|About the family research...|
World record in family research? About family research when there where no family names...
As within all family research you are following the traces backwards. After a successfull completion with another generation, you are spurred to even more fresh efforts. In other words, family research is really addictive.
There are few families that seems to have their genealogical origin as professionaly researched as ours. Maybe this could even be a world record, with the exception for some royal dynasties.
Usually family research means to go backwards through the history by following the family name. However, family names has not been used for ever (nor in every culture). During the 1500th century it seems rather unuseual. Our genealogy reaches ca 1070, and at that time no family names where used.
If the researched family is noble, there are some other possibilities. Nobilized persons also adopted a coat of arms. The rules and administration of this system was very carefully regulated, after all it was a very important part of the societys administration, where rights and dutys were carefully taken care of.
One of the tasks of the House of Nobles in Europe was to keep a genealogical register of its members. In this connection a coat of arms had a very clear function. Its appearance should be carefully and exactly described, a painting of it should be made on metal and be hanged up on the wall in the Hall of the Knights.
Heraldics deals with coat of arms and the way they are performed and used. Among heraldics and persons interested of heraldry, the coat of arms for different families are of great interest.
So, thanks to the nobilizations (several!) the von Knorring genealogical research has reach as far as ca 1070 A.D., long before family names came in use.
At this time, ca 1100th century, only a few persons were able to read and write, oftenly within monateries where this skill was systematically trained and educated.
Therefore, when important documents had to be written, professional writers were engaged. Normally, a written agreement i.e. about buying and selling real property was not written by one of the two in person. And they didn´t even had any family name, maybe they also carried the same given name. In documents of this age, the identities were cleared by also mentioning their fathers and sometimes even their brothers. Plus their seals in case they were of a noble family, the seal wich later would be used as shiledmark in a coat of arms.
When it matters the oldest coat of arms, the shieldmark usually originates in an even older seal.
When there are no longer possibilities to trace a family name backwards, seals can be used among nobel families. Taht is why our oldest records dates ca 1070.