Arno 12 Jahre


Arno Bourggraff

Arno 18 Jahre

Bourggraff History

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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Priests in the Bourggraff family from the 18th to the 20th century

         There is a exceptionally high number of priests who have emerged from this house.The chronicle of the village    Trotten tells about them: Johann Michel Burggraff became chaplain in Dahl in 1759 where he read early mass from 1761 till 1767. On 20th February 1775 he was appointed pastor of the Blasiuschurch in Berlé (today´s Belgium) where he died on 5th  March 1785.

  1. Johann Michel´s nephew Nikolaus Burggraff was registered as a bachelor at the faculty of arts in Trier (Germany) in 1747. He received the ordination from his father (!) in the presence of the court of justice in Hoffelt (Lux) in April 1751.
  2. Another Nikolaus Burggraff, son of Johann and Maria Catharina Burggraff-Henz studied in Luxemburg and received his ordination by the court in Trotten (Lux) on 5th January 1758. A Nikolaus Burggraff was vicar in Stolzemburg (Lux) in 1771.
  3. Michel Burggraff was a further son of Johann Burggarff-Henz. His father was juror at the court in Trotten. Michel was born on 16th May 1747. He studied in Trier and was ordained priest on 3rd June 1772. Johann Burggraff-Henz was Nikolaus Bourggraff-Cramp´s brother, whose sons Michel and Johann-Peter married to Oberbesslingen (Lux).
  4. There was another priest from Trotten, Leonardus Burggraff. He was Johann Gregor Burggraff´s of the house “Burkessonntag” and his wife´s Anna Margaretha´s son and was baptized on 15th April 1741. He was ordained priest in Trier on 1st June 1765. He was chaplain at the castle of Wiltz (Lux) from 1765 to 1783. On 27th Mrach 1783 he became pastor in Eschweiler/Wiltz (Lux) where he died on 14th April 1817.
  5. Vinzenz Burggraff, a son of Johannes Bourggraff-Burkes, was born on 9th June 1744. He studied in Trier where he was ordained priest on 6th March 1773. He worked in Holzem in the parish Manderfeld (today´s Belgium). During the French Revolution he lived in Trotten where he read early mass. He died there on 21st September 1823.
  6. Nikolaus, a cousin or brother of Vinzenz, was baptized on 24th November 1758. His godfather Nikolaus Burggraff was priest in Trotten. In 1774 he was curate in Brandscheid Bleialf (today´s Germany).He died in July 1793. He appointed his cousin or brother Vinzenz as his universal heir. The will was co-signed by the priests of Bleialf and Manderscheid.
  7. Michel or Johann Michel Bourggraff, a son of Michel Bourggraff-Connart, was born in Oberbesslingen on 21st July 1778 and ordained in Cologne (Germany) on 12th June 1802. He died at the early age of 24 on 15th Ferbruary 1803. In a grave chapel in Oberbesslingen there is a gravestone with the signs of the priest, chalice and candelabra, and the name Michael Burgrave written on it. This is very probably the priest Michael Bourggraff.The register of Pastor Eugen Jost reports about  another son of Michel Bourggraff-Connart. Accordingly to that Paul was born on 13th March 1776 and ordained priest on 19th November 1790. He as well died when he was only 29 years old. Those two brothers lived during the French Revolution, a very difficult time for the clergy.

There are probably no more priests in the Bourggraff´s family until the 20th century.

  1. Balthasar, called Balthes, a son of Nikolaus Bourggraff (a great-grandson of Michael Bourggraff-Connart) and Odile Fis, was born in Oberbesslingen on 19th October 1904. His godfather, his mother´s brother, was the priest Balthasar Fis. In his case it was as for many religious professions: a godfather who was a priest led the godchild the way to the priesthood.

An exception was Pierre Bourggraff who came from the house Hens in Trotten and whose godfather was Petrus Hironymus Valentiny, priest in Oberbesslingen. Pastor Valentiny led the so called Besslinger Akademie (a school for up to 60 children). Even if his godfather financed Pierre´s studies, he didn´t become a priest. Pierre Bourggraff was the first Luxemburgish Professor at the University of Liège (Belgium).

See also: Professor Pierre Burggraff

In the USA,there were two priests. Aloysius and Alvin Burggraff

Aloysius is the son from Henry Burggraff. He is the uncle from Alvin.

Alvin is Henry and Mary’s grandson, and the son of Richard and Anna Burggraff

Father Aloysius Burggraff

  Aloysius und Father Alvin Burggraff

   Father Aloysius Burggraff, was born in Royalton, Minnesota, on July 28, 1898. His grandfather was Jean Bourgraff from Helzingen Luxemburg. Aloysius was an enginee-ring student at the University of Minnesota when the U.S. entered World War I. He promptly joined the U.S. Army Chemical Engineers for the duration.After the war he returned to the U of M and completed his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering in 1920. That same year he entered the Paulist novitiate. He was professed on September 15, 1926 and ordained a priest on June 9, 1927.Immediately after ordination he was appointed the first superior of the new Juniorate in Baltimore, teaching science at the Sulpician St. Charles College as well. After brief assignments as parish assistant and missionary in Minneapolis and Washington he returned to St. Paul's College as both teacher and rector while earning his PhD in Chemistry at Catholic University.  In 1944 Fr. Burggraff became pastor of St. Austin's parish in Austin, Texas, but three years later was transferred to New York City to work at the Information Center at St. Paul the Apostle parish there.By 1952 he was back in Baltimore and director of the Information Center in that city. During this period he worked at the Center, wrote a column for The Baltimore Catholic Review and, in 1960, published his popular "Handbook for New Catholics." By the mid-1960's his health began a steady decline and, when the Information Center moved to a new location in early 1965, he resigned his position and moved to Washington to teach Ethics at St. Paul's College. In May of 1966 he suffered a fatal heart attack. He went away May 29, 1966, 67 years old at the time of his death and did not quite reach his 40th Anniversary of Ordination. He is buried in Baltimore.

See Father Alvin Burggraff

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Pierre Burggraff: Professor at the university of Liège (Belgium)

                                                      Petrus, Peter or Pierre was born on 28th July 1803 as the second child of the marriedPierre Burggraff coupleNikolaus Bourggraff and Anna Valentini in Trotten (Luxembourg).His great-grandfather Joannis Bourggraff is Nikolaus Bourggraff-Kramp´s brother.Peter was able to read when he was only 9 years old and without having visited a school. He lived at his maternal godfather´s house, Chaplain Valentini in Oberbesslingen from 1810. The chaplain has founded a private school, the Besslinger academy, where he taught up to 60 pupils. Peter certainly came to know his distant relatives, who had married into Oberbesslingen in the 1770ies, they were descendants of Michel and Johannes Peter Bourggraff, whose father Nikolaus was originally from Trotten.

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The origins of the name “Burggraf”


The origins of the name “Burggraf”:Original article at the German language edition of the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia.The burggrave (lat. praefectus, castelanus or burggravius) was a medieval feudal office. The domain of a burggrave was called burggraviat (lat. prefectura). The burggraves belonged to the landowning lesser nobility (MB disagree: not necessarily as they could also be unfree ministerialis or knights) and on occasion adopted their office’s designation as part of their name.

The term burggrave covers a number of different aspects. Burggraves could either be in service to a king, to a bishop or to another lord. Their duties could be administrative, military and/or jurisdictional. Some burggraves only had military command over a castle and their role was limited to its maintenance and defence. Others on the other hand managed to expand their lordship over a larger territory.The first mention of a burggrave in the Holy Roman Empire was or Ratisbon (ger. Regensburg). In the first half of the 11th century, Arnold of Saint Emmeran cites a certain Burchard as ‘prefectus Rati-sbonensis’. The foundation of this burggraviat took place sometime between 953 and 972, maybe around the new year of 961. After Burchard, as of ca. 980 the burggraves of Ratisbon belonged to the House of Babo (ger. Babonen).

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