Lazarite Connection

A Conrad Hauri or Conrad Horn (Chuondradus dictus Hornus), a Knight of the Order of Saint Lazarus, lived at the order’s house at Gfenn in Dübendorf, now a suburb of Zürich. He was named in a charter dated 13 April 1272, when the order sold the church at Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland to Kloster Interlaken. Conrad might have taken his surname from Höri in Zürich. This is the earliest mention of a possible Hauri and the only reference to imply that the family might originally have been nobles.

Other readings are possible. There were Horn families at Sigriswil and Schüpfen in Berne, and at Riehen in Basel. There were Horni families at Leutwil in Aargau, and at Bärschwil in Solothurn. [Emil Meier, Familiennamenbuch der Schweiz (Zürich 1968-71)]

A charter dated 7 March 1290 names Nicholas, Conrad and Ulrich “of the Hospital” (dicti des Spitals), as among those living at the Manor of Bernensem near Engi when that manor was granted by the Master of the Lazarite Hospital near Bern to another party. The Nicholas, Conrad and Ulrich of the Hospital were probably close relatives, as other persons named in the same document are each given their different surnames.

L'Hopital Coat of Arms

L’Hopital Coat of Arms

It has been suggested, but not proven, that these men are identical with the Hauris of the same name. There is no problem with identifying Conrad Hornus (1272) with Conrad of the Hospital (1290), although the identification rests only on similarity of name. It would be more of a stretch to identify either man with Conrad Hauri (1282-1308), of Steffisburg. Further, there is nothing to support the identifications of Nicholas and Ulrich. If the two Conrads were in fact identical, the mutual connection with Kloster Interlaken might have brought the Hauris from Höri in Zürich to Steffisburg in Bern.

Perhaps coincidentally, the early Hauris used the same coat of arms as the French family de L’Hôpital, who claimed descent from the first royal family of Naples.

On the whole, these theories of relationship might merit further investigation but cannot now be taken as more than a curiosity.