Hess Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Surname Name Meaning, Origin, and Etymology
This is a German (and Ashkenazi Jewish) locational name that came to describe a person who was from the region of Hesse, which is currently a federal state in German. The states’ name derives from the medieval Latin word Hassia. Ultimately, the name derives from a Germanic or Frankish tribe called the Chatti who first settled the area around 100 BC. It is believed that the name meant “hooded people” as the people may have worn cloaks. One source claims Hesse may have referred to a warrior or solider who wore a helmet like hood. The soldiers from the region were often at war and developed a fierce reputation, hence why they were hired by King George in the 1700s as mercenaries in his wars in America and Canada.

It was inhabited since the Paleothic period. Two other origins theories exist. First, in South Germany, it may derive from the shorten version from the ancient personal name Matthaus. Second, it may arise as a slight variation of the Dutch or German personal (first) name Hesso.

Spelling Variations
Common spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Hesse, Hessel, Esse, Hetzel, Hesso, and others.

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Hess ranks 518th in popularity in terms in the United Status as of the 2000. It ranks particularly high in the following seven states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Utah, Oregon, West Virginia, Minnesota, Kansas, and Idaho. The name is very common throughout the German speaking world and others parts of Europe: Germany (171st), Switzerland (63rd), Austria (1,069th), France (3,858th), and the Netherlands (4,067). It is less common in the English speaking parts of Europe (ex. England 8,103rd and Ireland 5,083rd) .

Early Bearers of the Surname
The earliest known bearers of this last name (and similar names) were Godescalus Hesso in Koln in 1180 AD, Bentz Hessing in Magstadt in 1350 AD and Martin Hesser in Roth in 1420 AD

Bernhard Franz von Hess
Bernhard Franz von Hess (1792-1869), Bavarian Lieutenant General and War Minister

History, Genealogy, and Ancestry
A one Gretty Hess was born in 1532 in Meirengen in Bern, Switzerland. She married Abraham Leuthold and had two children: Anna and Jacob. She died in 1592 in the same town. A one Agatha Hess was born in 1604 in Wessel, Prussia and she married Jacobus Van de Walle and had a son named Jacob prior to her 1626 death in Dusseldorf. A one Ludwig Hess was born in Muninggen in Wurttenberg in 1645. He married Anna Christina Ambruster and had a daughter named Anna Catharina Hess.

A one Heinrich Hess was born in 1639 in Harmsladt, Hessen. He married Anna Maria Naumann and had two issue with her: Johannes and Augustinus. Augustinus was born in 1658 in Hanau, Germany and he married Kuniguda Emmerick in 1680. He had the following issue with her prior to his death in Bleichebach: Johann Henrich, Anna Catherina, Johannes Henrich Sr., Anna Eva, Augustinus, and Anna Marie. His son Johannes Henrich was born in Cassel, Germany in 1687. He married Anna Catherine Curring-Korsing in 1711 in New York. They had the following issue: Fanniche, Ana Eva (Clapsaddle), Anna Marie (Oosterhout), Catherine, Augustinus, Johannes Jr., John Frederick, Anna Dorothea, and Hendrick. His son Augustinus was born in 1718 in Schohaire, New York. He married Anna Schell and later Catherinew Kast. He had the following children: John, Frederick, George, Augustinus, Anna, Christian, Johann Jost, Nicholas, Conrad, Daniel, and Anna Eva. His son Johann Jost was born in 1758 in Stone Arabia, NY. He married Anna Elizabeth Ettig and had issue with her: Margaret, George Henry, Anna, George Joseph, Eca, and Catherine (Dygert).

Early American and New World Settlers
Early people bearing this last name in colonial America include Catharine , Joseph, and Wilhelm Hess (arrived in New York in 1709), Johannes Hess (New York 1710), Heinrich Hess (1724), and John Frederick Hess (Philadelphia 1807). One of the earliest Canadian settlers with this name was Jacob Hess in 1784 who was a UE (United Empire) loyalist.

I have been unable to identify a motto for the German surname Hess.

We have 9 coats of arms for the Hess surname depicted here. These 9 blazons are from the famed Dutch genealogist Johann Rietstap’s influential and authoritative work The Armorial General that was published in 1861. The bottom of this page contains the blazons (in the original French and translated to English), and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it.

Famous people with this last name include: 1) Rudolf Walter Richard Hess (1894-1987) who was a prominent Nazi political who served as Deputy Fuhrer, 2) Willy Hess (1859-1939) who was a well-known German violinist from Mannheim, 3) Helius Eaobanus Hessus (1488-1540) who was a German Latin poet, 4) Dame Julia Myra Hess (1890-1965) who was a Jewish-English violinist from a family in London, 5) Orvan Walter Hess (1906-2002) who was a doctor known for developing the fetal heart monitor and for using penicillin, and 6) Heinrich Hermann Joseg Freiherr von Hess (1788-1870) who was an Austrian field marcshal who fought two campaigns against King Charles Albert (as well as being involved in the Crimean War and Second Italian War of Independence).

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Nuremberg – Médaille de Mathieu de Nuremberg, gravé par Hans Borterer en 1592 – Un buste d’homme barbu coiffé d’un bonnet retombant en arrière habillé d’un vêtement avec rabat col rabattu boutons et ceinture tenant de sa main dextre levée un poignard dirigé vers dextre et de sa senestre ramenée à la hanche un compas de dimension ouvert les pointes vers le canton senestre de la pointe Casque avec lambrequins Cimier le buste de l’écu. English: [Appears only in an engraving from 1592 so the tinctures are not known] A bust of a man bearded wearing a hat drooping behind dressed in clothes with flaps, collar, buttons and belt, holding in his raised Dexter hand a dagger pointing to the the Dexter and in his sinister pulling on the handle of pair of dividers open the points towards the sinister base quarter Helmet with mantling Crest: the bust from the shield.
2) Neufchâtel – (Tripet et Colin, Arm. des Mousquetaires) – Coupé de sable sur argent à une fleur-de-lis brochant sur le coupé. English: Per fess sable over argent a fleur-de-lys covering over the partition.
3) Saint-Gall – D’azur à la bande d’argent ch d’un porc courant de gueules Cimier un demi-vol d’azur ch d’une bande d’argent. English: Azure a bend argent charged with a pig courant gules Crest: a single wing azure charged with a bend argent.
4) Poméranie – (Nob. du St.-Empire, 12 oct. 1741) – Écartelé aux 1 et 4 de gueules à une grue au naturel avec sa vigilance d’argent sur un tertre de sinople aux 2 et 3 d’argent à un palmier de sinople sur un tertre du même la cime du palmier ch d’une pierre d’or Sur le tout coupé d’or sur azur à un guerrier romain brochant sur le coupé tenant de sa main dextre une hallebarde Bourlet d’azur et d’or Cimier le guerrier issant entre deux proboscides d’or Lambrequin d’azur d’or et de gueules. English: Quarterly 1st and 4th gules a crane [stork] proper in its vigilance [with foot resting on a stone] argent on a hillock vert 2nd and 3rd argent a palm tree vert on a hillock of the same the top of the tree charged with a stone or Overall an escutcheon per fess or over azure a Roman warrior covering over the partition holding in his Dexter hand a halberd Crowned with a helmet with a wreath azure and or Crest: the warrior issuant between two Proboscides or Mantling: azure and gules.
5) Bâle – Coupé de sable sur argent à une fleur-de-lis de l’un en l’autre et une bordure de l’un en l’autre Cimier un homme issant habillé d’un parti de sable et d’argent au rabat de l’un à l’autre entre deux proboscides coupées d’argent sur sable. English: Per fess sable over argent a fleur-de-lys counterchanged and a bordure counterchanged Crest: a man issuant dressed per pale sable and argent, flaps counterchanged between two Proboscides per fess argent over sable.
Heinrich von Heß
Heinrich Hermann Josef Freiherr von Heß (1788-1870), Austrian Field Marshall

6) Autriche – (Conc. d’arm., 1416; nob. du St.-Empire, 21 oct. 1584; chevaliers du St.-Empire, 5 mai 1764; barons du St.-Empire, 9 oct. 1790 et 16 fév. 1791) – De gueules à la fasce d’argent acc en chef de trois besants d’or 2 et 1 Casque couronné Cimier un buste de vieillard habillé de gueules au rabat d’argent le justaucorps orné sur le devant de trois boules d’or en guise de boutons Lambrequin à dextre d’or et de gueules à senestre d’argent et de gueules. English: Gules a fess argent accompanied by in chief three bezants or 2 and 1 Crowned with a helmet Crest: the bust of an old man dressed gules with flaps argent the jerkin decorated on the front with three roundels or like they are buttons Mantling to the Dexter or and gules, to the sinister argent and gules.
7) Autriche – De gueules à la fasce d’argent acc en chef de trois besants d’or mal-ordonnés Casque couronné Cimier un buste de vieillard habillé de gueules au rabat d’argent le justaucorps orné sur le devant de trois boules d’or en guise de boutons Lambrequin à dextre d’or et de gueules à senestre d’argent et de gueules. English: Gules a fess argent accompanied by in chief three bezants or disordered [1 and 2] Crowned with a helmet Crest a bust of an old man dressed gules with flaps argent the jerking decorated on the front with three balls like they are buttons Mantling: to the Dexter or and gules , to the sinister argent and gules.
8) Bâle – Coupé au 1 d’azur à une fleur-de-lis d’or au 2 de gueules à un tertre de sinople Cimier un buste d’homme habillé d’azur au rabat d’or. English: Per fess 1st azure a fleur-de-lys or 2nd gules a hillock vert Crest: a bust of a man azure with flaps or.
9) Autriche – (Nob. du St-Empire, 30 oct. 1593) – Tranché au 1 d’azur au griffon d’or tenant de ses pattes un poignard d’argent garni d’or en bande au 2 tiercé en pal de gueules d’argent et d’or Casque couronné Cimier une femme issante de carnation chevelée d’or tenant au-dessus de sa tête une voile d’argent dont elle empoigne l’antenne de sa main dextre et l’extrémité de sa main senestre entre un vol l’aile dextre d’azur au dossier d’or l’aile senestre de gueules plein Lambrequin à dextre d’argent et de gueules à senestre d’or et d’azur. English: Per bend 1st azure a griffin or holding in its paws a dagger argent hilt and pommel or in bend 2nd tierced in pale gules, argent and or Crowned with a helmet Crest: a woman issuant carnation with long hair or holding above her head a sail argent grasped by the spar with her dexter hand and the far end [of the sail] in her sinister hand between a pair of wings that to the dexter azure with the back or the wing to the sinister gules [plain] Mantling: to the dexter argent and gules to the sinister or and azure.

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