Magister Hermann Samson
* 4.3.1579, 16.12.1643
Mainpastor of the city of Riga
welcomes King Gustav II.
Adolf of Sweden
(Window in the
Cathedral of Riga

Origin of the Family

The descendance of the Family v. Samson-Himmelstjerna starts with Naeman Samson (1583), originating from Putte in Northern Brabant. On December 13, 1568 he was elected head of militia of the city of Riga in Livonia (today Latvia).

His son Hermann Samson (1579-1643) was appointed first Superintendent of Livonia by King Gustav II. Adolf of Sweden and instructed to reorganize the protestant church in the province. On September 19, 1640 he was ennobled by Queen Kristina of Sweden.

His descendants mainly had been administration officers, lawyers and big landowners living in Livonia, Estonia and the Isle of Oesel.

The greatgreatgrandson of Naeman, Carl Gustav (1750-1825), Head of Administration (Landmarschall) of Livonia, together with his five sons donated a family foundation in order to support needy family members. The five sons Carl Hermann (1777-1858), Reinhold Johann Ludwig (1778-1858), Wilhelm Gustav (1781-1858), Georg Friedrich (1783-1864) and Richard Bruno (1794-1844) also are the ancestors of the five family branches Rauge, Urbs, Walling, Parzemois and Uelzen. At the beginning of the 19th century they adopted the epithet "Himmelstjerna".

Until 1561 Livonia was under the patronage of the Bishops of Riga and Dorpat as well as of the German Order. From 1561 till 1629 it was part of the Kingdom of Poland, from 1629 till 1710 part of Sweden and from 1710 till independance of Estonia and Latvia in 1918 it was ruled by Russia.

The family was enrolled in all of the four Baltic Knightages (Baltischen-Ritterschaften), as well as in Saxonia and Sweden. Until the independance of Latvia and Estonia most of its members used to live in the Baltic Countries. After World War I. and revolution many of them migrated to Germany in the Twenties. In 1939 the last family members became displaced persons and were forced to settle down in the Warthe county in Poland. This was the end of the family's history in the Baltic Countries.

In 1872 Raoul v. Samson-Himmelstjerna migrated to the United States. He was the founder of the American branch of the family. After World War I. Nikolai v. Samson-Himmelstjerna migrated to France and became the ancestor of the French branch. His brother Georg (Juri) stayed back in Russia and died in 2001. His family (widow, 2 children and 4 grand children) is still living in Moscow.

In 1931 the Family association was established                         Back to front page