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Trump family

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German-American business and political family
Trump Family Hand Up.jpg
EtymologyTrump; German for "drum"
Place of originKallstadt, Electoral Palatinate, Holy Roman Empire
New York City, New York, U.S.
FounderJohann Philipp Trump (1667–1707) in the Holy Roman Empire
Frederick Trump (1869–1918) in the United States
Connected familiesHeinz, Christ, Knauss, Kushner, Yunaska, Haydon
Henry J. Heinz, the founder of the Heinz company, was the grandson of Charlotte Louisa Trump.

Trump (US: /ˈtrʌmp/; German: [ˈtʁʊmp]; Palatine German[ˈdrʊmpʰ])[1] is a German and German-American family, descended from Johann Philipp Trump (1667–1707) from Kallstadt, then in the Electoral Palatinate, Holy Roman Empire, today in modern Germany.

While the surname Trump is found throughout Germany, it is recorded as the name of this family in Kallstadt since the 17th century, where many family members were winegrowers. Family members also still live in the family's ancestral region in southwestern Germany.[2]

Several family members moved to and formed cadet branches in the United States in the 19th century, among them Charlotte Louisa Trump's son Johann Heinrich Heinz, the father of Henry J. Heinz, the founder of the Heinz company. A prominent branch of the family is the line descended from Friedrich (Frederick) Trump (1869–1918) and his wife Elisabeth (née Christ; 1880–1966), both natives of Kallstadt.

The German-American Trump family have been prominent in the fields of real estate, entertainment, and politics. Its most notable member is Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States.


Kallstadt, Germany, the Trump family's ancestral home.

Trump is a German surname derived from either the word for "drum" or for "trumpet".[3] The name is on record in Kallstadt from the 17th century.[4]

Gwenda Blair suggests the family may be descended from an itinerant lawyer, Hanns Drumpf, who settled in Kallstadt in 1608 and whose descendants changed their name from Drumpf to Trump during the Thirty Years' War of the 1600s.[5][6][7] However, this is not in accordance with data provided by German genealogists.[4] Journalist Kate Connolly, visiting Kallstadt, found several variations in spelling of the surname in the village archives (including Drumb, Tromb, Tromp, Trum, Trumpff, Dromb) but her article does not note "Drumpf".[8] There are no indications that other spellings of the name, including Trumpf, could be related to the Trumps.[9]

Portrait of Fred Trump in the Brooklyn Eagle, February 1950

Johannes Trump from the nearby village Bobenheim am Berg had established himself as a winegrower in Kallstadt by the late 17th century.[4] Several of his descendants also were vintners in Kallstadt, one of many villages in the famous wine-growing region of the Palatinate (Pfalz).[10] Charlotte Louisa Trump (1789–1833) married Johann Georg Heinz, and their son Johann Heinrich (John Henry) Heinz (1811–1891) emigrated from Kallstadt to the United States in 1840 and was the father of Henry J. Heinz (1844–1919), the founder of the Heinz company.

The grandfather of Donald Trump is Frederick Trump who was born 1869 in Kallstadt as Friedrich Trump.[11]

Friedrich Trump's American family branch

Friedrich Trump was one of six children of a winegrower and a second cousin of Henry J. Heinz, the founder of Heinz. Friedrich learned the profession of hairdresser. In 1885, at the age of 16, Friedrich emigrated from Kallstadt to the United States. He anglicized his name to Frederick in 1892 when he became a U.S. citizen.[12] During the Alaska Gold Rush, he amassed a fortune by opening restaurants and hotels for gold seekers on their way to the region.[13] While visiting home, Frederick fell in love with Elisabeth Christ (1880–1966) and married her in 1902. She was also a native of Kallstadt, and born as the daughter of Philipp and Marie Christ. Philipp Christ was descended from Johannes Christ (1626–1688/9) of Flörsheim, Hesse.[14]

Frederick and Mary were the parents of Elizabeth Trump (1904–1961), real estate developer Fred Trump (1905–1999) and physicist John G. Trump (1907–1985). Frederick sold his business and settled with Elizabeth in New York City. Trump tried unsuccessfully to avoid the deportation by writing to Luitpold.[15] On 1 July 1905 they boarded the Pennsylvania. Three months later, Fred Trump Jr. was born in the Bronx. Frederick died of the Spanish flu on May 30, 1918.

Fred Trump was one of the biggest real estate developers in New York.[12][16] Using their inheritance, Fred and his mother Elizabeth founded E. Trump & Son. Fred married Mary MacLeod (1912–2000), a native of Tong, a small village near Stornoway, in the Western Isles of Scotland. She was the daughter of fisherman Malcolm MacLeod and Mary MacLeod (née Smith).[17] At age 17, she immigrated to the United States and started working as a maid in New York.[18] Fred and Mary met in New York and married in 1936, settling together in Queens. Mary became a U.S. citizen in 1942.[18][19][20][21] Fred was the father of the businessman Donald Trump, who became president of the real estate company in 1971, and renamed it the Trump Organization.[22] Donald Trump has said that he is "proud" of his German heritage, having served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.[20][21] While walking through the city and seeing Trump Tower, Donald Trump recalled saying: "This is a long way from Kallstadt."[23]

Stories about famous emigrants are common in the region, where many people have relations abroad.[24] In 2015, a Kallstadt filmmaker (and remote relative of Trump) produced a documentary in which Trump promised to visit Kallstadt.[25][26] The media interest in the region increased with Trump's election, but the local reaction was mixed,[27] as "The villagers used to have a better opinion of Donald Trump, before he started his boisterous campaign."[28] There is not much interest in becoming a place of pilgrimage for Trump aficionados; unrelated tourism is already flourishing.[27] The house where Trump's grandfather was born is currently for sale.[24][29]

Family tree

  • Johann Philipp Trump (1667–1707), married Juliana Maria Rodenroth
    • Johann Sebastian Trump (1699–1756), married Susanna Margaretha Kohl
      • Johann Paul Trump (1727–1792), married Maria Elisabetha Setzer
        • Charlotte Louisa Trump (1789–1833), married Johann Georg Heinz
          • John Henry Heinz (1811–1891), emigrated to the United States in 1840
        • Johannes Trump (1789–1835), married Susanna Maria Bechtloff
          • Friedrich Trump (died 1876), married Elisabetha Trump
          • Maria Katharina Trump (born 1827)
          • Christian Johannes Trump (1829–1877), married Katharina Kober (1836–1922)
            • Johannes Trump (born 1860)
            • Katharina Trump (born 1861)
            • Jakob Trump (born 1863)
            • Sybilla Luisa Trump (1865–1931), moved to New York City, the United States, married a German-born man named Schuster
            • Konrad Trump (born 1868–1868)
            • Friedrich Trump (1869–1918),[5]:28 barber, as well as restaurant and hotel manager, married Elisabeth Christ, moved to the United States in 1885/1905
              • Elizabeth (Elisabeth) Trump (1904–1961), married William O. Walter
                • William Trump Walter (born 1931), married Susan Walter
                • John W. Walter (born 1934), referred to as the Trump "family historian",[31] married Joan Walter[32][33]
                  • Christine "Christy" Weppler, married Robert "Bob" Weppler
                    • Catherine Weppler
                    • Sarah Weppler
                    • Lauren Weppler
                  • Nancy Kiley, married James "Jim" Kiley
                    • Emily Kiley
                    • Matthew Kiley
                  • Cynthia "Cindy" Frey, married Rod Frey
                    • Connor Frey
                    • Aidan Frey
              • Frederick Christ Trump (1905–1999), real estate developer, married Mary MacLeod (1912–2000)[34]
              • John George Trump (1907–1985), married Elora Sauerbrun (1913–1983)
                • John Gordon Trump (1938–2012)[40]
                • Christine Trump Philp[40]
                • Karen Trump Ingraham[40]
            • Elisabetha Trump (born 1873), married Karl Freund
            • Barbara Trump (born 1876)
          • Anna Elisabetha Trump (born 1831), married Konrad Schwinn

Immediate family of Donald Trump

Donald Trump is sworn in in January 2017. L to R (foreground): Trump, his wife Melania, and his children Donald Jr., Barron, Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany.

President Donald Trump has married thrice, to Ivana Zelníčková, Marla Maples and Melania Knauss.[41]

President Trump has five children of which four are adult children from two previous marriages: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump with Ivana Trump, and Tiffany Trump with Marla Maples. Trump has one son with Melania Trump, Barron, born on March 20, 2006. He is the first pre-teen son to live in the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr. arrived as an infant in 1961.[42] All three of his children with Ivana Trump were executive vice presidents at the Trump Organization until Trump was elected president. Tiffany Trump is a recent college graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, her father's alma mater.[43]

Religious affiliations

The original Trump family in Germany are Lutheran members[44][45] of the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate, although that region has been overwhelmingly Calvinist[46][47] since Frederick III, Elector Palatine introduced the Reformed faith in the mid 16th century.[48] Members of the family's American branch, beginning with Mary Anne McLeod, tend to be Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed or adherents of other Reformed denominations. Donald Trump's parents belonged to the Reformed Church in America, although he was confirmed at one of the Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations himself.[49] This matter of membership, like in case of many American Protestants, does not play a big role since he attends services of both denominations and other ones that are part of the Reformed tradition, and sometimes even some that subscribe to other Protestant branches (like the Episcopal Church (USA), an Anglican denomination).

In 2016, Donald Trump visited Bethesda-by-the-Sea, an Episcopal Church, for a Christmas service.[50] Melania Trump is, like most Slovenians, Roman Catholic.[51] Ivanka Trump practices Judaism, having converted upon marrying Jared Kushner.[52][53][54]


  1. ^ Connolly, Kate (January 29, 2016). "Kallstadt, Germany: on the trail of 'the Donald' in the Trump ancestral home" – via The Guardian.
  2. ^ "Donald Trump, Germany's disfavored son". September 23, 2016.
  3. ^ Bahlow: Deutsches Namenslexikon (1982). MHG trumpe, trumbe, trume could mean either "trumpet" or "drum". Lexer, Mittelhochdeutsches Handwörterbuch (1872–1878) records variants in d- (drumme, drume, drumpe) under the meaning "drum"
  4. ^ a b c Verein für Computergenealogie: Vorfahren von Friederich "Fritz" Trump. Archived August 3, 2017, at the Wayback Machine[unreliable source?]
  5. ^ a b Blair, Gwenda (2015). The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate. Simon and Schuster. pp. 26–27. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Victor, Daniel (March 2, 2016). "Donald Drumpf: A Funny Label, but Is It Fair". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Why Donald Trump trumps Donald Drumpf". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Kate Connolly (January 29, 2016). "Kallstadt, Germany: on the trail of 'the Donald' in the Trump ancestral home". The Guardian.
  9. ^ "Media frenzy over Donald Trump's German hometown leaves locals unhappy". Deutsche Welle.
  10. ^ Blair, Gwenda (2001). The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate (1st ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 26. ISBN 9780743210799.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 16, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b Blair, Gwenda (August 24, 2015). "The Man Who Made Trump Who He Is". Politico. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  13. ^ "Trump's Großvater war ein Glücksritter aus der Pfalz". Südwestpresse. August 9, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  14. ^ "GEDBAS: Vorfahren von Frederick Christ TRUMP".
  15. ^ "Letter Donald Trump's Grandfather Wrote Pleading to Stay in Germany Surfaces". The Wall Street Journal. November 21, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  16. ^ "Mary MacLeod Trump Philanthropist, 88". The New York Times (Obituary). August 9, 2000. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  17. ^ Mary Pilon, Donald Trump's Immigrant Mother, New Yorker, June 24, 2016.
  18. ^ a b Pilon, Mary (June 24, 2016). "Donald Trump's Immigrant Mother". The New Yorker.
  19. ^ McGrane, Sally (April 29, 2016). "The Ancestral German Home of the Trumps". The New Yorker.
  20. ^ a b Carrell, Severin (June 9, 2008). "'I feel Scottish,' says Donald Trump on flying visit to mother's cottage". The Guardian. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  21. ^ a b Frates, Chris (August 24, 2015). "Donald Trump's immigrant wives". CNN. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  22. ^ "Trump Organization Next Generation: Donald Jr Ivanka Eric Trump Hotel Collection Real Estate Casinos Golf Clubs Restaurants Merchandise Corporation Company Publications". Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  23. ^ The Editors of TIME (April 29, 2016). TIME Donald Trump: The Rise of a Rule Breaker. TIME. p. 31. ISBN 1683302370.
  24. ^ a b "Donald Trumps Wurzeln: King of New York, Knallkopf of Kallstadt". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. January 20, 2016.
  25. ^ "Kings of Kallstadt | Dokumentarfilm: Mein Dorf, Ketchup & der König von New York" (in German). SWR Fernsehen. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  26. ^ "Deutsche Großeltern: Donald Trump, King of Kallstadt". Die Welt. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  27. ^ a b Frasch, Timo (November 9, 2016). "Im Ort von Trumps Vorfahren: 'Trump hat sich wenigstens getraut, das auch zu zeigen'". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  28. ^ "Donald Trump's German roots". Deutsche Welle.
  29. ^ "Nach US-Wahl: Trump-Haus in Kallstadt steht zum Verkauf!". Heidelberg24. November 9, 2016.
  30. ^ Skrabec, Quentin R. (2009). H.J. Heinz: A Biography. McFarland & Company. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7864-4178-5.
  31. ^ For Donald Trump’s Family, an Immigrant’s Tale With 2 Beginnings, The New York Times
  32. ^ "John Walter, Flower Hill mayor and cousin of the president, dies — The Island Now". January 10, 2018.
  33. ^ "Obituary of John Walter — Fairchild and Sons Funeral Chapel Inc".
  34. ^ Kruse, Michael (November 4, 2017). "The Mystery of Mary Trump". Politico Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  35. ^ Drew, Gerber (August 3, 2016). "Trump's Brother Rebelled Against Their Authoritarian Father By Joining a Jewish Frat". The Forward. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  36. ^ "F. C. Trump 3d, Realty Manager, Weds Ms. Lorant". The New York Times. September 17, 1989.
  37. ^ a b "Trump family gives back to agency that helps developmental disabled".
  38. ^ a b "INSIDE TRUMPS' BITTER BATTLE Nephew's ailing baby caught in the middle".
  39. ^ "Michael Kors, Anna Wintour, Kate Hudson and Blaine Trump at God's Love We Deliver Gala". October 18, 2016 – via The New York Times.
  40. ^ a b c "JOHN TRUMP DIES – ENGINEER WAS 78". February 26, 1985. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  41. ^ "The Model American". The New Yorker. May 9, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  42. ^ Yanez, Luisa (November 9, 2016). "Barron Trump: First young presidential son in the White House since 1963". Miami Herald. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  43. ^ "US election: Trump children – who is the new first family?". BBC News. November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  44. ^ The small town of Kallstadt has only one religious building, the Central Lutheran church. See Kallstadt for more information.
  45. ^ Gwenda Blair (2000). The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire. Simon and Schuster. pp. 28–9. ISBN 9780743210799.
  46. ^ Note that local Calvinists are also members of the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate, because it is a United church.
  47. ^ "EKD — Evangelical Church of the Palatinate* — World Council of Churches".
  48. ^ Blair 2001, pp. 28–29
  49. ^ Blair, Gwenda (2001). The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate (1st ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 28–29, 453; ISBN 9780743210799.
  50. ^ Fink, Jenni (December 2016). "When the Trump Family Arrives to Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea The Crowd Rises For A Standing Ovation". Independent Journal Review. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  51. ^ "Melania Trump Will Be The First Catholic To Live At The White House Since JFK". HuffPost. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  52. ^ "Ivanka Trump visits the Lubavitcher rebbe's grave ahead of election". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. November 6, 2016.
  53. ^ "Report: Tycoon Donald Trump's daughter converting to Judaism". Haaretz. October 30, 2008. Archived from the original on November 2, 2008.
  54. ^ Messer, Lesley (July 17, 2009). "Ivanka Trump Converts to Judaism for Fiancé". People. Retrieved February 19, 2010.