Family History - Dég Festetics Mansion

Family History

The Wenckheim family was descended from the Franks. In 1559, Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor bestowed on Dániel Wenck a grant of arms, and in 1608, Ágoston Wenck was granted imperial nobility with the family name of “Wenckheim”. The court physician János Wenck was raised to the rank of Austrian knight by Empress Maria Theresa in 1748, and the certificate was issued already with the family name ‘Wenckheim’. The doctor’s son, János József Wenckheim, Imperial Councillor and Chancellor of Lower Austria, married Baroness Maria Cecilia Wenckheim, née Harruckern, thus the family later acquired considerable estates in Békés County. Of the couple’s sons, Imperial Royal Lieutenant-General Joseph (I) and Imperial Royal Lieutenant-General Franz (I) were awarded the title of Baron of Austria in 1776, and Hungarian citizenship in 1781.

József Wenckheim (I), who owned part of Kígyóspuszta, was elevated to the rank of Count of Hungary in 1802 by Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. The comital branch of the family is descended from him, while the baronial branch is descended from his younger brother, Ferenc Wenckheim (I).

Following the death of Count Joseph (I) in 1803, his fortune was inherited by his two sons. Joseph Wenckheim (III), the founder of the senior comital branch, and Franz Wenckheim (II), the founder of the cadet comital branch, divided their estates in January 1808. At that time, József (III) received the market town of Békés, as well as Kígyóspuszta, Székudvar and (Arad) Szentmárton, while Ferenc (II) inherited the market town of Gyula, Elek, Doboz, Gerla, as well as Csákó- and Szentmiklóspuszta.

Széchenyi ikon