Pictures: Other Noble Families

Riedesels zu Josbach, Vers, Camberg and Bellersheim

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Several other lines of knightly Riedesels are known from the 1300s onward, but all were extinct as members of the lower nobility before 1700. Not every member had the status of a Ritter (knight) and their lives were far from glamorous. They might have owned some property around the small towns where they were based (e.g. Josbach), but were dependent on the landed nobility for jobs as administrators or hired swords.

I believe that the Camberg line was relatively independent of the others while the Riedesels of Bellersheim, Vers and elsewhere were rooted in the Josbach line. Their names–dozens of them–are scattered across the documentary record but few physical traces of these Riedesels remain.

josbachOne of the more prominent “others” was Johann Riedesel zu Josbach who died about 1559. He is buried with his two wives, Anna von Gilsa (d.1535) and Maragarete von Hund (d.1553) in the Protestant church in Josbach, Hessen. This picture is of the gravestone for Johann and his wives.

“Coat of arms” is an English term that does not quite match the German institution of Wappen. These were fairly simple heraldic figures based on a shield. The basic Wappen of all Riedesels includes a donkey’s head with leaves (usually three, presumably thistle) in its mouth. In the insignia of the Riedesel zu Eisenbach, the donkey faces forward; in the other lines, it often faces to the side.

Behind the tomb of Otto von Hindenburg in St. Elisabeth’s church in Marburg is a table of arms of the ancient Deutscher Orden, or Teutonic Knights. It includes several Riedesel shields. The shields show the dates of their induction into the Order. (Viele Dank an meinem Freund Stefan Riedesel für diesen Bilder)

St. Elisabeth's Church in Marburg
Table representing the Teutonic Knights (Deutscher Orden), Marburg Chapter
The shield of Craft Riedesel zu Bellersheim
The shield of Johann Riedesel zu Josbach (d.1559)
The shield of Gilbrecht Riedesel zu Vers

The Riedesel zu Vers were a branch off the Riedesel zu Josbach. These were their Wappen from Siebmacher's 1605 collection.
The Riedesel zu Bellersheim were important in that small town for over a century but faded away by the early 1600s.
This version of the Bellersheim shield is located over the entrance to a Burg in Bellersheim
The Riedesel zu Bellersheim inhabited this beautiful Fachwerk house in the town of Friedberg. In the wall is a coat of arms dated 1555.
Fachwerk in Bad Camberg. Part of this structure was at one time a Riedesel possession.
The town of Camberg claims a lovely old Fachwerk administration building that was cobbled together from three buildings owned by noble families, one of them the Riedesel zu Camberg.
The oldest known residential building in Camberg is the present-day Apotheke (pharmacy). It was built around 1480 by the brothers Henrich and Endres Riedesel zu Camberg.
This a gravestone for a Philipp Riedesel zu Bellersheim in the Abbey Ilbenstadt. He supposedly was an official at the Burg in Friedberg from 1499-1530 and may well have lived in the house shown above.