Daniel A. Brewer-Ward. The House of Habsburg: A Genealogy of the Descendants of Empress Maria Theresia. Baltimore: Clearfield Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997. xi + 460 pp. $37.50 (paper), ISBN 978-0-8063-4644-1.
Reviewed by Leo van de Pas
Published on HABSBURG (November, 1998)
Does Maria Theresia Deserve Better?
Throughout history there have been inspirational people, and Maria Theresia is certainly one of those. She was quite unprepared when "thrown in from the deep end" and yet made a success of it, preventing the destruction of the House of Habsburg. Together with her own personal appeal, it is also her very interesting, and numerous, progeny which warrant a book on her descendants.
To me, new genealogical books are always welcome but, having said that, new books have to justify their publication. This they do if they are the first on a specific subject or, should there already be a book on that subject, if the new one is better or different than any previously published. This review will examine previous, related books before turning to the one by Daniel Brewer-Ward. In the process, I will present the reader with examples of the challenges that genealogical works must address.
So far as I am aware, the first publication that included the descendants of Empress Maria Theresa was A. C. Addington's three-volume The Royal House of Stuart published in 1969.  This work is, to me, a milestone in genealogical publishing, mainly because until then genealogical books in general, like those by the Prince of Isenburg, covered a group of families whose only requirement was to be of a certain class. A. C. Addington's books displayed the descendants of the one person, James VI-I, King of Scotland and England. However, they displayed only the legitimate issue, due, as he explained in his introduction, to lack of space. For female descendants, only the husband was given; and, with male descendants, only the name of the father-in-law was recorded.
However, more recently in 1996 a book appeared in France, La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg, Reine de Hongrie et de Boheme by Nicolas Enache_.  I wish to make a comparison between these other books covering the same material, so let me first look at this French publication.
Without any doubt, Enache's production is glossy and, except for the small print of the numerous notes, easy to read. Moreover, on the cover is a beautiful coat-of-arms. The genealogy, starting on page seventeen, begins, in my opinion, with a silly error, as the translated heading is: Descendants of Maria Theresia, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and Emperor Franz III. The error is that Emperor Franz I was originally Franz/Francois III Duke of Lorraine and Bar, but as Emperor he was the first. Then, in the genealogy where his different titles are explained, the first is Franz III Duke of Lorraine and Bar, and then it is mentioned that he was Grand Duke Francesco I of Tuscany while he was actually the second, as we do have a Francesco I de Medici who lived from 1541 to 1587.
Like A. C. Addington, who covered many more generations and therefore a much larger number of people, Nicolas Enache has divided the descendants of Maria Theresia into segments; in my opinion, too many segments. A. C. Addington contrived to have the first part of the first volume lead to the present British Royal Family, as he regarded them to be the continuation of the line of James VI-I. Enache, even though there is a present-day family which has to be regarded as the continuation of Maria Theresias line, has divided and sub-divided lines; as a result, Archdukes of Austria, such as Archduke Heinrich (born in 1925) can be found together with his children on page 33, while Dr. Otto von Habsburg, the senior member of the House of Habsburg, does not appear until page 42. Brewer-Ward's book brings an improvement: the order is simply seniority of birth, and this makes his chapters easier to follow.
A.C. Addington, after making his segments, displays many generations in each sector and, as a result, you have a reasonable overview of the material. With Enache, in some segments only four generations are covered, resulting in the reader losing sight of the whole pattern. Again, Brewer-Ward's methodology works better than Enache's.
However, Enache supplies additional information not usually found in genealogical books. Whenever he knows them, he records the causes of death; not only this but he also supplies the names of both parents-in-law, and then for both male and female descendants. To give the names of both parents-in-law is also attempted by Brewer-Ward. However, Enache, when he knows them, also gives the years of birth and death of those parents-in-law. As a welcome surprise, illegitimate children of male and female descendants of Empress Maria Theresia are also shown by Enache. However, this raises the question: how many are missing? In Brewer-Ward's book on page 442 we find a note for Princess Elvira who was "purported to have borne three natural sons named de Borbon." Enache gives their full details and their further progeny.
Questions of titles inevitably arise. For instance, when is a person a prince (or princess) and when not? Sadly, different publications may give different answers. For example, Andre, Prince de Bourbon-Parma, in 1960 married Marina Gacry and Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fuerstliche Hauser  states that it was a morganatic marriage, with the result that the three children are omitted as they are not members of this Royal House. Nicolas Enache, on page 419, of course displays these children and, quite correctly, gives them the name de Bourbon only. In 1985 there appeared the third edition of Etat Present de La Maison de Bourbon ; here, these three children are recorded as Royal Highnesses and Princes of the Blood. However, Brewer-Ward records them only as de Bourbon-Parme; whether Parme should be part of their surname is debatable.
Amongst Royalty, titles and the concept of Houses have caused many misunderstandings. When a prince of one family becomes a monarch elsewhere, usually he ceases to be a member of his original House and is considered to have started a new House. However, when Prince Wilhelm of Denmark became Georgios I, King of the Hellenes, Denmark was still retained in the titles of his descendants; but when his nephew, also a Prince of Denmark, became Haakon VII, King of Norway, no references to Denmark were retained for his descendants. These remarks are made because of a curious entry in Brewer-Ward's book on page 150: Prince Napoleon married Clementine, Princess of Belgium, Duchess of Saxony. However, when Prinz Leopold von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, Herzog von Sachsen, became Leopold I, King of The Belgians, he started a new House and no more references to Sachsen, or Saxony, should be made with his descendants. Both Almanach de Gotha and Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels maintain these descendants to be only Prince/Princess of Belgium and Royal Highness.
A problem in genealogical books covering such an international descent can be languages, not only for titles but also for place names. On page 85 Brewer-Ward displays the children of Pieter van der Byl and his wife HSH Charlotte Princess of (von und zu) Liechtenstein. These children are recorded as being born in Kapstadt. This city is in South Africa and, in the Dutch language, referred to as Kaapstad and, in English, Capetown.
Another difficult question for any genealogical book is whether it is up-to-date. Enache signed his book as finished in March 1996, yet on page 231 his book shows Marie-Isabelle Habsburg, Comtesse de Habsburg (born in 1962) as being unmarried, while she had been married for about five and a half years, her marriage to Andreas Fehr having taken place at Tettnang on 5 October 1990. On the same page, Enache also records her brother, Albrecht, as unmarried; but he, too, was married on 19 May 1990 in Immenstadt, to Nadja Weurfel. However, on page 705 there are only six addenda mentioned but not those I remarked upon. As Brewer-Ward has no index it is a hard task to find these to make a comparison. Both Enache's and Brewer-Ward's books seem to have been finalized in 1996. However, Enache records 28 February 1994 in Salzburg as the birth details for Archduchess Eleonore but Brewer-Ward displays only November 1993. On page 101 Brewer-Ward displays HSH Marie Gabrielle d'Arenberg and her husband Gilles Morel de Boncourt. He has a place and a date of birth but no parents and: "Issue ?". Enache on page 183 of his book gives both parents of Gilles as well as his three children.
An apparent lack of sources damages Brewer-Ward's otherwise commendable efforts. When descendants of Empress Maria Theresia marry into obscure families it is understandable that he has an impossible task to obtain details. However, when a descendant, Princess Isabelle von und zu Liechtenstein, in 1976 marries someone recorded in the second part of the Almanach de Gotha, you do not expect: "issue ?". Either he knows they are childless or else he should have at least some of their four children. Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fuerstliche Haeuser, 1980, page 114 shows the first two children, Louis Graf zu Erbach-Fuerstenau, born 13 September 1976 in Freiburg, and Philipp born 27 January 1979 also in Freiburg. This year there appeared a new volume of Europaeische Stammtafeln, and it shows the additional two children. However, when Brewer-Ward does refer to A.C. Addington's book as a source, it is sad that he does not seem to have made full use of it. In Brewer-Ward's book, on page 100, it is mentioned that HSH Rudolf Erbprinz von Croy is married to Alexandra Miloradovich, without birth or parents for this Alexandra. Addington's book, published in 1969, volume one page 271, displays Alexandra Maria Margit Olga Miloradovich as born on 7 July 1960 in Sunching and being the daughter of Serafim Miloradovich and Agnes Freiin von Hoenning O'Carroll. Where Enache displayed all those details as well as the four children of this couple, Brewer-Ward displayed only their second child, Xenia, as an only child. On page 300 Brewer-Ward displays a Spanish family and marks the Duque de Vista Alegre with an: "issue ?" just like his sister, Mrs. Roberto Eiberle. However, Addington's volume three page 64 gives a child to both.
On page 110 Brewer-Ward displays Archduchess Elisabeth and her husband, Friedrich Edler von Braun, and their three children. Only Bernadette, the eldest, has a full date of birth and a place; the other two display only their names. Daniel Manach and Michel Sementery produced La Descendance de Charles X Roi de France, and all the missing von Braun details can be found on pages 165 and 166. What is not encouraging is to find on page 61 a Gregory Thune-Larson, but on page 453 he has become Thune-Larsen.
Daniel Brewer-Ward's book is not as glossy as Nicolas Enache's but, as it is smaller in size and thickness, it is easier to handle. Enache's book has 800 pages and Brewer-Ward's book 460. A negative criticism of Brewer-Ward's book must be the print; it is very small and many may have problems with this. However, the small print may be the reason for containing the same information as Enache's much larger book.
What stands out in Brewer-Ward's book is the splendid inclusion of honorifics, which must be regarded as an incredible task. For instance, in Denmark the children of the monarch and the crown prince are Royal Highness but all other Princes/Princesses of Denmark are only Highness. But the advantage of Enache's book is an enormous and detailed index, where Brewer-Ward does not have one. This, in my opinion, creates a barrier when wanting to access specific details. This book is a scholarly record of information and an index, never mind how large, is an essential part to any such collection. Where Enache displays forty entries in his bibliography, Brewer-Ward has seventeen.
Brewer-Ward, like Addington and Enache, had to divide the descendants into chapters. The first chapter shows the immediate descendants with references to the chapters where the descendants of that child or grandchild are displayed. Where Enache displays his footnotes at the end of each chapter, Brewer-Ward has them all together at the end of the book, which I think is better. Also, I prefer Brewer-Ward's chapters far above the numerous ones displayed by Enache but, it needs to be repeated, Enache makes his information more accessible through his index. Where Enache forces you to use his index to find a spouse, also descending from Maria Theresia, Brewer-Ward makes it easy by giving the page number as cross reference to the spouse where their children continue the lineage. However, the cross reference to a spouse works only one way: the spouse by whom the descendants are continued does not display a reference to where his spouse can be found. Displaying information is all important, but making the information accessible comes in a close second. The information Brewer-Ward displays is good, but the access to it is not.
I would also like to make a remark on one of Brewer-Ward's footnotes. In chapter three, King Carol II of Roumania is recorded with his son by Zizzi Lambrino. I understand that it was a French court that allowed this son, declaring him to be legitimate, to call himself a Prince von Hohenzollern. The title Prince is missing in chapter three but, since then, Mircea Lambrino, then calling himself Prince Carol von Hohenzollern, moved to England and refers to himself as Prince Carol of Roumania. He may not have the right to call himself Prince of Roumania, but a court of the French Republic gave him the right to call himself Prince von Hohenzollern. It was not the choice, as stated in the footnote, of the younger Carol.
I am fully aware that many genealogical books use the same display system used by Addington, Enache and Brewer-Ward, and many people prefer it to other display systems. However, surely these books are not only a means of displaying information but making the information as accessible as possible. In my opinion, they are not meant to be a pretty display. However pretty the displays may be, do they assist the quick access of information? In my opinion, they do not. For instance, page 39 of Brewer-Ward's book introduces the chapter on the descendants of Franz I, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, and begins, of course, with his first child, Ludovica, born in 1790, and his second child, Marie Louise, born in 1791, then we have to find page 52 for child three, four, five and six, then find page 67 for child seven, eight and nine, page 68 for child ten, and finally page 92 for the last children, eleven, twelve and thirteen.
Personally, I prefer the system used as long ago as 1909 by Jhr. Mr. E.B.F.F. Wittert van Hoogland in his De afstammelingen van Prins Frederik Hendrik van Oranjes erkenden zoon Frederik van Nassau, 1en Heer van Zuylestein , and in 1952 by the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie in The Hague when they published a book on the ancestors and descendants of Jan van Riebeeck, the Dutch founder of Kaapstad/Cape Town.  This system displays first the children and then the grandchildren and so on, generation after generation, dispensing with the chapter system used by Addington, Enache and Brewer-Ward. The advantage is that we have all brothers, sisters, and their spouses together and easily accessible. In this system we spot immediately when, say, two brothers marry two sisters. In the pretty display used by Addington, Enach, and Brewer-Ward we have to page through a book before we can find the next sibling, and that is a negative. Traditional usage is not always the best, as this caused Enache to break down so many branches and he was consequently forced to produce his many chapters. Also, in this pretty display there is sometimes very little room for details about the youngest generations.
Brewer-Ward's book is traditional and compact, but to me the lack of an index is fatal, even more so than the lack of much up-to-date information. His presentation of honorifics is indeed a tremendous effort as is his giving all the first names of a person and having the name by which they are known in heavier print. In this he is ahead of Addington, who displays all names without indication, and also Enache who gives only the names by which a person was known.
In his preface Daniel Brewer-Ward appeals to individuals he has omitted to contact him so that they can be included in other works he may produce in the future. He also asks people to point out to him any omissions and errors. I feel he should invest in more sources and, when he publishes again, insist on an index. A genealogical book is not a book meant for reading, but for making information both available and easily accessible, but in the latter I fear Brewer-Ward has failed. Perhaps an index, together with corrections of any omissions or errors, could be published as an addendum to this volume?
1. Arthur Charles Addington, The Royal House of Stuart: The Descendants of King James VI of Scotland, James I of England (London: Skilton, 1969), 3 vols.
2. Nicolas Enache, La descendance de Marie-Therese de Hapsburg: Reine de Hongrie et de Boheme (Paris: L'Intermediaire des Chercheurs et Curieux, 1996).
3. Genealogisches Handbuch der fuerstlichen Haeuser (Gluecksburg/Ostsee: C.A. Starke, 1951--), v. 14, part of the series Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels.
4. Etat present de la maison de Bourbon: Pour servir de suite a l'Almanach royal de 1830 et a d'autres publications officielles de la maison, 3rd edition (Paris: Editions du Palais Royal, 1986), p. 156.
5. Wittert van Hoogland in his De afstammelingen van Prins Frederik Hendrik van Oranjes erkenden zoon Frederik van Nassau, 1en Heer van Zuylestein (Den Haag: [s.n.], 1909).
6. Koninklijk Nederlandsch Genootschap voor Geslacht- en Wapenkunde, Jan van Riebeeck: Zijn voor- en nageslacht ('s-Gravenhage: [n.p.], 1952).
Copyright (c) 1998 by H-Net, all rights reserved. This work may be copied for non-profit educational use if proper credit is given to the reviewer and to HABSBURG. For other permission, please contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
If there is additional discussion of this review, you may access it through the network, at: https://networks.h-net.org/habsburg.
Leo van de Pas. Review of Brewer-Ward, Daniel A., The House of Habsburg: A Genealogy of the Descendants of Empress Maria Theresia.
HABSBURG, H-Net Reviews.
Copyright © 1998 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the Reviews editorial staff at email@example.com.