This Strauss Saturday, I’m getting you acquainted with Franz Borgias. He was the father of Johann Strauss the elder.
Apart from three churches there aren’t, as far as I know, any buildings left in Vienna with relation to him.
Getting some information about the birth of his two younger daughters has been unsuccessful until now. A shame, but something to look into.
I hope you’ll like this new bit of Strauss family history.
Franz Borgias Strauss
Franz Borgias Strauss was born on 10 October 1764 in the Viennese district Leopoldstadt.
He worked as a travelling waiter in Vienna before becoming a tavern landlord.
On 23 October 1797, he married Barbara Dollmann, the daughter of a Viennese coachman, in the Leopoldskirche in Leopoldstadt.
The couple had six children: Ernestine, Anna, Johann, Franz, Josefa and Antonia. Four of them died in infancy. Their eldest son Johann was to become the founder of the musical Strauss dynasty.
Business seems to have been unsuccessful for Franz Borgias at a certain time as his daughter Josefa was placed under the care of a foster mother.
Barbara Strauss died in 1811 at the Allgemeine Krankenhaus of slow fever. She was buried in the Währinger Allgemeiner Friedhof, which was later turned into a park.
Two years later, Franz Borgias married Katharina Theresia Feldberger in the Johann Nepomukkirche in Leopoldstadt.
Franz Borgias was found drowned in a Danube waterway on 5 April 1816. His body was judicially examined at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus (General Hospital). He was buried in the Währinger Allgemeiner Friedhof. His estate, mainly clothes and furniture from the tavern, were sold to pay his debts and to provide for his widow.
This picture shows one of the courtyards of the Allgemeines Krankenhaus in 1904/05 (my picture from a picture I got at the Wien Museum).
Upon the death of their father Frans Borgias’ daughter Ernestine and her brother Johann were placed under the guardianship of the tailor Anton Müller.
There are three churches in Leopoldstadt which have something to do with this Strauss family ancestor.
Franz Borgias, and his children Ernestine and Anna, were baptised in the Leopoldkirche. This was also the church where Franz and Barbara got married.
Johann and Franz, Franz Borgias’ sons, were baptised in the Josefskirche which was to play a role in the lives of future generations of the Strauss family too.
The Johann Nepomukkirche was the church where Franz Borgias married Katharina Feldberger. His grandson Josef married his childhood sweetheart Caroline in the same church in 1857.
As said above, apart from three churches there aren’t, any buildings left in Vienna where Franz Borgias worked and/or lived. Excerpts from the Leopoldstadt registers of baptism, marriage and death show that he occupied various houses. The most important of them were the taverns Zum heiligen Florian and Zum guten Hirten.
From 1803 till 1808 Franz Borgias ran the Zum heiligen Florian inn (Leopoldstadt 53, now Floßgasse 7). After an interruption of three years, he ran the inn again from 1812 till 1816. Johann Strauss Father was born here on 14 March 1804. His brother, called Franz Borgias after his father, was born here on 2 September 1805 and died here the next year on 26 March.
Picture of Zum heiligen Florian taken from Frank Miller’s Johann Strauss Vater. Der musikalische Magier des Wiener Biedermeier.
Picture of Zum heiligen Florian taken from Peter Kemp’s The Strauss Family.
This is what Zum heiligen Florian looked like back in 1902 (my pictures from pictures I got at the Wien Museum).
In 1808 the Strauss family moved to the nearby address Leopoldstadt 432 (nowadays Therese-Krones-Park), where, until 1811, Franz Borgias ran an inn in the house Zum guten Hirten. It was located next to the Theater in der Leopoldstadt but doesn’t exist anymore. Many famous artists lived in the house. Therese Krones, Ferdinand Raimund, Adolf Bäuerle and Wenzel Müller to name but a few. It was the last home of Barbara Strauss. Antonia, the youngest child of Franz Borgias and Barbara died here on 15 August 1809. She was only ten months old.
Most pictures have been taken by me during my visits to Vienna, unless mentioned otherwise.
I found the birth and marriage registrations on this website.
The notification of Franz Borgias’ death comes from the Wiener Zeitung of 15 April 1816.