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ALMANACH de NOBLE

Royalty and Nobility of Estonia

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Coat of arms of
Estonia

1

1

1. Aderkas
2. Adlerberg
3. Åkerman
4.  Albedyll
5.  Anrep
6.   Antropoff
7.   Arnold
8.    Arpshofen
9.    Arronet
10.  Baer v.Huthorn
11.  Baggehufwudt
12.  Baranoff
13.  Barclay de Tolly-Weymarn
14.  Barlöwen
15.  Baumgarten
16.  Behr
17.  Bellingshausen
18.  Below
19.  Benckendorff
20.  Berends
21.  Berg a.d.H. Kandel
22.  Berg a.d.H. Kattentack
23.  Bielsky
24.  Bistram
25.  Bock a.d.H. Lachmes
26.  Bock a.d.H. Suddenbach
27.  Bodisco
28.  Brandt
29.  Brasch
30.  Bremen
31.  Brevern
32.  Broel gen.Plater
33.  Broemsen
34.  Bruemmer
35.  Budberg
36.  Bunge
37.  Buxhoeveden
38.  Clapier de Colongue
39.  Clodt v.Jürgensburg
40.  Cube
41.  Dehn
42.  Dellingshausen
43.  Delwig
44.  Derfelden
45.  Ditmar
46.  Drenteln
47.  Dücker
48.  Engelhardt
49.  Essen
50.  Fersen
51.  Fock
52.  Friederici
53.  Gernet
54.  Gersdorff
55.  Girard de Soucanton
56.  Glasenapp
57.  Gortschakow
58.  Grabbe
59.  Gruenewaldt
60.  Güldenstubbe
61.  Hagemeister
62.  Hagmann
63.  Hahn
64.  Handtwig
65.  Harpe
66.  Hastfer
67.  Helffreich
68.  Heyden
69.  Hirschheydt
70.  Hoerschelmann
71.  Howen
72.  Hoyningen gen.Huene
73.  Hueck
74.  Hunnius
75.  Igelstroem
76.  Kaulbars
77.  Keller
78.  Keyserling
79.  Klopmann
80.  Knorring
81.  Korff
82.  Koskull
83.  Kotzebue
84.  Krause
85.  Kruedener
86.  Krusenstiern
87.  Kügelgen
88.  Kursell
89.  Lilienfeld
90.  Lode
91.  Löwenstern
92.  Löwis of Menar
93.  Lohmann
94.  Lueder
95.  Lüders-Weymarn
96.  Lütke
97.  Manderstjerna
98.  Manteuffel
99.  Maydell
100.  Mellin
101.  Meyendorff
102.  Mickwitz
103.  Mohrenschildt
104.  zur Mühlen
105.  Mühlendahl
106.  Nasackin
107.  Neff
108.  Nieroth
109.  Nolcken
110.  Nottbeck
111.  Osten gen.Sacken
112.  Pahlen
113.  Patkul
114.  Peetz
115.  Pilar v.Pilchau
116.  Pistohlkors
117.  Ramm
118.  Rausch v.Traubenberg
119.  Rehbinder
120.  Rehekampff
121.  Rehren
122.  Rennenkampff
123.  Renteln
124.  Reutern
125.  Ribeaupierre
126.  Richter
127.  Roenne
128.  Rosen (rote)
129.  Roten (weiße)
130.  Rosenbach
131.  Ruckteschell
132.  Saltza
133.  Samson-Himmelstjerna
134.  Scharenberg
135.  Schilling
136.  Schlippenbach
137.  Schonert
138.  Schubert
139.  Schulmann
140.  Seidlitz a.d.H. Söttküll
141.  Seidlitz a.d.H. Waetz
142.  Sievers
143.  Simolin
144.  Sivers
145.  Staal
146.  Stackelberg
147.  Stael v.Holstein
148.  Steinheil
149.  Stenbock
150.  Stjernhjelm
151.  Straelborn
152.  Strandmann
153.  Stromberg
154.  Stryk
155.  Taube
156.  Tideböhl
157.  Tiesenhausen
158.  Toll
159.  Totleben
160.  la Trobe
161.  Uexküll
162.  Ulrich
163.  Ungern-Sternberg
164.  Veh
165.  Vietinghoff
166.  Wachtmeister
167.  Wahl
  Weiß
  Wendrich

  Wetter-Rosenthal

Baron / Freiherr von Wetter-Rosenthal

  Weymarn
  Wistinghausen
  Wolff

  Wolffeldt

Baron / Freiherr von

  Wolkonski

Baron / Freiherr von

  Wrangell

Baron / Freiherr von

  Wrede

Baron / Freiherr von 

  Zoege v.Manteuffel

Baron / Freiherr von

  Zubow

Baron / Freiherr von

Origins and history

The Estländische Ritterschaft (noble corporation of Estonia) looks back on a long history. First documented in 1252, it is the oldest of the four Baltic noble corporations of Estonia, Livonia, Curland and Oesel. Its origins date back to the alliance of, mainly German, vassals in the Northern Estonian provinces of Harrien (Estonian Harju) and Wierland (Virumaa), which were Danish territories until 1346. Initially a community of interests, it developed into a political entity representing the entire country, including the Estonian peasant population, but excluding the cities. This process was largely completed by the end of the Rule of the Teutonic Order in 1561. The Estländische Ritterschaft maintained its role throughout the period of Swedish and Russian rule (from, respectively, 1561 and 1710) through a regime of self-administration based on privileges (re-)confirmed by each sovereign until the early 20th century. These conferred wide-ranging autonomy for the administration of the land and the application of the law to its German and Estonian population. They also guaranteed the practice of the Protestant-Lutheran faith (of Augsburg Confession) and the use of German as the administrative language. Owners of country estates were expected to perform voluntary duty services ("Landesdienst") in the country's administration. Posts were filled through triennial elections.

The collapse of the Russian and German Empires in 1917 and 1918 created a context for the creation of new national states in the Baltic region. The Estonian people seized this opportunity and the Republic of Estonia was declared on 24 February 1918. In the new republic, Baltic Germans were a small minority and no longer the dominant class. The Estländische Ritterschaft was dissolved as a public entity and country estates were expropriated.

Now reconstituted as a private voluntary organisation called Estländischer Gemeinnütziger Verband, the Estländische Ritterschaft represented a remarkable historic achievement: together with the German population of the country's cities, it had indelibly marked Estonia's identity over centuries and made it culturally to a part of Western Europe. This is widely acknowledged in Estonia today, following the country's 51 years of Soviet rule from 1940 until 1991 when it finally regained its independence.

In 1939/40, as a direct result of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, those members of the Estländische Ritterschaft who had not left the country in 1918, were 'repatriated' with their fellow Baltic Germans to German-occupied Poland (Warthegau). At that point they forever lost their homeland in which most families had had their roots for centuries - thus becoming the 'first victims' of the Hitler-Stalin Pact as former Estonian President Lennard Meri once pointedly described them. Between the two World Wars they had remained in their homeland, most of them leading modest lives as Estonian citizens. The Estonian Republic granted them wide-ranging cultural autonomy, enshrined in minority legislation passed in 1925, which was then recognised internationally as exemplary.

Since the end of the Second World War, the majority of the members of the Estländische Ritterschaft live in Germany where it has become part of the Association of Baltic Noble Corporations (Verband der Baltischen Ritterschaften). In the difficult post-war years a large number of members of the four noble corporations emigrated, in particular to Canada and Sweden where local branches were set up.

 

 

The Matrikel (register) of the Estlaendische Ritterschaft

Following his conquest of the regions of Harrien and Wierland in northern Estonia in the summer of 1219, King Waldemar II of Denmark handed out land as fiefs to his vassals for these to be administered and protected against foreign powers. The Liber Census Daniae of 1241 lists 114 vassals in Harrien and Wierland, most of whom originating from northern parts of Germany. These united to form the Harrisch-Wierische Ritterschaft.

In autumn 1346 King Waldemar IV sold his 'Duchy of Estonia' to the German Teutonic Order, which already ruled over the region of Jerwen in southern Estonia. The Western Estonian region of Wiek, on the other hand, belonged to the Bishopric of Oesel. After the collapse of the rule of the Teutonic Order, the Harrisch-Wierische Ritterschaft and the Order's vassals in Jerwen swore allegiance to King Erik XIV of Sweden who confirmed their privileges. The Wiek followed in summer 1584 when King Johann III united the four regions of Harrien, Wierland, Jerwen and Wiek into one duchy. Since this date, the Estlaendische Ritterschaft has existed as one entity.

Originally, every person with an estate established as a fief belonged to the Ritterschaft. When the Swedish kings began to hand out estates to mercenary leaders who did not belong to the nobility, and wealthy burgers of Reval and Narval to invest in country estates, the Ritterschaft felt the need to set itself apart from these by creating a Matrikel (register). Such registers already existed in Curland since 1620 and in Sweden since 1625. However, despite the approval for the establishment of a Matrikel of the Estlaendische Ritterschaft, issued by Queen Christina of Sweden 1648, it was never implemented as she and her successors ennobled most of these mercenary leaders and burgers.

Only when Peter the Great confirmed the privileges of the Estlaendische Ritterschaft in 1710 after his conquest of Estonia, was the establishment of a register reconsidered. Preparations for this were started in 1729 and inscriptions took place from 1745. Since then 308 families have been registered. Of these, the following 179 remain in existence:

 

Every legitimately born male descendant of a noble father and his spouse is entered into the Matrikel, not however bearers of the title through adoption or other legal transfer of name. The following information is included:

Name, christian name(s), place and date of birth, confession (where not Lutheran), profession, academic title, job title or rank, place and date of marriage, divorce and death as appropriate.

For spouses additionally: christian name and profession of the father, christian and maiden name of mother.

The genealogist would like to stress that this form of record does not affect current rules on names under public law. It simply states the person's status as belonging to the historic nobility from a genealogical perspective in accordance with long-standing principles of nobility law now enshrined in private law.

In order to maintain a complete and up-to-date genealogical picture of a family, it is important that all the information referred to above is passed on to the genealogist. This will also assist preparations for the publication of the Genealogical Handbook of German Nobility (Geneaologisches Handbuch des deutschen Adels).

We therefore ask you to provide the genealogist with all of the mentioned family and person related data. Please also send him copies of family announcements, or better of the relevant certificates. In addition we request copies of newsletters of family associations, published family histories, family trees etc. for the genealogist's archives.

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