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Over the succeeding 150 years, no single family established itself as dukes of Swabia for more than three generations.

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Although the official verdict by the Special Investigations Branch of the British Military Police is that Hess committed suicide and no others were involved, historians claimed that the images cast doubt on this version of events.

The disparate development of Saxony as a territory, contrasting with the more centralised evolution of the other ancient German provinces, in particular Bavaria, is discussed in the Introduction to the document SAXONY DUKES & ELECTORS.

It is unimaginable that such church families were not closely related to their noble lay counterparts, but proving such family relationships is impossible because of the absence of sufficiently precise contemporary documentation.

The current document sets out the families of later Saxon nobility, mainly dating from the 11th century or later, from which time the available records permit more reliable reconstruction of family relationships.

Early sources reveal the names of numerous counts in Saxony between the 9th and 11th centuries, details of whom are set out in the document GERMANY, EARLY NOBILITY in which the sparse amount of available information on the family relationships of the early nobility is striking.

This means that, not only is reliable family reconstruction virtually impossible, but also the way in which titles and territories were transmitted between generations is unclear.

It is reasonable to suppose that, just as in later centuries, the nobility was a close-knit community and that their successors in the 11th century onwards were descendants of their 9th and 10th century counterparts.

However, no example has yet been found of a proven family connection between these early individuals and later noble families in Saxony.

A 903 diploma of Ludwig IV "das Kind" King of Germany refers to the first Hunfriding ruler Burkhard as "marchio Curiensis Rti", indicating the creation of a short-lived march in northern Switzerland.

The Hunfriding were succeeded by the Franconian Konradiner dynasty in 926, when Hermann was appointed duke by Heinrich I King of Germany.

In addition, large parts of the land east of the Rhine were heavily forested and uninhabited, colonisation only accelerating in the 12th and 13th centuries.