The Jacobs family and its deeds in Gotha

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Revd. Rudolf W.L. Jacobs, Unna, Germany Lecture held 15th October 2005 in the East Entrance Chamber of Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha

How is it, that I, a reverend from the Rhineland, living in the house of my grandmother’s parents in Westphalia, am going to tell you today about the Jacobs family and its deeds in Gotha ? Firstly, because the governing board of the Freundeskreis Schlossmuseum Gotha [Friends of the Palace Museum Gotha] has invited me to do so. I would like to express my thanks for that! Secondly because my father Carl Jacobs, born 1904 in Friedrichroda (near Gotha) and my mother Käthe Jacobs, née Riemschneider, born 1908 in Pössneck have made their four sons familiar with their homeland, Thuringia, and with Gotha, despite of the fact that since the 1930s they were living in the Rhineland. Family ties were always strongly preserved, even in the difficult times of the GDR. My birthplace being Bonn, I am from the Rhineland, but as to my origins I am from Thuringia, exactly as the merry saying goes: Whereas a cat may litter in a fish-shop, she will not have fish instead of kitten… My parents came from Thuringia and thus I feel that I belong to Thuringia and Gotha as well, and recalling the famous words of the U.S.-president John F. Kennedy „Ich bin ein Berliner” [„I am a Berliner”] I could say „I am a Gothaer.” I consider it a historic and moving moment that I may speak here, in Schloss Friedenstein about the Jacobs family of Gotha, especially because many members of my family have worked here. Who would have thought 15 years ago that such an occasion would ever become possible.

My father, founder of our Family Archives, never missed a single opportunity to mention the history of our family to me, first of all the history of the family in Gotha, although my direct ancestors were active as ducal clerks in other locations of the Gotha administration – like Gräfentonna, Tenneberg and Rheinhardsbrunn, Zella St. Blasii, Ichtershausen and Ohrdruf – as well.

First, I would like to give you an overview of the lineage of the Jacobs family. After that, I would like to talk about the related families in Gotha and the female-line descendants, finishing with the family members who were most important to the city of Gotha, like the classical scholar Friedrich Jacobs, his brother the amateur geologist Wilhelm Jacobs, and the youngest son of Friedrich Jacobs, the painter Emil Jacobs. First, let us have an overview of the family lineage that can be observed on a simplified outline at the end of the text. Those who would like to know more about the family and its members are welcome to read the family history published by me, and illustrated by a number of pictures from the Family Archives.[1]

The Gotha ancestor of all Thuringian bearers of the name is Johann JACOBS. He did not come from Thuringia but from Schleswig-Holstein, that is why the family name ends with an „s”, unlike Thuringian names. He was born in 1648, closing year of the Thirty Years' War in the old harbour town of Flensburg[2]. His father Heinrich Jacobs was mayor of the St. Nicolai parish in Flensburg, his ancestors were patricians of Flensburg and Danish royal merchants. Until the German-Danish war in 1864 Flensburg was a part of Denmark. But why did Johann settle in Gotha in Thuringia? His father wanted him to become a lawyer because he often had to take second place in the town hall behind his colleagues who were jurists. That shall never happen to his sons: he sent them to the newly founded university of Kiel, then to Helmstedt, and finally to Jena, where Johann did his doctorate, becoming Dr. juris utriusque (doctor of both canon and civil law). In Jena he gave private legal lectures, presided at the promotions of his students, and married Maria Elisabetha VOLCK. She was born in Gotha as a daughter of the Hof- und Landmedicus (physician of the ducal court and the county) Dr. phil. et med. Johann VOLCK, but she lived in Jena, for her mother’s second husband was Christian CHEMNITIUS, professor of theology in Jena.

Maria Chemnitius or Volck, born Gerhard, mother-in-law of Johann Jacobs, was the daughter of Johann GERHARD, the most famous Lutheran theologian of that time. Perhaps it was she who made the connection to Gotha, since Duke Frederick I[3] discovered the young legal scholar and invited him to join the government of Gotha or to be an official. Johann Jacobs decided for the government and moved in 1680 with his family to Gotha. The house in which he and the family of his son (later physician of the ducal court and mayor of Gotha) lived is the well-known renaissance house at the main market, Zur Goldenen Schelle [To the Golden Bell], which has remained in the possession of the family for two generations and exists to this day.

In the recently published diaries of Duke Frederick I, written between 1667–1686, Jacobs appears as an important advisor and companion of the Duke in the years 1684–1686.[4] One interesting episode may illustrate what kind of things a Hofrat had to be ready for during his time of service. The adventure, which took place in Westphalia during the Duke’s return journey from the Netherlands, is described in the travel report of 1688 by the Duke’s valet Johann Christoph Emmerling. Travelling from Büren, the Duke’s company reached the village of Meerhoff only around 9 o’clock in the evening, where there was „nothing but sour beer and plenty of fleas.” To pass the time until the dinner, the Duke drew „a board game upon a piece of cloth,” and let „another one be traced and finished with chalk by Mr. Hofrat Jacobs [aulic councellor Jacobs], and thereafter using apple slices instead of small stones, played with him. No matter how curious it did seem at first, so agreeably did the game go on, and at least it made possible for this pleasure-loving dear Duke to pass the time with something until the watersoup and the grilled pieces of old ham cooked in the meantime were served.”[5] Duchy of Saxe-Römhild from Gotha; in 1691, after the death of Duke Frederick I he had to carry the Order of the Elephant back to Copenhagen as a speaking diplomat, and then accept it again in the name of the next Duke; the speeches he gave on these occasions were published as paragons.[6] He was invited to stay at the Danish court, and in addition was offered nobility as well. His great-grandson Friedrich Jacobs summarised his ancestor’s opinion on this matter: „He rather wanted to stay on a lesser stage of honours than to be disdained by the upper classes in a higher position. Having civic merits is not enough to be considered part of the nobility; the state of nobility has to be kept up by sufficient resources. Without it, a big family would decline rapidly, finding itself in a more unpleasant situation than a bourgeois family, which may find a great deal more ways of rising… The example of this sensible man stood before my eyes as the Bavarian Order of Merit granted me the right to use a „von” before my family name. I have never done so, and I hope that my children and grandchildren are going to be as thankful to me for this small abstention as I am to my great-grandfather for his .”[7] In 1700 Johann Jacobs was appointed vice president of the Oberkonsistorium, in 1712 Wirklich Geheimer Regierungs-Rat with the honourable address „His Excellency”; between 1717–1727, as vice chancellor of the Justizkollegium, he was commissioned with the direction of the government; at that time he was already 80 years old and retired from the service because of his progressive deafness. He lived five more years in retirement and died in 1732, in the same year as Duke Fredrick II.

He was buried in the family mausoleum, in a late Baroque sepulchral chapel in the Old Cemetery I. It was this old mausoleum where family members used to be buried till 1860 – or rather “sunk”, as it is written in the church diary. The interior of the mausoleum was saved by Geheimer Justizrat of Gotha Carl Jacobs, when in 1903 the town council decided to have the cemetery razed in order to have a new common bath erected on the premises. This single example of late Baroque Gotha sepulchral culture and part of the one-time Old Cemetery is now rather neglected and unfortunately inaccessible to the public; it is kept in the cellar of the Science Museum, waiting to be restored and set up once more. Several applications submitted to the Gotha Cultural Fund to support its restoration have so far brought no results. But the

Hofrat Jacobs quickly made a career at the Gotha Court. He became a member of the Regierungskollegium [government]; after 1692 he executed the government affairs of the family continues to hope that the town of Gotha will not let this unique remnant of the Old Cemetery decay completely.[8] The two Baroque marble busts of Johann Jacobs and his wife, originally from the mausoleum, were restored in 2002 on the occasion of the Emil Jacobs Jubilee Exhibition in Gotha and are now set up in the permanent exhibition in the Jacobs-room of the Castle Museum – until the mausoleum is restored. The tomb slab Johann Jacobs had made for his wife Maria Elisabetha Volck, deceased in 1720, and which was originally also in the mausoleum, was not entered into the collection of the museum due to its simplicity. Now it is in the transept of St Augustine’s church; it has been transported there thanks to the generosity of family members who had it restored. I have compiled a documentation of the fate of this tomb slab of the size of a door and put a copy at the disposal of the Gotha Forschungsbibliothek.[9] It was due to his marriage with Maria Elisabetha Volck that Jacobs, originating from Schleswig-Holstein, became related to important Gotha families. In the first place we have to mention the Bachoff von Echt family (also called Bachofen von Echt), originating from Cologne: vice chancellor Jacobs’ wife was a cousin of the Gotha minister Johann Friedrich BACHOFF Baron v. Echt. The 2nd wife of the Gotha teacher Andreas REYHER, Anna Blandina Bachoff von Echt (1636–1670), was her cousin too. The famous Gotha minter and coin master Wendelin Elias FREUND from Tennstedt was also an uncle due to his wife Anna Maria Volck. Susanna Maria Jacobs, the only daughter of the vice chancellor also married a Bachofen von Echt, the physician and Gotha mayor Georg Heinrich Bachofen v. Echt whose name is immortalized on the Schellenbrunnen (fountain to the bell) on the main marketplace. He was a brother of the Baron. One of the daughters from this marriage became the wife of the Gotha famous clergyman Kirchenrat Ernst Salomon CYPRIAN.

The wife of the Tonna clerk Johann Gottlieb Jacobs, second son of the vice chancellor, was a Bachoff, a niece of the Gotha minister Johann Friedrich Bachoff Baron v. Echt and of the physician and Gotha mayor Georg Heinrich Bachof. Her mother’s maiden name was Heydenreich; she was a descendant of the fourth daughter of Lucas Cranach sr., Maria. So his descendants belong to the so-called Cranachids with whom I also rank. The eldest son of the vice chancellor, mag. Friedrich Heinrich Jacobs founded the Tonna-Heldrungen (i. e. the first branch of the family), called so after the family’s main place of residence. First he was vicar in Molschleben, then superintendent (bishop) in Tonna. His wife, née TENTZEL, came from Erfurt. The famous historian and numismatist Ernst Wilhelm Tentzel, who was active in Gotha for some time, was one of her father’s cousins. All of their 14 children reached maturity – a rare phenomenon at that time – but only one of the 5 brothers, Carl August Jacobs, vicar of Kranichborn and then of Schönstedt near Langensalza, had descendants; they now live in Bavaria and in the USA. The second son of the vice chancellor, the Tonna clerk Johann Gottlieb Jacobs, who was already mentioned in connection with the Bachofen von Echt family, founded the second branch, also named after their main places of residence, Tonna-Zella. One of their female descendants, Fanny Jacobs, born in Coburg, and a daughter of a clerk from Saalfeld, was married to the inventor of the chain printer (high-speed printing press) Friedrich Koenig. The firm Koenig & Bauer still exists in Würzburg and belongs to the most important factories worldwide producing printing devices. One of their current descendants is the sculptor Prof. Fritz Koenig, to whom a sculpture museum has been dedicated in Landshut; his half-sister Ursula Koenig is the wife of the 13th Prince Esterházy in Eisenstadt/Austria. God willing, their son – a descendant of the Cranachs and the Jacobs – will become the 14th Esterházy. The third son of the vice chancellor, Dr. med. Friedrich Wilhelm Jacobs, was a court physician and for several years mayor of Gotha. He was the founder of the least numerous branch III of the family, called Gotha. The court physician’s second wife was Susanna Sophia GOTTER, daughter of the Gotha author of church hymns Ludwig Andreas Gotter and cousin of the Count Gustaf Adolf v. Gotter of Schloss Molsdorf bei Erfurt, who was a famous diplomat of King Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia. From his 3rd marriage with the widow of the Gotha historian and numismatist, Christian Siegmund LIEBE, editor of the excellent numismatic work Gotha Numaria 1730, he had an only son Wilhelm Heinrich Jacobs. The latter became – just like his grandfather the vice chancellor – a lawyer and was for a while also mayor of Gotha, then clerk in Georgenthal. He was married to the daughter of a mayor coming from the Gotha family Madelung; she was to become the mother of the classical scholar Friedrich Jacobs. The 3rd wife of Wilhelm Heinrich Jacobs was the sister of the Gotha publicist and opponent of Napoleon Rudolf Zacharias BECKER; she thus became Friedrich Jacobs’ stepmother. Friedrich Jacobs stood up for Rudolf Zacharias Becker, who had been arrested by the French, and also for his stepuncle: he forwarded a letter written by Caroline Becker to the Austrian empress Maria Ludovika to Goethe because he was convinced that the famous poet Goethe would be able to support this petition for clemency.[10] Besides the family BACHOFEN von ECHT , already mentioned in this essay, the bookseller family THIENEMANN also belonged to the Gotha families of which Jacobs daughters became members via marriage. The founder of the Karl-Thienemann-Verlag in Stuttgart was also a Jacobs descendant as well as his brother, the Gotha councillor Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Thienemann, one of the Seven Wise Old Men of Gotha, depicted in a group portrait by Emil Jacobs.[11] One of the daughters of the Tonna bishop married a descendant of the well-known Erfurt chemist family TROMMSDORFF. Constanze Jacobs, a descendant of the Tonna clerk, married Dr. med. Andreas Carl FLORSCHÜTZ, the physician of the duke of Coburg. A cousin of her husband’s, the princely councillor Johann Christoph Florschütz was bailiff and educator of the two Gotha princes Ernst and Albert, who were to become Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the future Prince Consort Albert of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. His wife Therese was a daughter of the Coburg bishop Dr. D. Wilhelm Genssler, and also a descendant of the Weimar family SEIDLER, related to the Jacobs. The most important – although not the best known – member of the family is the German classical scholar Friedrich Jacobs. The former Carolinenstraße below the Friedenstein bears his name: Friedrich-Jacobs-Straße. Here stood the house in which he lived and died; unfortunately it was totally destroyed during World War II. Neither does his tomb exist anymore: it used to be in the Jacobs mausoleum in the Old Cemetery, which is also destroyed. Now in 2010 when his remains were discovered, he received a grave of honour as one of the citizens of honour of Gotha. The simple memorial slab, depicted in Schneider’s Gedenkbuch [12], was housed – according to information from 1940 by the researcher of local history Richard Kirchner – in the one-time Gothaer Heimatmuseum, where it, alas, has not been found since.[13] But, thanks to an internet search, it could be found in the Gotha Museum für Regionalgeschichte und Volkskunde.[14]

Friedrich Christian Wilhelm Jacobs (this was the order of his first names in the baptism register of St Augustin Church) was born on 6 October 1764. (He himself used his first names in another order, namely Christian Friedrich Wilhelm and this is how he is referred to in the scholarly literature to this day. His parents were the then Gotha court solicitor and future mayor of Gotha Wilhelm Heinrich Jacobs and his 1st wife Dorothea Magdalena Madelung, youngest daughter of the lawyer and Gotha mayor Johann Wilhelm Madelung. His mother died three years after his birth, so his father’s 2nd wife, Maria Margaretha Schneegaß, daughter of the princely tax collector of Gotha Michael Melchior Schneegaß, became his stepmother. The house where he was born stood in the Kleine Siebleber Gasse, now Lucas-Cranach-Straße, where his father, the court solicitor, had lived and where his one year elder brother Christian Wilhelm Jacobs, 1763–1814, had also been born. It is not known to me which house it was and whether it still stands there.

This brother of his – Wilhelm Jacobs, originally lawyer and eventually chief princely Konsistorialrat in Gotha, published together with the Geologist Carl Ernst Adolf von Hoff (1771–1837) in 1807–1812 the results of their research work in two volumes under the title „Der Thüringer Wald, besonders für Reisende geschildert“. Today it is already a rarity; it was published in the Ettingersche Buchhandlung and re-published in 1987.[15]. Von Hoff owed his education to his excellent tutor Friedrich Jacobs to whom he was closely connected till his death. To come back to his brother Friedrich: after his school-leaving exam at the Gotha Secondary Grammar School Illustre at Easter 1781, at the age of 16, he first studied theology in Jena, but soon he changed his mind and turned to classical languages and classical studies; he was reading them from 1784 on in Göttingen University. Strangely, in the list of school-leavers, where their ambitions for future studies are listed, there is no mention of theology, but it says instead in Latin: „Academiam Jenensem petet, Philos. et Philol. operam daturus.“ During that time the big publishing house of the publisher and book seller Johann Christian DIETERICH, whose firm first operated in Gotha, already existed in Göttingen at that time. Dietrich’s sister was married to his uncle, the Tonna Amtsphysikus Dr. med. Friedrich Heinrich Jacobs. It is recalled that Dieterich was the landlord and a friend of the philosopher and physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. The brother of the latter, Ludwig Christian Lichtenberg, was privy councillor (Geheimer Lgationsrat) in Gotha and later also one of the publishers of his brother’s works. Already in 1785, at the age of 21, Jacobs himself was appointed professor of Greek, Latin and German at the Gotha Secondary Grammar School Illustre and was employed there for 22 years. In 1802 he had a yearly income of 400 thalers and was also employed in the library. This he was owed by Duke Ernest II as compensation for his refusal of an employment at Kiel University. In 1807, he was invited to Munich as professor of classical literature at the lyceum and also to become a member of the Academy of Sciences of Bavaria. (Akademie der Wissenschaften). This invitation was arranged by a friend of his, the theologian Friedrich Immanuel v. Niethammer,[16] a former professor at Jena University. The conditions were very favourable – he could never have hoped for such a high salary in Gotha. He also hoped that his four sons would have better career chances in a bigger state. After long consideration he decided to accept this invitation. If he had remained in Munich, there would now certainly be a street named after him Friedrich-Jacobs-Straße – and not in Gotha. But already three years later the animosity of the local scholars against the so-called „Nordlichter“ (that was the name of the scholars coming mostly from the Lutheran Northern Germany, invited to Munich under the Bavarian minister Graf Montgelas[17]) made Jacobs return to Gotha. He described these conflicts in his autobiography entitled „Personalien“, in the chapter „Die Aretinischen Händel“, because his chief opponent was head of the library Johann Christoph Freiherr v. Aretin.[18] The Crown Prince of Bavaria, later king Ludwig I, requested private lectures on Greek antiquity from him. These lectures, published after Jacobs’s death under the title „Hellas“[19] had, together with the influence of the Philhellene and friend of Jacobs’s, Friedrich Thiersch, such a strong effect on the Crown Prince that when he became king he decided to turn Munich into a city of arts and have a number of classicist buildings erected. As a result of this influence, visible even today, Munich should actually have a Friedrich-Jacobs-Straße. Although from 1810 on Jacobs was again in Gotha, his connections to Munich never ceased because he had good friends there, among others the president of the Munich Academy Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, secretary general of the Academy Friedrich v. Schlichtegroll. one of Friedrich Jacobs’s oldest friends and the former director of the Department of Coins and librarian in Gotha. Friedrich Thiersch, who carried on Jacobs’s work and is known as Praeceptor Bavariae,[20] Other friends include the educational councillor and Superior Church Councillor Friedrich Immanuel v. Niethammer, the former Gotha librarian Carl Julius Wilhelm Hamberger[21] and the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm v. Schelling. The latter’s second marriage was to a Gotha lady, Pauline Gotter, daughter of the Gotha playwright and friend of Goethe Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter and his wife Luise Stieler. He met them all in Munich in 1818 when he introduced his youngest son Emil, then 15 years old, as an art student to the Academy of Munich where he was trained to become a history painter. So Jacobs used his Munich connections in order to further his son’s career.[22] His son Gustav had already been (in 1807-1810) cadet in the Bavarian Cadet School where he became a friend of the poet Graf August v. Platen; their correspondence was published, although only the letters of Gustav Jacobs to Platen have come down to us.[23] On his return to Gotha Friedrich Jacobs was appointed chief librarian and head of the Department of Coins by duke August; from then on he devoted his whole energy to the fulfilling of his tasks. The thick catalogue volumes filled with his delicate and accurate scholarly handwriting are still in use in the Forschungsbibliothek of Gotha castle Friedenstein. In the end he was appointed director of the whole scientific and art collection in castle Friedenstein. He was chosen member of several scientific societies at home and abroad, e. g. in Paris, Rome, Naples, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg – to mention only a few. At this point I do not intend to explain any further the family links between almost all curators of the Department of Coins: in Appendix I give a schematic display of „Die Genealogische Verbindung der Aufseher des Herzogl. Münzkabinetts zu Gotha“. The close relationship between the duke and his chief librarian should be illustrated by the story of a painting. In 1813 duke Augustus presented his friend and helper Friedrich Jacobs with a romantic portrait by Joseph Grassi, now kept in the castle museum. It was reproduced several times as a copper engraving and carries on its reverse a distichon alluding to the recipient and is certified by the princely seal:


This poem informs us about the circumstances that resulted in the presentation of the portrait. Friedrich Jacobs had been the tutor of the Duke and served him loyally, but at the same time independently, during the whole period of his reign, except for the three years he had spent in Munich. But the Duke was attached to him with an almost boundlessly enthusiastic reverence. Jacobs often had to interrupt his lessons at the secondary grammar school because the Duke wanted to see him – sometimes even at night. From 1811 on, two days of the week were chosen on which the Duke spent several hours dictating his endless romantic poems to Friedrich Jacobs, whom he had called back from Munich to his service towards the end of 1810. The Gotha Library owns a number of thick volumes of this manuscript. The gratitude of the Duke for his persistent cooperation resulted in presenting Jacobs with Grassi’s portrait.[24] In 1792, Jacobs, then a secondary grammar school teacher, married Johanna Christiana the daughter of the Weimar chief princely Konsistorialrat and tutor of the princes of Saxe-Weimar Johann Wilhelm SEIDLER, in Denstedt close to Weimar. (I could not find out why the wedding took place exactly in this tiny village.) As a „meuble très utile”[25], Seidler was recommended by the father of the princely widow Anna Amalia as private tutor (Hofmeister) of the two princes Carl August and Constantin – this was how he happened to move from Braunschweig to the Weimar court. The painter Louise Seidler, who portrayed Goethe and was a pupil of the so-called „Pensionat der Doctorin Stieler“, a boarding school in Gotha between 1800–1803,[26] was a niece of Friedrich Jacobs. Louise Seidler (1786–1866) had a good relationship with her uncle Jacobs in Gotha and with his son, her cousin, the painter Emil Jacobs. Naturally enough she also painted a portrait of her uncle. I could discover two so-far unknown oil portraits of Friedrich Jacobs and his 1st wife Christiane Seidler owned by the descendants of her only daughter Marie Gabriele in England. The Seidler researcher Bärbel Kovalevski ascribed them to Jacobs’s niece Louise Seidler. There was a link to the theatre as well: Conrad EKHOF, the “father” of acting in Germany, was active in Gotha from 1774 on. The first stationary court theatre was founded with his assistance, headed by him and the court councillor and writer Heinrich August Ottocar REICHARD.[27] Reichard was married to Amalie Seidler, a sister-in-law of Friedrich Jacobs, so Jacobs was his brother-in-law. His daughter Charlotte Reichard (1788–1873) married the Gotha Kammerrat Carl Emil Constantin v. GÖCHHAUSEN (1778–1855); the latter was the son of a cousin of Goethe’s friend Luise v. Göchhausen (1752–1807), a companion of the Weimar duchess Anna Amalia, who was a niece of Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great). After the death of his 1st wife in 1812, Friedrich Jacobs travelled with this niece of his, Charlotte v. Göchhausen and her husband to Carlsbad in 1814, in order to try to cure his progressive loss of hearing, unfortunately without success. The deafness increased as he got older; it must have been a hereditary one because family tradition has it that his great-grandfather, the vice chancellor Johann Jacobs was also said to have been almost totally deaf in old age. As an old man Friedrich Jacobs must have had a stroke because in 1843, four years before his death his son Emil wrote in a letter to his former teacher in Munich Robert v. Langer: “My father, who commends himself to you, is staying with me for a while now, because my sister has left and he has grown old; an arm and a leg are lame so he has serious difficulties when writing.” Another daughter of the tutor of the Weimar princes, Caroline Seidler, a friend of the Goethe friend Charlotte v. Stein, was married in her 2nd marriage to the important Gotha publisher and bookseller Carl Wilhelm ETTINGER. Ettinger, whose birth date is still always mentioned erroneously, was also a brother-in-law of Friedrich Jacobs.[28] At this point, I would like to seize the opportunity to contribute to the Schiller-anniversary. Actually the poet Friedrich v. Schiller considered letting Ettinger become his publisher as he and his wife belonged to Schiller’s circle. He wrote in a letter to his friend Körner in Jena on 29 May 1789: “There is only one girl here whom I like; a have already known her for a while. She is the youngest sister of Ms Reichard and Ms Ettinger in Gotha, born Seidler. She is not particularly witty but she has an attractive personality and a good character and although you would probably not call her pretty I can assure you that I quite like her outward appearance as well. She lives here with her mother and her brother, a stable master of the university [father of the painter Louise Seidler – the author]. She has had a good education and has a certain fineness of manners you can hardly find here.[29] The girl Schiller mentioned in this letter was Dorothea Seidler, the youngest sister of Caroline Ettinger, Amalie Reichard and Christiane Jacobs, called Dorette by her family. So Friedrich Jacobs almost became a brother-in-law of Schiller as well. But it happened in a different way: in 1814, after an eight-year stay with her brother, a vicar in Reval,[30] Dorette went to Gotha and happened to dwell with her brother-in-law Friedrich Jacobs who at that time was already a widower; already in the same year she married him, instead of Schiller, as his second wife.[31] So what is it that makes Friedrich Jacobs so important? It is above all his enormous philological efficiency that resulted in the publishing of the 12 volumes of Anthologia Graeca; secondly his work as a librarian and the publishing of the 1st history of the almost 200-year-old Gotha library. Besides his scientific publications he was also well-known as a translator, writer, and author of juvenile literature. He was in personal contact with almost all important persons of classical times. Jacobs has handled the works of Lessing and of the founder of archaeology Winkelmann in studies of his own. He got in touch with Herder due to his work about the genre of the epigram; with Wieland due to his explanations of Horace and the publishing of the periodical „Attisches Museum“. Already old-aged, he corresponded with Goethe about the legacy of Prince Bernhard of Weimar. He was the first to publish a critic about Goethe’s „Iphigenie“. His publications on topics of the classical antiquity were amicably received and highly esteemed by Goethe to whom he had sent them.

Jacobs was also well acquainted with the representatives of German Romanticism. In 1800 he met Jean Paul Richter; he got acquainted with Achim v. Arnim and Clemens Brentano on the occasion of a visit to Heidelberg and he was an admirer of the work of Ludwig Tieck. His works were published in German in 8 volumes, between 1823 and 1844 under the collective title VERMISCHTE SCHRIFTEN, among others also his autobiography in the 7th volume, entitled PERSONALIEN. According to the opinion of Rudolf Ehwald, a successor of his as head of the princely library, Jacobs – just like many other important people – exerted his influence above all through his personality. He was one of the main supporters in the so-called second renaissance of German literature, in which the influence of the classical Greek mind reasserted itself.[32] Last year Prof. Klaus Manger from Jena University gave a lecture entitled „Friedrich Jacobs' in Wielands Attischem Museum veröffentlichte Hetärenkunde – ein Emanzipationsprojekt?“ as part of the symposium about Herzog Ernst II von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg. Prof. Manger pointed out how modern Jacobs’s ideas about women’s role in society were, especially compared to the opinion of his contemporaries. In 1836, eleven years before his death in 1847, Friedrich Jacobs wrote the retrospective of his life, at the end of which he wrote the following: “Now that I have come to the end of the account of my splendid life, I turn my heart to God in order to thank Him for all the good He had bestowed on me during my long career: for the good health I have enjoyed till now …; for the joy my children and grandchildren give to me; for the support of so many close and distant friends; and last but not least for the benevolence of the Princes I have had the honour to serve. But also for the suffering Providence has measured out for me and that has in the end turned out to be more or less for my own good. If they happen to read these lines, let them all, who bestowed well on me and have not yet passed away, find an expression of gratitude in them; a gratitude that will not cease as long as my heart beats.”[33] Gratitude for a full life – this characterizes the end of Friedrich Jacobs’s life.

My remaining duty is now to report on the children and other descendants of Friedrich Jacobs. He had four sons and a daughter from his first marriage to Christiane Seidler. His daughter Marie Gabriele married the Gotha lawyer Dr. phil. Ernst Behm; the letters she had written to him as his bride-to-be have come down to us and are such a rich source of data on social life in Gotha that the couple Heinz and Karla Schirmer, née Stromeyer, published an essay in Marburg in 1961 entitled „Menschen um Friedrich Jacobs, geschildert anhand der Brautbriefe seiner Tochter Marie Gabriele aus den Jahren 1822–1824“. I have copied the manuscript and offered a copy to the Forschungsbibliothek in Gotha. The original letters still need transcription; maybe someday there will be a publisher willing to publish them together with a commentary. One of the children of the couple was the geographer Dr. med. Ernst Behm, who acted not as a physician but as a fellow researcher of the „Geographische Anstalt von Justus Perthes“ in Gotha. He was the founder and editor of the statistical part of the „Gothaer Hofkalender“ and chief editor of „Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen“.[34] His descendants now live in Germany, in Switzerland and in England where we were able to find one but only one family called Behm.

His eldest son Friedrich Wilhelm Josias, called Fritz, got his rare first name in commemoration of the at that time victorious Austrian Field Marshal General, Prince Friedrich Josias v. Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld. He became a medical doctor just like his great-grandfather the Gotha mayor. He was a friend of the writer and vicar from Ichtershausen, Dr. theol. Wilhelm Hey, whose 1st wife Auguste née Grosch was a Jacobs-descendant and whose only sister Caroline LUDWIG née Hey was married to a Jacobs-descendant. Hey raised in his vicarage in Töttelstedt together with his only nephew Gustav LUDWIG – an orphan – another orphan named Rudolph Jacobs, a nephew of Friedrich Jacobs.[35]

How close Hey’s ties with the Jacobs family were is proved by a letter written on the 22 July 1825 to his friend the Prussian Secretary at the Apostolic See in Rome, Carl Christian Freiherr v. Bunsen[36]: “Dear Friend! The deliverer of these lines is Emil Jacobs, the youngest son of my beloved teacher (sc. Friedrich Jacobs) and brother of Fritz, of whom I need not remind you. I actually have the impression to have come closer to you since I know that a member of the circle I have spent my most beautiful – although rare – hours in, will stay with you.[37] Just like his father, Fritz Jacobs, too, had literary talents: he published Xenophon’s work “On Horsemanship”, translated from the Greek and wrote, together with Hey, a series of poems. He died as a bachelor at the age of 40 of the consequences of epilepsy he had suffered from in his late years. The second son Wilhelm Jacobs was a lawyer and eventually princely Amtscommissair in Gotha. His beautiful portrait, painted by his brother Emil, is now in the Jacobs-Kabinett of the castle museum at Gotha. His 2nd wife was the daughter of the Gotha bishop Carl Gottlieb Bretschneider, whose very characteristic portrait by Emil Jacobs unfortunately got lost. His son Carl Jacobs was First Prosecutor in Gotha and, as privy councillor, author of the manuscript “Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben“, which can be found in the family archives. He was the one who saved the whole interior of the Jacobs mausoleum in the Old Cemetery when he had the simple tombstone of the ancestress, the wife of the vice chancellor Jacobs, moved to the property he had inherited from his grandfather Bretschneider, the former no. 1, Reichsstrasse. His biography and portrait can be found in the 2. volume of the Gotha memorial book.[38] The sons oft he First Prosecutor were the Gotha bookseller Wilhelm Jacobs and his younger brother Dr. phil. Johannes Jacobs, chief curator of the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich. The latter inherited many valuable items from his ancestors. Some of these can now be found in the Gotha Forschungsbibliothek in Schloss Friedenstein He initiated the founding of a family archive in a postcard written to my father. Descendants of Wilhelm’s son Hermann Jacobs, who had an only daughter, Prof. Dr. phil. Ruth Anna PUTNAM née Jacobs, now live in the USA. Johannes Jacobs remained single. The third son of Friedrich Jacobs was Gustav Jacobs; he was a soldier and major, author of „Geschichte der Feldzüge und Schicksale der Gotha-Altenburgischen Krieger in den Jahren 1807–1815“; we have already met him as a close friend of the poet Graf August v. Platen. He interrupted his service as a soldier and studied history and mathematics in Jena, where he was a member of the student fraternity. Its list of members is about to be published; it contains his short biography.[39] In the list of participants of the Wartburgfest in 1817 he signed in as „G. Jacobs aus Gotha“ three lines below the entry of his eldest brother „Dr. Friedrich Jacobs aus Gotha”.[40] He, too, was engaged in literary pursuits: he made translations from French into German, among others the „Geschichte der Bartholomäusnacht“ and the „Denkwürdigkeiten der französischen Geschichte vom Baron Fain“. His translations were published by his father. After his retirement from the army he worked in the revenue office in Kahla and as publisher of the 3rd volume of the „Altenburger Blätter. Wöchentliche Mitteilungen für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Altenburg“ in 1832. One of his granddaughters was the writer Louise Glass, who earned great popularity with her novels that reached a mass circulation. Descendants in the female line live in Germany and in the USA.

The fourth and youngest son of Friedrich Jacobs is the even nowadays most well-known figure in the Schleswig-Thuringian Jacobs family in Gotha, Paul Emil Jacobs, born in Gotha on 20 August 1802 and baptized in St Margaret’s church on 22 August. This is how it is inscribed in the church register in a neat handwriting, so a misreading is simply impossible.[41] That is why it is hard to understand why the 18 August is mentioned as his birthday everywhere in the scholarly literature, e. g. in the lexicon „Gothaer Persönlichkeiten“.[42]According to Friedrich Jacobs' „Personalien“ the family, too, used to celebrate his birthday on the 18th.[43] The only explanation for this might be that the probably somewhat absent-minded professor did not remember the exact date when his son was born . The mother had died giving birth. It is unlikely that the meticulous church registrar would have miswritten the date of birth because he not only recorded the exact hour of the birth („frühe 1 Uhr“, ) but also the date of the christening: “am X. Sonntag nach Trinitatis, den 22. August“. This means that the christening took place on the 3rd day after the baby’s birth as it was customary at that time.One of the godparents was a colleague of the father, the famous historiographer and author of the so-called “Kathederblüten”, Johann Georg August Galletti. Emil Jacobs drew his portrait in 1842 in the series „Bildnisse der jetzt in Gotha lebenden Philologen“.[44]

The memory of Emil Jacobs in Gotha is cherished by a memorial on the Burgfreiheit, erected a year after his death not by the town but by his friends, namely the architect Ludwig Bohnstedt[45] and the sculptor Eduard Wolfgang, who created the bronze medal with his portrait.[46] The memorial was restored in an exemplary manner in 1999 following the family’s suggestion and with the financial support of the Gotha Cultural Fund (Gothaer Kultur-Stiftung). Today Emil Jacobs’s paintings can be seen in several public places. In the entrance hall of the Myconius School in the Bürgeraue are four large panel paintings of the allegories of Religion, Geography, Mathematics and History; the altarpiece “Christ teaching the children” in the castle church Friedenstein, two life-size paintings “Christ the Saviour” and “The Holy Virgin with the Child Jesus” above a silhouette of Gotha, once in the Roman Catholic church St Bonifatius, now in the Christkönigskirche in the Südstraße.[47] Another painting, entitled “The Raising of Lazarus”, earlier also in the latter church, was unfortunately stolen during the restoration of St Bonifatius ca. 1980. It was one of the master’s earliest works from his Munich period;[48] in spite of intensive research work unfortunately, I could not find any copies of it. In one of the two Gotha churches, St. Augustin, you could admire Jacobs’s largest altarpiece, a “Crucifixion” made especially for this church, if the church congregation were willing to put the painting, removed and rolled up in the Nazi era, back to its original place. Now the painting can be admired on the wall of the church of Hohenleuben, where it is being restored in an exemplary way with the financial support of the association „Pro Arte“, founded especially for this purpose.[49]

Since 2003 a Jacobs-Kabinett can be visited in the Gotha Schlossmuseum. It was installed a year earlier, on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition organized to commemorate Jacobs’s 200th birthday. Our family archive had offered to leave our collection of paintings in Gotha as a permanent loan even after the exhibition was closed on condition that the pictures would not disappear in storage but would be accessible to the public. Together with the paintings owned by the museum, visitors can now see a representative sample of the work of Emil Jacobs; in his native city he is again represented as a painter. It is a pity that there are so few visual clues inviting visitors to this cabinet. The richly illustrated catalogue, a nice documentation of the exhibition, is the first publication about the life and work of Emil Jacobs. In 2004 a prospective teacher from Gotha, Liane Zwätz, inspired by the exhibition, handed in a scientific work about Emil Jacobs at Dresden University entitled „Eine Untersuchung zur Gestaltungskonzeption des Künstlers anhand einer analytischen Betrachtung ausgewählter Portraits“.[50] Anne Brieger-Pollak‘s Essay „Ein Gothaer Maler in Rom“, published in: Gothaisches Museumsjahrbuch 2002 also gives a very good survey of the life and work of Emil Jacobs; the author still works on her dissertation on Emil Jacobs. On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the painter’s birth the well-known medallist from Zella-Mehlis, Helmut König, created a medal of Emil Jacobs using my sketch for it. The obverse shows the portrait of the painter, just as in the medallion of his memorial, whereas on the reverse you can find an image of the memorial itself. This medal is a nice item of “minted” cultural history of the city of Gotha. Altogether 50 copies were made of it. Emil Jacobs was an artist trying to find his own style between classicism and romanticism. Although he was born in Gotha, and died there in the villa designed by himself in the former Ohrdrufer Straße, now Mozartstraße 3, he enjoyed an international reputation. He had spent several years in Rome, the one-time Mecca of German painters, where so many German artists decided to remain for good, among others his friend from the Munich Academy and godfather of his only son, the painter August RIEDEL. His letters to Jacobs have come down on us[51] and reveal an interesting picture of the artists’ life in Rome in that age. Later Jacobs returned to Rome four times for longer periods; the city was his second, his artistic home.

There existed an association of German artists in Rome and Jacobs was its president for a time. The archives of this association can now be found in the German library Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome; some documents in his handwriting are kept there. Hans Geller’s important work enlists 341 of the ca. 550 well-known German artists living in Rome at that time, whose portraits are known to us, among them Emil Jacobs and his cousin Louise Seidler.[52] Further stations of his life as an artist were: Frankfurt am Main 1829 – as a portrait painter he did not really like the place. The next station was Russia, St. Petersburg in 1830. The city had a populous German colony at that time, with German churches and cemeteries. There he spent four years with his 1st wife. He painted several portraits and an Ascension of Christ („Himmelfahrt Christi“) and further a Last Supper for the nearby Russian-orthodox Smolny Monastery. This leads us to the conclusion that there must be a great number of Jacobs-pictures in Russia even today. I succeeded in finding one, the original portrait of the Gotha astronomer Peter Andreas Hansen, hanging in the astronomical observatory Pulkovo at St. Petersburg. His acquaintance with Louise Jahn, the daughter of the vicar of the church congregation there, also originates from the time he spent in St Petersburg. He married her after the death of his 1st wife Eulalia Reinhard who had died at the end of September 1837, we still do not know where the latter was buried. Her father-in-law Friedrich Jacobs wrote about her: „she is buried in the vicinity of Gotha where she had hoped to find health again“ and cited the inscription of her tombstone, too. [53]

After Emil Jacobs had returned from St Petersburg, whose climate his wife could not support, he moved to Hannover, where he painted the frescos of the Leine castle depicting topics of Greek mythology. Unfortunately these frescos were destroyed together with the castle during World War II. In order to get over the death of his first wife he travelled to Greece in 1838. It was probably this journey that was the subject of a lecture he gave in Gotha in 1856, where the members lectured in turn. I came upon a copy of it at one of his descendants. Emil Jacobs began his lecture as follows: “As it is my turn to talk about something today I shall of course do my part. But because I am not a man of words but rather one of the brush, and I am not used to writing, I ask you to have patience. I need this twice or three times as badly because so many excellent lectures have been held here before, and I beg you to regard these sketches of my journey really only as what they are: sketches.” During his lecture Jacobs gave a fascinating picture of his impressions as a traveler seen through the eyes of an artist, in this country of classicism. At that time it was still rather a risky adventure to undertake such a journey. So he continued: “1838. During the 18 years that had passed since my journey many a thing must have changed for the traveler. To be able to enjoy the beauties that could be found there at a time when – apart from Athens and Nauplia – there were no roads and no hostels or inns, it was essential to refrain from three things: eating, drinking and sleeping. Only if you were able to live like a Greek, i.e. almost on nothing, and have an invulnerable skin as Achill, and no outside influences could disturb you, could you absorb those splendid impressions. Of course I only mean the average traveler, not the ones having an army of servants and packhorses beside a kitchen and a wine cellar accompanying them.” On his way back from Greece Jacobs stopped in Rome for a longer time where his friend August Riedel had already prepared his stay; from there he returned to St. Petersburg in 1840 in order to marry the vicar’s daughter Louise Jahn. The young couple then moved to Gotha and lived first on the Markt (Marketplace), until the construction works of the villa in the Ohrdrufer Straße were finished, in the vicinity of the Prinzenpalais erected by Prince August in Roman style. Jacobs then spent the rest of his life in Gotha “with only few interruptions”, as he wrote. The nice portrait of Louise Jacobs née Jahn, in front of an Italian landscape and with her son Fritz on her arm, is exhibited in the Jacobs-Kabinett.[54] Emil Jacobs died on the day of Epiphany in 1866, in the same year as his cousin the painter Louise Seidler, at the age of 63 years, 4 months and 17 days as recorded in the church register of St. Margaret[55]. This exact record of his age confirms the 20 August as the day of his birth. He was buried in the „4.ten Gottesacker“ [God’s acre, i. e. cemetery 4] on the Galberg. Unfortunately his tomb and tombstone do not exist anymore, as the cemetery was dissolved and as far as I know no image of the tomb exists either. His only son, Friedrich August Emil Jacobs, called Fritz, became – just like his ancestors – lawyer and notary in Gotha under the name Jacobs II because in Gotha there were two lawyers of the name Jacobs. Lawyer Jacobs I in Gotha was the director of justice (Gerichtsdirektor) Rudolf Jacobs, one of his cousins from the II line Tonna-Zella. In 1886 the poet Theodor Storm visited the lawyer Fritz Jacobs in Gotha. Storm’s niece Helene Storm was for a while „Haustochter“ [in modern terms ca. au-pair girl] at the Jacobs family. Fritz gave Storm a painting by his father, Archangel Michael[56] that can now be found in the Storm museum in Husum. Fritz Jacobs was married to Meta Besser, who was born in Hamburg as one of the daughters of the bookseller Rudolph Besser, the partner of the firm Justus Perthes first in Hamburg and later in Gotha. A grandson of Perthes, Bernhardt I. Perthes was married to Besser’s niece Wilhelmine Mauke. After the early death of her husband Wilhelmine asked her uncle Rudolph Besser to move to Gotha and to take over the firm. That was how the Hamburg girl Meta Besser came to Gotha.

Through this marriage the connection to book trade was re-established. Emil Jacobs jr., the only grandson of the painter among five sisters, was named after his grandfather. Born in Gotha in 1868, he, too, became a classical scholar and librarian, just like his great-grandfather Friedrich. He was professor at Freiburg University and then First Director of the Prussian Staatsbibliothek in Berlin as well as Professor at Berlin University.[57] He died in Berlin in 1940 and belongs to the important persons buried in the cemetery Südwestkirchhof in Berlin/Stahnsdorf.[58]

His only son Klaus immigrated to the USA. His children are the only living descendants of Friedrich Jacobs and his son Emil, who still bear the name JACOBS. They are already Americans and so far we have not yet succeeded in getting in touch with them. The descendants of the only daughter of Emil Jacobs jr. live in Baden-Württemberg and own the four showpieces of family portraits painted by Emil Jacobs': Friedrich Jacobs in his study; his 2nd wife reading, with needlework; Emil’s self portrait with his 1st wife, in front of the easel; and Emil’s wife with the baby Fritz. All these paintings could be seen in the exhibition.[59]

Just as is the case of many other Gotha families no name bearers live in Gotha any more. Beside the Jacobs family I just want to mention – pars pro toto – the Bachoff von Echts, the Buddeus, the Gotters, the Thienemanns. But their names are not yet forgotten and their lives, deeds and achievements in and for Gotha still have their influence on the city. In this lecture I have made the attempt to demonstrate this using the example of the Schleswig-Thuringian Jacobs family.

Finished in Unna, on the 241st birthday of Friedrich Jacobs, Thursday, 6 October 2005 Revised on Sunday, 17 January 2010 and 31 July 2014

Lecture given by the retired vicar Rudolf W. L. Jacobs, Unna /Westf., on Sunday, 15 October 2005 in the Ost-Vorsaal of Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha I thank very very much our relatives Márton Veszprémy from Budapest and Prof. Dr. phil Ruth Anna Putnam née Jacobs, from Arlington USA, for the difficult translation into English. Rudolf Wilhelm Leopold Jacobs, Unna in Westphalia, Germany


  1. Published in 2000 by Starke-Verlag Limburg as volume 214 of the „Deutsches Geschlechterbuch” series; the author still has a few copies which can be obtained for a small donation to the Family Archives.
  3. Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, 1646–1691 (the transl.).
  4. Roswitha Jacobsen and Juliane Brandsch, ed., Friedrich I. von Sachsen-Gotha und Altenburg Tagebücher 1667–1686, Vol. 1–3, Weimar, 1998/2003; years 1684–1686, see Vol. 3, Personenregister, p. 789.
  5. Thür. Staatsarchiv Gotha, Geh. Archiv E XI Nr. 25 a, S. 62–65; cited from the exhibition leaflet „Gotha und Westfalen. Eine kleine Ausstellung des Thüringischen Staatsarchiv Gotha im Westfälischen Archivamt Münster, 23. März bis 20. April 2001“, p. 9, no. 20.
  6. Johann Christian Luenig, Grosser Herren, vornehmer Ministren, und anderer berühmten Männer gehaltene Reden. Erster Theil. Leipzig 1709, p. 703ff, 710ff and 715ff.
  7. Friedrich Jacobs, Vermischte Schriften, Vol. 7: “Personalien“, Leipzig, 1840, p. 301f.
  8. Text and illustrations: Hans-Jürgen Hinrichs, Lateinische und griechische Inschriften in Gotha und Umgebung, Vol. II, Erfurt/Gotha, 1999, p. 328ff, 378, 380.
  9. Rudolf W. L. Jacobs, Irrfahrt einer Grabplatte der Familie Jacobs aus Gotha vom Jahre 1721, Unna, 1995; On the slab there is a Latin inscription; its picture was published already 1909 in Gothaer Gedenkbuch by Gottlob Schneider, Vol. 2, p. 69 and now also by Hans-Jürgen Hinrichs, op. cit., p. 57ff.
  10. Briefe an Goethe. Gesamtausgabe in Regestform. Weimar, 1980ff, Bf. Gotha 23.7.1812, Regest-Nr. 6/457.
  11. Illustration in Gottlob Schneider, Gothaer Gedenkbuch, op. cit., Vol. 1., p. 213.
  12. Gottlob Schneider, op. cit., Vol. 2., p. 69.
  13. Letter from Richard Kirchner, Gotha, Brunnenstraße 32, 29 November 1940 to the founders of the family archives Carl Jacobs, then in Bonn, Noeggerathstr. 30: „Der Familienstamm Jacobs ist für Gotha eine Berühmtheit. Ich habe mich bei allen Gelegenheiten mit den heimatgeschichtlichen und familiengeschichtlichen Überlieferungen des Stammes Jacobs beschäftigt. Meine Karteien enthalten sehr viele Karten mit dem Namen Jacobs. Über die Grabstätten habe ich die nachfolgenden Aufzeichnungen in meinen Friedhofsnachrichten niedergeschrieben. Friedhof I (im Jahre 1905 aufgehoben): Familiengrab mit Kapelle als Oberbau. Am 11.3.1903 wird vom Stadtrat bestimmt: die Kapelle soll entfernt werden. Die Särge sollen in der Gruft mit Erde bedeckt werden. Die Grabsteine sind zu entfernen. In der Gruft standen 9 Särge. Das große Denkmal ist jetzt im Herzogl. Museum in Gotha, ein Denkmal steht im Garten des Buchhhändlers Wilhelm Jacobs, Liebetraustr. 1 [Epitaph der Kanzlarin Maria Elisabetha Jacobs geb. Volck von 1721, seit 1995 im Kreuzgang St. Augustin; der Verf.], ein anderes ist im Gothaer Heimatmuseum untergebracht.” [The family tree of the Jacobs family is famous in Gotha. I have used all possible occasions to study its traditions concerning local and family history. My card files contain a lot of cards with the name Jacobs. As to the graves, I have made the following notes in my cemetery news. Cemetery I (demolished in 1905): family grave with chapel as superstructure. Decision of the town council on 11 March 1903: the chapel should be removed. The coffins in the crypt are to be covered with earth. The tomb slabs must be removed. There were 9 coffins in the crypt. The big memorial is now in the Herzogl. Museum in Gotha, another memorial stands in the garden of the bookseller Wilhelm Jacobs, Liebetraustr. 1 [epitaph of the Maria Elisabetha Jacobs née Volck from 1721, since 1995 in the cloistered courtyard of St Augustin – the author], another one can be found in the Gotha Heimatmuseum.]
  14. Museum für Regionalgeschichte und Volkskunde Gotha, Schloß Friedenstein, inv. no. 4206 P: marble slab 58 x 72 cm (see also
  15. K. E. A. von Hoff and C. W. Jacobs, Der Thüringer Wald – besonders für Reisende geschildert. Ed. and revised by Thomas Martens and Wolfgang Zimmermann, Leipzig, 1987.
  16. The letters of Niethammer to Friedrich Jacobs and his relationship to him, in: Gerhard Lindner, „Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer als Christ und Theologe“, Nürnberg, 1971 (Einzelarbeiten aus der Kirchengeschichte Bayerns, Vol. 1.).
  17. Rudolf Burkhard, Die Berufungen nach Altbayern unter dem Ministerium Montgelas. Dissertation, Delitzsch, 1927, esp. p. 96ff and 134ff.
  18. Friedrich Jacobs, op. cit., p. 414–468.
  19. Friedrich Jacobs, Hellas. Vorträge über Heimath, Geschichte, Literatur und Kunst der Hellenen. Aus dem handschriftlichen Nachlaß des Verfassers herausgegeben von E.(rnst) F.(riedrich) Wüstemann, Berlin 1852; neu bearbeitet von Carl Curtius, Stuttgart, 1897.
  20. Burkhard, op. cit., p. 98.
  21. Hamberger, * Göttingen 1754, came from the Gotha Library 1808 to Munich and in 1811 after three years of activity as a court librarian, he fell into mental derangement and died of it in an asylum in Bayreuth already in 1813. Erich Petzel, „Friedrich Jacobs über die Münchner Staatsbibliothek vor 100 Jahren“, publishes his letter to Hamberger, dated Munich, 20 Dece,ber 1807, in: Beilage zur Allgemeinen Zeitung v. 31.12.1907, Nr. 225, S.422–423.
  22. Friedrich Jacobs, Personalien, op. cit., p. 126f, 167f.
  23. Der Briefwechsel des Grafen August von Platen, ed. by Ludwig von Scheffler and Paul Bornstein, 2 vols., München and Leipzig, 1911/1914, Vol. 2, p. 63ff.
  24. According to R. Ehwald, Herzog August von S.-Gotha-Altenburg und Friedrich Jacobs, in: Thüringer Kalender 1909, ed. by Thür. Museum Eisenach, Redaction Cons. Prof. Dr. G. Voss, o. S., with two illustrations.
  25. Fritz Meyen, Über die Anfänge der Bibliothek des Collegium Carolinum zu Braunschweig und ihren ersten Bibliothekar Johann Wilhelm Seidler, in: Braunschweigisches Jahrbuch, Vol. 54, 1973, p. 200–209, esp. p. 206.
  26. „Goethes Malerin. Die Erinnerungen der Louise Seidler“. Ed. by Sylke Kaufmann, Berlin, 2003, p. 17. The „Doctorin Stieler“ is not the wife of the famous cartographer Adolph Stieler, Friederike née Madelung, as erroneously stated in the „Erinnerungen“ and in the literature connected to the subject. While trying to find an answer to a question of the Seidler-researcher Bärbel Kovalevski I could discover that this Doctorin Stieler is actually the sister-in-law of the cartographer Sophie Ludolfine née Burckhardt; the latter was already in ca. 1796 the headmistress of a „Weibliche Erziehungs- und Unterrichtsanstalt“ [secondary school for girls] in Gotha (see Albert Klebe, Gotha und die umliegende Gegend, Gotha, 1796, p. 127f). After getting married to the Gotha court physician Dr. med. Ernst Wilhelm Hermann Stieler she became „Doctorin Stieler“; she was headmistress of the „Höhere Töchterschule“ [Higher School for Girls] called also „Stielersche Anstalt“, founded by her father-in-law, the Gotha court councillor and mayor Caspar Hermann Nicolaus Stieler. (See Archiv für Sippenforschung 1975, p. 2f).
  27. Hermann Uhde, ed., H. A. O. Reichard. (1751–1828.) His autobiography: Stuttgart, 1877, esp. p. 384f – see also my lecture held in 2008: "REICHARDS famous relations."
  28. Ettinger was born in Eisenach on 5.6.1741 as the son of a corporal (military officer) of the princely infantry and later city lieutenant allegedly coming from Basel, Johann Daniel Ettinger, and Anna Clara Schröder, and christened there on the 7.6.1741; the pocket lexicon „Gothaer Persönlichkeiten“ ed. by Helmut Roob and Günter Scheffler, Arnstadt and Weimar, 2000, has his year of birth erroneously as 1738; in the „Bürgerbuch” (register of the inhabitants of the city) of Eisenach, Vol. 3, p. 138 six children of the couple are mentioned in 1761, among them as 2nd and 3rd child Carl Wilhelm sen. and Carl Wilhelm jun., the latter is mentioned there in 1772 as town constable (Stadtwachtmeister).
  29. Cited after „1690–1990 – 300 Jahre Buchhandlung Glaeser Gotha.“, p. 9f
  30. Aemilius August Ferdinand Seidler, 1762–1819, deacon at St. Olai, at the same time vicar of St. Nicolai in Reval /Estland; see Nachkommentafel Seidler in: Deutsches Gerschlechterbuch, Vol. 214, Limburg, 2002, pp. 729ff, esp. p. 737.
  31. Friedrich Jacobs, Personalien, op. cit., p. 151f.
  32. Rudolf Ehwald, „Friedrich Jacobs“, in: „Gotha und sein Gymnasium. Bausteine zur Geistesgeschichte einer deutschen Residenz. Zur 400-Jahrfeier des Gymnasium Ernestinum.“ Ed. by Heinrich Anz, Gotha/Stuttgart, 1924, p. 131–145.
  33. „F. Jacobs' Autobiographie, verfasst im Anfange des Jahres 1836: [Christian] Friedrich [Wilhelm] Jacobs.“ In: S. F. W. Hoffmann, ed., Lebensbilder berühmter Humanisten, Erste Reihe, Leipzig, 1837, pp. 1–28.
  34. Matthias Hoffmann, „Ernst Behm. Begründer des Geographischen Jahrbuchs“, in: Gothaer Geographen und Kartographen. Beiträge zur Geschichte der Geographie und Kartographie, ed. by Gottfried Suchy, Gotha, 1985, p. 95–100.
  35. Theodor Hansen, „Wilhelm Hey, nach seinen eigenen Briefen und Mitteilungen seiner Freunde“, Gotha 1886, among others p. 110, 116.
  36. Hansen, op. cit., p. 146.
  37. „Wir haben soeben den ältern Hey, der jetzt in Regensburg conditioniert, hierher (sc. München) berufen, um ein kleines Institut anzulegen das aus Feuerbachs, Schlichtegrolls, Niethammers und meinen Kindern bestehen wird. Darinn wird ohne Zweifel Ihr Julius auch einen angemeßnen Platz finden.“ [We have just called Hey sen. to Munich, who is located in Regensburg, in order to establish a small institute consisting of the children of Feuerbach, Schlichtegroll, Niethammer and the mine. I am convinced that your Julius will find his appropriate place there as well.] (F. Jacobs to Hamberger, see Erich Petzel, op. cit., p. 422); see note 16; meaning clergyman Carl Hey, brother of the writer Wilhelm Hey, at that time tutor in Regensburg, with whose family Jacobs undertook a journey to Dresden and Prague in 1835.
  38. Gottlob Schneider, op. cit., p. 68f.
  39. Peter Kaupp, Stammbuch der Jenaischen Burschenschaft. Die Mitglieder in der Urburschenschaft 1815–1819, Köln, 2005, p. 129, no. 611: „Gustav Jacobs, Gau: Gotha, Geb. Ort: Gotha, E.(rhaltene) Ä.(mter): Mitglied des Auschußes 1818–19 und 19“, followed by biographical data.
  40. The original of the list of participants of the Wartburgfest in 1817 can be found in the Stadtarchiv Eisenach.
  41. Ev.-Luth. Stadtkirchenamt Gotha, Taufregister [baptismal register] St Margarethen 1787–1802, p. 605, no. 99, year 1802.
  42. Helmut Roob and Günter Scheffler, op. cit., p. 69f, article „Jacobs, Paul Emil“.
  43. Friedrich Jacobs, Personalien, op. cit., p. 211–213.
  44. Exhibition catalogue „Der Gothaer Maler Paul Emil Jacobs“, Gotha, 2002, p. 109f, no. 85–96.
  45. See the article by Matthias Wenzel, "Fackelzug für Stararchitekten. Jubilar des Monats: zum 125. Todestag Ludwig Bohnstedt", with portrait in: Thüringische Landeszeitung, 9. 1. 2010.
  46. Exhibition catalogue , op. cit., p. 35; about Gottlob Schneider the Gothaer Gedenkbuch, Vol. 1, p. 109f claims erroneously that the erection of the monument was initiated by the city of Gotha.
  47. The works mentioned here are all reproduced in the exhibition catalogue, op. cit., p. 74, nos. 23–26; p. 64, no. 10; p. 67, no. 14 and 15.
  48. Friedrich Jacobs, Personalien, op. cit., p. 187: „ Besuch auf der Akademie der bildenden Künste [München; the author.], wo wir Emil's großes Bild (die Erweckung des Lazarus) besahen. Es steht jetzt in der katholischen Kirche in Gotha.“ [Visit at the Munich Art Academy, where we saw Emil’s large painting (The Rising of Lazarus). Now it is in the catholic church in Gotha.]
  49. Exhibition catalogue, op. cit., p. 30, Fig. 12 and p. 104, no. 83, p. 62f, no. 9.
  50. A copy of the work can be found in: „Archiv der Schleswig-Thüringischen Familie Jacobs“, Unna.
  51. 55 Letters of August Riedel to Emil Jacobs, in: Bayrische Staatsbibliothek München, Signatur: Cgm 8035; transcribed by the author using xerocopies.
  52. Hans Geller, Die Bildnisse der deutschen Künstler in Rom 1800–1830, Berlin, 1952.
  53. Friedrich Jacobs, Personalien, op. cit., pp. 282, 590: “Auf ihrem einfachen Grabstein stehen die Worte: Dem theuren Andenken der hier ruhenden Eulalia Jacobs, geb. Reinhard. geb. zu Chemnitz den 18ten November 1804. gest. zu Gotha den 24sten September 1837. Hold und zartes Gebild, Du entflohst von dem Staube der Erde, um in der Seligen Land schöner von neuem zu blühn. Thränen des Gatten benetzen dein Grab, den im Leben Du niemals kränktest, und jetzo zuerst scheidend vom Leben betrübst.“ [On her simple tomb slab you can read the following words: To the dear memory of Eulalia Jacobs, née Reinhard, buried here. She was born in Chemnitz on 18 November 1804, and died in Gotha on 24 September 1837. Fair and gentle creature, you escaped from the dust of Earth to blossom again even more beautifully in the Otherworld. Your husband tears wet your grave; never in your life did you hurt him except for the first time with you death.]
  54. Full-page reproduction in the exhibition catalogue, op. cit., p. 88, no. 44.
  55. Ev.-Luth. Stadtkirchenamt Gotha, Totenregister [register of deaths] St. Margarethen, year 1866, p. 119, no. 8.
  56. Exhibition catalogue, op. cit., p. 68, no. 16.
  57. About his life see the article:
  58. "35) Jacobs, Emil (25.4.1868 -28.3.1940) Block Stahnsdorf, Gartenblock I, Wahlstelle 41, Professor und Bibliotheksdirektor der Preußischen Staatsbibliothek von 1929 – 1934."
  59. Exhibition catalogue, op. cit., p. 86ff, no. 45 and 46, no. 42, no. 43.


ARCHIV DER SCHLESWIG-THUERINGISCHEN FAMILIE JACOBS Werkverzeichnis Gothaer Hofmaler Paul Emil JACOBS Deutsches Geschlechterbuch (DGB), Bd. 214, S. 267-946 Pastor Rudolf W. L. Jacobs, Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 43,   D - 59425 Unna, Tel. 02303 158 52 e-mail: