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Arno Bourggraff

Arno 18 Jahre

The Family Bourggraff in the Thirty Years' War

The Thirty Years' War from 1618 to 1648 was e conflict over hegemony (supremacy) in Germany and Europe and a religion war. In this time, the regent Isabel Clara Eugenia, from Spain takes en national census. 

Meanwhile, I found out that in Trotten in 1602 and 1620 there was twice an entry called Bourgraff, in the Préfectur Bastogne. In the French-language report you will find on the website at: “Franc-hommes”, there is a detailed report on this state in the late Middle Ages. "Franc-hommes" is a state that belonged neither to the nobles nor to the citizens or the non-free. The "Franc-homme" (Freih-Mann / Frei-Mann), in fact, was this state, free of all taxes and duties. The Franc homme, but had to make annual muster with horse and armor (sword and lance) in Bastogne for muster. Moreover, when his master / count / duke or king called he had to follow him to war. The sons of Franc-hommes were not allowed to marry outside the state, otherwise they lost their privileges. Nor were they allowed to practice any other profession than "landowners". They possessed a “Fief” or a land property ("Alleu" and "Fiefs" in French) which could be divided to the sons. For most, however, the land was overwritten only the eldest son. Also, they were not allowed to sell it. The land was not pledged. Actually, they were only beneficiaries. The beginnings of this estate can be found even before Charles 5th in the 12th century. How it came to this is not yet clear. Were they noblemen of the rank or were they merits acquired by men in the service of the king? The place, Troine, Trotten, where the Bourggraffs already lived in the 16th century, belonged to the French-speaking part of Luxembourg. When in 1839 a large part of Luxembourg (today's province Luxembourg) Belgium was added, however, Troine remained Luxembourgish. Maybe they spoke there as in the surrounding villages "Letzeburech".

This Michel Bourggraff is the Grandfather from Nicolaus and his brothers   Michel, Joannis, Vincentius, Elisabeth and his probably born 1560. At en census the elders and married mans was names than first family man. In the same document on an other side wee find en place over Michel Bourkes. He is an Freemans too a he had different estates in en else village. We now that the Bourggraff family to live in the Bourkes Sondag house. Is possible that this house was en farm or court from en nobleman. In different marriage contract and testament from the 18. Century it was to be that the Bourggraff family do live in a big farm. Someone more family does live in this house.In the 17- 18. Census wee find often en Bourrgraff, what was godfather to be children that was not related. To be godfather was very expensive and the godfather mast to be a riche person.

In the Bourggraff- Family wee find a lot of priest and wee see in document from 1678 Dominicus Joes Bourggraff priest in Bleyfeld, like godfather from Elisabeth Bourggraff. He was the brother from the father from Elisabeth and brother from Nicolaus. Wee see different style to write the name Bourggraff, like Burgraf, Burggraff, Borgrave…Tombstone with coat of arms of the family Monflin.

 The originally name in Germany was Burggraf ( too mean “count in e castle”) the name Bourggraff with the letter O is French. It is possible that the Bourggraff family came from French Luxembourg (Arlon) and has from en Count e big farm in Trotten, where they can to be living than “Freemans”.   In this document we see a birth certificate from Nicolas one grandson from Michel. He was born 1673 an the name from his father was writhe “Michaele Bourggraff”


  Interpretation: In the year 1673 On 22nd April was born Michaile Bourggraff from the founder house Bourens Sondags and Catharina, his wife, baptized the son and was given the name Nicolaus. Godfather Nicolaus Burggraff and Joanna Matz from the parrish.

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