Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical, The Sound of Music, will be broadcast live on NBC on December 5, 2013. This musical is one of the most well-known and popular musicals of all time. This three-hour telecast event is a timeless classic that will be aired for your holiday enjoyment. Five-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood will star as Maria von Trapp.
The story of the von Trapp family is inspiring. Caught in the turmoil of Europe’s World War II, the von Trapp household was forced to leave all they had behind in Nazi occupied Austria and flee to the safety of America. Their story inspired the classic Hollywood movie and musical, The Sound of Music.
The von Trapp family was famous for their musical talents. After arriving in America, they toured the country singing and performing for millions. After World War II ended, the von Trapps expanded their tour and began traveling abroad. Their story and music have entertained millions of people around the world.
In light of this announcement of the showing of The Sound of Music, some of the folks at FamilySearch.org decided it might be interesting to check the FamilySearch records database and see what records exist that might document the lives of some of the von Trapp family. It was fascinating see what they found.
The 1939 New York passenger lists the von Trapp family along with some of the others who came over from Europe with them. This also includes the records of their musical conductor and his secretary. The 1940 census lists the family in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. It was fun to see the names of each family member and the occupations the census taker gave for each. As the family expanded their tours to include some international countries, some of them had to apply for passport and immigration cards. These included pictures of each individual.
The story of the von Trapp family is fascinating history. Watching the movie and musical adds color and dimension to an already compelling story. But seeing the actual historical documents provides a peek into their lives that few people ever get to see. Click on the links below to see the actual records that document important events of the von Trapp family.
1939—New York Passenger and Crew List:
1940—United States census record Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
1950—Maria von Trapp’s Brazilian passport. They toured South/Central America in 1950.
1950—Daughter Eleanor von Trapp’s Brazilian passport.
1950—Daughter Hedwig von Trapp’s Brazilian immigration card:
1950—Daughter Maria’s Brazilian immigration card: