Oxenstierna (US: /ˈʊksənʃɛərnə, ˈɒk-/ UUK-sən-shair-nə, OK-,[1] Swedish: [ˈʊ̂ksɛnˌɧæːɳa]) is a Swedish noble family, originally from Småland in southern Sweden which can be traced up to the middle of the 14th century. The Oxenstierna family held vast estates in Södermanland and Uppland during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. In the 15th century, the family at times held the position of Regent of Sweden during the turbulent civil wars of the Kalmar Union. The family began to adopt its armorial designation of Oxenstierna[2] as a personal surname towards the end of the 16th century. In the case of earlier members of the family, the surname has been retroactively applied by historians.

The coat of arms of the Oxenstierna family

Notable Oxenstierna family membersEdit

Great seal of Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstierna (1417–1467), Archbishop of Uppsala and Lord Regent of Sweden.

Several members of the family, most notably the influential Lord High Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna, rose to prominence, high political office and titles during the age of the Swedish Empire in the 17th century. [3][4]

The family's most notable members include the following (in chronological order):

Axel Oxenstierna, (1583–1654), Swedish statesman and influential protestant leader during the Thirty Years' War

Connection to European royal housesEdit

Kings Christian IX of Denmark, Haakon VII of Norway, and Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden were all descended from branches of the Oxenstierna family. All three monarchs descended from the Oxenstierna family through their common ancestor, Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. His paternal grandmother was Countess Charlotte of Dohna-Schlobitten, great-great-granddaughter of Gabriel Bengtsson Oxenstierna, 1st Count of Korsholma and Vaasa, father of Bengt Gabrielsson and first cousin of Axel and Bengt Gustafssöner, as well as great-great-great-great-grandson of regent Bengt Jönsson. Oxenstierna was also a distant relative of Charles VIII of Sweden, Frederick VIII of Denmark, Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, George I of Greece, and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia. [9]


  1. ^ "Oxenstierna". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  2. ^ "Ox-forehead"; stierna, in modern spelling "stjärna", has the double meaning of "star".
  3. ^ "Oxenstierna, släkt". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Axel Oxenstierna". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "Bengt Jönsson (Oxenstierna)". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "Nils Jönsson (Oxenstierna)". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  7. ^ "Jöns Bengtsson (Oxenstierna)". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  8. ^ "Gabriel Oxenstierna Gustafsson". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  9. ^ "Descendants of Friedrich Wilhelm Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg". Our Family Tree. Retrieved April 1, 2020.

External linksEdit