Kaas (noble family)

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Statesman Niels Kaas (Sparre-Kaas), Chancellor and head of the Dano-Norwegian government during the King's minority 1588–1594

Kaas is the name of two related Danish noble families, which are/were part of the Danish Uradel. They are known as the elder Kaas family and the younger Kaas family or named for their respective coats of arms (Sparre-Kaas and Mur-Kaas)

Coat of arms of the younger Kaas family, drawn by Anders Thiset in Danmarks Adels Aarbog

The elder family is descended from the knight Niels (born 1292). The elder family became extinct in 1799, while the younger family descends, through intermarriage in the late 15th century, from this family. The paternal ancestors of the younger family were also noble, but did not have a family name.

Several members of both families were represented in the Danish Council of the Realm, and statesman Niels Kaas of the elder family was head of the Dano-Norwegian government during the King's minority in the late 16th century. Other family members were fiefholders or high-ranking military officers.

The current Danish family branch is descended from fiefholder Jørgen Kaas (1618–1658), whose descendants include Governor of Christiania and Trondheim Hans Kaas (1640–1700), Governor Jørgen Grubbe Kaas (1643–1711), Governor of Bergen and Admiral Ulrik Kaas (1677–1746), General Henrik Bielke Kaas (1686–1773), Admiral Frederik Christian Kaas (1727–1804) and Admiral Ulrik Christian Kaas (1729–1808).

A Norwegian branch, Munthe-Kaas, is descended from sergeant Herman Kaas (1730–93). His son, goldsmith in Christiania Ahasverus Kaas (1791–1859) applied for permission to change his name to Munthe-Kaas in 1848, the name of his two brothers-in-law (despite not descending from this family). The members of the Norwegian branch were mostly low-ranking officers from the 17th century and less prominent than the Danish branch.