Saxony Königreich (kingdom) Timeline
805 Charlemagne overpowers Sorb tribes. The Lindolfingers, wealthy landowners situated between the Harz Mountains and the river Weser, receive dukedom status. They maintain their autonomy, but must supply military aid and pay taxes.
919 Duke Heinrich I becomes German king. He begins the systematic subjugation of the Slaves living in the river Elbe region.
929 King Heinrich I establishes the castle in Meissen as a military stronghold. Becomes the center of the Margravate Meissen.
1089 Heinrich I of the House of Wettin becomes invested with the March of Meissen. Thus begins the reign of the Wettiner Dynasty in the Sachsen-Thuringia area. The Wettiner remain in uninterrupted succession until 1918. Their ancestral castle stands on the shores of the river Saale.
1156 Konrad the Great distributes his territory among five sons. With this act the history of the Saxon land division begins.
1346 Bautzen, Goerlitz, Kamenz, Loebau and Zittau form an alliance in the Oberlausitz, which lasted until the defeat of Napoleon I in 1815.
1409 The University of Leipzig is founded.
1423 Margrave Friedrich acquires the Askanian Duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg and the title of Electorate. From now on all territories (including Meissen, Lausitz, Thuringia) are known as the Electorate of Saxony.
1459 The ridge of the Erzgebirge (mountain range) becomes the border between Saxony and Bohemia (today part of the Czech Republic).
1466 Saxony acquires Plauen, the nucleus of the Vogtland (cultural area).
1485 The Electorate of Saxony (House of Wettin) is divided into two branches. The Ernestine branch receives Wittenberg, small parts of the March of Meissen, Osterland and Pleissenland (cultural areas) with Eilenburg, Grimma, Borna, Leisnig, Altenburg, Zwickau, Plauen, Schwarzenburg; most of Thuringia with Weimar, Gotha, Eisenach, parts of Coburg, Frankish Königsberg, the protectorate of Naumburg, Gleichen, Kirchberg, Reuss - as well as parts of Schwarzburg.
The Albertiner, Duke Albrecht, receives the March of Meissen with Dresden and Freiberg, Amt Leipzig, Delitzsch-Landsberg, Zörbig, Margravate Saxony with Sangershausen, areas in the north of Thuringia and parts of the Diocese of Merseburg. The Lords of Stollberg-Hohnstein, Mansfeld, Arnstein, Beichlingen, Leisnig, Querfurt and Schönberg come under the rule of the House of Albertines.
1517 Reformation begins in Wittenberg (then still part of Saxony)
1547 Johann Friedrich I (Ernestine) succumbs to Emporer Karl V, who gives Wittenberg to the Albertines. The Ernestines keep the areas of Weimar, Jena, Saalfeld, Weida, Gotha, Eisenach and Coburg, later (1554) also the areas of Sachsenburg and Altenburg.
1553 Albert becomes electorate. Under his reign Saxony experiences significant economic growth.
1554 Further divisions of the land took place from which several small states emerged. 1572 Sachsen-Coburg-Eisenach and Sachsen-Weimar are formed. These again experience dissolution. Sachsen-Weimar is formed out of Sachsen-Altenburg (1603). Sachsen-Eisenach and Sachsen-Gotha (1640) and Sachsen-Jena (1672). In 1680 Sachsen-Weimar was divided into seven lines.
1648 After the Peace of Westphalia Saxony lost political importance within the Holy Roman Empire.
1694 The reign of Friedrich August I begins. He is ambitious and desires to be king. Through mediations by his personal friend Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, Friedrich August becomes King of Poland, also known as August II. His son rules as King August III. With his death in 1763 the connection to Poland is severed.
1806 Friedrich August III becomes King of Saxony through the support of Napoleon Bonaparte.
1813 In the Battle of Leipzig the Saxons fight on the French side and lose.
1815 Vienna Congress, Saxony has to transfer 57,5 % of its territory and 42,2% of its citizens to Prussia. The Ostoberlausitz (cultural region) becomes part of the Prussian province Schlesien. The Niederlausitz (cultural area) went to the Prussian province of Brandenburg. The remaining territory of the Kingdom of Saxony covers approx. 1,500 square kilometers with roughly two million citizens.
1831 Saxony receives its constitution
1835 First steam boat on the river Elbe
1871 King Wilhelm of Prussia becomes German Emperor. Saxony becpmes part of the German Reich.
1872 The German Mark as general currency is introduced. All local currencies were abolished
1918 Weimar Republic is created. King Friedrich August III abdicates the throne
1919 Saxony becomes known as Freistaat Sachsen with a new democratic constitution
1934 Freistaat Sachsen is part of Nazi Germany
1949 Sachsen becomes part of the Communist GDR (German Democratic Republic)
1952 Dissolution of Saxony as a state. The area becomes known as the Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz districts.
1989 Demonstrations in Leipzig, Plauen and Dresden lead to the collapse of the GDR
1990 Elections Saxony again known as Freistaat Sachsen. It is now part of the Federal Republic of Germany with Dresden as its capital and a population of 4.6 million
Here is a link providing the historical development of Germany at any given time period.
A good source for local history timelines can be found in village chronicles. These are taking historical developments of specific areas into account, and let the researcher have a glimpse of ancestors' lives from various points of view. Ortschroniken can usually be retrieved through a mayor's office or historical societies. A Google search may assist with availability.