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Adrian Hay

Adrian is a passionate man who have traced most of his family tree back to the late 1700's using birth and marriage certificates and census returns.

Born Manchester England in 1967, he moved to London in 1987 and now he lives in Kent with his wife and daughter.

"I have always loved Music and studied up to "A" level at college. I also play the Classical Guitar.

My other hobbies are Genealogy, computers and motorcycling. I find the life of Beethoven fascinating and have found the internet a huge help with my research on Therese."

Adrian Hay

Please, pay a visit to Adrian's website about Therese Obermayer.

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Therese van Beethoven née Obermayer 1787 - 1828

On the18th of August 1787 Therese Obermayer was born in Vienna, Austria. Daughter of Wolfgang Obermayer a master baker and his wife Theresia Obermayer nee Waldmann. In these early days as she grew up with her brother and sisters, Leopold, Agnes, Katharina and Josefa she would have had no idea of the twists and turns of fate that would result with her being the Sister in Law of one of the most famous composers of all time. Ludwig van Beethoven.

When Therese grew up she became a house maid and it was on the 30th January 1807 in Vienna that the 19 year old young girl became a mother giving birth to her first daughter in Vienna in the Parish of Margarethen. The midwife was Anna Stadtler and the baby girl took the name of Amalia Waldmann as her father was simply listed as illegal on the birth certificate. What possessed Therese to revert to her mothers maiden name for both herself and her new baby daughter on the certificate is not known. Perhaps the embarrassment it would have brought to the Obermayer household to have an illegitimate child at such a young age may have been the reason. But it was a name the young Amalia was to keep many years after her mother reverted back to Obermayer.

Amalia was baptised on the same day she was born and her godparent was listed as her Aunt, Therese's sister Katharina Obermayer. The young woman was clearly not in a position at that time to take on the full responsibility of motherhood and the baby Amalia found herself in a foster home and then an orphanage.

Amazingly just over a year later on the 23rd April 1808 the now 20 year old Therese Obermayer once again found herself in the same position and had her second illegitimate child. This time the child took the family name and was called Magdalene Obermayer but sadly her life was to be cut short and she died shortly after her first birthday on the 26th May 1809.

Amalia Obermayer

It was in the next few years that Therese would make a decision that would have an significant impact on the rest of her life and earn her position in the history books of Ludwig van Beethoven. Still a housemaid she took a position working for Nikolaus Johann van Beethoven, brother of the famous composer. Nikolaus was a successful Apotheker (Chemist) in Linz and had a substantial wealth compared to his composer brother who struggled at times to find his work financially rewarded during Europe's Napoleonic wars.

The professional relationship clearly turned to romance and Nikolaus Johann announced to his brother Ludwig his intention to marry Therese. This infuriated Beethoven to the extent that he travelled to Linz in an attempt to stop the marriage in the courts. He considered that Therese was not a suitable person to take the family name and used unfavourable comments to describe Therese and her daughter Amalia. His attempts in the courts to stop the marriage failed and Therese at the age of 25 years married Nikolaus Johann van Beethoven on 8th November 1812 in Linz, Austria.

The young Amalia now 5 years of age joined her mother and step father at the estate in Gneixendorf. Here she would have grown up with no brothers or sisters as it is believed that Therese after the birth of her second child was no longer able to mother children.

It is clear from history books that the composer continued with his dislike of both Therese and Amalia and disapproved of his younger brothers choice of family. However it must be noted that Beethoven did not speak to highly of his other sister in law and had a custody battle with her over his Nephew Karl after his other brother died. He certainly appeared to have strong opinions and was not afraid of voicing them.

As Ludwig van Beethoven aged and his health, hearing and also finances suffered we know that in1826 he stayed with Nikolaus, Therese and Amalia at the family estate. In company with his nephew Karl he spent some time there and continued to compose music at that time. Therese and Amalia now 19 would have lived in the same house as the composer however he had his own apartment within the estate.

The next date of note is unfortunately a sad one for on the 20th November 1828 Therese van Beethoven nee Obermayer died at Gneixendorf of a nervous fever. Amalia now 21 years of age is understood to have been the sole beneficiary of her mothers fortune which was 50% of the household.

Just over one year later on 11th February 1830 Amalia Waldmann married Karl Stolzle a forest commissioner from Krems. The marriage took place in Vienna so we are assuming that Amalia returned there after the death of her mother. Later that year Amalia and Karl Stolzle had their only child Karl on 24th November 1830. Possible due to birth complications Amalia died a few months later at the age of 24 on 10th March 1831.

I believe over the next few years the Stolzle family became glass manufacturers and Karl senior got re married. Therese's only grandchild Karl was to have a large and successful family with ten children. One by the name of Gustav Stolzle married an English woman Elizabeth Wallis and they had three children. Otto Stolzle who served and died during WW1 with the Royal Engineers and his younger brother Ronald Walter Stolzle who during WW2 was a Royal Air Force Pilot Officer who died over Germany in 1941. Gustav and Elizabeth had a daughter though. Doris Anna Stolzle the only surviving relative on this side of the tree.

One morning in Cheshire Therese Obermayers great great grand daughter Doris Anna Stolzle sat with her grandson and put the family tree onto paper. As a child I was fascinated by this and years later decided to fully research the tree. With the help of birth, marriage and death certificates along with books and material and help from the internet I was able not only to confirm the family tree but also greatly enlarge it. Working my way back to my four greats Grandmother Therese van Beethoven nee Obermayer.

My hope now is that I can work my way forward with the tree through the Stolzle family and in turn find out more about Therese and that time.

© Adrian Hay
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