There are two distinct Aminoff families. There is a Scandinavian non-Jewish Aminoff family whose ancestor, I believe, originally came from St. Petersburg, Russia. I will leave it to the Scandinavian Aminoff's to talk about their family history.
The Aminoff family to which I belong has its origins in Central Asia, in what was then the Emirate of Bukhara, part of the Persian Empire, in the mid-19th Century. Russia captured Bukhara from Persia and renamed the area Turkestan. Our family was a Jewish family living in the City of Bukhara. The head of the family was named Benjamin. In those days Jews did not have surnames. When the Russians took over the area they requested that each family adopt a surname, using the head of the family's name with the appendix "off", meaning son of. In other words, a family whose head was David, took the surname Davidoff. Women of the family used the surname, Davidova, or daughter of. The head of our family, my great grand-father, was Benjamin. The family name would therefor be Benjaminoff. Since Benjaminoff was a long name and for other reasons which I am not aware of, the family name was shortened to Aminoff. There are variants in spelling in English, such as Aminov, Aminof, Aminoff, etc. That is how this particular family got the surname, Aminoff.
Gary Aminoff Los Angeles, California January 7, 2011 email@example.com
Hi Gary! Barbaras father maybe was Teuvo Amineff, mayor of ancient Novgorog (Nogardia) and warchief (vojevod) of Ingermanland in XV century. Barbaras mother was born princess (vürstin) Jelena Golitsyn, daughter of Russian prince (vürst, knjes) Juri Golitsyn, his father was Russian prince (knjes) Ivan Golitsyn. May be yes, may be no.