Margaret Brandenburg

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Margaret Brandenburg
Hohenzollern Brandenburg.png
Coat of Arms of the Brandenburg Hohenzollern Princes
Born12 February 1836
Harrison County, Indiana, United States
Died16 February 1920
Bloomfield, Greene County, Indiana, United States
HusbandJohn Lewis Frank
IssueJacob Clark Frank
Martin Clifford Frank
Mary Belle Frank
Charles Fremont Frank
Francis Anna Frank
Catherine Helen Frank
Amanda Grace Frank
John Leslie Frank
RoyaltyHouse of Hohenzollern
FatherDavid Brandenburg
MotherLaura Jane Beard
OccupationHouse Wife

Margaret Brandenburg was the daughter of David Brandenburg (1812-1874) by his wife Laura Jane Beard (1815-1909). She was born on 12 Februrary 1836 in Harrison County, Indiana, United States and married John Lewis Frank (1827-1905) and had eight children by that marriage.[1][2][3]She was a member of the Royal Family of Brandenburg from the Franconian House of Hohenzollern branch in the Kingdom of Prussia.

Armorial Bearings

Margraviate of Brandenburg Coat of Arms.
Coat of Arms of the Brandenburg Hohenzollern Princes.
Brandenburg Margraviate in the Kingdom of Prussia

Armorial bearings are also known colloquially as a Coat of Arms. They are the principal part of a system of hereditary symbols dating back to early medieval Europe, used primarily to establish identity in battle.[4][5]They are still used today by royalty, nobility and knights to cover, protect, and identify the wearer; to denote their decedents, property ownership and their profession.[4][5] In the Kingdom of Prussia Armorial Bearings belonged to specific individuals and their families which was a huge shift from Heraldic tradition in the United Kingdom and other Heraldic Authorities. According to tradition, the Märkischer Adler ('Marcher eagle'), or red eagle of the March of Brandenburg, was adopted by Margrave Gero in the 10th century. Gustav A. Seyler states that the Ascanian Albert the Bear was the originator.[6] He divided his territory among his children, thereby creating the territories which would later become Anhalt, Brandenburg, and Meissen.

The March of Brandenburg, known as the Holy Roman Empire's 'sandbox' (Streusandbüchse), was granted in 1415 to Burggrave Frederick VI of Nuremberg of the House of Hohenzollern. Over the centuries, the Hohenzollerns made these poor marshes and woodlands the nucleus of a powerful state. After being formally enfeoffed as Elector Frederick I of Brandenburg, he quartered the arms of Hohenzollern (quarterly sable and argent) and the burgraviate of Nuremberg (Or, a lion sable within a border compony gules and argent) with the Brandenburg red eagle. The blue escutcheon with the golden sceptre, as symbol of the office of archchamberlain (Erzkämmerer) of the Empire, was added under Frederick II (1440-70). In 1417 Friedrich VI of Hohenzollern, Count of Nürnberg, was appointed Margrave of Brandenburg on the Concilium of Konstanz by Emperor Sigismund. The Emperor also gave him a sceptre as a symbol for his new territory. He used this sceptre in his personal arms in gold on blue. Only in 1864 the sceptre was added as a breast-shield on the eagle.

Estates in Prussia

From about 1875 through the late 1880s, efforts were taken by Wilhelm Heinrich Brandenburg's grandchildren and others to claim titles to the Brandenburg estates in Prussia. According to documents and letters circulated in the family, King Wilhelm of Prussia had granted permission for Brandenburg heirs to claim its estates there. The Brandenburg family worked with attorneys in Ohio, Kentucky, and Colorado, and in Berlin, Prussia to claim the estates. On 12 Feb 1889 they held a family meeting in Dayton, Ohio attended by 72 people, coordinating the effort and obtaining funds to pay the attorneys in America and Germany. The effort, however, was not successful.

The claim to the Prussian estates is based on lineage to Solomon Brandenburg. The documents assert that Solomon's estates were confiscated by the Prussian Crown (about 1700) as the result of a religious dispute. They assert that the Prussian government of the 1880s was willing to restore the estates providing the heirs could be identified. The Prussian government under the direction of the King was able to identify three Brandenburg brothers who came to America as the rightful heirs. The claim for the estates was pursued by the heirs of Wilhelm Heinrich Brandenburg and Mathias Brandenburg, working together. The claim might have also been pursued by other Brandenburg heirs, but they are not identified in these family documents. The Brandenburg family retained attorneys in America and in Germany to pursue the claim to the estates. Due to financial woes and the inability to pay legal fees the effort was not successful.


Margaret Brandenburg married once to John Lewis Frank (1827-1905) on 06 March 1853 and had eight children by that marriage.[1][7]

  • Jacob Clark Frank (1853-1941)
  • Martin Clifford Frank (1855-1945)
  • Mary Belle Frank (1856-1934)
  • Charles Fremont Frank (1857-1952)
  • Francis Anna Frank (1868-1950)
  • Catherine Helen Frank (1870-1918)
  • Amanda Grace Frank (1874-1943)
  • John Leslie Frank (1871-1951)

Margaret Brandenburg died on 16 February 1920 in Bloomfield, Greene County, Indiana, United States.[8] She is buried at the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Cemetery in Mauckport, Harrison County, Indiana, United States.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Southwest Kansas Genealogical Society (1959). The Treesearcher, Bind 1–5. Dodge City, KS: SKGS.
  2. Hurley, W. N. (1998). Brandenburg families: primarily of Montgomery & Frederick counties: but including members of the family found in other counties of Maryland and in other states (Vol. 8). Heritage Books.
  3. Southwest Kansas Genealogical Society. (1959). The Tree Searcher. Bind 1-5. Southwest Kansas Genealogical Society.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Woodcock, T., & Robinson, J. M. (1988). The Oxford guide to heraldry (Vol. 116). Oxford University Press.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Fox-Davies, A. C. (2007). A complete guide to heraldry. Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
  6. Siebmacher, J. (1973). J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch: Die Wappen des preussischen Adel,(T. 1-3) (Vol. 14). Bauer & Raspe.
  7. Harrison County, Indiana; Index to Marriage Record 1850 - 1920 Inclusive Vol, W. P. A. Original Record Located, Corydon Compiled; Book: C; Page: 21
  8. County Recorders Office, Bloomfield death index. book R-16; page 151. Indiana county death records indexed by the Indiana Works Projects Administration.