Jacob Hirsch Becomes Jacob Höber

Seal of Franz II, Holy Roman Emperor , as it Appeared on the Decree Granted to Jacob Hirsch-Höber

In the 1790s, Kaiser Franz II, the last of the Holy Roman Emperors, granted Jacob Hirsch the authority to change his name.  For reasons unknown, Jacob Hirsch chose the name Höber (in English, Hoeber). His son, Heinrich, used the name Höber from birth.  Jacob had come from Pfortzheim to Karlsruhe, where he served in the court of the Markgraf of Baden, but he also served Kaiser Franz in Vienna.  During the Napoleonic wars, Hirsch found ways to provide supplies to the Kaiser and in exchange was granted the right to travel anywhere within the Empire.  He was designated Königlichen und Kaiserlichen Hoffaktor, or Imperial and Royal Court Agent.

Jacob Hirsch’s appointment and authority were recorded in large calligraphy on a parchment certificate, complete with the Kaiser’s 5″ diameter wax seal.  The certificate served as a passport whenever Jacob traveled.  It was destroyed in a bombing raid on Duesseldorf  in 1943.

Kaiser Franz II

Kaiser Franz II,  last of the Holy Roman Emperors and First Emperor of Austria.

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One Comment on “Jacob Hirsch Becomes Jacob Höber”

  1. [...] up I was only dimly aware of these origins, but in recent years I have learned more. My first post  in this historical series concerned my 5X great-grandfather, Jacob Hirsch, who lived in Karlsruhe [...]


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