Leiningen is the name of an old German family whose lands lay principally in Alsace, Lorraine and the Palatinate. The first count of Leiningen about whom anything certain is known was a certain Emich II (d. before 1138), whose family became extinct in the male line when Count Frederick, a Minnesinger, died about 1220. Frederick's sister, Liutgarde, married Simon II, count of Saarbrücken, and Frederick, one of their sons, inheriting the lands of the counts of Leiningen, took their arms and their name. Having increased its possessions the Leiningen family was divided about 1317 into two branches; the elder of these, whose head was a landgrave, died out in 1467. On this event its lands fell to a female, the last landgrave's sister Margaret, wife of Reinhard, lord of Westerburg, and their descendants were known as the family of Leiningen-Westerburg. Later this family was divided into two branches, those of Alt-Leiningen-Westerburg and Neu-Leiningen-Westerburg, both of which are represented today.
Copyright: CC 3.0