Sunday, 3 May 2015

The history and arms of the Breitholtz family

The Charter of Nobility for Claes Breitholtz and his descendents,
issued by Queen Christina of Sweden on the the 22 May 1650.
Original deposited at the House of Nobility, Stockholm. 

© Copyright 2014: Carl Anders Breitholtz.  


1. The Breitholtzes of Today

2. Claes Breitholtz, founder of the noble family in Sweden in 1650
3. Mauritz Breitholtz, founder of the noble family in Livonia in 1653
4. Always passed for nobility
5. Coats of arms
6. The second generation in Sweden proper
7. The older branch from Hietamäki by Åbo
8. The Finnish and Russian lines of the older branch
9. The younger branch from Stjärnevik by Linköping

10. The earliest traces
11. Marquard II Breetholt, the ancestral father
12. A Hanseatic merchant house in Revalia
13. Swedish subjects in Livonia


1. The Breitholtzes of Today

The Breitholtz family is a Swedish noble family, which was introduced in 1650 at the House of Nobility in Stockholm (Riddarhuset), thereby having a permanent seat at the Swedish parliament, an order which lasted up to 1866.

The family consists of two main branches – an older and a younger branch – with about 190 members bearing the name. According to the Book of Swedish Nobility (Adelskalendern 2007) Breitholtzes now live in Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Great Britain, USA and Australia.

A family association – Släktföreningen Breitholtz - was formed in 1950 on initiative by Gustaf Breitholtz, Secretary to the Stockholm diocese. Nils Breitholtz, Headmaster of the Stockholm College of Arts & Crafts and 10th head of the family, became its first chairman. Nils’ grandson Jonas Breitholtz, Stockholm, is the present head of the family, the 12th in order. The family association is today lead by the consultant, major Claës T. Breitholtz of Stockholm after the recent death of the former chairman, Mr. Ulf Breitholtz, Kramfors. The web-address to the Breitholtz family union is and to The House of Nobility/ Riddarhuset

The purpose of the family association is to encourage and maintain contacts with family members – i.e. to keep in touch - and to keep the knowledge of our family history alive. A fund has been created, which today amounts to about 1 mSEK. The interests are being used to subsidize family dinners and other expenses connected to the family gatherings.

The House of Nobility (Riddarhuset), Stockholm
The Breitholtz Association invites the family members, i.e. not only members of the Association but all Breitholtzes, to reunite every fifth year. The next reunion is planned to be held in 2015. Usually there is a meeting at the House of Nobility in Stockholm followed by a dinner and other festivities there. If possible we also arrange trips to places of interest to the family history, such as a trip to Revalia/Tallinn (in the year 2000) and to churches and manors owned by the family (in 2010). 

After years of research Dr. Hans Karnatz of Lübeck presented his findings in two articles (in German) about the family’s older history from about 1390-1662. Mr Dick Wase, a Swedish researcher in the history of Visby, have studied the oldest history of the familyand found that it seems to have come to Visby on the island of Gotland in the 1230-ies. All these research including Gustaf Breitholtz (1890-1963) research from 1923 onwards, is presented in two books by Carl Anders Breitholtz. The first part focuses on the older history up tp about 1650 and the second part family history as a whole. 

   Carl Anders Breitholtz, Ätten Breitholtz, bd I, Från Hansatid till stormaktstid, Tierp 1998
   Carl Anders Breitholtz, Ätten Breitholtz, bd II, En släkthistoria genom sju sekler, Lund 2010.
   Gustaf Breitholtz, Kortfattat släktregister över ätten Breitholtz. Manuskript, Stockholm 1950.
   Gustaf Elgenstierna, Den introducerade svenska adelns ättartavlor, band I, Stockholm 1925 ff.
     Avsnittet om ätten Breitholtz är författat av Gustaf Breitholtz.
   Hans Karnatz, Zwischen der Bai und Nowgorod. Versuch einer Stammfolge der hansischen
     Kaufmannsfamilie Bretholt, Ostdeutsche Familienkunde Heft 2 1974 och Heft 3 1980.
   Dick Wase, Bretholt - en medeltida Visbysläkt, Släkt och hävd 1990:1 (Stockholm 1990).


2. Claes Breitholtz, founder of the noble family in Sweden 1650

Makalös (Peerless - the building to the right),
Count Jakob De la Gardie and his wife Ebba Brahe's
palace in Stockholm. 
In 1637 Claes Breitholtz (1620-1706), was a page at the personal court of the Swedish General Count Jacob De la Gardie, previously governor of Estonia, who then lived at his palace Makalös (meaning peer-less) in Stockholm.

Claes had by then left his native Revalia in Livonia (now Tallinn in Estonia), where his father Evert II Breitholtz (+1646) used to live with his family, when they weren’t staying at Rogatino, the country estate in Ingermania (now in Russia) that king Gustaf II Adolph had granted him in 1630 as a nobleman for his valued services rendered to the Crown. Evert was a governor of the castle of Revalia in 1636-1637 (the De la Gardie archives of LUB, Lund, Sweden).    

Went count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie was sent on the so called Great Embassy to king Louis XIV in Paris in 1646, Claes was one of the attendants. In 1648 he was made a marshall of the court of the De la Gardie family with their vast country estates. In the same year Queen Christina granted Claes Breitholtz “some country estates in Västergötland”, a county in southwestern Sweden, in exchange of Rogatino. In the 1660-ies he founded a large country estate of these farms and called it Margreteholm after his wife Margareta Ödla (c 1624-1681), whom he had married in 1650.  Margareta Ödla - her surname means ‘lizard’ - was a Swedish noblewoman, the daughter of Anders Svensson Ödla (+1630), an influencial Swedish diplomat in Hamburg with a background as a spy (hence his surname!), in a history book called the first Swedish “Ambassador”, and his wife Agnethe Kijl, a daughter of Knut Kijl (+1599), admiral of the Älvsborg-fleet.

Arms of Alliance of Claes Breitholtz and Margareta Ödla,
who married in 1650 in the church of St. Jacob, Stockholm.
Painting by Carl Anders Breitholtz, Creative Heraldry.   

Claes started his military career in 1648. Two years later, on the 22nd May 1650, Queen Christina issued a charter of nobility for him when he was a lieutenant at the first Royal Cavalry Regiment (Livregementet till häst). Later the same year he and his family line, the Breitholtz family, was introduced at the House of Nobility (Riddarhuset) in Stockholm under No 484 among the nobles. This meant that the Breitholtz family then was granted its own representation at the Swedish Parliament, an order that lasted in 215 years until 1866, when the parliament was reorganized from the four estates (the Nobility, the Priests of the Church, the Burghers and the Peasants) into a two chamber parliament with members assigned through general elections. 

As a cavalry officer Claes became engaged in Sweden’s war with Poland in 1655 to 1660 and fought in thebattle of Warszaw. In the war with Denmark in 1675-1679  Claes – then a colonel - won the battle of Strömstad and was after that promoted Major General of the Cavalry and one of the two deputy commanders-in-chief of the Swedish army under the leadership of the General count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie, a son of the aforenamed General Jacob De la Gardie.    

After the war Claes and Margareta lived on their estate Margreteholm by Sandhem, 30 km west of the city of Jönköping. They were both buried in the old church of Sandhem and an epitaph with the Breitholtz coat of arms still hangs on the wall beside the altar.

Margreteholm (in Sandhem parish), Västergötland, Sweden,
was given its name by Claes Breitholtz wife, Margareta Ödla. 

3. Mauritz Breitholtz, founder of  the noble family in Livonia 1653

Claes younger brother Mauritz Breitholtz (also called Moritz von Breitholtz, born c 1624, + c 1705) was nobilized by Queen Christina in 1653, when he was a captain of the Livonian Cavalry Regiment. This regiement consisted of noblemen only (Livländska Adelsfanan), but as he lived in the Swedish province of Livonia far from Stockholm he never applied for introduction at the Swedish House of Nobility.

Mauritz Breitholtz was married twice. In 1667 he married Maria Magdalena von Krusenstjerna (-1634-1682), a daughter of Philip von Krusenstjern, who was a governor (ståthållare) of the castle of Revalia and was made a Swedish nobleman, and his wife Barbara Voigt. Mauritz and Philip had been members of the Schwarzenhäupter in Revalia about the same time (1646 onwards) and it seems plausible that Mauritz met his future wife through this connection. Mauritz and Marie Magdalene had two sons, Evert and Philip Breitholtz, who both became engaged in military careers but who seems to have died in their early twenties.

Coat of arms for Mauritz Breitholtz and his family in Livonia.
Siebmacher's Wappenbuch 1901.

Mauritz Breitholtz second marriage was with Anna Kaulbars (-1714-), a Livonian noblewomen, daughter of Joakim Kaulbars, governor (hauptman) of Torgelow, and his wife Ursula von der Öhe. They had at least two children, Johan Evert (or Joachim Eberhard) (c. 1690-1709-) and a daughter, Ursula Beata Breitholtz.

Arms of Alliance
with the shields of Mauritz (von) Breitholtz,
his first wife Maria Magdalena von Krusenstjerna
and his second wife Anna Kaulbars.
Detail from a painting by Carl Anders Breitholtz, Creative Heraldry

Following the footsteps of his father Johan Evert became a member of die Schwartzenhäupter of Revalia (the Black Heads) in 1695 as the last in a line of twenty Breitholtzes since Marquard II Breetholt in 1424. Johan Evert became a cavalry officer in the army of king Charles XII. He fought against the Russians in the battle of Poltava in 1709 when he was an aide-de-camp to the Major General Wolmar Anton von Schlippenbach at his Livonian Dragoon Regiment. The Swedish army lost at Poltava and Johan Evert Breitholtz was taken captive together with his regimental commander von Schlippenbach and brought to Siberia. Breitholtz was never heard of ever since. Around 1713 his mother Anna Kaulbars wrote a letter to king Charles XII, in which she mentioned, that she had "lost all her closest" (relatives in Livonia) and that her only son, who became a Leutenant at the age of eighteen, and her brother, Leutenant Colonel Kaulbars, both were "brought in captivity to Siberia".    

In 1715 Schlippenbach changed-over to service under tsar Peter and was appointed Leutenant General. It has been assumed that Johann Evert died somewhere in Russia. However, it cannot be ruled out that he followed the example of Schlippenbach, his regimental commander, and went over to Russian service as well. As such an act would have been judged as treachery in the Swedish army, this could have been the very reason why Johann Evert Breitholtz was never heard of from Russia.

Michael Johann
von Traubenberg 
His sister Ursula Beata Breitholtz (c1703-1763) married Hans-Henrik von Delwig of Weibstfehr (1793-1758), a Livonian nobleman, who lived in Swedish Finland as a colonel of the regiment of Björneborg (listen to the march of this regiment: here) and deputy lord leutenant of Kymmenegård county. They divorced however in 1733. Four children belonging to the colonel's relatives from Tunbyholm in Skåne died when Sälkis, his residence as a colonel, caught fire. The colonel too died soon after he had been brought out of the burning building. In 1749 their daughter Anna Gertrude von Delwig (1723-?) married Michael Johann von Traubenberg (1719-1772), a German-Baltic Baron and Major General. He was a Russian commandant of the Gouvernement of Orenbourg and died in 1772 in the battle of Talk in Livonia.

This non-introduced noble family Breitholtz in Livonia seem to have been extinct with Johan Evert and Ursula Beata. But in the 1930-ies there was a Russian army general by the name of Alexander Breitholtz, who might have been a descendent of Johann Evert Breitholtz or some other member of the Livonian family line of Mauritz Breitholtz, if he wasn't an offspring of the Finnish-Russian family line. 

4. “Always passed for nobility”

Mauritz’s coat of arms was identical to that of his brother’s, as both had inherited it from their father and his ancestors, the Revalian branch of the Bretholt family. So when Queen Christina made Claes and Mauritz Breitholtz Swedish noblemen it was in effect a confirmation of an older noble rank, something that is also mentioned in the Queen’s two charters of nobility for the Breitholtz brothers. There it is said that their ancestors had “always passed for nobility” but the original charter of nobility had been destroyed through war or other reasons.

Claes and Mauritz father Evert II Breitholtz (who wrote his name “Eberhartt Breitholdt”) had belonged to the Swedish nobility in Livonia as in 1630 king Gustaf II Adolph had granted him a country estate – Rogatino in Ingermania - as a nobleman, which meant that he was granted exemption from taxes under condition that he was obliged to defend his country on the horseback in times of war.

In 1624 a family Bretholtz had been recorded as Livonian nobles at “Livlands Ritterbank”, which most likely refered to the Bretholt/Breitholtz family and  Evert II, whose name among the German-speaking Livonians was Eberhard Bretholtz. This same year “Eberhard Bretholtz” was then owner of a country estate in Pernau in southwestern Estonia.     

The Breitholtz coast of arms: From top left: 
  • a painting in the charter of nobility of 1650. 
  • A painting on a copper plate in the House of Nobility of Sweden. The row below: 
  • The heraldic epitaph over Claes Breitholtz (1620-1706) in his parish church in Sandhem west of Jönköping. 
  • A litographic print in Carl Arvid Klingspor's Book on heraldry (1890).     

5. Coats of arms

The wordings in the charters of nobility for Claes and Mauritz Breitholtz are almost identical. Even their coat of arms are identical with no distinctions between them. This is however not the usual practice in heraldry. The reason for this was therefore probably that the brothers had inherited their father’s (Evert II) and his ancestors’ coat of arms and wished to keep it unchanged.   

A translation of the blazon from the old Swedish into English heraldic language has been done as follows: 

Party per fess azure and gules a linden tree vert and over all a unicorn passant argent.
Over the shield is an open helmet, with mantling azure and gules doubled argent and for crest issuant out of a nobleman’s coronet a demi unicorn rampant argent between six banners azure, argent, and gules.

The coat of arms was painted in gouache or tempera on the charter, which was written on vellum, i.e. specially prepared parchment of calf. The Breitholtz charter from 1650 is nowadays – since 2012 – kept at Riddarhuset in Stockholm as a deposit.

The charter of nobility for Mauritz has however since long gone astray or has been destroyed, probably somewhere in Livonia where he used to live. But a copy of the charter is kept at Sweden’s central archives in Stockholm (Riksarkivet).     
A painting on copper plate of the Breitholtz coat of arms
hangs on one of the walls in the Hall of Chivalry
in the House of Nobility (Riddarhuset) in Stockholm.
Photo: Riddarhuset, Riddarhussalen (Wikipedia). 

In the 17th and part of the 18th centuries it was common practice in Sweden, that when a noblemen died his coat of arms, sculpted in wood and painted, was carried in procession to the church, where it was hung on a wall as an epitaph. We know of two such heraldic epitaphs over Breitholtzes. One is over the ancestral father Claes Breitholtz (1620-1706) in the church of Sandhem about 45 minutes drive west of the city of Jönköping. The other is placed in Oppeby church over Claës Diedrich von Breitholtz (1712-1783), about an hour’s drive south of the city of Linköping.

There are also other heraldic memories over members of Breitholtzes. In Oppeby church and Misterhults church (north of Oskarshamn) there are the heraldic shields of the Breitholtz and Koskull families in alliance, representing Claës Didrik Breitholtz (as above) and his wife, baroness Eleonora Koskull (1729-1781), owners of Misterhult. Claës Didrik designed these churches, organized and financed the construction of them.      

Epitaph in Oppeby church over Claës Diedrich von Breitholtz (1712-1783). 
The silver plate says "His Royal Highness' Loyal Man (i.e. a highranking honorary title), Leutenant Colonel of the Admiralty, and Knight of the Order of the Sword, the Rt Hon.ble Mr Claës Died: v: Breitholtz, Born on the 25th July 1712 and passed away in the faith of the Lord on the 3rd March  1783." His family shield is flanked by symbols of his engagement in the Navy - a canon on each side, flags, a mace, a command baton. The crown on top of it all seems to be a reference to his late wife, the Viscountess Eleonora Koskull, but could alternatively refer to the noble rank of his family, which had recently been raised to the peerage together with one hundred of the oldest noble families of the country. - This epitaph is kept in a court style with golden decor reminding of the at the time a bit old-fashioned rococo period. I suppose it was ordered by Claës and Eleonora's children and made by some (so far) unknown but highly professional craftsman, probably in Stockholm.                

Claes great grandfather Jasper Bretholt (c. 1505-1566), a Revalian senator and diplomat, carried a coat of arms in his seal in 1559, which shows all the attributes characteristic for noblemen, i.e.over a shield a crowned open helmet with a crest and mantling. But unfortunately we cannot for sure see exactly which heraldic figures there were in this seal. So we cannot say if it was the same coat of arms as Claes and Mauritz carried.

With his seal displaying his coat of arms Senator Jasper Breitholtz
witnessed the testament of Hans Frilinck in 1559.
In the city archives of Revalia/Tallinn. 

But thanks to another document in the Revalian city archives we can for sure claim that Claes and Mauritz really did carry the same coat of arms as their forefathers at least back to Jasper’s father, Marquard III Bretholt (c 1450-1517), mayor of Revalia. On the tombstone in St. Olov’s church in Revalia the heraldic shield of Elizabeth Bredtholz was cut in one of the corners. In a manuscript from the early 17th century, now kept in the city archives of Revalia, it is described as “ein Einhorn am Baum”, i.e. a unicorn by a tree. As Elisabeth died between 1588 and 1596 this is the earliest known blazon of the Breitholtz heraldic arms. Elizabeth was a daughter of Jasper’s brother Victor Bretholt, both sons of Marquard III. As Claes and Mauritz carried the same figures in their heraldic shields they must have inherited it from theirs and Elisabeth’s last common ancestor, which was Marquard III Bretholt.

"Die alte Bretholten"
were buried under the family's tombstone in
St. Olaf's church, Tallinn/Revalia, Estonia.
Photo by Olga Itenberg, July 2008.
From Wikimedia Commons. 

It was common practice among the members of the city council of Revalia to carry coats of arms and therefore, as Marquard was a senator of this city, he most likely carried this Bretholt -Breitholtz coat of arms. This implies that the “unicorn by a tree” was carried as the family’s arms at least since they first were introduced as members of the Revalian city council, i.e. when Marquard II Breetholt was elected a member of the Revalian court in 1439. Moreover, his brother Wolter Breetholt ((c. 1410-1481) had a double seal with his trade mark on one end and an heraldic arms on the other, a shield that however is un known. Did he too carry “the unicorn by the tree”-escutcheon and had the brothers inherited it from their father?
So it was obviously true, that the Breitholtz family had “always passed for nobility” long before they were made Swedish nobles in 1650 and 1653. 

6. The second generation in Sweden proper  
Leutenant Colonel Magnus Anders Breitholtz,
wearing moustache a la mode, allonge wig and a
white silk scarf and dressed in a breast cuirass
and arm-coverings made of elk skin. Unknown
artist. Oil painting about 1705.  
Claes and Margareta's first son Magnus Anders Breitholtz (c 1652-1721) became a cavalry officer like his father. In king Charles XI’s the war with Denmark 1675-1679 he fought in the battle of Lund 1676 when his regiment had a crucial role for the Swedish victory. In the beginning of the Great Northern War he was promoted Leutenant Colonel of a cavalry regiment in Uppland, a county north of Stockholm, but the same year he quited this position, devoting his time the family and his country estate Ora säteri in Upland.

In his first marriage with Metta Kafle (+1700) Magnus had a son Evert who called himself Edvard, who became ancestor of the older branch of the family. Through his third marriage with Christina Catharina Adlerhielm (+1734) Magnus became father of Claës Didrik, who became ancestral father of the younger branch.

As a captain of Livregementet till häst, king Charles XI’s own cavalry regiment in 1680-1700, Magnus lived on Vittsjö in Uppland. He owned a few estates one after another in Uppland – Brölunda near the coast, Ledingenäs and Ledinge near Uppsala and Ora estate in the northern part of the county. His widow Christina Catharina Adlerhielm lived on Ora and after her death there in 1734, her children inherited Ora and sold it in parts from 1746-1752 after some 50 years ownership by the Breitholtz family.

Magnus Anders’ brother Carl Breitholtz (c 1654-1717) became a colonel and inherited the family estate Margreteholm. After his death this estate went to his second wife, viscountess Margareta Sparre (+1728), as he had no children.  

As a young officer Carl left Sweden in 1684 in order to assist the Imperial forces which at the time defended the Christian Habsburg empire in Vienna as it was threatened by the Islamic Ottoman-Turkish forces. However Carl fell ill and later came in military service of the Duchess of Württemberg for many years. From 1696 he served as Quarter Master General to Field Marshall von Thüngen in the war with France. Carl’s first wife Maria Charlotte Moser von Filseck (1664-1712) was the daughter of the owner of Eschenau castle (below) near Heilbronn, an estate which at the time consisted of a quarter of Pfalz. Carl and his wife lived on their country estates in the neighbourhood, Ochsenburg, Michelsbach and Leonbron. 
When king Charles XII of Sweden offered Carl a position as colonel with a regiment of his own - the Breitholtz Regiment in Saxony, Carl accepted and became involved in the Swedish war in Saxony. He followed king Charles XII further east into Ukraine and Russia and won a battle at Millerovo against the Don Kosacks in May1708 and was at the time a Colonel General.

In 1712 Carl and his wife moved to Sweden and settled on Margreteholm. Carl was then engaged as colonel of the Regiment of Jönköping and later of the Regiment of Västmanland, both infantry regiments, which he re-organized and engaged military personell after losses in the war.  

7. The older branch – from Hietamäki by Åbo

As Carl Breitholtz didn’t have any children his brother Magnus Anders, lieutenant colonel of a cavalry regiment in the county of Uppland, became the last common ancestor of the Breitholtz family.

The older branch descends from the son of Magnus Anders in his marriage to Metta Kafle, Evert or Edward Breitholtz (1688-1762), captain of the Regiment of Upland (Upplands regemente) and his wife Maria Lagerborg (1709-1781). Edward became a military officer and was engaged in the Great Northern War with Russia (1700-1721). He fought in various battles but in the battle of Poltava in 1709 he became a prisoner of war and was sent to Saransk in the Russian province Mordvinia southeast of Moscow, where he spent fourteen years until he was allowed to return to Sweden. He then married a friend from his youth, Maria Lagerborg from Brölunda. In 1746 Edvard and Maria moved from Uppland in Sweden to southwest
Finland, where they had bought a country estate called Hietamäki near the city of Åbo.

The coat of arms of Maria Lagerborg,
married to Captain Edward Breitholtz
of the older branch. 

Painting 2008 by Carl Anders Breitholtz, Creative Heraldry.   

A grandson of  Edvard and Maria, the captain of the merchant navy Claes Breitholtz (1743-1812) sailed with his frigate Concordia of Jakobstad to Batavia in what was then called East India, now Jacarta in Indonesia, and back, thereby opening up for the Finnish trade with this distant part of the world. He and his wife Brita Helena Aspegren (1758-1808) made their country estate Rosenlund by Jakobstad their home and later moved to their home Storsandsund in Pedersöre by Jakobstad, Finland. Their only child Carl had sadly died in 1791 only nine years of age. Rosenlund is well preserved and run by an association engaged in ecological cultivation and is open to the public - see the website Rosenlund. 

Rosenlund by Jakobstad, Finland. Map by Aspegren in 1777. 

As a consequence of the Napoleonic wars Sweden became involved in a war with Russia also in 1808-1809, a war which Sweden lost and had to cede Finland to Russia. Claes Joseph Breitholtz (1788-1834) and his brother Berndt Julius (1786 -1863), sons of the surveyor Didrik Julius Breitholtz (1748-1812) and his wife Anna Helena Hästesko af Målagård 1758-1810) and grandsons of Edvard and Maria, were both military officers and became engaged in the defence of Finland.

Claes Joseph Breitholtz (1788-1834)
Claes Joseph Breitholtz fought at Lappo and other battles and won a gold medal for bravery. Berndt Julius served as officer at the fortress Sveaborg by Helsingfors/Helsinki, which was considered to be the key to Finland. Sveaborg was however lost due to the Swedish commander’s treachery.

So when the Swedish-Finnish officers were supposed to lay down their swords as a sign of surrender, Berndt Julius was the only officer, who refused to lay down his sword. He and his military colleagues were taken as prisoners to St. Petersburg, where the tsar tried to persuade them enter Russian military service, so they were treated quite well it seems, judging from the diary that Berndt Julius wrote, which was published in 1902 in the Swedish Biographical Magazine. Two years later Berndt Julius was released, he moved to Sweden and was promoted a captain of the Värmlandia Regiment. His legendary personality and other personalities in the county around 1840-1850 has been described in books by Linus Brodin. The author Selma Lagerlöf, Sweden’s first female Nobel Prize winner in Literature, had Berndt Julius Breitholtz as model for two characters – colonel Beerencreutz and Captain Berg - in her famous debut novel Gösta Berling’s Saga.

Värmlands kanal 12, a regional television channel,has produced av video (in Swedish) about Berndt Julius Breitholtz,

After the war his brother Claes Joseph Breitholtz moved over to Stockholm, where his military career accelerated as an officer of the artillery. When Sweden was involved in the Napoleonic wars Claes Joseph was sent with his artillery regiment to Germany where he fought in the battles of Leipzig and Gross-Beeren near Berlin. Thanks to this victory the progress of the French emperor Napoleon was stopped.

Gun combat at Leipzig in 1813
Claes Joseph also took part in the campaign under field marshal Bernadotte to Norway as adjutant to the Artillery General von Cardell, whereby Norway became a union partner with Sweden. Claes Joseph was appointed General of the Artillery from 1830 to serve in the absence of the king, Carl XIV Johan, the former marshal Bernadotte. Claes Joseph died in Stockholm in 1834 at only fourtysix years of age. A family tradition says it was due to a misdirected canon salute in honour of the king. 

Two of his children with his wife Emilia Hästesko-Fortuna (1803-1894) became colonels of the Svea Artillery Regiment in Stockholm – Claes Gustaf (1828-1885) and Edvard Julius Breitholtz (1830-1912). The latter became General of the Artillery as his father and finally Lieutenant General of the Swedish army. He made several improvements of the Swedish army, e.g. the introduction in 1896 of the German Mauser rifle as standard rifle in the army. His son Claes Axel Breitholtz (1862-1958) became an artillery officer too and was colonel during World War I, but as Sweden had declared neutrality Sweden never took part in the war. By the end of the war up to 1922 Axel was colonel also for the Svea Artillery Regiment. Portraits of these three Breitholtzes were placed on a wall in the regiment’s headquarter. The present chairman of the family association, Claës T. Breitholtz of the Younger branch has kept the family tradition live as an officer of Svea Artillery Regiment.  

The Breitholtz shield
in tones of grey
Interpretation by Carl Anders Breitholtz, Creative Heraldry 

8. The Finnish and Russian lines of the Older branch

Adolph Breitholtz (1753-1813), sergeant in Åbo and later in southeastern Finland, was the youngest son of Edvard Breitholtz and Maria Lagerborg, whose children inherited Hietamäki estate. Adolph sold his part of the estate to his brother, the surveyor Didrik Julius (1748-1812), who then became the sole proprietor of Hietamäki, which was sold in 1798 by his widow, Anna Helena Hästesko af Målagård (1758-1810), parents of Claes Joseph and Berndt Julius. Adolph lived for a long time in Virmo, Finland, with his wife Elisabet Fontén (1758-1815) and their many children.

Two of their sons became Masters of bookbindery in Finland, Adolf Daniel (1782-1854), who lived in Lovisa, and Johan Magnus Breitholtz (1801-1873) of Tavastehus. They seem to have learnt the profession from their mother’s brother who was a Master of Bookbinding in Åbo. They stayed in Finland also after the separation from Sweden in 1809 and founded two Finnish family lines – the Läsäkoski and Tavastehus lines respectively. Their brother Anders Edvard (1789-1831) settled in St. Petersburg, where he became a clerk at the Customs. In his marriage with Anna Sofia Silfverklot (1797-1889) he had seven children and became ancestor of a Russian family line, however extinguished in 1890. Some members of the Finnish lines have “returned” to Sweden in the 20th century. 

Claes Breitholtz and Margareta Ödla  married in 1650 (their Arms in Alliance at the top).  
Their 2nd son Magnus Anders Breitholtz, married abt 1684 Metta Kafle (arms 2nd row left). 
After her death in 1701 he married Helena Wijnbladh. He became a widower a second time and 
in 1711 he marrried a third time to Catharina Christina Adlerhielm (arms on 2nd row right). 
With the third generation two family branches developed: an older branch from Edward Breitholtz 
and his wife Maria Lagerborg (arms bottom row left) and a younger branch from 
Claës Diedrich (von) Breitholtz and his wife Eleonora Koskull (arms bottom row right). 
Painting by Carl Anders Breitholtz, Creative Heraldry. 

9. The younger branch - from Stjärnevik by Oppeby

The younger branch descends from Claës Didrik Breitholtz (1712-1783), Lieutenant Colonel at the Admiralty in Karlskrona and his wife, viscountess Eleonora Koskull (1729-1783). Claës spent ten years (1730-1739) in naval service abroad, of which the last six years were for the Royal Dutch Navy. He was then engaged in the defense against pirates in the Mediterranean Sea by the coasts of Tunis and Maroc and was twice sent on naval expeditions to Central America from Dutch Surinam via Cuba to the Bahamas and Florida. 

Claës Diedrich von Breitholtz
returned 1739 to a military career in Sweden
after having served six years as a naval officer
in the Royal Dutch Navy. His ship crossed the Atlantic twice
and sailed along the the Caribean islands from Surinam to Florida.
In his right hand he holds a pair of scates.
Scating was at the time a popular sport in the Netherlands.
Painting abt. 1739 by Lorentz Pasch d.ä. 
Back in Sweden he married Eleonora Koskull, the daughter of viscount Anders Koskull of Engaholm and his wife, the countess Anna Catharina Stromberg. Anders Koskull served as Lord Lieutenant of Kronobergs county and founded the famous, still operating glass works Kosta near the city of Växjö. Anders Koskull had previously served as officer in the army under king Charles XII and after the king’s death made a political career, which lead to his appointment as county governor and viscount. Claes Didrik Breitholtz and Eleonora settled on their country estate Stjärnevik (south of the city of Linköping), situated next to the church Oppeby by the lake Åsunden, a church which he designed, financed and had built.

Viscountess Eleonora Koskull,
mother of six Breitholtz children and in due course
ancestral mother of the 3rd younger branch
from Stjärnevik, Östergötland. 

He expanded his properties in the area so that each of their children should inherit a country estate of their own: Catharina Mariana (1748-1812), married to the chamberlain Carl Gustaf Hammarskjöld of Tuna, received Adlerskog near the town Kisa. She came to be one of the ancestral mothers to all now living Hammarskjölds, a family which has furnished Sweden with such notables as the prime minister Hjalmar Hammarskjöld and his son Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961), Secretary General to the United Nations from 1953-1961. Captain Anders Vilhelm Breitholtz (1750-1817) inherited Vada estate close to Stjärnevik. Lieutenant Claes Nils (1753-1790) had Misterhult by the coast near Oskarshamn. Eleonora Beata (1754-1814) married to major Adolf Fredrik Freidenfelt, had Gässhult near Misterhult.

Stjärnevik manor by the lake Åsunden in Östergötland.
Claës Didrik and Eleonora’s son Didrik Gustaf Breitholtz (1751-1805), a major of the county’s cavalry regiment, inherited Stjärnevik. He also bought another country estate called Hökfors in Småland and lived there and on Stjärnevik with his wife Anna Gyllenhöök (1756-1790) and their children.

Claes Diedrich v. Breitholtz of Stjärnevik was the architect
and financier of the church next door, Oppeby, built in 1760.
His coat of arms and an epitaph are on display in the church
and his and the Breitholtz - Koskull heraldic shields are placed
 on top of the pulpet.
Their oldest son Claës Didrik Breitholtz the younger (1780-1870) followed the family tradition and became a military officer. In 1804-1805 he was sent with his regiment for the protection of Stralsund city in Pomerania, then a Swedish province in Germany, as the Napoleonic army advanced to this area. 

In 1805 Claës Didrik and his two brothers Carl “Calle” and Magnus “Måns” and their sister Christina inherited Stjärnevik and Hökfors, which they shared so that Claës got Hökfors, Calle and Måns shared Stjärnevik, which they however sold in 1815, and Christina got Stormtorna estate near Stjärnevik. 

By then Claës had married Anna Christina Montgomery (1789-1845) and became thereby the next owner of Totebo estate with a brick factory near the town Vimmerby in Småland, which he expanded considerably with paper manufacturing and a larger mill. He sold his estates in 1845 and moved with his family to Vimmerby town nearby, where he had bought a property close to the church.

Kvarnarp estate by Eksjö
Their first son, second lieutenant Gustaf Edvard Breitholtz (1811-1876), became a military officer after some studies in law at the university of Uppsala. Still not thirty he quitted his military career in order to run the family’s country estates, first Totebo, then his wife’s Vanstad säteri, both near Värnamo. He had by then married Engel Eleonora Rothlieb (1818-1881). In 1847 they divorced however, why Gustaf had to return Vanstad to his ex-wife. He now settled on Kvarnarp estate by the town Eksjö with some of his children and his second wife, Hedvig “Hedda” Rothlieb (1824-1910). The Rothliebs were first cousins and both had considerable fortunes, which however was reduced mainly due to hard times in agriculture. Hedda’s parents had also a country estate, Locknevi next to Vanstad, which was sold outside the family in 1858 when Heddas mother Brita Rothlieb née Neuman died as a widow. In 1855 Gustaf and Hedda had moved into Eksjö, where they had a flat at Arendt Byggmästares gata 10. Gustaf was at first a gym teacher at the college and soon became the town’s treasurer and public prosecutor,a position he held for many years till his death.

Bispberg manor
All today living members of the younger branch of the Breitholtz family descends from Gustaf Breitholtz and his two marriages with Engel Eleonora Rothlieb and her first cousin Hedda Rothlieb. The younger branch grew into various family lines. Edgar (1839-1888) of the first marriage became a pharmacist like Valdemar (1859-1905), his half-brother from their father’s second marriage. Two sons from the second marriage – August (1849-1900) and Sixten (1865-1924) – became general managers (1878-1900 and 1900-1924 respectively) of Bispberg iron ore mines and factories within the Atlas Copco group and their families lived on the beautiful manor there, located near Säter in the county of Dalecarlia. Ernst (1861-1943) became managing director of a plant within the Aga group of companies and settled with his family in Hultsfred in his home province Småland. 

Bispberg 1917. Not even war and revolution could prevent the Breitholtz family from a peaceful gathering by the pond. From left: Bo, a maid (dressed in dark, standing by the tree), "Nunna" (Gunhild, dressed in white), Gun, "Bue" i.e. Sixten J:r, Rune, "Syster" i.e. Carin and next to her her father Sixten, standing in the shadow wearing a light slouch-hat and a walking stick, to the right of him a gardener, and in the canoe Rolf.       

Magnus “Måns” (1888-1965) and August “Agge” Breitholtz (1889-1944) , sons of August Breitholtz and his wife Sofia née Öhrn (1857-1943), emigrated from Bispberg to the USA, where they became ancestors of two American family lines.  

Some other prominent members of the younger family are the professor of literature Lennart (1909-1997), the world president of Rotary International Ernst (1905-1991) and the photographer Björn G. Breitholtz (born 1938), represented at Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA).

"Dont' worry, no hurry!"
Painting (detail) on a porcelain plate by "Nunna",
Gunhild Nylén, abt 1900,
who studied at the Stockholm School of Arts & Crafts,
then married Sixten Breitholtz of Bispberg
and became a loving and a much loved mother of six children.  

10. The earliest traces

The earliest traces of the Breitholtzes lead us back to the 13th century and the flourishing Hanseatic city of Visby on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. 

There, in Visby Cathedral, the family name appears for the first time on a tombstone (No. 143) from 1313 over a Hermannus, whose surname was written Bredhult or Brethuot dependent on how to interpret two missing letters. The first version is Swedish, the second Flemish, reflecting not so much Hermannus’ nationality but the stonemason’s who cut it. An inscription in latin on the sides of his stone says that Hermannus died “in the year 1313 of the Lord” and that we should pray for him, “Orate pro eo”. Judging from the size of the stone - 2,47x1,49 metres - he ought to have been a rather important person in Visby.     
Visby Cathedral was at the time the Church of St. Mary, the main church for the German population of Visby, which mainly came from Westphalia, Niedersachsen and Holstein. Many of these Germans stayed in Visby a generation or two and then sailed further to the Hanseatic cities Revalia and Riga in the state of the Livonian Order, cities growing in importance due to the flourishing Hanseatic trade with the Baltic and Russia, but also thanks to the missionary work by the Catholic Church in the Baltic.   

Hermannus descendants are not known, but in 1374 a possible grandson of his appears: “dominus Hermannus de Gotlandia”. He was one of the senators of the Hanseatic city of Visby. In the records of Revalia it was especially noted that his “capital had previously become considerable” in companionship with a Henrik Loewen (Hinzen dicto Lowen) and that they now should split their assets between them. This was a most unusual remark, which probably means that Hermannus came from ordinary conditions and had become extraordinary wealthy, probably through trade.

There are reasons to believe, that this second Hermannus of Gotland was the grandson of the first Hermannus. Most likely Hermannus de Gotlandia was married to Christina Kante of an important senatorial family in Visby. According to a study by the medieval historian Dick Wase she bore a family mark which indicates that she was the mother of Marquard I Bretholt, who is mentioned as senator of Revalia (or possibly Visby) in 1390 and as mayor in 1400.

11. Marquard II Breetholt, the ancestral father 

A son of Marquard I was, as far as we can judge, a Marquard II Breetholt (c 1400-1476), mayor of Revalia - present days Tallinn in Estonia[1] - who is considered to be the earliest known ancestor of the Breitholtz family. Marquard II married a van Borstel, her Christian name unknown, daughter of Cost van Borstel, mayor of Revalia and the head of an influencial Hanseatic merchant family. Marquart II aquired some merchant buildings in Revalia as his trade grew, one of which he bought in 1464, as this plate shows, placed on this very buidling, present days exclusive Hotel Schlössle in Revalia/Tallinn.

With Marquard II Breetholt and his van Borstel wife onwards the Breitholtz family line is considered to be fully reliable and possible to trace back to original documents in various archives, such as the city archives of Revalia/Tallinn and the Breitholtz Family Archives (KB HA L104) in the Royal Library in Stockholm.

The Hanseatic city of Revalia in Livonia, present days Tallinn in Estonia, about 1610. Etching by Adam Olearius. 
To the left on the Toompea/Domberget  mountain is the Revalian castle, built by the Danes and the knights of the sword in the 13th centurey. The medieval ring-wall is to a large extent preserved. The tall tower to the right is that of St. Olai church, originally the church of the Scandinavian merchants, where the Bretholt family had its burial place in the Middle Ages (tomb stone nr 72). Eberhard  Breitholdt/Evert II Bretholt was (+1646) was governor (ståthållare) of the Revalian castle.   

In 1421 Marquard II had settled in the important Hanseatic city of Revalia/Tallinn), where he then was a member of the Tafelgilde, a guild which cared for the poor in the city. In 1428 he was mentioned as a merchant of the German Hansa. This indicates that he had close connections to some German place. From 1439 onwards he was senator of Revalia and for many years, 1449-1474, its mayor. He was also in charge of the of the vast country estates that was owned by St. Johannis Siechenhaus, a hospital in Revalia. 

In the 1450-ies Marquard II and his van Borstel in-laws became involved in a family feud with relatives in Stockholm concerning an inheritance after an exceptionally wealthy merchant called Jacob Freese, Marquard II’s brother-in-law, who had lived in Revalia but didn’t have any children. Both parties made use of lawyers and as a final “solution” the Stockholmers had Marquard II and his in-laws excommunicated, i.e. banned, by the Pope in Rome (in 1458). This was of course a very serious counter-move. Two years later, in 1560, the ban was however cancelled when it was discovered that the feud had been settled at the highest court in Europe at the time, i.e. the Imperial Court in Vienna. But strangely enough the whole inheritance was still controlled many years later by the son of Marquard II, the Revalian mayor Marquard III Bretholt (c 1450-1517). This shows that once the Breetholts had got their hands on great values they weren’t too willing to let them go, but rather fought for what they considered was theirs.

In his older days Marquard II became a monk of the St. Bridget’s monastery in Pirita (today a ruin) close to Revalia. As he was a catholic one could hazard a guess that he wished to make peace with his Lord. As a monk he tried to do good to others and founded a large farming village by the seaside close to Revalia called Naistenoye, later renamed Muuga after him. Marquard II was namely generally known as “the monk”, in Estonian Muuga. 

12. A Hanseatic merchant house in Revalia

Marquard II Breetholt and his male relatives and descendants were almost all merchants of the Hanseatic League (in German: die Hanse, in Swedish: Hansan), a powerful trade organization based in Lübeck and with many member cities in northern Europe. The Breetholts were an influencial merchant house in about three hunder years from the mid 14th to the mid 17th centuries. The daughters were almost all married into other wealthy merchant families with senatorial status.  

The Bretholt-Breitholtzes traded with the Russians in Novgorod, shipping their goods via Revalia, Lübeck and other Hanseatic cities by the Baltic Sea, further to Brügge and other cities in Flandres and as far as to the Bay of Biscay in France. There they collected sea salt for transportation on their Hansa Kogges, merchant ships, back to their home cities. These trading tours were very profitable large scale operations which could consist of as many as 28 ships in a fleet. 

A Hanseatic merchant ship, called Kogge,
Woodcut, 15th century.  

The Bretholt/ Breitholtz family was based in Revalia, where some of their houses still remain.  Family members were living in other cities such as Visby, Lübeck and Brügge, where they could carry out business for each other. These merchant houses usually had three or four stories with the gable of the house towards the street. There used to be a grand hall in the street level and an open fire which could lead the heat through the house as a sort of central heating system. The family used to live on the first and second floors whereas the third and fourth floors were used as storage rooms for their goods. These were taken into the house with a crane at the top of the gable of the house. One of these Bretholt-Breitholtz-houses is to be seen at Vene 17, today a hotel. Another house has the address Pikk tänav 26 (Langstrasse, Long street), known as the House of the Blackheads (in Estonian: Mustpeade Maja), now a city museum -see their website here.   

Marquard III Bretholt (+1515/17), a hanseatic merchant and mayor of Revalia,
bought these two merchant's buildings in Revalia/Tallinn and
let them as a guildhouse to the Blackheads (Schwarzenhäupterhaus/Mustapeade maja). The Blackheads/die Schwarzenhäupter bought the building complex in 1517 from Marquard's daughter
Kerstine Bretholt and her husband, the mayor Johann Viant (Fieandt).
Today it is a museum of the city of Tallinn.
Photo from Wikipedia common.   

Young and unmarried men in Revalia belonging to the wealthy merchant families and who still were merchant apprentices and journeymen used to be members of the Blackhead Brotherhood (Bruderschaft der Schwarzenhäupter zu Reval), a society consisting of young crusaders, monks and hanseatic merchants. They had their guild house as a meeting place, and often held ceremonies and festivities here. As the Brotherhood had a black man as their patron saint, St. Mauritius, they were called the Blackheads, in German Schwarzenhäupter. Once they married they entered the Great Guild.

The Blackheads guild house (in Estonian: Mustpeade maja) in Pikk tänav 26 (Langstrasse, Long Street) is preserved with the original interiors. The house was sold to the Blackheads in 1531 by the Revalian mayor Johann Viant in 1531, who had bought it in 1517 from his wife Kerstine Bretholt and her brothers and sisters. They had in turn inherited the house, which actually consists of two merchant houses built into one, from their father, the Revalian mayor Marquard III Bretholt, who died just before 1517. He had inherited his father’s Marquard II houses in Revalia in 1476 and it seems as if one of these was next to the house that Marquard III had bought in 1578 and built into the “doublehouse” which he let for free to the Blackheads from 1486. So the House of the Blackheads was owned by the Bretholt family from 1470-1517 and therefore illustrate well how the Bretholt-Breitholtz could have lived in these days.  

       Die Schwarzenhäupter, the Brothers of the Blackheads of Revalia in 1481 (Detail)

Twenty young men from seven generations of the Bretholt-Breitholtz family were members of the Black Heads, from 1424, when Marquard II became the first member to 1695 when Johan Evert/Joachim Eberhard, a son of the nobilized Mauritz, became a member.

Ten members of the Breetholt family were senators and mayors (in latin called Senatores and Consules) in Visby, Revalia and Stockholm from 1374 to 1603.

The Hanseatic merchants of Revalia were members of the powerful Grosse Gilde, i.e. the Great Guild, also called Kindergilde (Children’s guild). Once the members of the Blackheads married they entered as members of the Great Guild. Victor Bretholt was alderman of the Great Guild in 1547-1550. In the old City Hall of Revalia there is memorial plaque over him. The house of the Great Guild, located in Pikk tänav, is preserved up to this very day and open to the public as a city museum.

It was from their members exclusively that the senators of the city council were elected. Ten members of the Bretholt-Breitholtz family were senators in Hanseatic cities Visby, Stockholm and Revalia from 1374-1603. Out of the ten as many as six were senators of Revalia and four of them were elected mayors in four generations from 1439 to 1603. The first was Marquard II, the last Mauritius II.

13. Swedish subjects in Livonia

Marquard IV Bretholt (*c 1480-1525-), a son of Marquard III and later in life called Marcus took part in the Parliament decision in 1524 when it was decided that Estonia should leave the Catholic church and introduce the Lutheran reformation. His brother Jasper had in 1521 been a student at the university of Wittenberg, where Dr. Martin Luther then began his criticism of the Catholic church. It seems likely that Jasper was informed of this and that he talked about the reformation with his brother Marquard IV, as the family became Lutherans about this time. 

In the middle of the 16the century the political scenery had changed considerably. The reformation had only slowly been accepted by the Estonians, which had split the Church and hence the population, who previously were Catholics only. The Hanseatic League had been seriously weakened after the Russian tsar had closed the Hanseatic trade station in Novgorod in 1494. Also competition from the Dutch and new trading routes to the Americas had contributed to the weakened economy of Revalia, Riga and the the Livonian Order State, now part of the German Order. The Livonian Order state had ruled the Baltic lands since 1202 when the city of Riga was founded but the country was now – in the 1550-ies threathened by the Russians, Poles and Swedes who all tried to take over the lands of the Livonian Order.

In this situation an embassy from Estonia (northern Livonia), of which Jasper Bretholt (-1521 -1566) was a member as senator of Revalia, was sent to king Christian III of Denmark, offering Revalia and northern Estonia to the Danish crown in order get military protection from the Russians. But the offer was turned down by the Danish king.  

So another embassy, of which Jasper was a member too, was sent to the king Erik XIV of Sweden, who however accepted the offer. That is how Revalia and northern Estonia became provinces under the Crown of Sweden in 1561. Jasper and the other Livonian leaders in Estonia now renounced their loyalty to the Sovereign of the Livonian Order and instead swore a new oath to the king of Sweden. This year (1561) is therefore important in our family history as the Breitholtz family then became subjects to the kingdom of Sweden. Estonia then became a province, a duchy, in the expanding Swedish great power.

The ruins of Hapsal castle in western Estonia. 
Hapsalu castle. The chapel and parts of the old castle are
now restored. Evert I Bretholt (+ in Revalia 1622) was lord
leutenant (Lantvogt/ståthållare) of Hapsal county
1590-1600 in the reign of the Swedish king Karl IX.


Jasper’s son Evert I Bretholt (-1564-1622) started his career as a hanseatic merchant, but when the Russians threatened Revalia in the 1570-ies he became engaged in the military protection of Estonia under its Swedish governour Pontus De la Gardie. Evert I then fought with the Swedish cavalry against the Russians. After the peace treaty in 1583 he was rewarded with a country estate called Udenkull and became bailiff of Neuenhof and later (1590-1600) governor of Hapsal county, reciding at the Hapsal castle in western Estonia. Evert I died in Revalia in 1522 and was buried under his mother’s Agnete Rotert tombstone (No 74) in the Revalian church of St. Olov. 

The castle of Revalia in Livonia, present days Tallinn in Estonia
His son Evert II Bretholt, who wrote his name Eberhartt Breitholdt (first mentioned in 1624, buried on the 10th January 1646 under the Rotert tombstone No 73 in St. Olov Church, Revalia) also became a cavalry officer of the Swedish army in Estonia. For the services that Evert II had rendered to the Crown king Gustaf II Adolf donated to him in 1630 the country estate Rogatino close to Jama in Ingermania to be kept by Evert II as a nobleman with the obligation to defend the country as a cavalry officer in times of war. Ingermania had previously been part of Russia and was now a province under the king of Sweden. 

According to the family tradition and a book from 1744 (Stiernman's adelsmatrikel) Evert II or Eberhard was a governor (ståthållare) of the castle of Revalia. This has recently been confirmed by a source from Estonia/Livonia in 1636 and 1637, when he signs a paper with "Eberhard Breitholtz, hauptman", i.e. governor/commandant.  

When Claes and his brother Evert (III) had settled in Sweden proper as pages to the General count Jakob De la Gardie in Stockholm, Queen Christina granted them “some country estates in Wästergötland” (a county in midwest Sweden) in exchange for Rogatino. This occurred in 1648. As Evert III seems to have died shortly afterwards, these estates went to Claes as the sole proprietor, all estates located around Brunebo, of which Claes in the 1660-ies founded the large country estate Margreteholm by Sandhem, named after his wife Margareta.
Carl Anders Breitholtz
Parts have been translated by my first cousin Christer Jacobson, Uppsala – Many thanks Chrille!

The Breitholtz coat of arms
as interpreted by Prof. Otto Hupp, Munich, in 1948. 


[1] After the Danish king Valdemar Sejr (meaning the Victorious) won a battle over the Estonians in 1219 he founded a castle on the ruins of the Estonians’ fortress Lindanise and called it Reval (latin Revalia). The city of Reval/Tallinn was founded in 1230 by 200 merchant families from Visby, Gotland. - The Estonian name Tallinn comes from Tanu Linna, meaning the Danish town or the Danish Fort. The castle and the city were called Reval by the Danes, Germans and Swedes, probably after the surrounding landscape Rebälä. When Estonia became an independent republic in 1918 the official name of its capital was changed from Reval to Tallinn.

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