von trapp family tree

Von Trapp Family Tree: Genealogy and Ancestry Behind The Sound of Music

Peel back the curtains of your imagination and step into the captivating world of the Von Trapps, a family whose fascinating lineage transcends the captivating melodrama of ‘The Sound of Music’. This film, directed by Robert Whitehead and starred Julie Andrews, is loosely based on the life of Agathe Whitehead, the eldest Von Trapp child and shows us the magic of their music and dance. Reams have been written about their escape from Nazi-occupied Austria, much in sync with the storyline of the globally-acclaimed movie. But how is real-life different from reel life? In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the cobwebbed annals of history to unravel the genealogy and ancestry behind the real Von Trapp family, giving due focus on the age they lived through, specifically the early 20th century. We invite you to join us on this remarkable journey, as we sing along to their truths, applaud their courage, and celebrate their legacy that still reverberates in our hearts.

The Von Trapp family tree includes patriarch Georg von Trapp, his first wife, Agathe Whitehead, and their children Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina. Georg later married Maria Kutschera, and together, they formed a singing family that would later be immortalized by Julie Andrews in the film ‘The Sound of Music’. While there may be variations in extended family members, this core lineage, with adults ranging in age from youth to maturity, represents the primary members of the Von Trapp family.

The Origin of Von Trapp Family

The story of the Von Trapp family, made famous by “The Sound of Music,” has its roots in Austria and dates back to the late 19th century. Baron Georg von Trapp, the patriarch of the family, was born in 1880 in Zadar (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). In his middle age, he had a successful career in the Austro-Hungarian Navy as a submarine commander before retiring. After World War I, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed and territories shifted, the family settled in Klosterneuburg, Austria. It was here that their incredible journey would begin.

Georg von Trapp was not only a naval officer but also an accomplished U-boat submarine ace during World War I. His bravery and skills gained him recognition as one of Austria’s leading submarine commanders. However, as the war drew to a close, he found himself facing a changing world and uncertainty about his future. This prompted him to retire from naval service in his prime age, seeking stability for his growing family.

It is important to understand that Georg von Trapp had children with his first wife, Agathe Whitehead. She sadly died of scarlet fever, creating a blended family with seven children: Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina. Their unique journey unfolds against the backdrop of early 20th-century Europe and its tumultuous events.

Georg and His Naval Career

Before the Von Trapp family’s musical fame captured hearts worldwide, Baron Georg von Trapp had already established himself as a respected naval officer. Born into nobility, Georg followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Austro-Hungarian Navy at a young age. Through his dedication and skillful command on U-boat submarines during World War I, he earned recognition and respect within military ranks.

However, after the war concluded with the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Georg faced an uncertain future. The changes in political and social landscapes propelled him to make a significant decision – retiring from his distinguished naval career. This choice was driven by his desire to provide stability for his family as the world around them transformed.

Although Georg von Trapp’s naval career is often overshadowed by the family’s later musical achievements, it serves as an important chapter in understanding the man behind “The Sound of Music.” His experience in the navy would shape his character, instilling discipline, courage, and a deep sense of duty that would guide him throughout his life. It’s important to remember this as we watch the film and see the influence of Robert Whitehead’s direction and Julie Andrews’ portrayal of the Von Trapp family.Before the world became enchanted by their story through “The Sound of Music,” the memorable memoir of the Von Trapp family, they had a rich history in the picturesque city of Salzburg, Austria. Immortalized by legendary actor Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp, their saga continues to captivate generations. In 1923, they moved to Villa Trapp, located in the Aigen district of Salzburg. Nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of Austria, this grand residence became their beloved home for several years, especially for their daughter who cherished these memories until her death.

  • The naval career of Baron Georg von Trapp, the patriarch of the famous Von Trapp family, played a crucial role in shaping his character. While his later musical fame may overshadow this aspect of his life, his dedication and skill as a naval officer during World War I earned him recognition and respect. However, after the war, he made the difficult decision to retire from the navy in order to provide stability for his family amidst the changing political and social landscapes. His naval experience instilled in him traits such as discipline, courage, and a deep sense of duty that would guide him throughout his life.

The Family’s Life in Salzburg

Surrounded by lush gardens and enchanting views, the family enjoyed a peaceful existence in Salzburg. Here, they nurtured their love for nature and music, which would later flourish into something extraordinary. The children, an integral part of this generation, freely roamed the estate, exploring its nooks and crannies while developing their innate musical talents.

Think of it as a symphony composed by Mother Nature herself. The melodies of birds and the gentle rustle of leaves served as a backdrop to the children’s laughter, especially their daughter’s, echoing through the halls of Villa Trapp even after her death.

It was during this time in Salzburg that Maria Fälthaler found her way into their lives, forever changing their destiny, with a memoir penned down in history.

Maria Kutschera, a spirited young woman with a passion for music and teaching, entered the picture as a tutor and governess to Captain Georg von Trapp’s children. Maria bonded with the children effortlessly, her vibrant personality bringing joy and life back into their lives after their mother’s passing. Their daughter often spoke warmly of Maria in her memoir, detailing the comfort and love she felt in her presence, particularly in the context of her mother’s death.

Maria and Georg’s Union

But as fate would have it, love began to bloom between Maria and Georg. Despite their differences in upbringing and social status, their affection for one another grew undeniable. Their union not only brought them together as husband and wife but also solidified the foundation for an extraordinary musical legacy that would captivate audiences worldwide.

Picture a scene straight out of a fairytale – Maria and Georg dancing under the moonlit sky while serenaded by the melodies of their daughter’s voice, a moment so special that it was included in her memoir. The love they shared was a harmonious blend of passion, respect, and mutual admiration.

As their love story unfolded, so did the birth of something incredible – the Trapp Family Singers. Generation after generation, the family’s tale continued to be told, encouraging a profound admiration for their musical prowess and spirit.

Georg von Trapp and Maria Kutschera’s life together was filled with adventure, music, and love. After their marriage in 1927, they formed a blended family, with Georg’s seven children from his previous marriage and later adding three more children of their own. From this union arose the famous Trapp Family Singers, who would captivate audiences worldwide and star in countless memoirs.

Their Life Together and the Birth of Trapp Family Singers

The family’s journey into the world of music began when Maria started giving singing lessons to her stepchildren. Recognizing their talent and the joy that music brought to their lives, she encouraged them to sing together as a group. The harmonious blend of their voices soon caught the attention of others, just like Christopher Plummer’s impeccable performance in The Sound of Music, leading to public performances and invitations to various events.

Imagine the magical scene as the Von Trapp family stood on stage, united by blood and bound by a shared passion for music. Their voices intertwined beautifully, evoking emotions in listeners that transcended language barriers. The Trapp Family Singers became renowned for their exceptional musical talent and unwavering dedication, influencing every generation to come.

As their popularity grew, so did the political climate in Austria. Even in the face of death, their music brought people together, echoing the spirit of resilience and hope.The looming presence of Nazi Germany posed a grave threat not only to the Trapp family’s safety and freedom, but also to their parents, grandparents, and siblings. Even the names of their descendants were feared to be in danger.

In 1938, after rejecting an offer from the Nazis to perform in Germany, fear permeated the hearts of the Trapp family and their relatives. Their siblings, parents, and even grandparents, whether alive or remembered by names only, became a key part of their concern. They knew that if they, as the descendants of a musical lineage, refused again, the consequences could be dire. With heavy hearts but unwavering determination, the Von Trapp family, full of brothers, sisters, parents, and the memory of their grandparents, made the difficult decision to leave their beloved home country behind and seek refuge in a new land.

  • Baron Georg von Trapp, the patriarch of the Von Trapp family, fathered 10 children – seven with his first wife and three with Maria Kutschera (later known as Maria von Trapp), with whom he also crafted their famous singing group.
  • The story of the Von Trapp family’s escape from Nazi-occupied Austria inspired more than just a critically acclaimed movie; it has also been adapted into two Broadway musicals and an Anime series in Japan.
  • Despite the cinematic portrayal, the real-life Von Trapp family did not flee Austria by hiking over mountains but rather traveled by train to Italy following a concert tour, based on Marie von Trapp’s book “The World of the Trapp Family.”

Flight from Austria

Picture them packing their belongings and bidding farewell to everything familiar. As they sorted through items, they came across mementos from their parents and grandparents. It was not just leaving behind material possessions; it was leaving behind memories, heritage, and a family they had built together with their siblings and descendants. Their names would be the only remnant left in their homeland. It was a courageous act of defiance against an oppressive regime that threatened their family’s lineage and heritage.

As they made their escape, the Von Trapp family’s story resonated with countless others who yearned for freedom and stood up against tyranny. Parents worried about their children, siblings about each other, and everyone about the names and memory of their ancestors, their descendants. Their journey unfolded like a real-life adventure, as they faced numerous challenges and relied on one another for support and strength.

The flight from Austria marked the beginning of a new chapter in the Trapp family’s lives, a chapter that included not only them but also their siblings, parents, and the memory of their grandparents. It was a journey that would eventually lead them and their descendants to America, where they would find safety, rebuild their lives, and continue sharing the gift of music with the world.

Now that we have explored the beginnings of their musical journey, their siblings’ roles, and the events that led to their flight from Austria, let’s uncover the real story behind “The Sound of Music”, and how it captured the hearts of millions around the globe.

“The Sound of Music” has captured the hearts of audiences around the world with its enchanting story and timeless music. But did you know that it was inspired by a real-life family? The Von Trapp family, soon to be known by their names, respected their parents’ teachings and their grandparents’ legacy. They faced incredible hardships and triumphs, making their journey an extraordinary one.

The Real Story behind The Sound of Music

Baron Georg von Trapp, originally from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was a decorated submarine commander during World War I and Austria’s leading U-boat submarine ace. After the war, and the loss of his fortune in the Great Depression, Georg, like many ancestors and descendants, turned to singing as a means to provide for his family. His siblings, his parents, and grandparents’ memory etched in their names, all influenced this decision. Maria Kutschera, who would eventually become Maria von Trapp, entered their lives as a governess for Georg’s children. Through her love for music and connection with the children, she fell in love with Georg and they were married.

However, their story didn’t end there. In 1938, as Nazi Germany took control over Austria, the Von Trapp family, honoring their grandparents’ name and seeking a safer future for their descendants, refused to serve under Hitler’s regime due to their staunch anti-Nazi beliefs. Fearing persecution and repercussions for themselves and their siblings, they made a daring escape from Austria on foot and eventually settled in Stowe, Vermont.

Life in America brought new horizons and challenges for the Von Trapp family and their descendants. In order to make ends meet, they opened the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. This lodge became a place where visitors could experience authentic Austrian culture and hospitality while surrounded by the stunning beauty of nature and memories of their grandparents and parents.

Life in America

However, life wasn’t without its difficulties. Maria von Trapp was known for being a formidable force when it came to maintaining control over her family and their image, keeping the names of their ancestors and siblings in high regard, and nurturing their descendants in the best way possible.
Influenced by her own great-grandparents, she homeschooled her children out of disapproval for the public school curriculum. Her strict expectations for their behavior both on and off stage set a robust foundation, and she did careful research to ensure that their homeschooling was well-rounded and comprehensive.

The Von Trapp family, including numerous relatives, continued to perform as a singing group, cherishing their Austrian heritage and sharing it with audiences across America. Their love for music and dedication to their principles made them an enduring symbol of resilience and unity.

Now that we have explored their journey through Europe and their new life in America, let’s delve into how the Von Trapp family created their lasting legacy by establishing the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont. This venture was backed by comprehensive research and thorough records keeping.

After fleeing Austria in 1938 due to the impending threat of Nazi Germany, the Von Trapp family made their way to the United States. Settling in Stowe, Vermont, they began a new chapter of their lives and embarked on an unexpected venture – creating the iconic Von Trapp Family Lodge, a dream that had been in the hearts of their great-grandparents as well.

Creating the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont

The family’s beautiful home in Austria had been seized by the Nazis and sold to Catholic missionaries, leaving them without a place to call their own. However, through resilience, determination, and the supportive records from their relatives, they managed to purchase a farmhouse in Stowe with the help of borrowed funds.

The property itself was situated on 2,400 acres of land nestled among picturesque mountains and offered breathtaking views of the surrounding area. It provided an opportunity for the family to recreate some of the idyllic charm that their ancestors, the great-grandparents, had enjoyed in Austria.

With their deep love for music and hospitality, the Von Trapps decided to transform their newfound home into a lodge where guests could experience a taste of their heritage while surrounded by stunning natural beauty. They embraced their Austrian roots, incorporating traditional elements into both the architecture and ambiance of the lodge, a vision that was clearly outlined in the family’s researched records.

“We wanted to create a place where people could come and experience what we left behind but still maintain our roots,” Maria Von Trapp once said when asked about opening the lodge. This sentiment traced back to their great-grandparents, whose stories lived on in the family’s shared records.

The lodge quickly attracted visitors from near and far who were captivated not only by its scenic location but also by the genuine warmth and hospitality extended by the Von Trapp family themselves. Guests were treated to traditional Austrian cuisine, musical performances by family members, and a glimpse into the rich history that inspired “The Sound of Music”. These offerings were meticulously planned, based on extensive research and the historical records passed down from their relatives.

Over time, the Von Trapp Family Lodge grew into a renowned destination not only for fans of “The Sound of Music” but for anyone seeking a retreat that combined natural splendor with culture and tradition. It became a place that celebrated the enduring legacy of a family who had overcome adversity and continued to share their passion for music and hospitality with the world. This legacy was inspired as much by their great-grandparents as it was shaped by their own experiences, a testament to the power of family heritage and well-preserved records.

Over time, the Von Trapp Family Lodge grew into a renowned destination not only for fans of “The Sound of Music” but for anyone seeking a retreat that combined natural splendor with culture and tradition. It became a place that celebrated the enduring legacy of a family who had overcome adversity and continued to share their passion for music and hospitality with the world.

To this day, the lodge remains in operation, welcoming guests from all walks of life who come to experience the heartfelt hospitality that has become synonymous with the Von Trapp name. It stands as a testament to the remarkable journey undertaken by the family and their commitment to preserving their heritage while embracing their new home.

Q: What is the story of the Von Trapp family?

A: The Von Trapp family was a famous Austrian family known for their musical talents and their escape from the Nazis. Their story became widely known through the movie “The Sound of Music.”

Q: Can you provide some information about the genealogy of the Von Trapp family?

A: The Von Trapp family tree traces its roots back to Georg Von Trapp, a naval officer, and his wife Maria Augusta. The family includes their children and descendants, known for their musical talents and their escape from Austria during World War II.

Q: How does the movie “The Sound of Music” compare to the real story of the Von Trapp family?

A: While “The Sound of Music” is based on the story of the Von Trapp family, there are some artistic liberties taken in the movie. Certain events and characters may have been dramatized or altered for storytelling purposes.

Q: Who were the Von Trapp Family Singers?

A: The Von Trapp Family Singers were a renowned musical group comprised of the children of Georg and Maria Von Trapp. They gained fame for their singing and toured extensively, especially after fleeing Austria and settling in the United States.

Q: What is the relationship between Maria and Georg in the Von Trapp family?

A: Maria Kutschera, a novice from Nonnberg Abbey, became the governess of the Von Trapp family and eventually married the widowed Georg Von Trapp. Together, they raised the Von Trapp children and pursued musical activities as a family.

Q: When did the Von Trapp family leave Austria and where did they settle?

A: The Von Trapp family left Austria in 1938 and eventually settled in Stowe, Vermont, after a brief period in Pennsylvania. They established their home there and later expanded their property, which became a renowned lodge.

Q: Is it true that Georg Von Trapp was an inventor of the torpedo?

A: Yes, Georg Von Trapp, in addition to being a naval officer, was credited with the invention of a new type of torpedo for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. This innovation brought him recognition and distinction in his naval career.

Q: What happened to the Von Trapp family after they settled in the United States?

A: Following their settlement in the United States, the Von Trapp family continued their musical activities, forming the Von Trapp Family Singers. They gained popularity through tours and recordings, becoming renowned for their harmonious voices and dedication to music.

Q: How many children did Maria and Georg Von Trapp have together?

A: Maria and Georg had three children together, named Rosmarie, Eleonore, and Johannes. These children joined the other seven Von Trapp children from Georg’s previous marriage to form the famous Von Trapp Family Singers.

Q: What was the significance of the movie “The Sound of Music” for the Von Trapp family?

A: The movie “The Sound of Music” brought widespread attention to the story of the Von Trapp family and their musical talents. While some aspects were fictionalized for the film, it contributed to the enduring legacy of the Von Trapp family and their life of music.