Liivimaa Üldkasuliku ja Ökonoomilise Sotsieteedi liikmetest 1792-1918
On the Members of the Livonian Public Welfare
and Economic Society in 1792–1918
From 1792 to 1918 altogether 123 people were accepted as active members of the Livonian Public Welfare and Economic Society; eight members were admitted twice, thus, the organisation had altogether 115 members. The enrolment of new members can be considered quite steady: as a rule, 10 new members were admitted within a decade. It was only in the first decade after founding the Society that 17 active
members were admitted, 13 of them in 1792. A remarkable number of members enrolled in the 1860s—in relation to a generational shift, 18 estate owners became members of the organisation. Peter Heinrich von Blanckenhagen, the founder of the Society, had determined that the members of the Society should be members of the Livonian gentry, i.e., the knightage. Most of the 115 members were registered in the matricles of the knightage of Livonia, except Wassili von Zuckerbecker admitted in 1862. The society can be therefore
rightfully considered to have united the gentry of Livonia. The
estate owners of the neighbouring governorate were ppointed honorary members, as a rule. An exception was Otto Magnus von Gruenewaldt, who was a land councillor in Estonia and had estates in both governorates.
The presidents of the Society were mostly from the Estonian district of Livonia, first and foremost from Tartumaa. The members were originally from vastly varied geographic locations. After 1813 and the transferral of the Society to Tartu the membership was dominated by members from the Estonian district, while estate owners from the Latvian district composed 46% of the members.
The greatest number of active members was contributed by the Sivers family (13), whose estates were mainly located in Viljandimaa and Tartumaa. One of the largest land owners of the early 20th century Livonia was the Freiherr von Wolff family, who was represented with seven members. The Samson–Himmelstjernas contributed five members.
The honorary members were significantly more diverse in their origins. In 1796 the first honorary members were admitted. 316 honorary members were elected until 1918. Besides estate owners; Livonian governors, renowned scientists, church ministers, etc. belonged to the ranks of honorary members. Several former active members also acquired the status of an honorary member. Several well-known agriculturalists, however, never became active members, e.g., the Sangaste estate owner Friedrich von Berg remained an honorary member.