Germany / Deutschland » States & Provinces » Hessen / Hesse
This grand duchy was in the southwest region of Germany. It was surrounded by Rheinprovinz to the west, Hessen-Nassau to the north, Bayern on the east, and its south border included Baden and the Pfalz (owned by Bayern, but not contiguous with it). Hessen and Hessen-Nassau share history until 1567 when Philip, landgrave of Hessen, died. Hessen was divided among his heirs, creating Hessen-Darmstadt, Hessen-Kassel, Hessen-Marburg, and Hessen Rheinfels. Hessen-Marburg and Hessen-Rheinfels were subsequently incorporated into Hessen-Kassel and Hessen Darmstadt. Hessen-Darmstadt became the grand duchy Hessen. Hessen-Kassel was a strong entity in the 1700s and maintained its own standing army. The Hessian soldiers from here were the ones who were hired to fight in the American Revolution. The landgrave of Hessen-Kassel at that time, Frederick II, was the uncle of King George III, who ruled Great Britain. After the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, Hessen-Kassel was combined with Hessen-Nassau. The section of the grand duchy Hessen west of the Rhine River went to the modern German state Rheinland-Pfalz, while the remainder was combined with a majority of Hessen-Nassau and Waldeck to create today’s state called Hessen. Learn more: FamilySearch Wiki - Hesse and GenWiki - Hessen
Information provided by Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG® of Lind Street Research.