Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Hills Are Alive, But Maria Isn't

Genealogy can be tricky when your ancestors have been fictionalized. Four great-grandchildren of Captain Georg von Trapp of Sound of Music fame have a singing act, and will be appearing together in a movie next year. They have two family trees: a real one, and a second dreamt up on Broadway.

The four are the grandchildren of Werner von Trapp, the younger of the two boys -- and the fourth of seven children -- depicted in The Sound of Music as Kurt (the child Julie Andrews remembers to include in her bedtime prayers with the line, "God bless Kurt.")

The von Trapp youngsters also remain close to grandfather Werner's eldest sister, their great-aunt Agathe -- portrayed as Liesl ("I am 16 going on 17") in the musical.
Werner, Agathe and sister Maria (the real-life name of the movie's second-oldest daughter, Louisa) are the last surviving members of the original Trapp Family Singers, who fled Nazi-occupied Austria in the 1930s after their father, a widowed naval officer, married their governess.

Three children added to the singing family after Georg and Maria von Trapp were wed are also still alive. [Link]
Joe Beine blogged about the real-life Maria von Trapp earlier this month.

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