Proper place name for late 17th/early 18th century towns in Württemberg (Massenbach and Schwaigern)?

+5 votes
Seeking help on what would be the correct way to enter my ancestors' place of origin.

They were from the towns of Massenbach and Schwaigern in Württemberg. The time period would be the late 17th century and early 18th century.  

Would a correct entry look like this...

Massenbach, Duchy of Württemberg, Heiliges Römisches Reich?


Massenbach, Württemberg, Germany?
WikiTree profile: Dorothea Fridberg
in Policy and Style by Jana Shea G2G6 Mach 3 (36.2k points)

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Massenbach was "reichsunmittelbar" until 1806 as Herrschaft Massenbach.

Schwaigern was also "reichsunmittelbar" as Reichsgrafschaft Neipperg until 1802.

Both became part of the Herzogtum Württemberg only after those dates.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (614k points)
selected by Michael Ruoff
Thank you for clarifying.  So what, then, would be the proper way to enter the place of origin?
I would use Massenbach, Herrschaft Massenbach, Heiliges Römisches Reich since Massenbach only became part of Schwaigern in 1971/1972.
Thanks, Helmut!  What would you suggest for Schwaigern?

Thanks to the tumultuous European history that would depend greatly on the time: It would be Schwaigern

  • Grafschaft Neipperg, Heiliges Römisches Reich until 1802,
  • Herzogtum Württemberg, Heiliges Römisches Reich until 1803,
  • Kurfürstentum Württemberg, Heiliges Römisches Reich until 1806,
  • Königreich Württemberg, Rheinbund until 1813,
  • Königreich Württemberg until 1815,
  • Königreich Württemberg, Deutscher Bund until 1866,
  • Königreich Württemberg again until 1870,
  • Königreich Württemberg, Norddeutscher Bund until 1871,
  • Königreich Württemberg, Deutsches Reich until 1918.
+4 votes
Due to the changes in the last centuries (see comment of Helmut Jungschaffer in the other answer) and merger of towns I tend to use the current political names:

Massenbach ( ):

Schwaigern urban district Massenbach, administrative district Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Schwaigern (

Schwaigern, administrative district Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
by Alexander Huber G2G2 (2.1k points)

WikiTree has a style guide with respect to locations:

Applied to locations, this means using place names in native languages and using the names that people at the time used, even if they now no longer exist (my emphasis).

Since Baden-Württemberg did not exist in the 17th and 18th century people could have hardly used the name then.

And they certainly did not speak English so that "urban" or "administrative district" and "Germany" really don't belong in the location field either.

Hello Helmut,

thanks for the link.

(I didn't know yet. Unfortunately in GRAMPS I tried to have the current names...)

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