The Family Tuxen

The History

The family name Tuxen is originally a patronymic ("son of Tucke") which was turned into a family name some time before year 1600. The name most likely originates from the duchies Schleswig and Holstein north and southe of the present border between Denmark and Germany. Because of the family name's origin as a patronymic, several families by the name may have existed. Note also the similarity with the family names Tuchsen and Tüxen which are both known in Prussia and the duchies in the 1600s.

But the overwhelming majority (if not all) of the people who can trace their ancestors back to people in the 1700s by the name Tuxen all originate from the same progenitor: Lorenz Tuxen, a vicar from 1585 of the parish Greater Solt in Schleswig close to the city Flensburg. He died in 1612. Johannes Reinhusen mentioned our progenitor in his "Annales Flensburgenses", unfortunately not in very flattering terms: "1604, Mai 29, betengede H. Laurens tho Solt ein weinich tho primen" which in lower German means that Reinhusen found our progenitor to be drinking a bit. The same was said about his successor (and son?) Laurentius Tuxen (Tüxen) who once was so drunk that he fell down from his loft and was unable to give service for the subsequent four weeks.

In the sources, there is some confusion about the first generations of the family. But the most credible sources state that Lorenz Tuxen (dead 1612) had two sons, Tucke Lorenzen Tuxen and Peter Lorenzen Tuxen. Tucke was an estate owner in Schleswig and became the progenitor of the nobled branch of the family. Peter was vicar like his father and became progenitor of the clergical branch of the family, the only branch in which the family name has survived until present.

The Ennobled Branch

Tucke Lorenzen Tuxen owned the small estate Søgaard in Angel in Schleswig. He was married to Marine. They had a son Lorenz Tuxen (1618-82) who became quite famous. During the wars between Denmark and Sweden he managed the estate Hirscholm in northern Sealand on behalf of the Danish Queen. During the Swedish occupation he managed to spy on the Swedes and send supplies and troops to the besieged Copenhagen. He made several attempted assasinations of the Swedish king and finally escaped to Copenhagen by the sea to participate in the defence of the capital. He was given very honourable positions after the war. If the Swedish occupation had persisted, he would probably now be known as a terrorist. Fortunately, the Swedes finally left most of Denmark after a humiliating peace treaty, and Lorenz Tuxen became one of the major heroes of this war. His son Christian Tuxen (appr. 1656 - 1718) was appointed mayor in Bergen. And with him the family name Tuxen died for a while in this branch. But Lorenz Tuxen (1618-82) also had a daughter, Sophie Amalie Tuxen (1658-1735), and a granddaughter of Sophie Amalie, Christiane Elisabeth Jørgensen (1723-96), married Christian Friis Møller (1713-92). He was a high ranking officer, specialising in spying against foreign countries, in particular against Russia. In fact, the Danish king realised that he owed Friis Møller a favour in return for his major achievements. Being a poor king, he could not afford to pay Friis Møller for his service and instead he decided to ennoble him. The question was by what name. Apparently there were no famous and useful names among Friis Møller's own ancestors. Instead, it was decided to use the name of his wife's famous great grandfather, and Friis Møller, his wife and their entire family were ennobled de Tuxen. The family name soon disappeared again after a few generations, but the family is still alive and kicking. And many members of the present Danish nobility can trace their ancestry to this branch of the Tuxens. See the first generations of descendants (in Danish).

The Clergical Branch

Peter Lorenzen Tuxen (dead 1649) was a brother of Tucke Lorenzen Tuxen and became vicar in Eastern Egesborg. His daughter Margrethe Pedersdatter Tuxen married two vicars (in sequence, of course) and has numerous descendants today, although by a multitude of other family names. See the first generations of descendants (in Danish).

Peter's son Søren Petersen Tuxen (appr. 1635-1678) followed in his father's footsteps and became vicar in Asminderød-Grønholt 1661-78. Both Søren's son Peder (1667-1737) and grandson Manderup (appr. 1716-1760) also became vicars like their ancestors and a number of brothers in law. Even Manderup had a son who became vicar, but had no descendants. Instead, the present Tuxen family all originate from Mamderup's son Elias Tuxen (1755-1807). In his selection of profession he was radically different from his ancestors. He became a naval officer and so did a number of his sons and - in particular - grandsons. The family became well known in military circles, in politics, and in the society overall. If Tuxen is a well known name today, we owe it to our progenitors in the 1700's and the 1800's. Søren Petersen Tuxen and through him his great grandson Elias Tuxen now have some 2,000 descendants of which several hundreds still bear the family name. See the first generations of descendants (in Danish). See also the biography of Elias Tuxen's oldest son Peder Mandrup Tuxen who is the progenitor of the majority of the family today.