Schleswig-Holstein Social Life and Customs

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Hausmarken[edit | edit source]

Hausmarken are personal brands consisting of single strokes (see http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Hausmarken_Probstei). They appeared at the end of the 13th century, set in stone above an entry way, in a window, on a head stone or they were used as boundary markers. With time Hausmarken appeared everywhere as proof of ownership. Some examples are: Hausmarken on agricultural equipment, fishing nets, boats, farms, animals, church windows, baptismal fonts, notary protocols etc. A Hausmarke was transferred to an heir and used as a legal transaction symbol for a given owner and his property. Consecutive sons used the same Hausmarke slightly modified, signifying affiliation to the family.

How a Hausmarke was used, differed from locality to locality. There could be the use of the Hausmarke which evidenced affiliation of a house, a clan. Then there was the use of a “Hofmarke”, suggesting connection with property but not with people.

A Hausmarke is not a crest. The Hausmarke evolved before and parallel to the family crest. The Hausmarke became a symbol, the sign of a clan which was often incorporated as a motif into the family crest. (see http://www.heraldik-und-kunst.de/forum/1/hausmarken-in-der-heraldik/)

A collection of Hausmarken are not available. To identify Hausmarken used by our ancestors, one has to peruse secondary literature, especially papers published through regional historical societies or conduct on-site research.


Sources: http://www.dr-bernhard-peter.de/Heraldik/seite38.htm

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hausmarke

Familienkundliche Blätter. Hausmarken im Trierer Land. Jg. 1-1970 Seite 25-31.