My Hoppes Coat of Arms by Harry Hoppes



            I’ve had several requests for additional information about the Hoppes coat of arms featured on the cover and in the frontispiece of my book Swiss Roots: A History of the Happes Family to 1800.  As a result of the frequent visits my wife Riki and I made to the State Archives in Zuerich and the City Archives in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1972/3, we learned that family coats of arms could still be filed by a member of any family originating in Switzerland.   Submissions into the New Collection (Neuschoepfung) had to be typed on an 11 x 15 centimeter filing card.  I knew that the Winterthur branch of the family had a coat of arms featuring a meat cleaver and a six-pointed star, so why shouldn’t part of the Toess branch of the family also be represented with a coat of arms? With this rationale in mind, I designed the submission on the 11 x 15 cm filing card depicted at the conclusion of this essay.  My translation of the face of the filing card is:


                                    HAPS/HOPPES from Toess
                                    In red, a silver hawk’s head
                                    and a silver powder horn with
                                    black accessories. In the shield’s base,
                                    a green trefoil with a silver
                                    doubled cross.

                                    New collection 1973
                                    By Dr. Harrison N. Hoppes, USA


            The following explanation is provided on the rear of the filing card:

                        The hawk’s head indicates the probable derivation of the family name.

                        The patriarch’s cross reminds us of the Cloister Toess; there
                        this branch of the Haps family was documented from
                        1485 – 1654.  After they for nearly a hundred years
                        lived in the Odenwald, representatives of this family
                        emigrated in 1751 for Pennsylvania.

                        The powder horn represents the immigrant Happeses as
                        soldiers in the Revolutionary War and as early pioneers,
                        who moved further southward and westward.

                        The family name in America was most frequently written as “Hoppes”.

            Filing cards of the type depicted below were entered into the New Collections of the State Archives in Zuerich and the City Archives in Winterthur.

By Harry Hoppes                                 February 22, 2002

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