John George I of Anhalt-Dessau (9 May 1567 – 24 May 1618) was a German prince of the House of Ascania. From 1586 to 1603 he ruled the unified principality of Anhalt jointly with his brothers. After the partition of the principality in 1603, he ruled the principality of Anhalt-Dessau from 1603 to 1618.
|John George I|
|Prince of Anhalt-Dessau|
John George I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
|Prince of Anhalt|
|Successor||none (principality partitioned)|
|Prince of Anhalt-Dessau|
|Predecessor||none (principality (re-)created)|
|Born||9 May 1567
|Died||24 May 1618 (aged 51)
|Spouse||Dorothea of Mansfeld-Arnstein
Countess Palatine Dorothea of Simmern
|Issue||Sophie Elisabeth, Duchess of Liegnitz
Anna Magdalena, Hereditary Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel
Joachim Ernest, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
John Casimir, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Anna Elisabeth, Countess of Bentheim-Steinfurt
Eleonore Dorothea, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar
Sibylle Christine, Countess of Hanau-Münzenberg and Hanau-Lichtenberg
Kunigunde Juliane, Landgravine of Hesse-Rotenburg
Susanna Margarete of Hanau-Lichtenberg
Johanna Dorothea, Countess of Bentheim-Tecklenburg
|House||House of Ascania|
|Father||Joachim Ernest, Prince of Anhalt|
|Mother||Agnes of Barby-Mühlingen|
In 1570, the death of John George's last surviving uncle, Bernhard VII, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, left John George's father as sole ruler of all the Anhalt states, which were finally unified for the first time since their first partition in 1252.
After the death of his father in 1586, John George inherited the unified principality of Anhalt jointly with his younger brother Christian I and his five half-brothers according to the family law of the House of Ascania, which mandated no division of territories among the heirs. Because his half-brothers were still minors at the time of their accession, John George acted as regent.
In 1603 an agreement was drawn up between John George and his surviving brothers to divide the territories of the principality of Anhalt among them. John George received Anhalt-Dessau, as well as the Seniorat; nonetheless, he maintained a regency over all of the newly created principalities until 1606, when his brothers took over the government in their lands. As a ruler, he maintained Reformation policies in his state and vigorously pursued the abolition of the traditional customs and liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church.
On 24 August 1617 at Schloss Hornstein (later Wilhelmsburg Castle) during the funeral of their sister Dorothea Maria, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, John George and his younger brother Louis of Anhalt-Köthen created the Fruitbearing Society. The Prince of Köthen was appointed its first leader.
In Hedersleben on 22 February 1588 John George married Dorothea (b. 23 March 1561 – d. Dessau, 23 February 1594), daughter of John Albert VI, Count of Mansfeld-Arnstein. They had five children.
In Heidelberg on 21 February 1595 John George married for a second time to Dorothea (b. Kaiserslautern, 6 January 1581 – d. Sandersleben, 18 September 1631), the only surviving child of John Casimir of Simmern, third son of Frederick III, Elector Palatine. They had eleven children.
|By Dorothea of Mansfeld-Arnstein|
|Sophie Elisabeth||Dessau, 10 February 1589||Liegnitz, 9 February 1622||married on 4 November 1614 to George Rudolph, Duke of Liegnitz|
|Anna Magdalena||Dessau, 29 March 1590||Eschwege, 24 October 1626||married on 14 June 1617 to Otto, Hereditary Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel|
|Anna Marie||Dessau, 4 May 1591||Dessau, 7 July 1637|
|Joachim Ernest, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau||Dessau, 18 July 1592||Dessau, 28 May 1615|
|Christian||Dessau, 23 February 1594||Dessau, 13 April 1594|
|By Dorothea of Simmern|
|John Casimir, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau||Dessau, 7 September 1596||Dessau, 15 September 1660|
|Anna Elisabeth||Dessau, 5 April 1598||Tecklenburg, 20 April 1660||married on 2 January 1617 to William Henry, Count of Bentheim-Steinfurt, son of Arnold III, Count of Bentheim-Steinfurt-Tecklenburg-Limburg|
|Frederick Maurice||Dessau, 18 February 1600||Lyon, 25 August 1610|
|Eleonore Dorothea||Dessau, 16 February 1602||Weimar, 26 December 1664||married on 23 May 1625 to William, Duke of Saxe-Weimar|
|Sibylle Christine||Dessau, 11 July 1603||Hanau, 21 February 1686||married firstly on 26 December 1627 to Philip Maurice, Count of Hanau-Münzenberg, and secondly on 13 May 1647 to Frederick Casimir, Count of Hanau-Lichtenberg|
|Henry Waldemar||Dessau, 7 November 1604||Dessau, 25 September 1606|
|George Aribert||Dessau, 3 June 1606||Wörlitz, 14 November 1643|
|Kunigunde Juliane||Dessau, 17 February 1608||Rotenburg, 26 September 1683||married on 2 January 1642 to Herman IV, Landgrave of Hesse-Rotenburg|
|Susanna Margarete||Dessau, 23 August 1610||Babenhausen, 13 October 1663||married on 16 February 1651 to John Philip of Hanau-Lichtenberg|
|Johanna Dorothea||Dessau, 24 March 1612||Tecklenburg, 26 April 1695||married on 9 February 1636 to Maurice, Count of Bentheim-Tecklenburg (a nephew of her brother-in-law William Henry)|
|Eva Katharine||Dessau, 11 September 1613||Dessau, 15 December 1679|
John George I, Prince of Anhalt-DessauBorn: 9 May 1567 Died: 24 May 1618
|Prince of Anhalt
with Christian I,
Bernhard (until 1596),
John Ernest (until 1601)
Principality partitioned in Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Plötzkau, Anhalt-Zerbst and Anhalt-Köthen
|Prince of Anhalt-Dessau