When it came to defining the homepage of this homepage, my idea was to use the coat of arms of the Scharnbergs or the Scharpenbergs.

But what was the "right coat of arms"? There were different alternatives. In my documents I found e.g. Copies from J. Siebmacher's coat of arms book, Nuremberg 1901, publisher Bauer and Raspe. Panel 12 was titled "Seal of Nobility", Holstein and Lauenburg, and contained the seals of Heyneke Scarpenberch, 1320, and Johan Scarpenbergh, Ridder 1350. On plate 17, Hamburger-Bremer-Lübecker nobility, a coat of arms of the Scharffenbergs was represented, which I have colored according to handwritten information on the copies (see crest right).

In the descriptive text we read:


No family tribe in Holstein and Lauenburg has driven so many branches as the one who led a beam or an arrowhead as a common coat of arms. One of the most important of these was the Scharpenberch family. Although the ray on the coat of arms of the various families is subject to some deviations, and there are some other heraldic distinctions, which are not always strictly carried out, there is no doubt that all are to be regarded as originating from a tribe. Mainly in Lauenburg, they found themselves numerous residents, but are all extinct there. Outside the duchies, as far as is known, only the Scharpenberch family is currently flourishing in Denmark.

The Scharpenberch family in particular first appears in documents in 1274 with the knight Ludolfus de Scarpenberge. Lüb. Charterbook I. p. 327 No. 350. It then appears very numerous in the course of the 14th and 15th centuries and is still in the country in 1653, as it sold in this year the estate Niendorf on the Stecknitz. Topography of Holstein and Lauenburg II. P. 211th

This also reflects the coats of arms on the left, that of Henning Böttcher, found in Danmarks Adels Aarboog in 1915 and handwritten in color. Furthermore, in the Sylvester church in Quakenbrück at church chairs and choir carved and painted coat of arms, u.a. from the Scharpenberg family (see right). According to the Aarboog, one of the main features of the Scharfenberg coat of arms seems to be the fake spearhead (the 'Ray'), allegedly connected with the holy lance. From the photo sent by Henning Böttcher of the carved coat of arms from Quakenbrück I have retouched the church stalls away and this coat of arms adorns since the startpage of my homepage.

Whether it really is the coat of arms, for example Heyno von Scharpenberg is, can not be said with certainty.

The question also arises whether the Scharnberg do not have a completely different coat of arms. During a visit to Scharnbergs around 1965 years who moved from Trittau to Hamburg we discovered e.g. the coat of arms shown on the right. It is embossed in leather and was made by me Hasso Bensien in 2007 as an heirloom from the estate of his Grandmother, Hermine Bensien, born Scharnberg, handed over. My Brother Richard received in 1991 from Antonie Elise Reimer, born Scharnberg, a drinking glass with the same coat of arms (see left). Antonie is a granddaughter of our grandfather Johann , whose father Rudolph worked as an innkeeper in Hamburg-Altona.

A clear indication of the correct coat of arms I received in March 2005, when I received the opportunity, an epitaph of the family Hans Vollrath von Scharffenberg in the St. Anna Church in Niendorf a.d. Stecknitz to photograph.

In the 14th century, the Knights of Scharffenberg possessed the estate "Seedorp" and at the same time, around 1460, the estate Niendorf a.d. Stecknitz. 1558 (or 1559) died as owner of Seedorf and Niendorf Burchard von Scharffenberg. Duke Francis I, probably at the intercession of Sweden's King Gustav Vasa, entrusted the deceased's cousin, Hans von Scharffenberg, who was in Swedish service, with the estate of Niendorf.

Scharffenberg's epitaph
St. Anna's Church
Niendorf a.d. Stecknitz

coat of arms Scharffenberg
enlarged from
Epitaph Niendorff

His successor in possession of the estate was Hans Vollrath von Scharffenberg, probably his son. In 1581 he made it possible by appointing a preacher and by donating to the church the income of a vicarage which his ancestors had donated to the Johannis Altar in the cathedral church of Hamburg, the founding of the independent parish Niendorf a.d.Stecknitz. He then received the parish patronage for himself and his descendants in the estate. In memory of her great benefactor and the founder of the parish Niendorf, the church of St. Anna received the Scharffenberg epitaph in 1614, a painting 3 m high and 1.70 m wide (see left). Below the crucified kneel Hans Vollrath Scharffenberg and his wife and several children.

On both sides of the picture are 16 coats of arms of noble families appropriate, i.a. also that of Scharffenberg, (see magnification). This epitaph is in the church at Niendorf a.d. Stecknitz still in good condition today.