v 5.10.00
6 Oct 2018
updated 15 Apr 2019

The Kaulback Connection

As per the genealogical tree depicted on pp 48-49 of

The Kaulbacks, Lt Col R J A (Bill) Kaulback DSO MA FRGS,
published privately, 1979

with appropriate amendments and extensions. Please note that familiar names are used rather than given names, where appropriate. Minors are not identified.

#IndividualSpouse / PartnerFamily
‑2Henry (Harry) Kaulback 1Alice TownendRonald (Ron)

Roy (Bill)

‑1Ronald KaulbackAudrey HowardSonia
Susan (Susie)
Joyce Woolley 
‑1Bill KaulbackViolet PearsCarolyn (Canni)
William (Willie)
Fenja BeltsikovOff-line
0Sonia KaulbackRobert (Robin) WaddellNicholas (Nick)
0Susie Kaulback Mark Hatt‑Cook Catherine
Shared Portrait
0Bryan KaulbackMaruxa (Maria) Lopez PereiroBryan (Bry)

Shared Portrait
0Peter Kaulback Liz Scopes Caroline
Shared Portrait
0Carolyn KaulbackDavid NelsonAndrew
0Willie KaulbackBarbara RobertsonPeter
0Off-lineDorna FarzadLucy
Sarah Gill 
+1Nick WaddellPhilip (Phil) JohnstoneOff-line
+1Catherine Hatt‑CookOff-lineOff-line
+1Georgina Hatt‑CookWarren (Waz) PearceOff-line
+1Bry KaulbackSusana GimenezOff-line
+1Caroline KaulbackShane HamiltonOff-line
+1Marcus KaulbackLauren ElliottOff-line
+1Andrew NelsonSuzanne RobertsonThomas
1: In the London Gazette of 7 Feb 1922, Henry Kaulbach, as he then was, officially changed the family name to Kaulback, as it remains to this day. Perhaps the family had already anglicised the pronunciation and he was now simply harmonising the spelling.

It might all now look a bit late in the day anyway, and would have seemed more of a priority back in the dark days of the Great War when public Germanophobia was at its height, but it will have to remain a minor mystery!

The Rude Forefather(s)

Obviously there is a limit to how far backwards or sideways one can extend a family tree, and the zone of our personal interest is anyway probably demarcated by great grandparents and second cousins – sometimes rather less!

Wilhelm von Kaulbach

But even at greater removes there can be isolated individuals who command our interest and/or admiration. One such ancestor was Wilhelm von Kaulbach (aka Bernhard Wilhelm Eliodrus Kaulbach), described briefly on pp 4-5 of The Kaulbacks as follows:

Nothing is known of the von Kaulbachs of München [between 1730 and the 1800's] until Wilhelm von Kaulbach (15 Oct 1805 – 7 Apr 1874) became the protégé and court painter of Ludwig I of Bavaria, one of the "Mad Ludwigs" who were such colourful figures of that period.

That the family must have passed through hard times following the wars of the 17th century can be deduced from the fact that Wilhelm's father Philipp Karl Friedrich von Kaulbach (1775-1846) was having to earn his living as a goldsmith, a near social impossibility for a titled family in the Germany of those days. But however that may be, from the time of Wilhelm's recognition as a painter of great merit by the Bavarian Royal House, their fortunes changed, prosperity returned and at least four members of the family became internationally known.

Wilhelm received many honours and distinctions during his life apart from those conferred on him by his patron the King of Bavaria. He was granted the Legion d'Honneur by the French and created a Grand Commander of the Order of Franz Joseph by the Austrian Emperor. Finally, after his death, the street in München on which the von Kaulbach [mansion] stood was named von Kaulbach Strasse, a name which it still bears.

The following images are reproduced from Erinnerungen an Wilhelm von Kaulbach und sein Haus, mit Briefen und hundertsechzig Abbildungen gesammelt von Josefa Durck-Kaulbach, Delphin Verlag München, 1921.

Wilhelm von Kaulbach

All this sounds very meritorious, but barely scratches the surface of the artist himself. To get his true measure we must turn first to Wikipedia and then to some representative examples culled from the internet. All right, he wasn't an A star, but was certainly a highly accomplished B plus for his huge allegorical canvases. And the photographic portraits clearly reveal his very idiosyncratic taste in body-warmers.

Despite his fervent Protestantism, he seems to have been on friendly terms with Liszt, as witness the rather idealised engraving and soulful portrait we saw in the previous link.

Liszt returned these favours by composing a stirring symphonic poem Die Hunnenschlact (Battle of The Huns) inspired by von Kaulbach's epic picture of that name (and which I found unexpectedly enjoyable when broadcast on Classic FM in early 2012). Rather apposite to our own era, which likewise finds our Western civilisation under assault.

As implied by the extract above from The Kaulbacks, Wilhelm von Kaulbach was by no means the only artistic member of the family. His son Hermann von Kaulbach (26 Jul 1846 – 9 Dec 1909) studied medicine to start with, but switched to painting, initially of historical themes, though was ultimately best known for his portraits of children.

Wilhelm's cousin (though Wikipedia is rather wobbly on the exact degree of cousinhood) Theodor Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Kaulbach (8 Jul 1822 – 17 Sep 1903), known as Friedrich, was a highly successful court painter to King George V of Hanover. He also painted the portrait of Wilhelm shown above.

Friedrich's son Friedrich August von Kaulbach (2 Jun 1850 – 26 Jul 1920) was a portraitist1,  2 and historical painter, and is described by Wikipedia as the great-nephew of Wilhelm. He painted, for example, the rather sumptuous portrait of Hanna Ralph, shown below purely on the basis of its artistic merit, and the tragic figure of the last Tsarina of Russia (although some claim this was actually her elder sister Elisabeth – indeed, they were both brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks after the revolution).

Portrait of the actress Hanna Ralph (1885-1978)
by Friedrich August Kaulbach (1850-1920)

Portrait of Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova (1872-1918)
by Friedrich August Kaulbach (1850-1920)

The Rude Forefathers (Part 2)

Nova Scotia (showing location of town of Lunenburg)

Counties of Nova Scotia, highlighting Lunenburg County

Lunenburg town

The hyperlinked profiles in the Generation Table are of course taken from Bill Kaulback's admirable The Kaulbacks (1979). In the very first of these, for John Martin von Kaulbach, he discusses the motivations and experiences of those trail-blazing German pioneers in the mid-eighteenth century, though I can't quite reconcile the dates he gives for the voyage of the good ship Ann with those tabulated in the Wikipedia article – perhaps the sturdy Ann made more than one such voyage.

Two other websites are also well worth a look

and there's also a frequently-referenced academic treatise that I've made absolutely no attempt to track down, life's just too short.

  • Winthrop Pickard Bell, The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia:The History of a piece of arrested British Colonial Policy in the Eighteenth Century. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961
#IndividualSpouse / PartnerFamily
‑6John Martin von Kaulbach
(1720? –
Anna Magdalena (surname unknown)Henry Kaulbach
(19 Dec 1758 –
16 Jun 1833)

High Sheriff of Lunenburg
‑5Henry Kaulbach
(19 Dec 1758 –
16 Jun 1833)

High Sheriff of Lunenburg County
Johanna Barbara Zwicker
(11 Feb 1769 –
21 Apr 1871, aged 102)
Lt Col John Henry Kaulbach
(10 Apr 1797 –
25 Feb 1879)

High Sheriff of Lunenburg County 1828-1879

13 other siblings
‑4Lt Col John Henry Kaulbach
(10 Apr 1797 –
25 Feb 1879)

High Sheriff of Lunenburg
Sophia Frederica Newman
(9 Feb 1802 –
14 Aug 1889)
(m 22 April 1826)
Sophia Barbara Kaulbach
(b 26 Mar 1827)

Eliza Ann Kaulbach
(18 May 1828 –
13 Dec 1828)

Col Henry Adolphus Newman Kaulbach LL B, QC, MP
(28 Dec 1830 –
8 Jan 1896)

Lt Col Charles Edwin Kaulbach MP
(13 Jul 1834 –
25 May 1907)

Archdeacon James Albert Kaulbach DD, MA

(30 Aug 1839 –
25 Feb 1905)
‑3Col Henry Adolphus Newman Kaulbach LL B, QC, MP
(28 Dec 1830 –
8 Jan 1896)
Eunice Sophia Harris
(5 Jul 1838 –
2 Oct 1879)
Charles William Henry Kaulbach
(b 29 Aug 1859)

Edna Havelock Kaulbach
(b 1 Mar 1861)

Mary Louisa Kaulbach
(b 27 Aug 1865)

Rupert John Creighton Kaulbach LLB, QC
(b 7 Jul 1868)

Moyle Hamilton Hodgson Kaulbach
(19 May 1870 –
24 Aug 1870)

William Edwin Kaulbach
(18 Apr 1872 –
3 Feb 1874)
Sophia Ann Ryland
(m Sep 1880)
‑3Lt Col Charles Edwin Kaulbach MP
(13 Jul 1834 –
25 May 1907)
Ada Hunt  
‑3Archdeacon James Albert Kaulbach1  2 DD, MA
(30 Aug 1839 –
25 Feb 1913)

Maria Sophia Bradshaw
(20 Apr 1856 –
5 May 1912)
(m 26 Apr 1876)
Col Henry Albert Kaulbach OBE
(16 Feb 1878 –
14 Nov 1929)

James Foster Bradshaw Kaulbach
(4 Feb 1880 –
11 Aug 1880)

The History of the County of Lunenberg

The rapid and successful progress of the Kaulbach family mirrored that of the Lunenberg settlement itself. Indeed, as we have seen from their profile links above, they played a full and active part in the local community, and were in the forefront of public life in the whole of Nova Scotia, as instanced by their unbroken tenure as Lunenberg County Sheriffs for over eighty years, their prominence in the Nova Scotia Militia, and their public offices in the Nova Scotia Assembly.

So it is no surprise that they gained frequent references in the historical annals of Lunenburg:

Book cover

(Click here for facsimile page-turning version)

As always with such online facsimile versions, the maximal screen display can be achieved by using a judicious combination of the options Fullscreen / F11 / Hide Nav Bar / Zoom custom ...%

This edition is also available as a hard-copy facsimile reprint:

Mather Byles DesBrisay, History of the County of Lunenberg, Mika Publishing Company, Belleville, Ontario, 1980 (ISBN 0-919302-46-7)

Specific references to the (von) Kaulbach family
in History of the County of Lunenburg

Bill Kaulback compiled this list quite possibly for his own reference when writing The Kaulbacks, but it might also be helpful for a wider audience.

page 1

page 2

page 3

Letter from Peter Kaulback
to his father Ron about the
Lunenberg County History

This is of course a personal letter that (most fortunately) has survived. It accompanied a copy of the Mika edition that Peter sent his father for Christmas in 1982. Nothing in it is confidential – indeed it's all about the family involvement in Lunenburg. So I have no hesitation in reproducing it here, and it is a happy reminder of Peter's characteristic enthusiasm, generosity and devotion to family.

page 1

page 2

Bricks and Mortar

Lunenburg Academy, 97 Kaulbach Street, where John Henry Kaulbach's three sons (Henry Adolphus, Charles Edwin and James Albert) were educated (though it must be admitted that perhaps it was rebuilt back in the 1890's).

Sadly, I can't find any validated image of Medway Hall, the ancestral home of the Lunenburg Kaulbachs, on the internet – though I did just miss an eBay opportunity earlier this year when an elderly photograph of it went for a measly $20 before I'd noticed.

But as consolation prize, here is the handsome façade of Kaulbach House at 75 Pelham Street, Old Town, Lunenburg.

Plus the retrospective.

However, perhaps this slipped through the net;
I'm virtually certain that it's a miniature of the item in question:

And that this next picture is of the very same building in a somewhat later context, and subsequent to some additional ramifications:

In horse-breeding jargon, this is out of Mad King Ludwig II by Walt Disney. DG.

Kaulbach Island

I don't know whether Kaulbach Island ever belonged to the Lunenburg Kaulbach family, and strongly suspect that they played no part in building the house (they would have added extra turrets, gables and crenellations) – but I just love the combination of the name, the location, and the quietly understated millionnaire's mansion.


Kaulbach Island, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia
57 acres of grounds. 11,040 ft2 of floor-space in house

CAD $9,500,000 (including all window coverings, furnishings, appliances, equipment, motorboat and sailing boat).

Estate Agent's sales pitch

A picturesque private island located close to Chester, Nova Scotia's famous seaside town. Kaulbach Island lies perfectly positioned in the heart of Mahone Bay, protected from the elements by an array of tiny islets, surrounded by crystal clear water and close by to both a sailing club and a golf range.

Kaulbach Island is just a short boat ride from the mainland, on Nova Scotia's Bluenose Coast. Home to world-class sailing conditions, and close to a hub of activity, within a matter of minutes, you could enjoy the scenic seascapes of Chester or the quaint atmosphere of Mahone Bay, taking in creative festivals, artisans and boutiques along the way. Furthermore, the island is only 90 minutes away from Halifax International Airport, allowing for easy access.

The island is more than just a great location however. Osprey Nest, the exceptionally developed 11,040 sq. ft. main house, has a commanding presence overlooking the ocean and the groomed lawns. Framed by colourful gardens and stonewalls, this wonderful home (11 bedrooms, 7 full, 2 half baths) has been thoughtfully designed for gracious family living. Meticulously constructed and maintained, the home warmly welcomes guests for entertaining. Modern and environmentally-friendly, the technology in place at this imposing villa includes effluent disposal and aqua-thermal heat production.

With 57 acres of woods, meadows, an 11,040 sq. ft. home, double garage with guest quarters, beach cottage, farmhouse, a few outbuildings and a wharf with deep anchorage, Kaulbach Island is home to everything you could possibly need, including a motorboat and a sailboat.

Approx 50% of the area of the island has been newly planted with deciduous trees, a small sandy beach can be found on the south side and spectacular views of the maritime environment can be enjoyed from the island's approx. 35 metre high elevation – there aren't many views that can rival this!

Kaulbach Island

Kaulbach Island

The House

The House

The Cottage

Drawing Room

Music Room




View from Terrace