Ludwig van Beethoven

portrait painting of Beethoven in 1820 by Joseph Karl Stieler, oil on canvas, 62 cm/50 cm, Beethoven-Haus, Bonn, B 2389

Date of Birth: 16 December, 1770

Place of Birth: Bonn, Electorate of Cologne (present-day Germany)

Date of Death: 26 March, 1827

Place of Death: Vienna, Austrian Empire

*75% German
*18.75% Flemish
*6.25% Walloon

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer of the classical and romantic eras. He is one of the most influential composers of all time. He was also a pianist.

Ludwig was the son of Maria Magdalena and Johann van Beethoven, a musician, teacher, and singer. His father sang in the chapel of the Archbishop of Cologne, whose court was at Bonn. Ludwig came from a musical family. His paternal grandfather moved from Belgium to Bonn, Germany, to work for the Bonn court orchestra.

Ludwig’s ancestry was three quarters German, 3/16th Belgian Flemish, and 1/16th Belgian Walloon.

Ludwig’s paternal grandfather was Ludwig van Beethoven the Elder (Lodewijk/”Ludovicus” van Beethoven, the son of Michael van Beethoven and Marie/Maria Louise/Louisa/Lysbeth/Ludovica Elisabeth Stuyckers). Ludwig’s grandfather Lodewijk likely was born in Mechelen, in the Habsburg Netherlands, now in Flanders, Belgium, and was a musician at the court of Prince-Archbishop-Elector of Cologne Clemens August of Bavaria, becoming Kapellmeister in 1761. The surname Beethoven means “from (van) Bettenhoven.” Ludwig’s great-grandfather Michael was a master baker, and was the son of Cornelis/Cornelius Van Beethoven and Catharina/Catherina van Leempoel. Ludwig’s great-grandmother Marie/Maria Louise/Louisa was the daughter of Ludwig/Ludovicus Stuyckers/Stuijckers and Magdalena Gouffau/Goffau; Magdalena was born in Gosselies, in the Walloon region in Belgium, as were her parents and grandparents.

Ludwig’s paternal grandmother was Maria Josepha Poll/Ball (the daughter of Philippe Jacques Ball and Anne Cunégonde Mayer). Maria Josepha was born in Stundwiller, Bas-Rhin, Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, France. Philippe was the son of Jacques Ball and Ursule Schenck.

Ludwig’s maternal grandfather was Johann Heinrich Keverich (the son of Johann Heinrich Keverich and Eva Catharina Alber). Ludwig’s grandfather Johann was born in Koblenz-Ehrenbreitstein, Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany, and was head cook at the court of the Elector of Trier, who resided at Schloss Philippsburg in Ehrenbreitstein. Ludwig’s great-grandfather Johann was born in Mehring, Germany, the son of Matthias Keverich and Agathe. Eva was born in Trier, Germany, the daughter of Johann Alber and Anna Pütz.

Ludwig’s maternal grandmother was Anna Klara/Clara Westorff (the daughter of Jakob Westorff and Maria Magdalena Schetter). Anna was born in Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Jakob was born in Köln, Germany, the son of Tilmann Moritz Westorff and Agnes Aussems. Maria Magdalena was born in Koblenz, the daughter of Johann Franz Schetter and Maria Magdalena Becker.

Sources: Genealogies of Ludwig van Beethoven –

Genealogy of Ludwig van Beethoven (focusing on his father’s side) –

1 Response

  1. follers says:

    The surnames “Jacobi” and “Fink” can easily be of non-Jewish German origin. “Jacobi” tends to be non-Jewish.

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