New Revelations about Braatz Nobility and the Coat of Arms

New, exciting information about our Braatz heritage! Are you a Braatz of noble blood? We are finding out more information by the day. Here is an update on the Braatz Coat of Arms and the real history behind it.

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Update December 2008: We have now obtained a photo copy of the actual Prussian grant for the coat of arms discussed directly below. Here is the original record, including a black and white graphic of the original coat of arms. There are several differences from the coat that we have shown below, but they are minor and could be accounted for through artistic discretion. We are interested in someone who can read and translate German script, so that we may have a full translation of the lexicon. To view this record, Click Here.

Finally, family members are uncovering the proof of a Braatz who was raised up into nobility by the Prussian aristocracy. This Prussian Lexicon proclaims that this artillery Captain Braatz in Breslau (A Prussian city in Silesia, now Wroclaw, Poland) was ennobled and had paid his homage to Berlin on June 5, 1798. The Lexicon goes on to further describe the coat of arms that was given him to display. Here it is, as published, in German:

This Capt. Braatz and his descendants were granted the right to display this coat of arms to signify their position as well as their responsibility of homage which was pledged to the Prussian king in Berlin. It also gave the family the rights of using "von" before their last name of Braatz. (The "von" signifies "from" or "of the house of" and references the fact that those using it are of a noble blood line.)

Upon translating the description given of the coat, it was obvious that those we have been displaying on this site were significantly incomplete. Rudi had a copy of a coat of arms he had purchased as a college student in the 70's in Pittsburgh, PA USA, that more closely resembles the one described here in the lexicon. A copy of that coat of arms and description of the Braatz family that he had purchased can be found HERE. While this information was copyrighted in the 70's, the company is no longer in business and whether any other entity now holds copyright to it is in question.

We were then able to obtain an more even accurate depiction of the Braatz Coat of Arms for Capt. Braatz from a German Governmental office. This coat is much more distinctive and doesn't carry the all-too-common similarities that most of the coats have that are generated from the current vendors on the internet. This seemingly complete Coat of Arms is now found on the head of the homepage of this website and is also shown here:

While this coat of arms could well represent some of us with the surname of Braatz, that representation is limited to those who can show descendancy to the Captain Braatz upon who it was bestowed. It should be noted that as of the First World War, there are no longer legal rights for family ownership of these shields. As a result, there are no legal limits on their use as anyone would see fit.

We have also uncovered three other Bratz shields from Schwäbisch Hall in Germany. These shields are more like memorials, as they are displayed on the walls of the Hall. One of them is identified as a baker and another as a butcher. The third unknown. They are shown here:



Johann Jakob Bratz (1629-1718)

Dated 1681



Dated About 1728

Located on the outside wall of Schwäbisch Hall


Wolfgang Braatz Viewing the 1728 Coat of Arms on the outside of wall of Schwäbisch Hall

Johann Friedrich Bratz (1685-1772)

Dated 1764

Here are the internet vendor supplied shields, that, as you can see, are not so accurate in following the blazon description for Capt. Braatz:



Rudi, Brazil, along with Richard in Illinois, USA, and Wolfgang, Edwin, and Bernardette Braatz, Germany, continue the research to allow us to uncover more truths about this artillery captain with our surname and the coat of arms he was presented in return for his homage to the Prussian aristocracy. They are also seeking out other possible Bratz and Braatz ancestors that may have been enobled.

We will keep you posted.

Copyright 2008,