s far as we know the eldest mention of our family name
can be found in a tax registration book of the Obersimmental
("Zinsbuch für das Obersimmenthal") (Bernese Oberland,
Switzerland). Already 1488 an
is listed, living in Zweisimmen. In 1502 there is an
Andreas Treuthardt (Truter)
to be found, living on the farm Reichenstein (area of Zweisimmen).
And again in 1536 there is an
Andreas Treuthardt (Trütthart).
The old spelling Trüthart or Trütthart is not familiar anymore, whereas many
families named Treuthart resp. Treuthardt or Treuthard are still present, mainly
in Switzerland and in the US. But in other places, too. For example, there is a
street called Treuthard on the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean --
it was 1862 that Samuel Treuthardt emigrated to this place.
here was another emigration which was important for our family. When Johann Jakob Treuthard (1634 -
1705) emigrated from Switzerland to Palatinate (nowadays German "Pfalz"), he
changed his name to
Tritthard (Tritthart, Tritthardt).
Actually, he changed the Swiss spoken word to German spelling. Some other
variations like Dritthart or Troithard can be found but are not common today. There
are no Tritthard, too, ending just with a d.
The name of Tritthart was used by most emigrants to USA as well as -- by making
a detour via Galicia -- to Germany and Austria, Tritthardt
mainly was used by those who went via Galicia to Bessarabia and then to Canada.
In some cases the descendants in USA and in Canada simplified the double-t,
writing Trithart or Trithardt .
bout the meaning of our name there are some remarks in the book "Bilder aus der Geschichte des Obersimmentals"
(pictures from the history of the Obersimmental) by Niklaus Siegenthaler (Chapter 13 "Die alten Obersimmentaler
Familiennamen" - the old Obersimmental family names):
... Trüthart --
derivable from Old High German trud = Valkyrie plus hari = army (Heer)
and hart = strong ...
By the way, in this book the name of Tritten is mentioned, too, but there is no
hint if there is a relationship.
n a different writing, which is by Ernst v. Känel, artist in Adlemsried near Boltigen
in the Simmental, we can read:
ancient Simmenthal family living in Zweisimmen in the Bernese Oberland. The name
is full Germanic (Teutonic). In the first sillable is the old-style German word trut,
which is related with today's expression 'lieb und traut' (lovely and
homely), and is related, too, with the words 'Trauung' (marriage ceremony)
and 'Vertrauen' (confidence, trust). The second sillable (-hardt) in the
older language 'hart' means strong. The name of Treuthardt
'the man, who
deserves strong confidence and strong love'
as well as
'the man who has
strong love with his fellow people'.
ames like that have been gentle wishes of our Teutonic ancestors to their
children. Probably the ancestors of today's Treuthardt already lived in the
Obersimmenthal or in that area at the time when there were no surnames, no
family names yet."