The GOWDY Family
Von Gaudy Family - submitted by Tony
1. Originated in Scotland from Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire ( see Scots In Germany ) when, in 1641, Andrew Gaudie or Goldie or Gowdie of Craigmuie came across to Hungary at the invitation of Prince Ragozzi, and then to Prussia having been promoted to Major-General by the Elector of Brandenburg in or around 1650. He became Andreas von Gaudy, bought an estate (Buendtken ) and married Katharina von Murray, who was the daughter of Colonel Jacob von Murray also from Scotland (Perthshire) and who was serving in the Prussian army and living in Brandenburg. From them, the von Gaudy dynasty began and flourished until the early 1900s by which time many of its members had made tremendous achievements, which are outlined in this brief. Very sadly, the family appears to have died out, which is why I have recorded these facts in recognition of their considerable contribution to Prussia. He died in 1665.
2. In 1715, Colonel Andreas Erhard von Gaudy (1686 1745 ) masterminded an attack from the sea on the Swedish defences at the Battle of Stralsund in 1715, when the Swedish Army, under King Charles X11, were well dug in on the shore facing the town! During his time at school in Stralsund, he bathed in the sea on a regular basis and knew that the sea-bed was extremely firm, so he managed to persuade the King and his Generals that the Prussian army could ford it and take the Swedes from the rear! To prove the point, he led a small contingent in at night, which convinced the hierarchy to go ahead with his plan. This led to the defeat of Charles X11 and the Swedish Army at Stralsund and was later written up by Frederick the Great in his book Memoires de Brandenburg (see Scots in Germany). In 1740, Andreas Erhard von Gaudy was one of the first offices to be awarded the Medal Pour Le Merite ( The Blue Max ), which was Frederick the Greats personal award for outstanding gallantry and meritorious service. For over 200 years, it has been Prussias, and latterly Germanys, highest military award and one of the most famous ever.
3. Two other von Gaudys: Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst von Gaudy (1725 1788 ) and Friedrich Wilhelm Leopold von Gaudy (1765 1823) both became Lieutenant Generals in the Prussian army (see General Officer list) as well as distinguishing themselves in battle on a number of occasions, which led to both of them being awarded the Medal Pour Le Merite ( The Blue Max ): Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst in 1760 and Friedrich Wilhelm Leopold in 1793.
4. In all, the von Gaudy family were awarded three Medal Pour Le Merite ( The Blue Max ), which was a considerable achievement when you consider how difficult it was to win and the fact that it was the Kings personal award and only he could sanction it.
5. Freiherr Franz von Gaudy ( 1800 1840 ) was, and still is, one of
Prussias, and latterly Germanys, most admired poets and has had a street named
after him in Berlin, Gaudystrasse, which begins at the Falkplatz and ends at
Schoenhauser Avenue. He has been described as The Burns and Beranger of the
Fatherland rolled into one! ( see The Scots in Germany ).
6. Leopold Otto von Gaudy ( 1728 1789 ) was a Cabinet Minister under Frederick the Great on the General Board of Directors and played a major part in Fredericks restructuring of Prussia.
7. Leopold Otto von Gaudy was given a Freiherrsstand (made a Baron) in 1785; as with German custom, all members of the von Gaudy family were entitled to call themselves Freiherr or Freiherren from that date onwards.
8. Ludwig Ernst Otto von Gaudy ( 1769 1813 ) (G/G/G/G/Grandfather ) was Minister of War for Prussia in 1810.
9. Alice Freiin von Gaudy ( 1863-1929 ) is also recognised for her books and poetry, many of which are held in the State Archives in Berlin.
10. Karl Friedrich Ludwig von Gaudy ( 1734 1784 ) was appointed Chamber Director at Marienwerder in 1773 as part of Frederick the Greats government.
All the above information is supported by records and papers, the majority of which came from the Institut Deutsche Adelsforschung in Berlin.
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