Westerholt (noble sex) - Westerholt (Adelsgeschlecht)

Family coat of arms of those of Westerholt

Westerholt is the name of a Westphalian noble family . The lords of Westerholt belonged to the primeval nobility in Vest Recklinghausen .


Westerholt Castle , Herten (around 1858)


The family was first mentioned in a document in 1225 with the knight Henricus de Westerholte . [1] giving the name of the headquarters of the family, the castle Westerholt , located in what is now the district Westerholt the city Herten in the district of Recklinghausen .

Spread and lines

The family spread in several major lines early on and also acquired large and rich estates in the Münsterland and the Netherlands . Bernhard von Westerholt died in 1540 as abbot of the Iburg monastery near Osnabrück . Heinrich von Westerholt acquired the rulership of Raesfeld by marrying Agnes von Raesfeld in 1565 .

The addition of Gysenberg to the noble family name von Westerholt came about through an imperial order of March 27, 1744. In his will of March 30, 1725, the canon of Hildesheim Adolph Arnold von Gysenberg had his estate Henrichenburg to Joseph Clemens August Maria Freiherr von Westerholt on the condition that he and his successors add the name Gysenberg to their name Westerholt. This is how the gender name of Westerholt-Gysenberg came about .

The heir to the Westerholt-Alst line married Ludolf Friedrich Adolf von Boenen around 1770 , from an aristocratic family from Middle Westphalia mentioned in 1152, which died out in the male line under the name of Boenen in 1816. Because Ludolf Friedrich Adolf von Boenen was elevated to the status of imperial baron in 1779 and the status of imperial count in 1790 , removing his own name with the name of his wife von Westerholt and Gysenberg . A Rhenish and a Westphalian line later existed under this name.

The last in the male line of Westerholt was Dr. jur. Adriaan Jan Alexander baron van Westerholt, born in Warnsveld on October 3, 1894, died in Lochem on December 17, 1972 ( Netherlands ).

Status surveys

On July 15, 1372, Reiner and Adolf von Westerholt were given the Vestische Reichsvogtei and the imperial ban on the imperial courts by Emperor Karl IV. [2] Heinrich von Westerholt was raised from the tribe and the line Hackfort on January 18, 1650 in Vienna to the status of imperial baron. A diploma was not triggered. Borchard Frederik Willem von Westerholt received the Imperial French Baronate on January 27, 1813 . A Dutch recognition of the baron title for himself and his siblings took place on February 19, 1820.

Johann Jacob Freiherr von Westerholt from the tribe Westerholt, Elector by Cologne and Trier Chamberlain and princely thyme and taxi shear Councilor and Lord Chamberlain , was on September 22, 1790 Munich Elector Karl Theodor von Pfalz Bayern as imperial vicar in the imperial counts charged.

In the Kingdom of Bavaria , on September 6, 1813, Alexander Graf von und zu Westerholt, princely thurn and taxic privy councilor in Regensburg and son of Johann Jacob Graf von Westerholt, was entered in the nobility register with the count class .

coat of arms

The family coat of arms is split. Right in black with a silver bar and left in silver with a black bar. A growing silver swan stands on the helmet, with its outspread wings marked like the shield. The helmet cover is black and silver. [3]

Tribe list and namesake


Pedigree of those "von Westerholt". The owner of the estate is highlighted in green.

Wessel von Westerholt (approx. 1300– after 1378), Burgrave of Westerholt. He handed over his free property, the castle, to the Cologne church as an open house and received it back as a fief . He belonged to the family that has the following Reyner as the progenitor. The exact relationship is not known.

1. Wessel von Westerholt (approx. 1340–1388), inherited the castle, captain, fatally injured in the Dortmund feud .
1 Johann von Westerholt (approx. 1383–1445), is enfeoffed with Westerholt in 1395, remained childless

Reyner (Renerus) von Westerholt (approx. 1260 – after 1307), judge and magistrate in Recklinghausen. A magistrate was comparable to the mayor's office of the not yet fully independent Recklinghausen. The judges from the Electorate of Cologne presided.

1. Borchard von Westerholt (approx. 1296–1375), hereditary bailiff of the nine and a half imperial courts in Vest Recklinghausen
1. Hendrikus von Westerholt (probably 1342–1411), one of the founding magisters of the University of Cologne and its 9th rector (March 25 to July 28, 1391)
2. Alf (Adolph) von Westerholt (approx. 1349–1421), together with his brother Reyner enfeoffed with the vestic imperial courts, in 1399 enfeoffed with the above mentioned Johann († 1445) with the castle Westerholt.
1. Aleff von Westerholt (approx. 1380–1446), lived with Borchard († 1454) at Westerholt Castle and gradually sold his property to them.
3. Reyner von Westerholt (approx. 1346–1416), hereditary bailiff and judge of Recklinghausen, used his influence to increase the property and, together with his brother Alf, took possession of the castle.
1. Borchard von Westerholt (approx. 1370–1454), formally enfeoffed in 1417 by the Archbishop of Cologne with Westerholt Castle. 1421 Division of the house with his cousin Aleff († 1446) (sd).
1. Reyner von Westerholt (approx. 1400 – approx. 1479) became a priest while his second wife was still alive and renounced the rights of his first-born. He is the progenitor of the "New Bourgeois Recklinghausen Line" from Westerholt, which has occupied the mayor's post for generations.
2. Bernd (Bernhard) von Westerholt (approx. 1415–1494), Lord of Westerholt and hereditary bailiff and thus the progenitor of the following noble lines. Acquired the Uhlenbrock estate.
1. Bernhard († 1540), abbot of the Iburg monastery near Osnabrück
2. Hermann (approx. 1448–1508), hereditary bailiff, enfeoffed with Sickenbeck Castle and in 1495 with Westerholt Castle. His wife brought the Dinkelborg and Koppel estates into the marriage.
This generation also includes the following Heinrich Grymhardt, whose exact ancestry is not known. However, it is relatively certain that he belongs to the family based in Recklinghausen:
Heinrich Grymhart de Westerholt (de Recklinghausen), (approx. 1350– August 12, 1419 in Cologne), 5th Rector of the University of Cologne (1390), envoy of the Elector and Archbishop of Cologne, 1409 envoy at the Council in Pisa

Older line to Bernt (Bernhard) von Westerholt

Bernt (Bernhard) von Westerholt (1480–1554), heir to the Westerholtische estates, his wife Berta von Lembeck brought the Lembeck estates into the family.

1. Bernhard von Westerholt (approx. 1520–1596), Lord of Lembeck
1. Mathias von Westerholt (1556–1618), inherited Lembeck
1. Bernhard (approx. 1590–1646) sold the indebted property to the later named Johann von Westerholt
2. Johann von Westerholt (1563–1628), Canon and Chancellor of the Bishop of Münster, married the widow of Bernhard von Westerholt (1554–1592) and thus became the guardian of Hermann Hektor von Westerholt († 1627) (sd). Acquired the lordship of Lembeck from his indebted nephew.
1. Nikolaus von Westerholt (approx. 1601–1662), sold the Lembeck estate to Bernhard von Westerholt zu Hackfort († 1638) (sd) in 1630 and in 1643 acquired the Westerholt estate from Nikolaus Vinzenz von Westerholt († 1667) (sd),
1. Anna Elisabeth, only daughter ⚭ her fourth cousin Colonel Hermann Otto von Westerholt († 1708)
2. Hermann (approx. 1602– after 1650), Imperial Rittmeister, Drost von Bocholt
1. Franz Wilhelm (1650–1674), officer in the Dutch service
2. Hermann von Westerholt (approx. 1516–1567), colonel, enfeoffed with Westerholt Castle and the other main fiefdoms.
1. Bernhard von Westerholt (drowned in the Rhine approx. 1554–1592), 1575–1581 Canon of Münster, then Lord of Westerholt
1. Hermann Hektor (approx. 1586–1627), Herr zu Westerholt, remained under guardianship for a long time because of his youth and later because of physical and mental weakness, including from stepfather Johann von Westerholt († 1628) (sd). His marriage was childless.
2. Johann von Westerholt auf Uhlenbrock (approx. 1540 – after 1595), 1581–1595 Canon of Münster, was involved in a bloody dispute in 1588, which is why he had to renounce his benefice in 1595, after which he resided in the Uhlenbrock house near Buer , which then in 1613, in order to press the Westerholtischen debts, was redeemed.
1. Bernhard von Westerholt (approx. 1600–1639), by marriage Mr. zu Wilbring, inherited the Westerholt property after the death of cousin Hermann Hektor
1. Nikolaus Vinzenz (approx. 1625–1667), his guardians sold the over-indebted Westerholt estate to Nikolaus von Westerholt († 1662) (sd). He lost disputes that he had when he came of age.
1. Franz Ludwig (1661–1708), finally renounced his claims
1. Johann Karl Albert (1695–1739), owner of the Vilckrath estate in the Duchy of Berg through his mother, postmaster in Koblenz through marriage .
1. Johann Jakob (1727 Koblenz – 1814), inherited the postmaster's position, from 1755 in the service of Thurn and Taxis in Regensburg , there then Oberhofmarschall and finally as president of the court economy. He was also a chamberlain from the Electorate of Trier and Cologne.
1. Alexander Ferdinand (1763–1827 Regensburg) ⚭ Winfriede Countess von Jenison-Walworth (1767–1825), statesman and scholar, conducting secret council in the service of Thurn und Taxis. Always suffered from lack of money despite above-average salary [4]
1. Karl Theodor (1795–1863), Karl Schlund became his tutor. Court cavalier at Thurn und Taxis and Bavarian chamberlain. But he couldn't match his father's achievements. After a lucrative second marriage to a Hungarian woman, retired to Giebelbach near Lindau on Lake Constance . In the course of the events around 1848 he got into debt again.
1. Heinrich Friedrich (1820 Calais –1859 Güns in Hungary), officer in the Austrian army ⚭ Countess Sophie von Stainlein-Saalenstein (sister of the composer Ludwig von Stainlein-Saalenstein ), last of the older line [5] [6]

Younger line to Borchhard von Westerholt

Hackfort Castle in the Achterhoek , Gelderland (1601–1981 owned by the Barons van Westerholt van Hackfort)
Burgmannshof in Haselünne (17th to 19th century owned by the family)
Lembeck Castle (owned by the Counts of Westerholt from 1526 to 1708)
Sythen Castle (owned by the family from 1821 to 1965)

Borchhard von Westerholt (approx. 1483–1540 in Dordrecht / Holland), lord of Dinkelborg and owner of the Koppel estate, by marriage lord of Entinge in Dwingeloo (province of Drenthe / Netherlands). Governor of East Friesland, Drost von Vollenhove. Owner of Haus Westerholt in Vollenhove.

1. Hermann (approx. 1514–1592), inherited Koppel, Drost von Vollenhove and zu Dephenehm. Left two daughters.
2. Konrad von Westerholt (approx. 1522–1605), cathedral palace of the diocese of Münster , governor of the government of the Münster monastery from 1578 to 1585
3. Heinrich von Westerholt (approx. 1518–1570 Vorden), Schulte zu Zutphen , governor and judge of the Prince-Bishop of Münster in Friesland. Inherited House Entinge. Agnes von Schulenburg and Hackfort (granddaughter of Gosen von Raesfeldt zu Hackfort and Empte ) inherits Hackfort (owned by the Dutch barons van Westerholt until 1981); Together they acquire Empte (the latter remained in the family's possession from 1633 to the middle of the 18th century, then by inheritance to von Merveldt)
1. Borchard von Westerholt (approx. 1566–1631), inherited Hackfort and Entinge, general governor.
1. Henrich von Westerholt zu Hackfort (approx. 1591–1658), receives the Hackfort property and founded the Westerholt-Hackfort line .
2. Bernhard von Westerholt zu Hackfort (approx. 1595 - November 18, 1638 during the siege of Vechta ), Imperial Field Sergeant , inherited the house and estate Entinge in the province of Drenthe, in 1630 acquired the castle and the glory of Lembeck from Nikolaus von Westerholt († 1662) (see below), May 1633 elevation to hereditary imperial count by Emperor Ferdinand II. , Married the second cousin Sophia von Westerholt (see below), who brought the estates of Haus Alst and Haselünne into the marriage. [7]
1. Jakob Ludwig von Westerholt (1627–1669), Jesuit
2. Burckhardt Wilhelm von Westerholt (1622–1682), Lord of Lembeck, to Alst, Haselünne and Lake. Chamberlain of the Electorate of Cologne, Privy Councilor of the Princely Munster and envoy to the Reichstag in Regensburg in 1667
1. Dietrich Conrad von Westerholt (1658–1702), was raised to count in 1700. 1670 to 1692 Lembeck Castle expanded and converted into one of the largest moated castles in the Münsterland. died without male offspring
1st heiress Maria Josepha Anna ⚭ Ferdinand Dietrich Freiherr von Merveldt zu Westerwinkel, Wolbecker Drosten [8]
3. Hermann Otto von Westerholt (1625–1708), Colonel on horseback in the service of the Prince Diocese of Münster ⚭ Anna Elisabeth Freiin von Westerholt, daughter of Nikolaus († 1662), she brought the Westerholt reign into the family
1. Henrich Bernhard Burckhardt Baron von Westerholt (1657 zu Alst – 1708 zu Westerholt) ⚭ his stepsister Henrika Johanna von Aschebroick zu Schönebeck [9] , lord of Westerholt, Alst and Haselünne, princely Münsterscher Privy Councilor
1. Johannes Mathias Engelbert Friedrich Burchard Freiherr von Westerholt (1685–1729), Canon of Hildesheim , Münster and Halberstadt , Electoral Cologne Privy Council, Drost zu Bilderlahe , 1707 as the Electoral Palatinate envoy when the Bishop of Münster took office. Founded a large sandstone monument with the figure of St. Nepomuk for the cathedral in Münster .
2. Ferdinand Otto Freiherr von und zu Westerholt (1682–1741) ⚭ Maria Agnes Freiin von Ketteler zu Sythen . [10] The lineage is in Westerholt-Gysenberg continued with the son of Joseph Clemens August Maria Freiherr von und zu Westerholt-Gysenberg († 1767).
4. Burchard von Westerholt (approx. 1516-approx. 1600), by marriage, master of Alst , Drost of the county of Bentheim
1. Engelbert Georg (approx. 1570–1606), Lord of Alst and Lake; his daughter Sophia von Westerholt becomes the heir, she marries the second cousin Bernhard von Westerholt (see above) on Hackfort († 1638) and inherits Alst and Haselünne.

Westerholt-Gysenberg (of the tribe of Boenen zu Berge)

Berge Castle (owned by the von Boenen and von Westerholt families from 1521 to 1925)
Oberhausen Castle (owned by the family from 1770 to 1908)

Joseph Clemens August Maria Freiherr von und zu Westerholt-Gysenberg , (1720–1767) ⚭ Wilhelmine Franziska von der Reck zur Horst , Kurkölnischer Privy Council, since 1744 first bearer of the united Westerholt-Gysenberg coat of arms. Gysenberg and Henrichenburg were included in the entails , as his maternal great-uncle, the Canon of Hildesheim, Adolph Arnold Robert Freiherr von Gysenberg, had no descendants of his own. Their only child was:

1. Wilhelmine Friderike Franziska Anna Freiin von und zu Westerholt and Gysenberg (1757–1820) ⚭ 1769 Ludolf Friedrich Adolf von Boenen zu Berge (the old Bönen), (1747 in Buer –1828 in Münster), lord of Schloss Berge and Schloss Oberhausen , electoral Cologne and Prince-Bishop Munster budget council. After marrying the Westerholter heiress, he took on the nobility name of his wife. On August 6, 1790, he was raised to the rank of imperial count by the executive vicar, Elector Carl Theodor von Pfalz-Bayern .
1. Maximilian Friedrich Graf von und zu Westerholt-Gysenberg (1772–1854) ⚭ Friederike von Bretzenheim (1771–1816, illegitimate daughter of Elector Carl Theodor ), heir to the disputed Bönen estates, head stable master in the service of the Grand Duke of Kleve and Berg , Joachim Murat
1. Karl Theodor (1799–1850), but died before his father shortly after losing a lawsuit against him.
2. Bernhardine Elisabeth (Bertha) (1821 – before 1890), illegitimate daughter with the domestic servant Dina Becker. since 1847 officially the name Westerholt (without von) but not used publicly ⚭ widower captain gable († 1898), telegraph inspector
1. Selma Giebel (1850–1892) ⚭ the actor Siegwart Friedmann
Arenfels Castle (owned by the family from 1848 to 1951)
3. Friedrich Ludolf Gustav Graf von und zu Westerholt-Gysenberg (1804–1869) ⚭ Johanna Cornelia Charlé (Jenny) (1804 Amsterdam - 1874 Arenfels), founder of the Westerholt-Arenfels line , 1848 purchase and renovation of Arenfels Castle , for which he did the fortune of his Dutch wife was made possible.
1. Karl Theodor Eugen von Westerholt-Arenfels (* 1841 Amsterdam; † 1898) ⚭ Ferdinanda Freiin von Fürstenberg (1858–1941), orderly officer with General von Goeben
1. Fritz Graf von Westerholt-Arenfels (1877 Ahrenfels - 1951) - author of the biography about Max Friedrich Graf Westerholt-Gysenberg († 1854). The Arenfelser Schloss passed into the possession of his eldest daughter after severance payments from numerous other heirs
1. Wilhelmine (1920–1987) ⚭ Baron Theodor Cuno Geyr von Schweppenburg (* 1918) Arenfels Castle is now owned by their son Antonius von Geyr zu Schweppenburg (* 1948).
4. Wilhelm Achill von Westerholt (1806–1854, Canon in Münster)
5. Karoline Annunciata (1810–1865), ∞ with Arthur von Oertzen (1803–1851)
2. Wilhelmine von und zu Westerholt-Gysenberg (1774–1852), was Beethoven's lover ; ⚭ April 24, 1792 Baron Friedrich Clemens von Elverfeldt called Beverförde-Werries
Wilhelm Ludwig Josef Graf von und zu Westerholt-Gysenberg (1784-1852)
3. Wilhelm von und zu Westerholt and Gysenberg (1782–1852) ⚭ Charlotte Freiin von Fürstenberg (1788–1825), heir to the Westerholt estates, 1811–1820 mayor of Buer, district commissioner in the Prussian district of Recklinghausen from 1816 to 1829
1. Friedrich Otto Reichsgraf von und zu Westerholt and Gysenberg (1814–1904) ⚭ Sofie Freiin von Fürstenberg-Herdringen (1823–1894), Fiedeikommissar auf Westerholt, Herr zu Sythen
1. Franz Egon Reichsgraf von und zu Westerholt-Gysenberg (1844–1923), royal Prussian cavalry master, royal chamberlain, member of the Prussian manor house in Berlin, member of the provincial committee and the provincial regional court of the province of Westphalia in Münster, member of the district committee and the District assembly in Recklinghausen.
1. Egon von und zu Westerholt and Gysenberg (1880–1914), killed in the First World War.
1. Egon Reichsgraf von und zu Westerholt and Gysenberg (1910–2002), inherited the Westerholtischen goods from his grandfather, sold Sythen Castle in 1965 , had Westerholt Castle converted into a hotel
1. Friedrich Otto (1938-2010)
2. Charlotte von und zu Westerholt and Gysenberg (* 1940) ⚭ Otto Sandvoss
1. Carl Otto (Carlo) (* 1974); was adopted by his grandfather Egon and heir to the Westerholtischen estates.
4. Maria Anna (1802–1852) ⚭ 1822 Count Karl Theodor Polykarp August von Leiningen-Dagsburg (1794–1869)

Current family possessions


  • Ernst Heinrich Kneschke (ed.): New general German nobility lexicon . Friedrich Voigt, Leipzig 1870. Volume 9, pages 550–552.
  • Otto Hupp : Munich calendar 1929. Munich / Regensburg publishing house 1929.
  • Fritz Graf Westerholt-Ahrenfels: Max Friedrich Graf Westerholt - His family and his time. Gutenberg-Druckerei, Cologne 1939 - This book gives a good insight into the family events of that time.
  • Herjo Frin: Von Westerholt, a noble family of the Vestic knighthood. Genealogical list of the first twenty generations. In: Vestische Zeitschrift. Vol. 82/83, ISSN 0344-1482 , pp. 243-326. - The lineages are listed to the present at the time of going to press. There is also more detailed news, especially about the older Westerholts.
  • Egon Westerholt: Count Westerholt's varied life. Verlag Rudolf Winkelmann, Recklinghausen 1999, ISBN 3-921052-71-8 and there: I remember. , 2000, ISBN 3-921052-78-5 - The author tells anecdotes from his own life.
  • Wolfgang Viehweger: The Counts of Westerholt-Gysenberg. Verlag Rudolf Winkelmann, Recklinghausen 2002, ISBN 3-921052-91-2 - This book also concentrates on the stories and relationships of the names associated with the Westerholt family, such as Gysenberg, Berge, Lembeck and Henrichenburg, ie names that are closely related to are owned by the Westerholt-Gysenbergs.
  • Genealogical manual of the nobility , Adelslexikon Volume XVI, Volume 137 of the complete series, CA Starke Verlag , Limburg (Lahn) 2005, ISSN 0435-2408
  • Thomas Barth: We are just useless servants. Regensburg Studies and Sources for Cultural History Volume 17. Universitätsverlag Regensburg GmbH, Regensburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-930480-51-7 - The focus of the book is Alexander Graf von Westerholt (1763-1827) and his family. Information is also given on the latest events in the Westerholt-Hackfort branch. There are also numerous portraits of the Regensburg family branch.
  • Uli Backmann: Death in the Borkenberg Mountains - 100 years ago Count von Westerholt was murdered there in the Halterner Jahrbuch 2020, Haltern 2019

See also


Commons : Westerholt - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Westfälisches Urkundenbuch 7, Münster 1908, No. 270a
  2. Ludger Tewes : Kaiser Karls IV. Constructive conservatism using the example of the Archbishopric of Cologne , in: Bohemia, Vol. 28, Issue 1, 1987, pp. 119–122. (Regest of the document text)
  3. Compare with the coat of arms of the Counts of Merveldt in Max von Spießen's book of arms of the Westphalian nobility : Field 1 and 4: Westerholt.
  4. Described in detail in Thomas Bart: We are just useless servants , Regensburg 2008 (see literature)
  5. ^ Genealogical website about the couple
  6. ↑ The composer's obituary mentioning his relatives from the Westerholt family
  7. ^ Haus Alst was owned by the family from 1569 to 1832 and has been in the family again since 1935.
  8. Lembeck Castle came to this noble family through marriage in 1708, which was elevated to the status of imperial count in 1726. Lembeck is still in their possession today.
  9. In 1723 she founded the Chapel of Seven Pains
  10. Maria Agnes was a third degree blood relative, because her grandmother was Anna Sophia Elisabeth von Westerholt zu Lembeck, a sister of Hermann Otto († 1708), Herr auf Westerholt, Alst, Haselünne and Schönebeck. He was appointed Electoral Cologne Chamberlain and Privy Councilor by Clemens August I of Bavaria. In 1726, Hermann Otto and his brother Johannes founded the Westerholt-Gysenbergsche Fideikommiss. It stipulated that if the goods were passed on in a female line, the man had to take the name Westerholt.