Eckher von Kapfing und Liechteneck, Johann Franz: collections and writings on the genealogy of Bavarian nobility

The Freising prince-bishop Johann Franz Eckher von Kapfing und Liechteneck (1649-1727) devoted himself intensively to genealogical research during his time as canon. His aim was to revise the "Bayrisch Stammen Buch" (Bavarian Lineage Book) by Wiguleus Hundt (1514-1588). Eckher was unable to complete the work in full. The five-volume draft for the new version of the "Stammen Buch" has been preserved along with other sources. Eckher had completed most of the preparatory work even before he became bishop in 1695. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek owns the Genealogical Lexicon (Cgm 2269) from this period,

the Bavarian nobility's coat of arms book (Cgm 2270 with 2,223 coats of arms on 140 pages) and three of the former four volumes of his excerpt collection from archives, urbaria, deeds and notarial collections of Freising and various monasteries and parishes (Cgm 2271 – the first, third and fourth volumes have survived).

This preparatory work finally led in 1695 to an alphabetical collection on the genealogy of the Bavarian nobility as a draft for a reworking of Hundt's "Stammen Buch" – a total of five volumes on 1,144 sheets written by Eckher himself, which are now kept under the signature Cgm 2268.

After his election as bishop, Eckher continued his genealogical research; his own travels were replaced by specially requested manuscripts excerpted in Freising, as well as copies and drawings made on the spot by the guarantors.

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek preserves various manuscripts from this period, including detailed excerpts from a seven-volume genealogical collection that had been created by Baron Carl Schiffer von Großalbersdorf (today Großalbershof near Sulzbach/Upper Palatinate) with the signature Cgm 2274. In 1712 the manuscripts had been loaned to Freising especially for this purpose by the owner at that time, the Baron von Hohenfeld zu Rettenbach. The excerpts of Cgm 2274, which are limited to the old Bavarian families, were written out by Eckher himself until 1713. However, the original volumes were not returned until 1721.

During his time as Prince-Bishop of Freising Eckher could no longer devote himself to his historical studies to the usual extent, which is why he entrusted his court and chamber councillor Johann Michael Wilhelm von Prey zu Straßkirchen (1690-1747) with the historical and genealogical research work in 1713 in order to complete the register (e.g. the "Grabsteinbuch")

Eckher had ten volumes copied and illustrated in 1720. They are still listed in the catalogue from the episcopal reference library dated 1726 but today they are considered lost, which underlines the value of the preparatory works Cgm 2268 to 2271 that came to us.

Prey created a 33-volume genealogy of the Bavarian nobility on the basis of all previous preparatory work.

>> This collection is part of the holdings of the "Nobility genealogies" of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).