Gf Dietrich im Hassegau, +before 976, left issue: NOTE: At one time in this very century this family's members included nine sovereign rulers at the same time: the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, the Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and five kings---those of Saxony, Great Britain, Belgium, Bulgaria and Portugal. The family claims to descend from one Wittekind, a leader of one of the Saxon tribes converted to Christianity under Charlemagne. However, this is conjecture, and the first provable ancestor was Dietrich, Gf im Hassegau, who flourished in the 10th century. His descendant Thimo built the castle of Wettin, whence the family took its name. His son Konrad became Margrave of Meissen and was granted part of Lusatia by the emperor. Konrad's grandson married the heiress of Thuringia and inherited those lands. When the Dukes of Saxony of the old Ascanian house became extinct, the Wettins were among the most powerful nobles in the region. In 1423 the emperor named Margrave Friedrich as Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg. In 1485 two brothers, Ernsta nd Albert, divided the lands into two branches still extant today. Ernst inherited Wittenberg, Thuringia and Vogtland, and was ancestor of the Saxon ducal houses. Albert took Meissen, and built it up into the electorate and, later, kingdom of Saxony.
Rulers of Meissen, Saxony
Wettin index page

Last updated 20th January 2005