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Aminoff Genealogy and Aminoff Family History Information

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About the Aminoff surname

The history of the Swedish / Finnish family starts from Fedodor Aminev who was of Russian noblesse and a commander to a castle in Novgorod which surrendered to the Swedes in 1612. He, then, would swear loyalty to the king of Sweden, be naturalized to the Swedish nobility in 1618 as Aminoff, and the family was introduced in 1650 under n:o 456, and in 1818 in Finland under n:o 36.

In 1808 Johan Fredrik Aminoff was raised to the ranks of friherr in Sweden, but was never introduced. Instead he was introduced first as baron (equal to friherr) in Finland in 1818 under n:o 25, and later raised to greve 1819, introduced in 1821 under n:o 5. The family is the only family in Finland still represented in all three ranks of nobility.

As stated below, there are two or more families Aminoff. In the email by Gary Aminoff (below), the origins of the Jewish surname are described. It is typical for Ashenazi Jews to have lived without a surname until compelled to do so, and this took place perhaps the latest in Russia. While the etymology of the surname might be identical, the history of the Swedish / Finnish family Aminoff dates back centuries, and the known first names of the members of the family Aminev / Aminoff do not indicate Jewish heritage.


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

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.