The Genealogy of the Jahn Family from Bohemia
The Jahn Family Introduction
Last Edited=30 May 2005
The following outlines research and family lore written by Edward Jahn, the 30th Marquis of Neumark on the history of the Jahn family. It has not yet been verified.1
The Jahn von Neumark Coat of Arms
410: The earliest ancestor of the Jahns' was a Visigoth tribal chieftain (Latin name - Ian meaning John) who participated in the invasion of Rome. Nothing else is heard of this family until 809.
Circa 809: Jagn (Latin for Ian) was invested as "Count of the Marches" or markgraf of Neumark by Charlemagne. The "New March" or "mark" encompassed an area of 60 miles by 30 miles on the Bavarian frontier. The term mark or march is derived from the length of a day's march by a Roman legion. The markgrafs were military leaders commanding a large body of men-at-arms and knights. This was done to protect the eastern or Bavarian borders against the Avars, nomadic horsemen from the Asiatic steppes.
843: The Treaty of Verdun divided the empire into two parts - Germany and France. The area of Germany contained about 300 sovereignties that owed fealty only to the Holy Roman Emperor, among which were the Jahns of Neumark. The independent German sovereignties were annexed into the German empire under Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1871.
Between 1147-1149: The Jahns participated in the 2nd Crusade led by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany.
12th Century: The Coat of Arms was formalized. It is believed that the progenerator of the family were Visigoths who invaded Rome in 410 A.D., and were tribal chieftains. Their emblem or banner was a red crayfish (denoting tenacity) on a blue field, bordered in sable (or black).
Once the coat of Arms was formalized, it has not changed or been quartered in accordance with Germanic custom as opposed to British practice. Participation in the Crusades is indicated by a Saracen headdress in Gold and Black on the top of the helmet denoting nobility. the visor of the helmet faces to the front. The "coupeaux" represents a pile of severed Saracen heads and is formalized so as to avoid offense to the delicately nurtured ladies of the late 12th Century. The Barony of Leitha Coat of Arms includes a Lion en gardant or sous azure. It is a gold lion holding a sword in its left paw on a filed of blue and facing left toward the viewer. The lion is reared in a guarding stance.
Between 1189-1192: The Jahns participated in the 3rd Crusade led by the Emperor Frederick Barborossa.
Between 1218 - 1221: The Jahns participated in the 5th Crusade.
1453: There is a gap in the family history until about 1453 where the Jahn castle at Neumark was totally destroyed by John Zizka, leader of the peasant revolt. After this time, the family apparently was with the Holy Roman Emperor at his court at Vinobunda (Viena) where it is assumed they played roles as military leaders against the Protestant revolt which was quite violent in middle Europe for nearly a century.
18th Century: The Jahns appear at the court of the Empress Maria Theresa where the great-grandfather of Edward Jahn [Johann Jahn von Neumark] married the heiress of the Austrian barony of Leitha. These lands were bestowed on Newmark. About this time (possibly mid-century), the family acquired a Stradivarius violin. Also, there was a hand carved crucifix (Black Forest) made about 1740 and used at the funeral of an ancestral Jahn. Another crucifix (about 1935) was used at the funeral of James John Jahn.
Circa 1820: Johann Jahn von Neumark fell into disfavor with the Imperial Court and was relegated to the post of chief forester on the Bavarian frontier. It is believed that the disfavor arose from the fact that Johann married a Czech woman (considered a member of an inferior race). His son, Adam, also married a Czech woman. This continued the disfavor with Emperor Franz Josef.
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