A question I’ve been asked on more than a few occasions is whether or not John Judy is my real name. I suppose the questioners either sense (correctly) that I am a liar by nature or they simply can’t imagine that “Judy” could be a real last name.
Interestingly I’ve never heard the same concern expressed over the more common feminine-sounding last names “Joyce”, “Carroll”, or here in Los Angeles “Kim.”
To further address the issue for the still-curious, Judy is a variant of the original Swiss name “Schudi” from the Latin “Judex” meaning “perfect” or “good.”
Anyone who knows me is now permitted to smirk.
Other variants include Judah, Tschudy, Tschudin, Tschudi and even Von Tschudi.
To answer two other frequently asked questions:
1. “No, we are not Jewish.” However our family has been traced back to the year 870 A.D. and we were in the heart of Europe, so I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some religious cross-pollination in all that time.
2. “No, I did not marry a girl named Judy.” Neither has any other male family member of whom I know. Still, 870 A.D. til now, it’s probably happened.
Speaking of 870 A.D. that’s the year the earliest known Judy, Johann I, was born in Switzerland. He was born a slave, but they called him a “serf” back then because he had no rhythm. On May 31st 906 A.D. King Ludwig III elevated him to a Freeman and a Noble and we’ve all been disappointing our fathers ever since.
Anyway, from Johann’s loins we all sprung if you believe the words of one “Baron” Marion Pomeroy Carlock (von Judy-Tschudy), the researcher and author of a 1954 genealogy titled “History and Genealogy of the Judy-Judah-Tschudy-Tschudin-Tschudi-Schudi Family of America and Switzerland, 870 A.D. to 1954 A.D.”
It’s pretty close to unreadable and contains at least one glaring error that I can personally attest to concerning the parentage of my Dad’s half-brother. To be fair to The Baron, by 1954 there were and had been a lot of us and my Grandfather hadn’t made it easy to keep track of his marital comings and goings.
The book does however contain a lot of information, some of it mis-spelled and all of it putting the best face possible on any family member mentioned. One has to appreciate the goodwill behind The Baron’s efforts.
Among the items I found of particular interest were the following:
On page 48: “The History of Our Beautiful and Famous Coats of Arms (The Old and the New)”
According to a legend pertaining to our first Coat of Arms (or many of various designs), a descendant of our first Ancestor and Progenitor was RUDOLF von TSCHUDI, who in 1316, while hunting in the forest was suddenly attacked by the retainers of his kinsman HANS von SEEGER with whom he had a feud. When Rudolf (called der lange Riebling) saw his only weapon (a sword) shattered in the fight, he (with superhuman strength) jerked out of the ground a strong young hemlock (or fir) tree and with its uprooted trunk killed nine of his enemies and made the remainder flee for their lives. Ever since, his descendants and kinsmen everywhere in Switzerland and the World have carried and used their Coat of Arms on stationary, jewelry, wall shields and frames.
You’ll have to use your imagination a lot here. Still working on finding a color image of this. It’s 700 years old for gosh sakes.
DESCRIPTION OF FIRST COAT OF ARMS: A gold background with rich green (uprooted) hemlock or fir tree with red trunk and nine red cones in remembrance of the deeds in combat of their stalwart kinsman.
Okay, here’s a variation on the 1316 Coat I found courtesy of a Google image search.
Up to the 17th Century, this and similar Coats of Arms were used exclusively. Not before 1632 did Hermann Hermanni in his “Pinus Tschudiana” carefully describe our Coats of Arms and this Manuscript some years ago was in the possession of Hans von Tschudi of Wiese, Canton Glarus and the “New” Compounded Coat of Arms was described as follows:
THE NEW COMPOUNDED TSCHUDI-TSCHUDY COAT OF ARMS SINCE 1632 “Aspera non Spernit”
“In squares of gold on the shield are shown in the first and fourth squares, black ibex (or harts, a species of wild goat) and in the second and third squares, uprooted green hemlocks (or fir) trees. There are two helmets: the one on the left side shows the horn of an ibex decorated with black cock feathers and on the other helmet is shown a hemlock (or fir) tree exactly like those on the shield. There is a crown shown between the two helmets and two alert lions on either side holding up the shield. These lions are gold (or light brown or tan).”
Since this “new” Coat of Arms was incorporated in 1769 in the Coats of Arms Book of Hans (Joh.) von Tschudi and was later shown on our Great Family Tree prepared and lettered by Heinrich Blummer in 1851, it is at this time (1954) universally approved and used by almost every country in the world where our people live.
Our device or motto is: “Aspera non Spernit” and when translated from the Latin, it means: “Spurn no Hardships” or “Fear no Difficulties.”
(Ref. Documents in the State Archives in Glarus, Zurich, Schwyz, Luzern, Schwanden, Basel and the National Swiss Library in Bern (Berne).”
The book then goes on to list a second or perhaps expanded family motto:
Steadfast like the lions and our Coat of Arms
Take bravely up the fight against the wrong
With strong hands holding up the standard,
Character’s highest decoration.
Striving upward great light to gain
Leads also on to higher life.”
From “Ein Dandesbuch” St. Gallen, Switzerland”
And there you have it. We’re here, we’re Swiss, spiritually inseparable from numbered bank accounts, hot chocolate, neutrality and cuckoo clocks.
If you’re a Judy (or just curious) here’s a link to a site run by a man I’ve never met named Ken Judy who’s delved into The Baron’s book a lot more thoroughly than I have:
Please note also, any historical information based on the writings of Judy ancestor Aegidius (or “Giles”) Tschudi must be thoroughly double-checked for reasons listed here:
Basically some of that Serf/Slave stuff and our first Coat of Arms may be kind of dodgey but we get to keep everything after 1572 including the cool Coat with the lions.
Finally, to all fellow Judys I say, “Be well and never travel in the forest without your uprooted hemlock (or fir) tree.”