Glarner Family Crests
The coat of arms was originally a badge on a shield. Coats of arms were created in their classic, medieval form in the first half of the 12th century, the time of the Crusades - thus, among other things, in connection with the appearance of great knight armies. Guilds, states, communities, but also families adopted own coat of arms. A family crest is a kind of personality sign, which is passed on from generation to generation. This privilege is not only for noble families, also bourgeois families used them. In Switzerland it is a tradition and practically all Swiss families have an own family crest. Many Glarner family crests, however, are creations of the 19th and 20th centuries. Coat of arms of a certain region can be seen in so-called heraldic books. For Glarus there is the Wappenbuch des Landes Glarus, issued by Ida Tschudi-Schümperlin and Jakob Winteler in 1937. This book contains practically for all Glarner families their coat of arms.
The first Glarner family crest was the coat of arms of the knights of Glarus. In the 14th century we learn about the coats of arms of the first bourgeois families, namely the Elmer (1318), Kilchmatter (1372) and Hophan (1394). In the following century, the series expands rapidly. We find those of the Vogel family (1419), Tschudi (1421), Am Büel (1421), Wanner (1421), Schindler (1427), Netstaler (1439), Schübelbach (1470), Aebli (1479), Jenny (1490) Kuchli (1490), Rietler (1490) and Landolt (1502).
Collection of Glarner Family Coat of Arms
For almost all Glarner families you will find the respective Coat of Arms in the book Wappenbuch des Landes Glarus. Samuel Wild compiled in 1902 the Glarner family coat of arms which are now published on the website of the Landesarchiv.
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Heraldry and the Parts of a Coat of Arms
Formally known as an achievement, armorial achievement, or heraldic achievement, what is commonly referred to as a "coat of arms" consists of several parts: the shield, the mantling, the helm, the wreath, charges, and the crest (note that not all arms have crests).
The Heraldic Description of a Coat of Arms (Blazon of Arms)
The official, written description of the coat of arms is called the blazon of arms, such as azure, a fess argent between in chief two fleurs-de-lis and in base a lion passant of the same. The blazon may seem like a foreign language, but it is simply a system of code words to denote colors, placement, and styling by using an economy of words.
Much of the design for a modern depiction of a given coat of arms is more the artist's preference or the style of a particular herald, and not a part of any particular blazon. The mantling and the banners for names, for example, are not an official element of the blazon of arms. The helm, likewise, is not a part of the official blazon. Some historians attach a significance to the design of the helm or helmet as representative of a certain century or social status, but there are differences of opinion on this matter.
Example blazon of arms for the coat of arms of the Wild family would be as follows:
The coat of arms of the Wild family shows in blue a natural, wild man, carrying a golden club. Around the head and around the loins, green leafy oak branches are wrapped.
The helmet is a grilled helm with seven bars in silver. The helmet ornament repeats the wild man with the golden club and the oak leaves wreaths. The helmet cover repeats the shield colors and surrounds the sign like a plant. The inside shows the silver of the metal and the outside the blue of the shield.
The shield is a double-topped triangular shield, a shield shape used in England during the 18th and 19th centuries. The shield color blue stands for consistency, loyalty, glory honor and sincerity.
Wild men on family crests can be an allegory for much, such as strength, impunity, wildness, love of nature or loneliness. The figure can also be an indication of the origin of the family, as a resident of very wooded areas - with or without a local mythical figure. Since the progenitor of the Wild family came from Wildhaus and this is probably a "talking" coat of arms, the wild man probably stands for the origin of the family.
Interpretation of Glarner Family Coat of Arms
For the following families respective interpretations of the Coat of Arms are available: