The Message Behind the 1706 Hiestand Coat of Arms

Augmentation of arms is a term describing an addition to a coat of arms at a later date, after the original coat of arms was created.  Historically, augmentations were issued by a monarch as either a mere mark of favor or a reward or recognition for some meritorious act.  But in more recent times, families have created augmentations on their own initiatives.  Why and when the augmentation of the 1706 Hiestand coat of arms was created is unknown.

Every coat of arms carried a message of some sort.  Was the 1706 Hiestand coat of arms a simple message about the Snönau line of Hiestands–that they were steadfast?  Or, was it a “Don’t tread on me!” and “Make my day!” warning to nosey “Anabaptist hunters” and others who trespassed on their remote farms on the southeast border of Canton Zürich?

There are several existing Hiestand coats of arms, each carrying a message to represent a branch of the Hiestand family.

For Example:

There are several variations of this (anchor and stars) Swiss Hiestand coat of arms.  These seem to be connected to families who lived near the Lake of Zürich.  It carries a visual message of being anchored, stable, settled, etc.

The 1706 coat of arms was created by a Hiestand who lived in Schönau, a remote area across the Sihl River, east of Hütten.  At the time it was created, the families in that area were being harassed by government and church officials.

Jacob Hiestand's 1706 Schönau Hiestand Coat of Arms Message

Contrary to what is commonly believed, a surname group (a Family, all of which carried a common name) generally did not have a single coat of arms that always represented the entire family for all locations, generations, and family lines.  Some branches of a family created their own to represent their particular uniqueness or unique circumstances.  Living when and where he did, Uli and Barbara’s son Jacob was making a statement–perhaps a warning–to remind intruders (such as harassing “Anabaptist hunters” and common thieves) that he was a Hie-stand.  

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