Wachenhusen/von Wachenfeldt family origins

The Wachenhusen/von Wachenfeldt family has its origins in the little hamlet of Wachenhusen in Hannover, Germany.

Our forbear, Colonel David Friedrich Wachenhusen, was knighted von Wachenfelt by the Swedish king, Carl XI in 1688. The event took place at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

He served under two Swedish kings, Carl X Gustav, and his son, Carl XI.

The colonel’s own sons served on practically every front of the Great Nordic War under the young king, Carl XII. Miraculously they survived battles and imprisonment. The king was slain at Fredrikshald in Norway. After his death, the oldest son returned to Sweden with other sremnants of the great Swedish army.

Since then, von Wachenfelts have served Sweden in all manner of areas.

Many have been military officers, clergymen, civil servants, and diplomats.

Some were engineers, medical doctors, pharmacists, and teachers.

Others were journalists, writers, artists, athletes.

And you will also find agriculturists and managers of commercial and industrial enterprises.

The Wachenhusen/von Wachenfeldt family genealogy

My father, Carl Fredrik Joachim von Wachenfelt, and I spent some months during a 1980’s winter trying to connect the dots. We embarked on this project at my parents’ home in Viken in southern Sweden. We studied the people portrayed in hundreds of 19th century photographs. Great-uncle Miles von Wachenfelt had left in a cardboard box – “to be sorted”.

It was fascinating detective work, very rewarding, particularly as we were able to piece together relationships between the persons in the pictures.

“That lady was the teacher of great grandmama”

“That young man was a second cousin of great uncle Harald”, etc.

Those connections were triumphs but there were also those that we could not connect. Those were the ones that made us realize how important it is to provide as much information as possible about the persons in the pictures we take.

It is not enough with a name on the back, no matter how beautiful the penmanship. These days, when most of us do not even use old-fashioned albums, it is especially essential.

About this website

This site is a place where I intend to deposit stories I have written down. Some of the material is based on what I learned from senior family members. Other texts are from personal experience.

Now you might say: “How presumptuous of her! Why are her recollections important?”

To that, I can only say: “Maybe they are and maybe they are not. And as far as presumptuous goes – I have now become one of the elders. So there!”

Why is it in English?

Well, I am hoping to be able to connect with family members who live in the United States, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. It would be so much fun to hear from you. I do not expect that too many of you speak Swedish.

But let us get started.


  1. What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  2. Pingback: David Friedrich von Wachenfelt: The Old Colonel - vonwachenfelt.com

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