In 1842 his father, Wollert Konow, Ph.D. (1809–1881), who was a Norwegian writer and politician, had purchased the historic Stend Manor in Fana where Wollert Konow was born. Wollert Konow was a grandson of the famous Danish writer Adam Oehlenschlager. His mother was Marie Louise Oehlenschläger (1818–1910), daughter of Adam Oehlenschläger.
"SB" is usually appended to Konow's name to differentiate him from his contemporary politician by the same name, Wollert Konow from Hedemarken. SB stands for "Søndre Bergenhus," the now-defunct constituency Konow represented in national politics.