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The Maker of Pedigrees

Jakob Wilhelm Imhoff and the Meanings of Genealogy in Early Modern Europe

Markus Friedrich

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A history of genealogical knowledge-making strategies in the early modern world.

In The Maker of Pedigrees, Markus Friedrich explores the complex and fascinating world of central European genealogy practices during the Baroque era. Drawing on archival material from a dozen European institutions, Friedrich reconstructs how knowledge about noble families was created, authenticated, circulated, and published. Jakob Wilhelm Imhoff, a wealthy and well-connected patrician from Nuremberg, built a European community of genealogists by assembling a transnational network of cooperators and informants…

A history of genealogical knowledge-making strategies in the early modern world.

In The Maker of Pedigrees, Markus Friedrich explores the complex and fascinating world of central European genealogy practices during the Baroque era. Drawing on archival material from a dozen European institutions, Friedrich reconstructs how knowledge about noble families was created, authenticated, circulated, and published. Jakob Wilhelm Imhoff, a wealthy and well-connected patrician from Nuremberg, built a European community of genealogists by assembling a transnational network of cooperators and informants. Friedrich uses Imhoff as a case study in how knowledge was produced and disseminated during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Family lineages were key instruments in defining dynasties, organizing international relations, and structuring social life. Yet in the early modern world, knowledge about genealogy was cumbersome to acquire, difficult to authenticate, and complex to publish. Genealogy's status as a source of power and identity became even more ambivalent as the 17th century wore on, as the field continued to fragment into a plurality of increasingly contradictory formats and approaches. Genealogy became a contested body of knowledge, as a heterogeneous set of actors—including aristocrats, antiquaries, and publishers—competed for authority. Imhoff was closely connected to all of the major genealogical cultures of his time, and he serves as a useful prism through which the complex field of genealogy can be studied in its bewildering richness.

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The Maker of Pedigrees

Markus Friedrich

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Book Details

Release Date
Publication Date
Status
Preorder
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
320
ISBN
9781421445793
Illustration Description
20 b&w photos
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Genealogy circa 1700
2. A Patrician Genealogist and His City
3. Genealogy and the Nobility
4. The "Genealogical Brotherhood"
5. The Genealogist at Work
6. Publishing and

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Genealogy circa 1700
2. A Patrician Genealogist and His City
3. Genealogy and the Nobility
4. The "Genealogical Brotherhood"
5. The Genealogist at Work
6. Publishing and Reading Genealogy
Conclusion
Abbreviations
Archival Sources
Bibliography
Notes
Index

Author Bio
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Markus Friedrich

Markus Friedrich (HAMBURG, DE) is a professor of early modern European history. He is the author of The Birth of the Archive: A History of Knowledge and The Jesuits: A History.