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House of Glasenapp

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Surnames/tags: Noble_Houses Glasenapp
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Please see the grouping of members of this house at House of Glasenapp category.

Coat of Arms of the Glassenapps


House of Glasenapp

The von Glasenapps are noble family from Westpommern, around Gramenz, which is today a part of Poland. Their ancestry can be traced well back into the 13th century.

A branch of the family later moved to Livonia. Reinhold von Glasenapp is considered the root of all Glasenapps later living in Livonia.

Online Articlesabout the Glasenapps:
Wikipedia Page Glasenapp
Chapter on the Glasenapps in "Genealogisches Handbuch der Livländischen Ritterschaft"

Origin and Name

While the sources mentioning the Glasenapps reach back to 13th century it's unclear where they originally came from. They seem to have risen from the bourgeoisie of Kolberg, Pommern.
One thing seem to be clear: "von Glasenapp" seems not to be referring to a location, as such a location is not none nor ever mentioned. So the "von" is solely meant to mark the noble status.[1]


Most Glasenapps had a military occupation. The served in whatever army of the land their lands belonged to by their time: Polish, Russian, Danish, Swedish etc..

Some of them served as what would nowadays be called a mercernary, far away from there home.


A lot of the Glasenapps were also civil servants. Very much of them were "Geheimer Rat" or "Wirklicher Geheimer Rat", a title that would be connected with the title "Exzellenz". (Wikipedia Page)

Notable von Glasenapps

Luitgarde von Glasenapp connects the von Glasenapps with the von Bismarcks. She is the mother of Otto von Bismarck's spouse.

Georg Johann von Glasenapp was Gouvernor of West Siberia ( Wikipedia Page). In Russia he is quite famous, have a look at the Russian version of his Wikipedia Page. His daughter Caroline was a lady-in-waiting of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia (Charlotte von Preußen).

Alexander von Glasenapp was a Russian lieutenant general, famous enough to have his own Wikipedia Page.


Genealogisches Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften

Title: Genealogisches Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften (Görlitz 1929, Verlag für Sippenforschung und Wappenkunde C.A. Starke)
Subtitle: Herausgegeben vom Verband des livländischen Stammadels - Bearbeitet von Dr. Astaf v. Transehe-Roseneck

The "Genealogisches Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften" is a serious attempt to create an encyclopedia of the knights of the Baltics. The description of the families are mostly brief tables, only documenting the male heirs.

Online Links:
Genealogisches Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften. Teil 1,1: Livland; Bayrische Staatsbibliothek

Genealogisches Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften. Teil 1,2: Livland; Bayrische Staatsbibliothek

Genealogisches Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften, Teil 3,1: Kurland; Bayrische Staatsbibliothek

Vollständige Genealogie des alt-hinterpommerschen Geschlechts der Erb-, Burg- und Schlossgesessenen von Glasenapp

Title: Eugen von Glasenapp, Vollständige Genealogie des alt-hinterpommerschen Geschlechts der Erb-, Burg- und Schlossgesessenen von Glasenapp (Berlin 1897, Vossische Buchhandlung (Strikker))

The "Vollständige Genealogie" is the honest attempt of an Glasenapp descend to create a documentary of the Glasenapps that should stand the test of time. The sources, on which it is based, are named and the author himself makes it clear when information is not proven and solid and where the sources themselves could be misguided. The book features an immense amount of details, that the author has collected, for almost each Glasenapp, that is listed. What is very special is the fact that, though typical for that time, only the male descendants are counted for the tree, still also all girls of a family are being named and their dates are given, if known.

The book is made out of two parts, part two contains the genealogy.

Link to online scan of the digital library of Mecklenburg Vorpommern

Names Index (Part II)

List of Sources (Part I)

Helmut Jungschaffer's assessment

"The noble family Glasenapp is quite well documented in numerous sources, beginning with Willekinus dictus Glasenap documented in 1287. Eugen von Glasenapp is generally considered reliable but other sources should be used to document people as much as possible. Online sources:

Genealogisches Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften.
Teil 1, 1: Livland. Görlitz 1929, S. 591–608
Teil 2, 3: Estland. Görlitz 1930, S. 367–368
Not online: Band 6 (Neue Folge), Hamburg 2016, S. 117–197

Ernst Heinrich Kneschke: Neues allgemeines deutsches Adels-Lexicon. Bd. III, Leipzig 1861, online
Gothaisches genealogisches Taschenbuch der adeligen Häuser Justus Perthes, Gotha 1904 S. 266ff., 1913 S.255ff

Not online but pretty much the definitive source for German nobility (if anybody has access):
Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels. C. A. Starke Verlag, Limburg (Lahn).
Adelslexikon. Band IV, Band 67 der Gesamtreihe, 1978, S. 139–141.
Genealogisches Handbuch der adeligen Häuser A 10. Band 45 der Gesamtreihe, 1969, S. 75–109; B 9, Band 46 der Gesamtreihe, 1970, S. 189–192; A 21, Band 98 der Gesamtreihe, 1990, S. 158–181.

Addendum: While many 19th century/early 20th century genealogies published in the USA are highly dubious this is not necessarily so in European publications. In the USA the purpose was most often to concoct descent from some noble or otherwise important people, Europe was full of organizations of the nobility carefully monitoring such publications to make sure nobody "undeserving" encroached on their privileges. Doesn't mean fraud didn't happen, though."

From Is "Vollständige Genealogie des ... Geschlechts .. von Glasenapp" a reliable source?.

More Sources

  1. Genealogisches Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften, S. 592

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