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.

Maria Regina Teresia de Massu Wolff

Maria Regina Teresia de Massu (I’ll refer to her as MRT) is kind of a mystery! Her siblings’ births are in the Beaufort records, but not hers. We’ve seen her birth listed as both Beaufort, Luxembourg, and Düren, Germany. Her marriage record wasn’t in Beaufort or Reuland. And her death record wasn’t in Reuland, Beaufort, or Kruchten; but we knew MRT was noted as deceased in her son Joannes Karl Wolff’s marriage in 1788, and in her daughter Maria Theresia Wolff’s 1789 marriage. Then we discovered that MRT’s husband had remarried in 1787. So we knew she’d died sometime between 1767 (when her last child was born) and her husband’s 1787 third marriage.

MRT is a prime example of why we need to look in more than just the expected places for records. Often, we will look at baptism sponsors and where they are from when we’re having a hard time finding a family member in records. Then we’ll check those locations. In this case, we looked through MRT’s children’s baptism records and noted that her son Joannes Joseph Peter Wolff (who became a priest) had a sponsor named Joannes Peter Massu, a pastor in Schankweiler. MRT had a brother named Jean-Pierre Massu and, according to the Penninger family tree contained in “Manual Des Fondations De Bourses D’Etude” by J P Koltz, Jean-Pierre Massu had become a priest. We started looking through Schankweiler, Germany, church records for signs of MRT or her family members and that’s where we found her 1753 marriage record.

Maria Regina Teresia de Massu’s marriage to Joannes Francis George Wolff in Schankweiler, Germany

I’m not even sure which parish (outside of Beaufort or Burg-Reuland) we first searched for MRT’s death record in – it’s a bit of a blur. But, I know our first clue to look for her in Basbellain came when we saw her son Joannes Joseph Peter Wolff’s death record stated that he had also been a pastor in Basbellain along with Weweler and Burg-Reuland. Then we began looking through the Basbellain marriage records for MRT’s marriage. Unfortunately, the Basbellain marriage records didn’t start until 1754. Since MRT’s first child was born in June 1754 we knew were probably looking for a marriage record between September 1751 & 1753. I looked through the 1754 records just in case and saw that the Basbellain priest at that time was Joannes Ignatio Klein (probably a relative of MRT’s mother).

At the time we were so focused on looking for MRT’s marriage record that it didn’t occur to me to continue looking through Basbellain for her death. But after we’d “followed the priest” to Schankweiler and discovered her marriage there, we started paying a lot more attention to which parishes family priests were serving in. Priests were very important figures in daily life during this time and because of a priest who died in the 17th century they were even more important to our family.

MRT’s mother Maria Magdalena Klein is descended from a man named Pierre Penninger. Pierre had a grandson also named Pierre Penninger who became a Catholic priest. The younger Pierre donated money during his life and in his will for scholarships to be established at the Jesuit seminary. Pierre’s relatives had first dibs on these scholarships and, as a result, the Penninger family tree was well documented. The Penninger family tree in “Manual Des Fondations De Bourses D’Etude” by J P Koltz has been extraordinarily helpful to us AND the Penninger scholarships have led to many family members becoming priests.

At this point, we were back to following around priests in hopes of finding MRT’s death record when it occurred to us that her son Joannes Joseph Peter Wolff had been assigned to her home parish, BUT not until 1785. We needed to check where he was before 1785 in case MRT’s death record would be there. That led us right back to Basbellain. And, lo and behold, we found her 1782 death recorded in Basbellain, Luxembourg, by her son Joannes Joseph Peter Wolff.

Maria Regina Teresia de Massu Wolff’s death record in Basbellain, Luxembourg. Her son was the priest in Basbellain parish and he recorded her death in the church registers.

Neither Schankweiler or Basbellain were places we would’ve expected to find MRT until we started following around family priests. We still have not come across her birth record – if you have any ideas or hints please let us know! We’re hoping to hear back on some Düren records that we’ve requested because her marriage and death records say she was from Marcodurum – also know as Düren. In MRT’s daughter Maria Carola Antonetta Wolff’s baptism record there’s a sponsor Maria Magdalena Massu of Düren (probably MRT’s mother). A history of Burg Reuland from the 15th to 18th centuries by Willi Wittrock and K D Klauser entitled “Vom Burgort zur Herrschaft:15.-18. Jahrhundert,” refers to MRT as being from the Düren area.

Maybe the de Massu family moved to Düren after her brother’s 1724 birth in Beaufort. And maybe that is where MRT’s father died. There is also a village called Dürler in the commune of Burg-Reuland. The Dürler/Düren situation has caused some confusion for us – since Durler seems more plausible due to its proximity – but we have ruled out Dürler as MRT’s place of birth.

*Please note that Basbellain, Beaufort, Burg-Reuland, Dürler, Kruchten, and Schankweiler were all part of Luxembourg during this time period. Düren was not part of Luxembourg. Today, Basbellain & Beaufort are part of Luxembourg; Burg-Reuland & Dürler are part of Belgium; and Kruchten & Schankweiler are part of Germany.*

Konzen Family Books

Hi everyone!  I’ve been working on some Konzen family books.  One book is on the Angela Susanna Konzen & Peter Hansen family and one book is Peter Konzen & Theresa Wolff’s descendants – Theodore, Mathias, John, and Margaretha.  I am looking for more information, stories, and photographs for the books.  If you have anything you’d like to submit for the books, you can email them to me at konzengenealogy at

Living people will be included in the books, but their birth dates and places will not be included.  I’ll post more information on the books throughout the process.  If you are interested in one of these books please let me know (and tell me which one) by commenting on this post or emailing me.  This will help give me an idea of how I’ll need to have the books printed and bound.  Please pass the word to relatives about the books and let them know to contact me with family information and any stories or photographs they would like included in the books.

I’m excited about this and I hope everyone else is, too!

Also, please let me know if you see any errors in the family trees on this blog and I will make the changes to them and carry those changes forward to the books.