People will not look forward
to posterity who never look backward
to their ancestors.
[Edmund Burke, 1729-1797]

helm

My helmet looked somewhat like this. Well, not really!

LANGMANN FAMILY LEGENDS--and how they proved true

By Rudy Langmann

When I was a child I was told by my father that the Langmann family had a hereditary coat-of-arms the design of which was unknown to him, and I was not able to verify that until I started college and went to study at the Royal Library in Copenhagen in 1948 and by chance came across the old Siebmacher armorial from 1609. As a twelve-year-old in 1942 I had created my own family crest, a painted shield cut out of plywood and a knight's helmet manufactured from a couple lengths of stovepipes with which I fought many a battle, and interestingly enough I had chosen the same heraldic colors as I later found to be in the ancient crest, namely red, blue and silver*. My design, however, was slightly different.
I was also told that the first Langmann, a man named Ioannes, arrived in Nurnberg in 1019 and became the first Burgermeister, or mayor, in that city; and I learned of the existence of Adelheid Langmann in the 14th century, the celebrated Dominican nun from Engelthal. Shortly before WWII broke out in 1938 my family visited Nurnberg and the small nearby hamlet of Engelthal during our summer holidays and I received a small medallion as a gift, commemorating I believe, the 650th anniversary of the convent.
From grandfather Langmann I learned what he had been told by his own maternal grandmother, Nanna von Bulow, that she was the descendant of a Danish nobleman, but that is another story, a story that has been carefully hidden and guarded for more than 350 years. This was related to me on the long walks we took together when I was about 12 and 13 years of age and while I stayed with my grandparents during the summer holidays.
Every one of these old family legends I was later able to verify; all but the story of Ioannes. But when I had my y-DNA tested in 2008, indications were that the family could well have come from south of the Alps about 1,000 years ago.
There are some tales that never die.
And they are recounted in my book, 'Langmenn throughout a Thousand Years'.

 

Nürnberger Modes throughout the Centuries

FAMILY BIOGRAPHIES SPANNING MORE THAN A THOUSAND YEARS
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(Contains also pictures and a listing of sources)

This page from Johann Siebmacher's 'Grosses Wappenbuch' of 1609:


* Siebmacher shows the tinctures (colors) of the crest as red, silver and black, but in other armorials they are (in that order) silver, red and blue.

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My fondest hope is that 'Roots' may start black, white, brown, red, yellow people digging back for their own roots.
Man, that would make me feel 90 feet tall.

[Alex Haley, 1921-1992]