Ahlefeldt (noble family)

Ahlefeldt coat of arms.

Ahlefeldt is a German and Danish family of high nobility. The family originated from Westensee near Kiel.

The earliest known ancestor is one Benedict von Ahlefeldt, (d c 1340), whose son and grandsons served king Atterdag Valdemar IV of Denmark and received significant pawn fiefs and properties in Denmark.

In Slesvig the family inherited estates Søgård, Nør, Königsförde-Lindau, Sakstorp and Gelting. In Holstein, Bossee, Lehmkulen, Wittmold, Deutsch-Nienhof, Emkendorf, Kl. Nordsee, Haseldorf and Fresenburg.

Godske von Ahlefeldt (d. 1541) was the last catholic Bishop of Slesvig.

High royal councillor Burchard von Ahlefeldt (of Eskilsmark) received in 1672 letters patent as Danish count.

His kinsman Frederik von Ahlefeldt (1623-1686) raised in 1665 to Heiliger Römischer Reichsgraf, i.e. German count in immediate vassalage to the emperor. He further received in the same year as his kinsman, in 1672 the Danish title of count and the position of fiefed count. He inherited the county of Langeland.

One of his grandsons, count Christian Ahlefeldt inherited the county of Laurvig in Norway, one of the two official countships ever in that country (the other was Jarlsberg, which belonged to the Wedell family). In 1785 he received the royal licence to himself and his descendants to bear the name Ahlefeldt-Laurvigen.

Holdings

The Ahlefeldt family accumulated large holdings of land: