Famous family mottos

Written by susanne koenig
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Throughout history, famous families have risen and fallen with their times. However, some families impact on their societies and history as a whole gives us cause to remember both them and their family mottos. Here are four famous families whose mottos are still recognised today, even if their time has long passed.

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One of the most famous families in history, the Medici family motto is still quoted today: "Money to get power, and power to guard the money." Founding a bank in Florence, Giovanni de Medici became an extremely wealthy and powerful patriarch of a family that ruled Italy for the better part of three centuries. Used in reference to those who would gain wealth at any cost, the Medici family motto reflects the culture of greed that permeated their famous line of rulers. Founding their own dynasty in Florence, the Medici family eventually assumed the air of royalty and were responsible for the rise of four Popes to power.


One of the most famous families in the world is the royal family of England, the Windsors. The origins of the Windsor family can be traced back to the Norman Conquest. Thus the family motto was written in French: "Je me fie en Dieu." This translates as "I trust in God" or "I put my trust in God." Records of the family motto go back to the 14th and 15th centuries and it is considered to have originally been a war cry for the family. Although not always displayed with the family's coat of arms, it is still used to this day to represent the House of Windsor and to reflect its religious heritage and faith.


Originally of Scotch and Irish decent, the Kennedy family was considered to be a clan in the familial system of Scottish heritage. Like many other Scottish families that were influenced by French settlers during the 16th century, the Kennedy family motto is in French: "Avise La Fin," which translates as "Consider the End." The Kennedy family has a distinguished history of statesmanship and their motto comes as a fitting thought for those engaged in diplomacy. The Kennedy motto -- like those of all Scottish clans -- is displayed on the family's clan badge. Clan badges always include the motto and are incorporated with the image of a belt, with the motto written on the topmost part of the belt.


The House of Habsburg was one of the most famous families in history. They ruled -- by marriage and alliance -- most of the royal houses of Europe and were arguably the single most important aristocratic family in European history. The Habsburgs were committed to ruling, but not to war. This was reflected in their family motto: "Bella gerant alii, tu, felix Austria, nube!" which translated from the Latin means, "Let others wage wars, but you, happy Austria, marry!" Following this dictate, the Habsburgs ruled the Holy Roman Empire and have descendants in every major royal household in Europe.

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