German Bodmans

The German Bodmans are one of the most ancient families of Alemannia. They trace their lineage back to the 8th century. A small town at the end of Lake Constance is called Bodman. It is not clear whether they take their name from the town or it from them. There was a settlement here in Roman times as it was on a trading route. Later it was a hunting lodge for the Holy Roman Emperor.

The German name for Lake Constance is Bodensee and derives from the town name Bodman (today’s Bodman-Ludwigshafen) that is situated at a nearby branch of the lake just some 8 km northwest of Konstanz.

The Bodman family had their own castle. The Castle Frauenberg, also called Schloss Frauenberg, is a former castle of the Counts of Bodman in Bodman-Ludwigshafen in the district of Konstanz in Baden-Wurttemberg , Germany . The castle was built by the Lords of Bodman, Empire ministeriale the Staufer called, later Earl of (and to) Bodman, built and rebuilt several times. This mountain stronghold was originally the seat of the count’s family, during a family celebration, a lightning strike caused a fire to start up on September 16, 1307. According to the legend, it burned the entire count’s family and some members of the nobility Among the victims were Conrad, Katharina, Anna and Adelheid von Bodman, Gottfried von Kreyen (crows), Heinrich von Blumegg and Ritter Hans von Bodman and Hans von Schellenberg. Only the youngest son Johannes von Bodman, survived the disaster with the help of his nurse who stuck the child in a cauldron and threw them both out of the window. The cauldron fell down the rocks eventually to be slowed down by bushes, and finally stopped. The site where the caldron stopped is marked today by a small sandstone obelisk. The father of the saved baby gave the mountain to the Cistercian monastery Salem under condition to build a chapel and priest’s house on it. In May 1309 the chapel was consecrated. In 1515 construction and re-building took place; the building was finally reconstructed again in the years 1610/11. In the course of secularization the monastery came In 1806 it was back in the possession of the count’s family. Reference: [1]

The Bodman Crest Blazon : The coat of arms is quartered . Fields 1 and 4 show in a black gold, rising Capricorn, 2 and 3 in three silver (2: 1) lowered green linden leaves (the original strain of Arms ). On the helmet is a high, with ermine related Spitzhut, occupied the top with a golden crown from which a bush peacock feathers grows. The helmet covers are right green-silver and black-golden left. Old coat of arms figures show instead of the linden leaves also three natural Seeblatter the root plate. A coat of arms improvement , awarded in 1360 by Emperor Charles IV. , the black Capricorn the Mayor of Windeck was added to the root of Arms. Reference:- [http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodman_(Adelsgeschlecht)&prev=search ]

There is an unsubstantiated connection between the Bodmans in the West Country of England and Germany:- the story goes that William Bodman, a wealthy merchant of Hamburg, set up a trading centre in Bristol c. 1580. Somehow he got in the way of Queen Elizabeth and her battles with Spain and was hung at Clifton Down. There is a possibility that he established a parallel line of Bodmans in England but English Bodmans in Calne, Steeple Ashton and Calne in Wiltshire are established when parish records began in 1540 approx., and also there were Bodmans in Somerset in 1361 and Yorkshire in 1316. Reference:- letter from Walter L Bodman of New York to Mrs Ida Maria Berdan Bodman written 25/1/1927