Ludwig van Beethoven was born on 16th December 1770 in Bonn. His parents, Johann van Beethoven and Maria Magdalena Keverich had married on 12th December 1767 in the church of Saint Remigio. Johann was 27 and Maria 21 at the time. The Beethoven family, partly Flemish by ancestry, a mixture of middle class and Rhineland peasantry, had two generations of musicians preceding the birth of the genius who would immortalize their name. In the genealogy of the Beethoven family, there may even be Spanish ancestors. The Low Countries had been occupied by Spain, specifically the catholic areas where the family came from.
The child was called Ludwig after his grandfather a choirmaster. The christening took place on 17th December 1770, the day after his birth, a common practice at that time. His godfather was his aforementioned grandfather and his godmother Frau Braums, the wife of a neighbour who had organized the christening. Even at the time there were rumours that the child was illegitimate. Later on, these rumours gained some credence and between 1810 and 1816 it was being openly suggested that he was illegitimate son of Fredrick II, much to the anger of Beethoven and his friends.