Dzvenkgau is a German noble family that through the centuries has produced many soldiers, civil servants and farmers.
The family name is sometimes written as Dzvenkgau or von Dzvenkgau, and the full family name is often written as von Dzvenkgau zu Altenberg or von Dzvenkgau-Altenberg.
There are different branches of the family with the junior branch inheriting the titles of Count (Graf in German) or Countess (Gräfin in German) and the senior branch inheriting the titles of Prince (Prinz) or Princess (Prinzessin), with the head of the family inheriting the title of Fürst or Fürstin. The style of address of the Fürst or Fürstin, Princes and Princesses is, Your Serene Highness, and family members are referred to as His or Her Serene Highness, (Seine or Ihre Durchlaucht in German).
The family's origins are thought to be in northern Europe and Scandinavia. By the late 1800s the family's main estates were located in Silesia near the border of Austria. The family also held land in Prussia, and what is now Poland in the present day. Through marriages the family holds ties to families of the German and Austrian nobility as well as the Swedish, Russian and Ukrainian nobility. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and communism the family sought to have their lands returned to them. The family has achieved some success, and some of their land has been restored to them. It is not certain if further action will be taken to restore other lands to the family.
One such story that is more prominent then others, involves the Napoleonic Wars. Karl Christian von Dzvengau was away from the family's estate of Ramsdenberg in the service of the Prussian army. Left on the estate were Karl Christian's wife Magdalena, and their five daughters. As Napoleon's army advanced east, the women did not wish the estate to be taken and saw no point in leaving the war to the men. They dressed in the clothes of their male servants and rode out to the battle line directing the soldiers. At the end of the battle the estate was not taken, and the idea of the strong Valkyrie type women of the family remains to the present day, though this story is likely not true.
In the present day the family still occupies its traditional positions in the civil service, clergy and the army. Many of the family now live in Canada including the present Fürst and Fürstin, and are landowners and farmers.
- The noble title of Fürst
- Forms of address for a Fürst or Fürstin, and Princes or Princesses
- German forms of address for Princes
Sources and references
- The Encyclopedia of European Nobility
- The European Nobilities in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, H. M. Scott (1995)
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