The following is an account of the South African branch of the House of Solms. The progenitor of this branch of the family is Johann Adam, from Nackenheim (near Mainz), who emigrated to the Cape in 1838. His ancestors are enumerated in Part 1, his descendants in Part 2.
This is an account of the direct ancestors of Johann Adam. No sustained attempt is made to follow collateral genealogies. The link between the first identified member in the continuous record of his branch (Peter von Solms) and the older lines of the House of Solms is somewhat obscure.
The father of Bartholomaeus, Nikolaus and Peter von Solms – the three sons with which the continuous record of the South African Solms genealogy begins – is thought to have moved to the Catholic domain of Olm (near Mainz) between 1551 and 1575, possibly in response to the introduction of the Lutheran confession in the county of Solms in 1555. This ancestor appears to have been a member of a group broadly referred to as the ‘Herren von Solms’. The Herren von Solms were a heterogeneous group of nobles who governed on behalf of the Grafen [Counts] of Solms in various parts of their territory during the Middle Ages.
Members of this ministerial group who are the most likely direct ancestors of Peter von Solms and his brothers are identified in the genealogy below. These vassals of the Grafen of Solms (and Nassau) were descended from the Solms-Königsberg line, the title in which became extinct in 1364/5. The progenitor of this branch was Marquard IV, who entered into an inappropriate union in the early 14th century and whose children were therefore untitled. The account begins with an enumeration of the direct ancestors of Marquard IV, who are among the earliest recorded members of the the House of Solms (a more comprehensive genealogy of the entire family is provided in the parallel account of the complete House of Solms) and continues with an account of the direct descendants of Marquard IV, which leads on to the South African branch of the family:
The South African branch of the Solms family arose when Johann Adam [22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199. above] and his five surviving children arrived in Cape Town on 3.11.1838. The following is an account of his children and their subsequent issue. (The family arrived in Cape Town on the ‘Arab’ – a British barque – which sailed from The Downs on 13.8.1838, en route to Mauritius. It subsequently sank in Table Bay off Woodstock Beach, on 1.6.1850, on the return leg of a similar voyage; its wreckage now lies beneath reclaimed land.)
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