Chronology of the life of the Brothers Grimm

1785. Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm is born January 4, 1785, in Hanau, Germany, son of Philipp Wilhelm Grimm (a lawyer and court official) and his wife Dorothea Grimm, née Zimmer.

1786. Wilhelm Carl Grimm is born February 24, 1786, in Hanau, Germany, son of Philipp Wilhelm Grimm and Dorothea Grimm.

The children of Philipp Wilhelm Grimm and Dorothea Grimm

1.      Friedrich Hermann Georg Grimm (1783-1784)

2.      Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm (1785-1863)

3.      Wilhelm Carl Grimm (1786-1859)

4.      Carl Friedrich Grimm (1787-1852)

5.      Ferdinand Philipp Grimm (1788-1844)

6.      Ludwig Emil Grimm (1790-1863)

7.      Friedrich Grimm (1791-1792)

8.      Charlotte (Lotte) Amalie Hassenpflug, neé Grimm (1793-1833)

9.      Georg Eduard Grimm (1794-1795)

1791. The Grimm family moves to Steinau.

1796. Philipp Wilhelm Grimm, father of eight Grimm brothers and one Grimm sister, dies January 10, 1796, at the age of 44. Three of his nine children have preceded him in death. His oldest surviving child, Jacob, is 11 years old.

1798. Jacob and Wilhelm move to Kassel, their mother's home city, to enter secondary school. The 13 and 14 year old boys will live with an aunt.

1802. Jacob begins his study of law at the University of Marburg.

1803. Wilhelm begins his study of law at the University of Marburg.

1806. Jacob and Wilhelm, influenced by the folk poetry collection of Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim, Des Knaben Wunderhorn, begin to collect folktales (Märchen).

1808. Dorothea Grimm, mother of eight Grimm brothers and one Grimm sister, dies May 27, 1808, at the age of 52. In order to support his younger brothers and sister, Jacob takes a position as a librarian at Kassel. Wilhelm will follow soon.

1812. The Grimm brothers publish volume one of Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children' and Household Tales), an unpretentious book containing 86 numbered folktales.

1814. Volume two of Kinder- und Hausmärchen appears in print, pre-dated 1815, adding 70 stories to the previous collection. This famous work will see six additional editions during the Grimms' lifetime. In its final version it will contain 200 numbered stories plus 10 "Children's Legends." It is destined to become the best known and most influential book ever created in the German language.

1816, 1818. The Grimms publish two volumes of Deutsche Sagen, a collection totalling 585 German legends.

1819. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm receive honorary doctorates from the University of Marburg. Their scholarly work on linguistics, folklore, and medieval studies continues, resulting in many publications.

1825. Wilhelm Grimm marries Henriette Dorothea (Dortchen) Wild, who -- together with other members of her family -- had provided the Jacob and Wilhelm with many of their best folktale texts.

1829-1830. The Grimms resign their positions as librarians in Kassel and accept positions at the University of Göttingen as librarians and professors.

1837-1841. Professors Grimm join five of their university colleagues in a formal protest against a constitutional violation of Ernst August, King of Hannover. The seven professor (Die Göttinger Sieben) are fired. The Grimm brothers receive many offers for new positions, and finally accept appointments at the University of Berlin.

1842-1852. The Grimms continue their scholarly work and political activities, but finally give up their formal appointments at the University of Berlin (Jacob in 1848, Wilhelm in 1852) in order to dedicate themselves to their own studies and research.

1859. Wilhelm Grimm dies December 16, 1859, at the age of 73.

1863. Jacob Grimm dies September 20, 1863, at the age of 78.