The question of whether the surname belongs to the nobility is rather controversial.
Under Soviet rule, it was customary to hide the origin of the «noble».
In modern Russia, on the contrary, there is an increased desire to study the kind and origin of the family.
All the twists and turns of the twentieth century have so confused the branches of the genealogical trees of most Russians that the establishment of ancestors’ belonging to a particular class often resembles a historical detective story.
But there are several markers embedded in the surnames that suggest that a person has noble roots.
Of course, one cannot judge by surname alone. It gives only a fraction of the likelihood of noble origin. But to study the roots of a kind, it is worth starting with the analysis of the surname.
Which of them can indicate the noble origin of a person?
The first boyar and noble families were formed from the name of the patrimony, which the princes gave into the possession of their associates or descendants.
To indicate which territory is in the power of this family, a prototype of the surname was added to the name, answering the question «what?»
This is how surnames ending in
Zalessky, Elnitsky, Shilovsky, Argutinsky, Borodaevsky, Yuryevsky, etc. — surnames formed in this way were worn by a significant proportion of noble families.
Boyars and nobles officially received their documented surnames earlier than other estates in Russia.
Therefore, their surnames often contain roots characteristic of earlier forms of the Russian language, dating back to Old Church Slavonic. These can be surnames derived from
Of course, this alone cannot be judged, but you can use it as a hint for further searches.
The peasants were dominated by surnames with
But nobles who received their status for merit or when a new branch was separated from a larger clan thanks to an outstanding ancestor, more often formed their surnames from nicknames with the addition of -in at the end. This is how the noble families Pushkin, Korovin, Pig, Svechin, Satin, Galkin and other similar surnames appeared. The ending in –in was also found in families of other origins, but, nevertheless, a significant proportion of noble families had it.
A sign of a person’s noble origin may be the presence of double surnames in his ancestors. If this was not a creative pseudonym, then, most likely, the family was noble.
The nobles took the double surname on two occasions. Sometimes two branches of a family tree were formed from one big noble surname. For example, from the great noble family of the Suvorovs, thanks to the great commander, his
Sometimes two noble families with the same surname appeared. To distinguish between their representatives, a second surname was given.
The second reason for the formation of a double surname was the desire to retain the title, transmitted along one of the family lines.
Examples of such double noble surnames are the Suvorov-Rymniksky, Golenishchev-Kutuzov, Musin-Pushkin, etc.
Periodically, nobility of foreign origin joined the old Russian aristocracy.
In the 15th – 17th centuries, these could be noble families who fled from the crumbling Horde, and then from Lithuania.
They were distinguished by the fact that a Turkic or Lithuanian root was preserved in the surname. Several families of this origin later became some of the most noble and famous. This is how they appeared in Russia
From time to time, some families of European nobles moved to Russia. When forming a Russian surname, they retained a prefix indicating their noble origin and / or a foreign root at its base. This is how the Fonvizins, Lermontovs and others appeared.
Especially many foreign noble families appeared in Russia in the 18th century: from Peter I to Catherine II, up to a third of the nobility had a foreign origin. You also need to understand that when some territories were annexed to the Russian Empire, the aristocracy could retain their titles and nobility. Therefore, in
An exhaustive list of all noble families contained the so-called
Later, the General