Michel van Beethoven (1684-1749)
A baker by training, Beethoven’s paternal great-grandfather also traded art and lace.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1712-73)
Born in Flanders, Beethoven’s paternal grandfather was Kapellmeister at the Bonn court and ran a wine business.
María Josepha Poll (1714-75)
Beethoven was nicknamed ‘The Spaniard’, possibly due to his alcoholic paternal grandmother’s Spanish roots.
Johann van Beethoven (c1739-92)
Beethoven’s tyrant father was a tenor at the Bonn court and alcoholic. The composer battled to ensure he supported his sons.
Maria Magdalena Keverich (1746-87)
Beethoven was fond of his mother, but she died of TB while he was a teenager. Three of her seven children survived.
Kaspar Karl van Beethoven (1774-1815)
Eldest of Beethoven’s younger brothers, he worked in Vienna’s Finance Department. Married Johanna Reiss, 1806.
Nikolaus Johann van Beethoven (1776-1848)
Like Karl, Johann followed Ludwig to Vienna where he worked in a pharmacy before making a fortune in Linz.
Karl van Beethoven (1806-54)
Subject of a custody battle betwee uncle, Beethoven, and mother. Attempted suicide. Served in military, married and had children.
Johanna van Beethoven, née Reiss (c1784-1868)
Beethoven distrusted his sister-in-law, whom he called the Queen of the Night.
Therese van Beethoven, née Obermayer (1787-1828)
Therese had an illegitimate daughter, Amalie Waldmann, with Beethoven’s brother Johann.