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 –

9 Responses

  1. german_czech says:

    Please change Beethoven’s ancestry to simply German. A recent DNA study (a Y-DNA paternal line test) was performed on several locks of Beethoven’s hair, which showed he did NOT match the living male descendants (who share the same Y-chromosome) of Beethoven’s alleged biological gggg-grandfather.

    • follers says:

      The common ancestor they tried to match to lived in the 1500s, so there’s no way to know at which point the link was lost biologically.

      • passingtime85 says:

        Living descendants from different branches of his tree, all were in another group, so either he had a different father than Johann, or Johann wasn’t a Beethoven, or all his female relatives had ex-marital affairs. Direct male descendants don’t leave their paternal haplogroup, neither do direct female descendants from their maternal haplogroups. The most recent/youngest groups are still a few thousand years old.

        • follers says:

          As I understand it, the ancestor they had in common lived in the 1500s, which means that Ludwig van Beethoven’s father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather could have been his biological relatives.

          • passingtime85 says:

            As understood it, those tested were Beethovens and they weren’t related to Ludwig, but they were related to one another, but were all in the same paternal haplogroup. So either he wasn’t a Beethoven by blood, or they weren’t, but then why would they test them using them as a reference at all?

          • passingtime85 says:

            “Extra-pair paternity event” the nicest cland most clinical way of describing sexual infidelity.

          • passingtime85 says:

            Nicest and* most

  2. 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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