Hero Oomkens von Esens
Hero Oomkens von Esens was a Frisian
The Frisians are a Germanic ethnic group native to the coastal parts of the Netherlands and Germany. They are concentrated in the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen and, in Germany, East Frisia and North Frisia, that was a part of Denmark until 1864. They inhabit an area known as Frisia...

Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

, Earl of Harlingerland
The Harlingerland is a strip of land on the North Sea coast of East Frisia. Whilst, today, the whole of the district of district of Wittmund is usually described as Harlingerland, historically it is specifically used to refer to the northern part of the present district, which formed the old...

, who inherited the title on the death of his father, Sibet Attena von Esens
Sibet Attena
Sibet Attena was an East Frisian chieftain. He was a son of Sibet of Dornum and Frouwa of Manslagt, a daughter of Enno Cirksena....

, in 1473. He is usually referred to as Hero Oomkens "the Younger" to distinguish him from his maternal grandfather, Hero Oomkens the Elder. As with most names of this period, Hero Oomkens von Esens is referred to in contemporary texts by a plethora of variations. Hero, Here, Heer, Her; Omken, Omcken, Oemkens, Omkens, etc. Moreover, given that he held various lordships, he is also referred to, in addition to von or zu Esens, as von Wittmund, von Harlingerland, von Stedesdorf, etc. The Oomkens family were established in East Frisia (now part of Niedersachsen in Germany) and in the Frisian Oldambt
Oldambt is a municipality in the Dutch province of Groningen formed on January 1, 2010, by a fusion of the municipalities Reiderland, Scheemda and Winschoten....

, in the Groninger Ommelanden (now part of Groningen
Groningen (province)
Groningen [] is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen , in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea...

 in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

). The family prided itself on its direct descent from Radbod, King of the Frisians
Radbod, King of the Frisians
Radbod was the king of Frisia from c. 680 until his death. He is often considered the last independent ruler of Frisia before Frankish domination. He defeated Charles Martel at Cologne. Eventually, however, Charles prevailed and compelled the Frisians to submit...


Hero Oomkens von Esens' marriage to Armgard Countess of Oldenburg in 1489 helped to cement the alliance of the old Frisian aristocracy with the Counts of Oldenburg
Oldenburg is an independent city in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated in the western part of the state between the cities of Bremen and Groningen, Netherlands, at the Hunte river. It has a population of 160,279 which makes it the fourth biggest city in Lower Saxony after Hanover, Braunschweig...

 in their struggle against the rise of the Cirksena
The Cirksena are noble East Frisian family descended from a line of East Frisian chieftains from Greetsiel.- The Cirksena in East Frisia :In 1439 in the wake of clashes between different lines of chieftains, the town of Emden was first placed by Hamburg under direct rule and then, in 1453, finally...


Hero Oomkens von Esens had five sons, named Balthasar, Melchior, Caspar, Johann and Sibo, and two daughters, Onna (or Anna) who married Otto von Rietberg, and Adelaide, who married her distant cousin Eppo Hayo Heres Oomkens van Ommeland, of the Oldambt in the Groninger Ommeland. Balthasar Oomkens von Esens
Balthasar Oomkens von Esens
Balthasar Oomkens von Esens was an East Frisian nobleman who died during the siege of his castle in Esens by the Bremen army. He was described by his partisans as the last true Frisian freedom fighter, although some decried his seemingly insatiable appetite for violence.-Biography and...

 succeeded his father on the latter's death in 1522. Sibo and Caspar joined their cousin, the King of Denmark, and died on active service with the Danes
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Caspar dying during the storming of Königsberg
Königsberg was the capital of East Prussia from the Late Middle Ages until 1945 as well as the northernmost and easternmost German city with 286,666 inhabitants . Due to the multicultural society in and around the city, there are several local names for it...

 in 1521.

Hero Oomkens von Esens' heraldic symbol was two crossed tournament lances (sometimes incorrectly referred to as whips or scourges), which have been incorporated into the arms of the city of Wittmund (district)
Wittmund (district)
Wittmund is a Landkreis in the northwestern part of Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated in East Frisia, on the North Sea coast. Neighboring districts are Friesland, Leer and Aurich.-Geography:...

 and also feature in the arms of East Frisia
East Frisia
East Frisia or Eastern Friesland is a coastal region in the northwest of the German federal state of Lower Saxony....

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