Long long ago in a faraway land (that I’ve visited and love) lived a minor knight in the service of the Habsburgs who lived not far away. The Habsburgs were not yet that jaw-jutting mega-ruling family they became, but a little conclave of Austrian immigrants who had a castle (see photo above) on a hill looking over the Reuss river valley in what is now the Canton of Aare. In a few hundred years, they’d be chased out of Switzerland, but for now they were busy protecting their interests.

The castle-fortress belonging to the (very minor) knight, Heinrich von Lunkhofen, was on a hillside, somewhat south and east from the Habsburg’s headquarters. It was a tower with a few attached buildings and a courtyard. Its main jobs were to house the minor knight’s family, provide protection to anyone who needed it in times of attack, and protect the Habsburg’s interests. Heinrich’s brother, Hugo, had a similar castle between the Habsburg’s fortress and Heinrich’s. Near the town named for the family, Unter-Lunkhofen, are ruins of Hugo’s castle-fortress, but nothing remains of Heinrich’s.

Of course, the minor knight’s family had a flag which was carried into the crusades (presumably) and whenever there was a battle locally (it was the feudal period, key word, FEUD), and a kind of address marker for mail delivery (You made that up, Martha). Years and years later, a tiny bit of Heinrich’s DNA made it’s way to Monte Vista, Colorado.

So, without further ado (what’s ado?) here’s my family’s flag (crest). It is also the “wappen” for the village of Zwillikon in the area of Affoltern am Albis.

Lunkhofen Wappen


My family has another crest, too, for the other side, the Schneebelis. Their name started out as “Schnew” (snow) and then “Snewli” and then (no one knows why) Schneebeli (little snowballs). German evolved just like English so spellings changed and stuff like that, but “beli”? It’s a red background with three snowballs on it. There’s a lot of dispute (well a “lot” is relative…) over why the Lunkhofen name vanished and the family became Schneebeli. My theory is that it got very inconvenient at a certain point to be connected to the Habsburgs.

My other theory is that there is a genetic predisposition to love snow.


19 thoughts on “Wappen

  1. The ending is famous; “My other theory is that there is a genetic predisposition to love snow.” I love it. One of our family line sports a squirrel in the family crest, though I know not why. Crests are quite an anomaly in themselves which furl out their own stories.

  2. Loving snow would also make sense, wouldn’t it?! Since you do! 🙂 Love this ancestry piece. Fascinating tbh. I know a little of mine, but not enough. I know more about my husband’s as he traced it back. His was interesting too.

      • lmao Oh by the way, Loki if fine now. Apparently he swallowed 2 – 5 foot lengths of his bed which he’d shredded. There goes 100.00 cause he somehow caught the zipper ripped that apart then the connecting cording and swallowed it. It came out with some assistance and he’s fine now. Eating well gaining weight back he’d lost, full of fun and puppydumb! lol

      • Not that the money was the issue, we were so concerned because he was so sick and kept trying to cough it out. So I took a heavy sheet and made a pillow and sewed it around his bed. Guess what he’s chewing on now??? 3 guesses and the first 3 don’t count. lol He has half his toys now too since he chewed through them all. Christmas is coming, I think his stocking will be full of new chew toys lol if we can last that long haha he’s gone through a dozen tennis balls too smirk smirk. He’s so adorable though. I’m trying to get pics here so you can see him. He’s a beauty and has an amazing personality, very gentle and loving, but boy is he on guard when it comes to the little ones, well all of us, Adam and Kelsy too. When they take him for walks, if there’s something or someone he doesn’t like, it’s HOME now! and he guards all the way.

  3. Well, no crests. No castles. Nothing special. Not even any famous rabbinical family members. Not for Garry, either. I guess we are just the plebians of the world.

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