, with its own jargon. It's not "scientific" jargon, its genealogists' jargon. I have no idea whether the term is still current among Scandinavian genealogists, you tell me. --dab (𒁳) 14:38, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, and breadbasket, is user-generated content. By citing it you basically reflect historical Wikipedia content back to us. You badly need to see this. --dab (𒁳) 14:53, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Du lustiger Kerl. SNL is written by Norway's leading experts on their respective fields.  — Breadbasket 20:51, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Breadbasket, I am now beginning to lose patience with you. It is clear that you are out of your depth, and I have tried to accommodate your contributions as much as possible, but this is going too far now.

For your information, I did not refer to "the SNL" (1906), I referred specifically to May I quote Om Store norske leksikon at you, since you are clearly not able to do your own research?

Likevel blir mange av de viktigste endringene i leksikonet gjort av vanlige lesere. Alle som bruker Store norske leksikon har mulighet til å prøve seg som leksikonforfattere, men ikke alle kan godkjenne artikler.

Do you also need the lustiger Kerl to provide a translation for that, or can you figure it out on your own? --dab (𒁳) 11:07, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Also, how exactly did you manage to include File:Coatofarms-Skeel.jpg with a note of "Drawer: unknown", when the image page is perfectly clear that the image is a scan from a work by "Danish heraldist Anders Thiset (1850–1917)"? I don't know which is more perplexing, that you include an image of which you seem to be completely unaware whether it is pertinent, or that you go out of your way to tag the very image you just included as uneference when it is perfectly referenced.

Look, you are welcome to contribute even if your research skills are, ahem, limited. But you need to adapt your tone to the quality of your contributions. Either you know what you are talking about and have all the relevant references right there for the asking. Then you can afford to be a little curt. Or you just have a hazy notion of what you want to write about, and force other editors to do your research for you, but then it would be polite to sit back and not impede the work of the editors who do your job. If you find this is impossible for you, please limit yourself to editing articles on topics where you actually know what you are doing. --dab (𒁳) 11:14, 14 March 2012 (UTC) was until recently the website of the Store Norske Leksikon, Norway's preeminent encyclopedia published by its two leading publishing houses. The vast majority of the articles are the articles from the printed version written by experts. They only recently lost the competition against Wikipedia and stopped maintaining it in the traditional way, opening up for other contributors. The articles that also appear in the printed encyclopedia published from 1978 to 2010 are normal encyclopedic sources on par with the Encyclopedia Britannica. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kontorist99 (talkcontribs) 03:49, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Northern Europe[edit]

This article includes too much information about the term Uradel in Scandinavia, although in English it is primarily used to refer to German nobility. I tried to accommodate Breadbasket's attempt to put more non-German than German info by referring to the term's "Northern European" usage, but that keeps getting reverted by Breadbasket, whose efforts to skew the article are noted in the section above, as well as other editors' objections thereto. As clearly indicated in the section above, this term's usage for Scandinavian nobility is minimally documented, and its usage for Scandinavian nobility in the English language is completed undocumented. The result is that the article violates Wikipedia's undue emphasis standard by implying that the term is as associated with the nobility of Norway as with Germany's nobility, and relying upon Scandinavian standards rather than German standards to define the term. Therefore, I am editing the article both for balance and for the quality of English. FactStraight (talk) 23:04, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

The term is well established in Denmark (Den Store Danske Encyklopædi section on history of Denmark 1536-1849 [5], official dictionary [6]) and Sweden (Nationalencyklopedin [7], Nordisk familjebok [8])), while sometimes also used in Norwegian contexts (Store Norske Leksikon [9]). On the other hand, just as you can refer to the nobility of the once 300 German-speaking states as "German nobility", you can refer to the nobility of the Scandinavian countries, for example, collectively as the Scandinavian nobility. Northern European would include the Baltic countries as well, the nobility of which largely forms part of the "German nobility", i.e. the nobility with German culture/language. Listing all the 300 German-speaking states individually in the introduction would be silly, so there is no need to list each Scandinavian country specifically, "Scandinavian nobility" would suffice.

Obviously the article should neither be German-centric nor Scandinavian-centric. This is a term adopted in Germany and based on the German model in Scandinavia in the 19th century, and a well known term in genealogy in the two Scandinavian countries with a substantial nobility.

The term should be defined to portray prevalent usage rather than obscure usage. "Northern Europe" is a general term and does not suggest any specific nation. Your interpretations of the term's prevalence in Norway or Scandinavia have been disputed in the section above, clearly indicating there is a lack of consensus for this article's emphasis on it. The objection isn't that the term was not used in Scandinavia nor that the article shouldn't mention Scandinavia, but that Uradel is primarily used to refer to the German nobility -- and that reality is obfuscated when as much of the articlel refers to Scandinavian as to German usage. FactStraight (talk) 15:58, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
It has not been established that the term is now used more prevalently in Germany than in Scandinavia. The term was introduced in the final years of the HRE, i.e. before there even was any country called "Germany". It was primarily used in Prussia in the 19th century. The cultural connections between Prussia and Sweden were rather stronger than, say, between Prussia and Austria or Bavaria, hence the category "Germany" if used in the post-1990 territorial sense makes very limited sense here. Perhaps you can use "German" in the 19th-century sense of "German Confederation", but if you want to define "German nobility" in an ethnic sense, you have your work cut out for you, as you will find loosely "German"-derived nobility sprawled over much of Europe, anywhere between Sevilla and Moscow, pretty much for the last 500 years or so. --dab (𒁳) 13:28, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Nor has it been established that the term is now used in English as prevalently to refer to Scandinavia's nobility as to Germany's. Since the association of Uradel with Scandinavia as comparable to Germany was disputed when last discussed on this page (I continue to agree with the challenge and to dispute the usage) and no consensus reached, it remains undue weight for the article to reflect that POV. Nor do I concur that in the 19th century "The cultural connections between Prussia and Sweden were rather stronger than, say, between Prussia and Austria or Bavaria", except in the area of religious faith. FactStraight (talk) 19:28, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Uradel and Hochadel[edit]

There is a redirect from Hochadel to Uradel which is in fact incorrect. Hochadel is not a synonym for Uradel. Whereas Uradel (medieval or feudal nobility before 1400 AC) is opposed to Briefadel (nobility by letters - or patent - of nobility, mostly from a post-medieval period after 1400 AC), Hochadel (high nobility) is opposed to Niederer Adel (lower nobility). The differentiation of Uradel/Briefadel is such age-based whereas the distinction between Hochadel and Niederer Adel is based on the rank of titles. The Almanach de Gotha and subsequently the Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels (GHdA) are divided into subsets; the Fürstliche Häuser subset (Royal, ducal and princely houses) contains the Hochadel and is divided into sections 1, 2 and 3. The first section lists Europe's sovereign or formerly sovereign houses, whether they ruled as emperor, king, grand duke, duke, prince (or some other title, e.g., prince elector, margrave, landgrave, count palatine or pope). The second section is for the mediatised princes and counts of the Holy Roman Empire. All non-reigning families of Europe bearing princely or ducal titles, thus largely non-German, un-mediatized princely and ducal families, are in the 3rd section. Altogether they form the High Nobility of Europe. All lower noble ranks (from Marquess down to Knight/Herr von/Monsieur de) are Lower Nobility according to the Gotha discretion. However, among the Hochadel (high nobility) families there is a number of families which indeed don't belong to the Uradel, such as in section 1 the House of Bonaparte, the House of Bernadotte, the Karađorđević dynasty, the Petrović-Njegoš dynasty or the House of Zogu; in section 2 the Fugger; in section 3 a larger number of houses such as the German princes Biron von Curland or Wrede, the Austrian princes of Paar, the Italian Torlonia, the Russian Demidov and a number of lately ennobled ducal houses of Spain. This shows that the redirect from Hochadel to Uradel is in fact wrong. So, could someone perhaps translate the German article on Hochadel? -- Equord 21:15, 10 Sept 2015 (UTC)

I agree that Hochadel should not be a re-direct to Uradel for the reasons stated. Except that this classification is irrelevant to the non-German families mentioned above: they are listed in Gotha section I because they are accounted as former reigning royalty -- which is what the Hochadel became, at least for marital purposes, after 1815's mediatization. But most Uradel families never reigned or never attained high enough rank to be included as Hochadel, so the two classes should remain distinct in Wikipedia as they were in history. The House of Thurn and Taxis is a classic example of a German noble family which rose to Hochadel rank, but never held Uradel status; proof that the two cannot be conflated. FactStraight (talk) 15:09, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
Correct, most Uradel families never reigned or never attained high enough rank to be included as Hochadel. However, Hochadel is not a synonym for the mediatized houses of section 2 either, although the marital equality used to be seen by some as the distinctive feature in the past. Meanwhile, common speech (allowedly in German) also often uses the word for royal (section 1) as well as non-German princely and ducal families (section 3), as you can often read in books or tabloids about this or that gentleman or lady belonging to the French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian etc Hochadel, meaning he/she is a duke/duchess or prince/princess. -- The House of Thurn and Taxis is a debatable example, Gotha keeps silent on this question, stating only that the family was first mentioned with Odonus de Taxo in 1146 and that the genealogical tree starts with Omodeo de Tassis del Cornello in 1251. They received a nobility patent for the Empire in 1512 but this wouldn't exclude a noble status in Italy prior to this. Presumably they were of knightly status in the 12th century, thus Uradel, but changed into the mercantile community when founding a courier service for the Republic of Venice in the 1300s, however it's cloudy if they held or kept acknowledged noble status or not. They surely pretend they did. -- Equord 18:38, 11 Sept 2015 (UTC)
Strange. According to pages 200 and 235-237 of L'Allemagne Dynastique, Tome IV by Huberty, Giraud and Magdelaine, the Elector Palatine Charles III (1661-1742), having been twice widowed before acceding to the electoral throne in 1716 (by Princess Louise Charlotte Radziwill 1667-1695, whom he wed in 1688 and by Princess Theresa Catherine Lubomirska, d. 1712, whom he wed in 1701), contracted a third, morganatic marriage in 1728 with Countess Violanta Theresia von Thurn und Taxis (1683-1734), daughter of Phillip Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis (1647-1703), who had been raised from baron to count only in 1701. He was a younger son of Johan Baptist, who was only made Baron von Thurn und Taxis in 1657 having apparently belonged to the Augsubrg branch of the family and been heir to a country estate at Rohrenfels, as well as serving as chamberlain to the Holy Roman Emperor and, previously, to the Count Palatine of Neuburg. Also a native of Neuburg, his children were reared in Munich. The text further states that Charles, a cadet count palatine of Neuburg, had resigned his ecclesiastical status as canon at Mainz in 1688 to marry, as his elder brother, the Elector John William (1658-1716), was childless. Liselotte, Duchess d'Orleans, last of the Wittelsbachs of the Protestant, senior Electoral line, left correspondence in and subsequent to 1716 inquiring if rumors were true that the new Elector Charles III had "foolishly" re-married Violanta after his second wife's death in 1712; she pointed out that if so, any "misbegotten count palatine" born of such a marriage could not displace Charles III's next-in-line heir of the collateral Sulzbach branch of Wittelsbachs, because such a marriage would violate the Electoral house laws. No proof of Charles III having a son by any of his three wives has been confirmed, but if a son had been born to Violanta by 1716 he would have been illegitimate rather than morganatic since Charles only wed Violanta in 1728. In fact, Charles Theodore of the Sulzbach branch did succeed Charles III on the Electoral throne. Countess Violanta was given by the Emperor, at the request of her husband the Elector Palatine, the non-dynastic title of princess (Fürstin) on 8 March 1733 with the style of Hochgeboren. So whatever the claim of the T&Ts was and is, they were not recognized in the Holy Roman Empire as Hochadel, whether or not also Uradel, as late as 1733. Other examples of families which became Hochadel but were not Uradel may, however, be found such as the Fuggers (ennobled in 1511), the Lowenstein-Wertheims (legitimized and morganatic branch of the Electoral Wittelsbachs, made Imperial counts in 1494) and all of the Ministerialis families of the Empire who would be mediatized by 1815, e.g. Rechberg and Rothenlöwen, Waldburg, Windisch-Graetz and even the House of Reuss, which kept its sovereign throne until 1918. FactStraight (talk) 06:44, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Maybe the T&Ts should be further discussed on their own talk page, but it may also help to highlight all the tricky distinctions with this kind of examples... I don't see any contradiction, anyway. The Brussels/Frankfurt/Regensburg branch of the T&Ts became titular Princes of the Holy Roman Empire as early as 1695, but they were only admitted to the Imperial Diet participants in 1754, after the acquisition of Eglingen, a territory with Imperial immediacy, in 1723. Only then they changed from what is now regarded as section 3 Hochadel (titular dukes/princes) into section 2 (semi-sovereigns with imperial immediacy, thus with marital equality with the sovereigns), which obviously didn't help the Augsburg branch (that remained comital, never reigned an immediate territory and never became princely, with the personal exception of that lady you mention). - The Fuggers are in fact the only Briefadel (as opposed to Uradel) family in section 2 Hochadel, only the House of Eggenberg, however extinct in 1717, would be another example of a bourgeois family risen to princes with seat in the Imperial Diet. The Lowensteins are Uradel as conjugal direct male descendants of the Wittelsbachs and became Hochadel when inheriting the immediate county of Wertheim in 1556, raised to principality in 1712. - However, I disagree with your last sentence. The Ministerialis families, as opposed to - and alongside - the Edelfrei families, are undisputed Uradel: In fact, most of the families in the former Uradel volumes of the Gotha are of Ministerialis origin. -- Equord 15:32, 22 Sept 2015 (UTC)
What "Uradel" volumes of the Gotha? My understanding is that the term "Uradel" is of rather recent origin -- late 18th/early 19th century -- and that it initially referred to families whose nobility did not derive from conferral or recognition by any monarch -- indeed, that was the original point of the term: a claim to "immemorial" nobility, rather than that conceded by a monarch claiming to be of higher rank by birth. In other words, Uradel families claimed that their distinction is that they were never known to have been non-noble. Ministerials were, by definition, initially non-noble since they were "unfree" until someone emancipated them and, if such happened, subsequently ennobled them. Thus a family that was of ministerial origin was not generally considered Uradel. Only because the first known letters patent (brief) were issued by the Holy Roman Emperor in the 14th century has the meaning and standard of Uradel been relaxed to mean "noble since 1400 AD," rather than "noble for as far back as the family's history is recorded." Historical German jurist Heinrich Zöpfl seems to confirm my impression, as reflected in Point III of this summary of his analysis of German standards on Misalliances. FactStraight (talk) 19:07, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
I have now found reference to the "Uradel Gothas" referred to above; in a 2002 thread (in which such other respected royalty commentators from back-in-the-day as François Velde and Pierre Aronax were also participants) on the newsgroup, under the topic head "Title of Fuerst in the lower nobility", a summary of the discussion's consensus on the relationship between Uradel and Ministerialis is given at the end by the late William Addams Reitwiesner (click on its links to see the comment to which he was responding, or scroll up to read the whole thread -- assuming Google Groups continues to be accessible online by the time this is read). FactStraight (talk) 02:12, 16 February 2016 (UTC)