Continuing on with a look at parental figures of some of the great composers of old, today we look at Schubert’s ancestors. Franz Peter Schubert was born to Franz Theodor Florian Schubert and Maria Elisabeth Katharina Vietz.
His mother, Elisabeth, was born in 1756 in Silesia. Her father was Franz Johann Vietz from Zuckmantel, Northeastern Silesia. He was a locksmith and gunmaker. He did advance within that profession over the years and held a respected position in his field. He even held the office of sheriff at one point. He moved his family to Vienna shortly before he died in 1770, when Elisabeth would have been about 14. Elisabeth served as a housemaid for a family in Vienna before marrying into the Schubert family at the age of 29.
Franz Theodor was born in 1763 in Moravia. His parents, Karl Schubert and Susanna Mück, were farmers. Franz Theodor moved to Vienna around 1783. In 1784, he worked as a teacher at his brother’s school. He and Elisabeth married in 1785 and 1786 saw him become Schoolmaster at Himmelpfortgrund, a school his son would eventually attend. Franz Theodor was not a formally trained musician but he was able to pass along some basics to his son at an early age and started his outside musical training at the age of seven. The family did have their own quartet in which Franz Theodor played the cello, brothers Ferdinand and Ignaz played the violins, and Franz Peter played the viola. As a school teacher, Franz Theodor was well known and he ran a well attended school. He had wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and become a teacher at his school. Indeed Franz Peter did start to train as a teacher and worked in his father’s school for a time until his compositions started to gain notice and he secured a position with Count Johann Karl Esterházy. Franz Theodor passed away in 1830, two years after the death of his now famous son.