In the family's documents, one sheet of paper from the stationery of the firm "Kunstanstalt für Glasmalerei Ferd. Müller, Hoflieferant" (glass painter Ferd. Müller, court purveyor, in Quedlinburg) was found. This sheet is titled "Urkunde der Familie Sehrbundt" (charter of the Sehrbundt family). The text seems to have been written after 1897, but there is no hint about whether it really was designed in this firm or someone just used the stationery.

This so-called charter reads in translation:

"Etymologically, the name Sehrbundt or Seerbundt comes from scar = squad, army division (sar means e.g. armament), which is meant to be the root word of Scaramunt, an Old German given name. Through the development of the language, this became Sehrmundt, Zeremunde, and through the sound-shift, Sehrbunt (Sehrbundt), Seerbundt. (PS: that way, it is also written in our charter: Seerbundt).

The oldest traditional reports say that the family originated in the Gelderland and has been called Seerbundt von Harderwyk. 1557, one Thomas S. is mentioned in Nymegen. In the religious and war troubles, branches of this family settled in old Lower Saxony, Friesland and Westphalia, from where descendants moved to the Electorate of Saxony (the current Province of Saxony), and have been established there and following their professions for many generations.

The coat-of-arms of the Sehrbundt (Seerbundt) family is as follows:
Escutcheon quartered: in fields 1 and 4 in red one silver horseshoe each (indicating soundness and chivalrous virtue), in field 2 three golden ears of corn in blue with green-leafed stems (announcing the family's productive property and agricultural diligence), in field 3 a green-foliated tree in silver (symbolizing wealth). Upon the tournament-helmet, a black cuffed or tournament hat with silver cuffs, which is pricked with three ostrich feathers in blue, silver, red. The helmet blankets are red, silver and blue, gold. The tournament-helmet documents high birth, the tournament-helmet shows chivalrous pride. The colours red/silver indicate audacity, whereas blue/gold announce faith, joy and delight."

Affixed to this sheet, a rather cursory and careless drawing of the coat-of-arms can be found, with the remark "This is the copy from the original".

Familienurkunde der Familie
Sehrbundt / Vorderseite

Familienurkunde der Familie
Sehrbundt / Rückseite

Unfortunately, it can no more be determined exactly when, by whom and for whom this text and the drawing were made. The archive of the glass painter Müller's firm does not any more exist.

The realization of the coat-of-arms itself seems to show that it was a fraud. This is especially indicated by the use of a ring helmet or buckled helmet, which was limited to noble bearers; as well as by the inflected form of the escutcheon and the attempt to associate certain meanings to the components of the coat-of-arms.

Nevertheless - or just because of that - it is interesting to see the text stating that the family came from the Dutch Gelderland and moved from there via Lower Saxony, Friesland and Westphalia to Saxony.

Not one single word can be found of Johann Peter Sehrbundt's definite origin in Ober-Olm in the Electorate of Mainz. And though no direct connection could be found to the Netherlands so far, the family name (van) Sermondt does occur there since about 1700, and concentrates in the Gelderland. - One knows that after the Thirty Years' War, many refugees from the areas west of the Rhein river and the adjacent territories (like Lothringen) settled in Ober-Olm. Is there some truth somewhere in the story?

Publications about heraldry:

Jürgen Arndt (ed.): Der Wappenschwindel, seine Werkstätten und ihre Inhaber, Neustadt/Aisch 1997

Handbuch der Heraldik. Wappenfibel, 19th rev. ed. Neustadt/Aisch 1998

Back to the main page