Family History

History of the Degenfeld-Schonburg family

Degenfeld-Schonburg family

The Degenfeld-Schonburg family originated in the village of Tegenvelt, later called Degenfeld, which still exists in Swabia. The first written mention of the family is in a document from 1270, where the knight Ulrich von Degenfeld is mentioned.  On the hilltop above the village of Degenfeld, traces of the first castle can still be seen. The family continued to increase its wealth over the centuries, rising to the rank of baron and later count. In 1717, Christoph Martin Degenfeld married into the Duke of Schomberg family (now extinct) and took the name Schonburg.

Christoph Martin Degenfeld

The Transylvanian/Hungarian branch of the Degenfeld family

It was created through the marriage of Maximilian Degenfeld and Countess Teleki Anna. Three children were born of the marriage, Otto, Imre and Paul. All three became founders of a branch of the family. Thanks to their successful marriage policy, the family acquired a remarkable fortune. At the same time, the role of the members of the family in the history of the Hungarian Reformed Church is noteworthy.  

Christoph Martin Degenfeld

Degenfeld Ottó created the Szirák branch,

from which the Cuci branch also descends.  The descendants of Ottó’s son, József, live in Austria today. Imre’s branch lived in Téglás and Nyírbakta (now Baktalórántháza, Hungary). This branch died out in the 1950s. Paul’s branch lived on the Ardusat estate.

Péter Degenfeld and his sister Zsuzsanna

The Cuci branch was created thanks to Degenfeld Lajos,

who donated the estate to his son, Kristóf. After Transylvania became part of Romania, Degenfeld Kristóf  did not move to Hungary. After the nationalisation of the estate, the Degenfelds also suffered the fate of forced residence (D.O., Domiciliu obligatoriu) in communist Romania (in Târgu Mureș). The family left Romania in 1990 and settled in Germany. The Cuci branch is represented today by  Count Degenfeld-Schonburg István’s children, Péter (and family) and Zsuzsanna. 

Péter Degenfeld and his sister Zsuzsanna