The Trolle family is one of Swedens oldest and most distinguished descendants and is considered both Swedish and Danish ancient nobilety. Actually, the Swedish branch died out in 1568. The living and introduced family in Sweden now descended from a branch had moved to Skåne, which then belonged to Denmark.
Elgenstierna writes that whether the newly ennobled family af Trolle and the none noble Trolles family can derive their ancestry from the older House Trolle is still unconfirmed but still possible, but difficult to prove. By the none noble Trolle family, Elgenstierna probably refers to the priest family "Trolle från Östergötland".
House Trolles coat of arms motif is about the story of Herved Trolles battle with the troll. However the with certainty eldest known ancestor, Birger Knutsson, carried a completely different coat of arms, which was still maintained by his grandson.
The story about House Trolles coat of arms
This is a version of the story, there are several versions within the same theme. One Christmas day morning, the knight Herved was on his way from his farm Ed on his way to the church in Våxtorps. At the northern end of Lake Flåren, the narrow road was blocked by a bridal party. At the end of the bridge the knight met the bride who invited him to drink of a gilded horn. But the knight, who saw a tail sticking out from under the brides skirt, took the horn with his left hand and emptied the contents over his shoulder. With his right hand, he drew his sword and quickly cut the head of the bride, who turned out to be a disguised troll. When the other trolls saw this, they frightened fled straight into the mountain, which is still known today as Trolleklippa. The knight proceeded to the church, where he set the horn on the altar. When he passed the meeting place on his way home from church, all the trolls were gone except for what lay without a head lifeless on the road. After that, Herved's family was named Trolle and the coat of arms depicts the dead troll body.
Trolle in Sweden and Denmark
The Trolle family originated from Småland and the ancestors can be traced back to at least the 1300s. Some genealogists claims that the line traces even futher back. The coat of arms of the Swedish family consists of a red headless troll on the shield and a red troll head as crest. The Swedish family actually died out in 1568. The family branch that had move to Skåne was introduced at Riddarhuset in 1689. There is also Trolle-Wachtmeister, a branch of the counts Wachtmeister af Johannishus, Trolle-Bonde, a branch of the counts Bonde af Björnö, and Trolle-Löwen, a branch of the baron family Löwen, where entail created the names and royal permission that the holder should use House Trolle coat of arms together with hes own coat of arms.
The Trolle family living in Denmark uses a similar coat of arms with an identical crest. On the shield, however, is the difference that the troll has a troll head on his stomach. I do belive I know why the troll has a troll head on his stomach but I can not prove it so I keep it to myself. From what I have learned the swedish branch also had the troll head on his stomach for a short while before removing it thinking that the troll head as crest was enough.
Swedish baron Trolle
Serving chamberlain of the king Nils Trolle was promoted to baron on 1816-02-27 with the condition that the baron rank is personal and only the ennobled oldest male decendant inherits the title, thus only one person at the same time has the baron rank while the other males lines are ordinary noble. That condition is not unique, it happend to all Swedish houses ennobled, or in this case promoted, after 1809.
As a coat of arms enhancement added to the shield a border with nails all around. The coat of arms also received an extra helmet where the new helmets crests consists of a combatant with white feathers on the helmet and holding in his right hand a green oak leaf branch and with his left hand on a golden sword bracket and the other helmet has a red troll head as crest. On top of the shield was also added a baron coronet with a red crowned griffin head on top of it and the coat of arms also got supporters holding the shield in the form of two wolves.
Swedish Baron Trolle
Swedish house af Trolle
The ancestry originates from Denmark, through marriage between two Trolle branches. The counter-admiral Georg Herman Trolle entered Swedish service and was ennboled in 1758 under the name af Trolle. The family later became a kommendörsätt through General Admiral Henric af Trolle. The family was given a coat of arms where the shield is based in part on the Danish Trolle familys shield becouse the ennobled said that decended from the Danish noble House Trolle. As a crest, two Swedish three-tongued flags and between the flags became a black troll head to mark the Trolle family and the Swedish Admirals degree. There is also at least one none noble branch of that family since the ennobled had a brother who moved to Sweden and that familys last name is only Trolle.
Danish baron Trolle af Brahetrolleborg
Birgitte Trolle became a baroness in 1672 under the name Trolle af Brahetrolleborg. When she died, she testified to the baron tilte to her nephew Frederik Trolle who on June 15, 1689 became the baron Trolle af Brahetrolleborg. A similar coar of arms was given to his brother and successor Niels Trolle who became a baron in 1701, the year after his brothers death. However, Niels Trolles coat of arms has another motif in field 2 and 3. The house died out in 1722 and the Barony was returned to the crown.
Trolle från Östergötland
Trolle från Östergötland is an old family where the oldest known members was priests. There has been much speculation about its orgin. As far as I can tell there has been none 100% certain proof that this none noble family decends from noble House Trolle on way or an other, there are many things that indicate that they do so, perhaps on a female line. Since they where priests when Riddarhuset was created, they never joined it. The family has at any rate undisputed noble blood from the oldest known generations marriages with noblewomen. The familys last name is simply Trolle, the name "Trolle från Östergötland" was created by genealogists to separate them from the noble House Trolle. "Trolle från Östergötland" in English means "the family Trolle from the county of Östergötland".
About images used here
Eduardo Pazikas drawed this images used on this page with Trolle coat of arms according to my directive. He did it in high resolution pdf format. The images was created for use on an article for Svenska Heraldiska Föreningens magazine Vapenbilden. In the article some, but not all, of the images was replaced by the editor into Riddarhusets versions so I recycle them here.
I have written articles for both Svenska Heraldiska Föreningens magazine Vapenbilden and also for Svenska Heraldiska Föreningens homepage.
I have also written som articles in English for use on this site that is not going to be published else where. Some articles are translations and slight modifications of articles I wrote for Svenska Heraldiska Föreningen.