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Thread: German Nobility

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    Senior Member Lagergeld's Avatar
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    German Nobility

    Wondering if anyone has experience with German noble ancestry. My great-grandfather was born in Bavaria. He came to the US in about 1880. My aunt sent me a book she got from a professional genealogist a few decades ago. In it, there is a very poorly-rendered family coat of arms based on semi-vague description in Rietstap Armorial General. It really looks like trash and doesn't match the real thing at all. Anyway, I looked in Rietstap Armorial General, found the entry, and noticed that the name isn't the same as the one my family currently uses, and is of noble origin. So imagine if my last name is Lagergeld, and I trace down a family crest that's listed under the family name Lagergeld von Passau, which would mean something like Lagergeld of Passau. (It's not Passau, but it's in Bavaria where my great-grandfather was born). There is no entry in Rietstap's for Lagergeld. The only entry is for Lagergeld von Passau.

    And in searching all online resources for Lagergeld in Bavaria, all pull up an old noble family by the same von Passau name listed in Rietstap's. In some entries the name is Lagergeld, others is Lagergeld von Passau. In other words, both are the same family. I even found they once had a family castle in the location they're named after. Some other entries are like Lagergeld zu Passau, which apparently relates to whether the person physically owns the land. Riestap's describes the family as barons. Another source said knights. I found one small town in Bavaria that has a town crest of which a portion incorporates part of the Lagergeld family's shield, located in a district where this family once apparently ruled hundreds of years ago.

    I've also found the family name - be it Lagergeld or Lagergeld von Passau - in German and Austrian nobility collections such as Neues Allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon (New General German Aristocracy Lexicon), Tiroler Wappenbuch, and Siebmachers Wappenbuch both of which calls the family "old Bavarian nobility." Tiroler and Siebmachers both contain pictures of the Wappen (family crest) based on the description in my aunt's old family genealogy book. The pictures are really scans of drawings from 200+ years ago in an old book. Some have one knight's head like in my aunt's book, some have two, several of them also have crowns on the knight's heads. They're variants of the same Wappen, I would say. The shield colors and markings are the same in all images. I recall one was dated from the year 1475.

    I can't imagine how this is not my family. Does anyone else have experience with this? I noticed the family name isn't listed in any collections of current German or Austrian nobility. It's all old nobility, like they just went away or something. I have seen people named Lagergeld von Passau listed on the internet living as recently as 1945, though.

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    Senior Member Lagergeld's Avatar
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    The more I dig, the more confusing it's getting. Now I've come up on another noble family with my surname - this one from Prussia. Then there's a new one that popped up in Austria in the 19th century. Are they related to the Bavarian one? Who knows. This is a maze I'll probably never figure out.

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