Joannes Francis Georges Wolff

Just a heads up, in this family they liked to use lots of names! Joannes Francis Georges Wolff (also known as JFG) liked names so much that five of his 12 children had three names. Only one of his kids had a single first name (what happened there?).

Where do we start with JFG? Good question. We don’t actually know where he was born. According to Beaufort Weddings 1796-1950 by Robert Deltgen, JFG is first mentioned in the Beaufort parish registers on 15 Jul 1741 as “Lord Joannes Georgius Wolff of Beaufort”. Deltgen writes that JFG was born about 1715 in Beaufort, but there are no baptism records for him in the Beaufort register. Maybe the Beaufort parish registers are incomplete? Maybe he was born elsewhere? JFG’s father Pierre was first mentioned in the Beaufort parish registers in 1730, so the Wolff family had moved to Beaufort by then.

Joannes Francis Georges Wolff was godfather to his namesake Joannes Georges Wolff – his sister Magdalena Wolff Wonner’s son on 15 Jul 1741 in Beaufort, Luxembourg.

When did JFG move to Burg-Reuland? I checked Burg-Reuland parish records and JFG does not appear in them prior to his 1750 marriage. This doesn’t mean he couldn’t have been living in Burg-Reuland; it only means that he wasn’t in any baptism, marriage, or death records during that time period. He can also be found as “Joannes George Wolff of Beaufort” as a godparent in Beaufort parish registers in 1745 and 1748, and on 14 Apr 1750. So one month before his marriage to Anna Lupus, he still appears to be living in Beaufort. According to “History of Burg Reuland, part 2: From the 15th to 18th Centuries” by W. Wittrock and K. D. Klauser, JFG was a bailiff, court judge, and lay judge in Beaufort at the time of his marriage to Anna Clara Elisabetha Lupus.

Anna’s father Johann Wilhelm Lupus had won the right to manage Burg-Reuland, but he died in Feb 1749. JFG married Anna on 19 May 1750 in Burg-Reuland and then he assumed the position of castle administrator. Sadly, Anna died in childbirth on 6 Sep 1951. There’s no record of the child. On 5 Aug 1753, JFG and Maria Regina Teresia de Massu were married in Schankweiler. Together they had 12 children:

  • Maria Carola Antonetta Wolff born in 1754 in Burg-Reuland
  • Joannes Joseph Peter Wolff born in 1755 in Burg-Reuland
  • Joannes Karl Wolff born in 1756 in Burg-Reuland
  • Maria Angela Wolff born & died in 1757 in Burg-Reuland
  • Joannes Henricus Wolff born & died in 1758 in Burg-Reuland
  • Antonius Wolff born in 1760 & died 1761 in Burg-Reuland
  • Maria Theresia Wolff born in 1761 in Burg-Reuland
  • Anna Maria Wolff born in 1762 & died 1764 in Burg-Reuland
  • Maria Catharina Josepha Wolff born in 1763 & died 1764 in Burg-Reuland
  • Joannes Baptista Wolff born & died in 1764 in Burg-Reuland
  • Damian Emmericus Haztardus Wolff born in 1766 in Burg-Reuland
  • Francis Carol Antonius Wolff born & died in 1767 in Burg-Reuland

In 1766 census, JFG, his wife, and their children Joannes Joseph Pierre, Joannes Karl, Damian Emmericus Haztardus, Maria Carola Antonetta, and Maria Theresia were living together in the castle with a servant, a hunter, and three women over the age of 14 who were probably servants.

Reuland village, parish of the same name in the 1766 census.

On 30 Sep 1782, Maria Regina Teresia died in Basbellain, Luxembourg. According to her death record, JFG was still castle adjudicator in Burg-Reuland.

JFG married Catherine Böly in 1787 in Kruchten, Germany. His marriage record makes no mention of Burg-Reuland or of him being the bidder of Reuland castle.

His marriage record to Catherine Böly makes no mention of Burg-Reuland, but it does say “Joannes Franciscus Georgius Wolff temporal lord in Kruchten.”

According to Joannes Karl’s 1788 marriage record, he had replaced his father as bidder of the castle. It states “the very noble lord Joannes Carolus, adjudicator of the castle and lordship of Reuland, legitimate son of Joannes Francis Georges Wolff, lord in Cruchten.” We wondered if that was an error, but he continues to be called “adjudicator” in the 1789 baptism record of Joannes Karl’s daughter Maria Theresia, in the 1789 marriage record of JFG’s daughter Maria Theresia (yes, I said that name twice), and in a 1790 notarial record. Maria Theresia Wolff’s marriage record says her father was Lord Joannes Frances Georges Wolff from Beaufort, lord in Kruchten. No mention of him being adjudicator in Reuland.

In a document dated 6 Nov 1790, written by notary Jacoby, it’s noted that JFG was the former adjudicatarius of the Reuland lordship and he was living in Kruchten at that time. So we can conclude that by 1788, Joannes Karl had taken over as bidder of Burg-Reuland. But, maybe Joannes Karl had replaced his father before 178? JFG’s 1787 marriage record to Catherine Böly only says this of JFG: “Joannes Franciscus Georgius Wolff temporal lord in Kruchten.” A temporal lord only holds that title for his lifetime, it’s not a title that can be passed to his descendants after his death. So did Joannes Karl become adjudicator sometime between 1782 and 1787? Maybe Joannes Karl became the castle admin because JFG chose to move to Kruchten?

We don’t know much about JFG’s final years except that he lived in Kruchten for a time and he died on 24 Feb 1798 in Holsthum, Germany.

A side note about JFG, there are two descriptions of JFG’s seal. In 1776, his seal is described as golden with a red lion with a forked tail. It’s described as a wolf rampant with a heron crest on a 1779 document. His seal on a 1773 letter has the heron crest, but it appears to be a lion and not a wolf.

Joannes Francis George Wolff’s seal, as seen on his 1773 letter to a seminary.

What if Our Name was Schmitz Oberst?

Sometimes you come across something that changes everything in your family tree.

I could’ve been a Schmitz Oberst instead of a Konzen (can you even imagine it?).  But, thanks to Wilhelmus Schmitz Oberst & Elisabetha Konzen, I am a Konzen.  They are the reason why many of you are Konzens, too.  I recently found out about Wilhelmus & Elisabetha from a comment by Chip Kalb and through a book he pointed me toward.

Chip’s latest hint was about my Konzen line in Herborn, Luxembourg.  My cousins and I have tried to trace our Konzens back past Theodore Konzen of Herborn, but we couldn’t find anything to connect him to any Konzens in the Herborn records microfilmed by Family Search.  I was afraid that we were never going to be able to trace our Konzen line further back and I wanted more.

I followed Chip’s information to a new relative, Robert Grosch.  Robert and I are sixth cousins once removed – his sixth great grandfather Nicolaus Konzen is my fifth great grandfather – and he wrote a book with Jean-Claude Muller called “Familienbuch und Häuserchronik der Ortschaften Herborn, Mompach, Givenich und Pfaffenberg” (translation: “Family Book and House Chronicles of towns Herborn, Mompach, Givenich and Pfaffenberg”).  This book is a great resource and it traces the Konzen family tree back three generations further than what I had before.

The furthest generation of Konzens we’d found was Theodore Konzen & Catharina Scholer (the parents of Elizabeth who moved to Trierweiler, Peter who moved to Kruchten, and Wilhelm who moved to Olingen).  According to the Herborn book, Theodore was the youngest of 10 children born to Nicolaus Konzen* and Maria-Catharina Meyers or Storck.

Nicolaus Konzen was the younger of 2 children born to Wilhelmus Schmitz Oberst and Elisabetha Konzen.  Yes, Schmitz Oberst.  And no, Nicolaus was not illegitimate.  As the eldest child, Elisabetha had the right to remain in the Konzen family house after her marriage to Wilhelmus.  According to Robert, the couple remained in the Konzen family house and during this time period the parish priest used house names as surnames.  So that is why Wilhelmus and his children had the Konzen last name in records.  After Elisabetha’s death Wilhelmus still lived in the Konzen house and had the Konzen last name.  He married Maria Lauers and had 7 more children with the last name Konzen.  Just to confuse things, of course!

Elisabetha Konzen was the eldest of Nicolaus Konzen & Susanna’s 13 children.  After Susanna’s death Nicolaus married Anna Lauers and they had 4 children together.

So the family tree looks like:

1st generation:  Nicolaus Konzen & Susanna

2nd generation:  Elisabetha Konzen & Wilhelmus Schmitz Oberst

3rd generation:  Nicolaus Konzen & Maria-Catharina Meyers or Storck

4th generation:  Theodore Konzen & Catharina Scholer

5th generation:  Peter Konzen & Theresa Wolff

The book organizes families by houses and it has a photo of the Kounzen house in Herborn.  It also has a map of Herborn that shows the location of the Kounzen house.

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The Kounzen house in Herborn (photo from Google Maps)

If you’re interested in purchasing Robert Grosch & Jean-Claude Muller’s book “Familienbuch und Häuserchronik der Ortschaften Herborn, Mompach, Givenich und Pfaffenberg,” I can pass Robert’s contact information on to you.  You can email me at konzengenealogy at or comment on this post with your email address.

*In Herborn, our Konzens used various spellings of Konzen, so I will stick with the current spelling for continuity.  According to the Herborn book, it was Kuntzen in 1680, and Kontzen in 1900.  Other spellings are Conzen, Contzen, and Kounzen.