The Bohemian name Konvalinka translates into "Lily of the Valley" in English. The root comes from the Latin "covallaria", or lily. This root is responsible for the occurrence of similar names in other countries (Kovalenka in Romania and Konvolinka in Hungary, for instance).
The original of the above coat of arms was probably in the possession of my great grandfather, Jan [Nepomuk Josef] Konvalinka who immigrated from Chrast, Bohemia to New York City in 1848. (It was given to me in the 1950's by his daughter Emilie Josephine Konvalinka.)
In my research to date I have not been able to authenticate his right to use this coat of arms, but have found almost identical designs in coats of arms awarded to members of old Silesian and Polish families. A map of Central Europe in 1812 shows Silesia as a large area just to the east of Bohemia (not far from Chrast.) Could the Chrast branch of the family have originated in Silesia? Is it possible that a Konvalinka married into one of the old Silesian families and "adopted/adapted" that family's coat of arms? We're still researching those questions.
(If some Konvalinka were just going to design their own coat of arms, why not create one with lilies of the valley in it -- we've found plenty of examples of those.)
There are about 100 people named Konvalinka in the United States and Canada today, plus a number more who have "lost" the name through marriage. There are probably an equal number [or more] in The Czech Republic [about 30 in the Prague phone book alone], Austria, Germany, Slovenia and other European countries. In the United States, the Konvalinkas are largely concentrated in the Midwest, in Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan. There seem to be at least 12 different family branches, descended from different immigrant ancestors who came from different parts of Bohemia at different times from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century. See:
[both these areas are still under construction. Please be patient and send comments, suggestions and additions to: John Konvalinka ]
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