Coat of Arms Description
The main shield is divided into a blue and a silver region. The upper region contains a gold shearing hook. The lower region contains a red heart, inside of which there is a small silver shield with a black cross.
The helmet is depicted with red and silver mantling on its right and blue and gold mantling on its left. The alert, upright lion has six red-silver divisions and is holding a black walking stick in its right paw.
The Meaning of the Arms
The heart with the cross (both figures are also found in Luther’s coat of arms) refer to the patriarch of the Wandersleben family, who was a Protestant pastor, and to the pastors of successive generations. The small shield with the cross brings to mind the family ancestors that emigrated to East Prussia. The shearing hook is derived from the coat of arms of the cloth maker and mayor of Leutenberg/Thuringia, Hans Wandersleben (1530-1606). It is most probable that this actually refers to Hans Wandsleben, the father of the family patriarch (Johann Wandersleben).
Of the 12 known generations of the family Wandersleben, the five oldest lived in Thuringia. Likewise, the family Wandsleben also descended from here. For this reason, the Thuringian lion was chosen as the crest. The walking stick in the lion’s right paw in part symbolizes the family name (refer to the coat of arms of the Thuringian town of Wandersleben, which depicts a hiker in late baroque attire carrying a walking stick).
The primary colors red and white (silver) on the lower half of the shield and the right helmet mantling refer to Thuringia, the ancestral home of the family. The primary colors blue and gold (yellow) were taken from the Wandsleben coat of arms.
Design and Creation of the Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of the family Wandersleben was designed and created by Mr. Heinz Ritt (born 1919), Bad Neuheim, one of Germany’s most notable painters of coats of arms. As artist and porcelain painter, he learned his craft under Prof. Albert Windisch. In 1957, his artistry was formally recognized by the expert Prof. Dr. Holzinger. As an heraldic scholar and painter of coats of arms, he has designed over 1000 coats of arms, flags, and seals, and was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz in 1970 and the Hessian Verdienstkreuz in 2000. He also designed the coat of arms for the family of US President Dwight Eisenhower.