Introduction to One-Name Studies Course – Lesson Five

Pharos Lessons

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2020

The fifth lesson of the Pharos Introduction to One-Name Studies course has just been sent to students.

Our fourth chat session will take place a little later this week, please check the Pharos forum for details and the link.

This is the last lesson of this Introduction course, although the chats and conversations continue.

For more details about the Practicalities of a One-Name Studies course (903) and the Advanced course (902), confirmation of the forthcoming dates and to book please visit the information pages HERE.

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Stationary Memories – Biddles of Guildford

BiddlesofGuildfordThis morning I went online for my Twitter fix and noticed a post from a stationary shop of my childhood, Biddles in Guildford. Instantly I was plunged back into a series of happy memories. This shop undoubtedly helped me develop a love of stationary which has remained to this day, and a trip home to Guildford is never complete without a trip into Biddles.

Like many businesses, the COVID-19 situation has affected Biddles, but I was genuinely very sad that the business went into Administration earlier this year. Now there is a Crowdfounder project which is seeking to keep the business and save the jobs of the former staff members.

If you wish to donate to the project then you can do so HERE

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European Ancestors – British in Russia (Part 10)

Russian Flag

Russian Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

This post is part of a series of 10 posts about the British Community in Russia. You can read the complete series HERE

Researching Russian Surnames

When researching European families it is sometimes much easier to focus on the surname of the family or the place the family lived. The first broad piece of research I recommend, is to visit a surname distribution mapping site, which is the first link below, (in fact I recommend that for all surnames):

Surnames in Russia have a format of three components which is quite tricky to understand. Firstly there is a first name, then a middle name or Patronymic name and then finally a surname. The full name is used in formal situations, especially when in written form. We will come back to Patronymic names later on, in this post.

Surnames came to Russia late when compared to the majority of Europe. The Russian Census of 1897 showed that 75% of the Russian Empire did not have surnames. After the Revolution in 1917 people were to take surnames.

Agricultural Russia existed until 1861 with peasant Serfs. These were labourers who  very few rights and they were obligated to work on their Lord’s fields and lands. They paid a monthly fee for wheat and other commodities. As Lord’s sold their land, so too could the serfs. When serfdom was abolished in 1861, these peasants become free and the majority of these did not have surnames. Should they need official documents, all they needed to do was to provide the name of their village, or the name of the Lord, their name along with their occupation.

The Aristocracy in Russia had surnames around 14-15th Century. In the 17-18th Century those Russians that did have surnames,a did not inherit them from earlier generations of the family in the way we might be used to. The surnames, by and large were based on Patronymically, but they only lasted the life time of the individual.

For those that did not have surname based upon Patronymics, they likely had surnames based on nicknames, based on dwellings, physically and occupation. Surnames in Russia have a suffix of either ov, ev or in, which one is used, is dependent on the ending of the surname – does it end in a vowel or a consonant?

In Russia, women typically take the name of their husband, although since 1918 there has been no legal requirement to do so. In the modern era, women are marrying later in life and therefore retaining their maiden name.

Some surnames are descriptive of Russian wildlife, plants, places and geographical features such as church names or the names of Saints. Some surnames are reflective of the old Pagan Slavic names of the period prior to 10th Century. Names were often “negative” in characteristic, so not to tempt fate, for example the name of Stupid would be used, therefore not tempting fate of being smart.

Surnames of those that once resided in parts of Russia or the Soviet Union will have their surnames recorded in that fashion, as recorded by the 19th and 20th Century Russian civil servants. There are some examples of foreign surnames in Russia, from Germany, Poland, France, Ukraine, Armenian and even names from Britain.

Russian Given Names

Given names are usually traditional from the Bible or perhaps Greek, Latin or Slavic with some names applying to both male and female, with the ending of the name indicative of the gender.

Many names are diminutive, perhaps, but not always, that the name could be shorter, but the name is reflective of the emotional link between people – Pavel could become Pav – in the right setting, friends might use this format, but if Pavel was someone, with whom you had a professional relationship, it would be inappropriate.

The middle name, is based on the male Patronymic name with the addition of Ovich or Evich for male and Ovna or Evna for female. Those from other nations are typically exempt from using the three name structure, which is outlined above.

For those whose father in not know then the middle name might be the name of the Grandfather or other significant individual. Some might have different cultural emphasis on the naming structure – perhaps for a child of a French & Russian couple, the first name might be a French name with the Patronymic name representing the name of the mother or father plus the surname.

There are also options too should the name not liked, with the name being changed at the Russian passport office or a male, taking the name of his bride, rather than the other way around.

I am indebted to Pavel for his assistance and clarity in this final part of the series. You can read the complete series, of the British Community in Russia HERE.

Posted in British in Russia, European Ancestors, One-Name Studies, Russia/Soviet Union/USSR, Surname Tips, Types of Surnames | Leave a comment

European Ancestors – British in Russia (Part 9)

Russian Flag

Russian Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

This post is part of a series of 10 posts about the British Community in Russia. You can read the complete series HERE

In this post we are going to look at some further considerations:

  • Records in Russia are held locally, so it is important to know where your family were located.
  • Records involving Jewish individuals can be held in different locations compared to non-Jewish individuals
  • Basic understanding of Cyrillic alphabet
  • There is an Russian language 3 part course in the FamilySearch Wiki – Though some documents are in French, whilst others relating to the Baltic provinces of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are in German
  • Until the Revolution, Russia used the old Julian calendar and events took place 13 days behind the west who were using the Georgian calendar
  • Those who emigrated to other countries, including the United States from Russia likely sailed from Hamburg – read this page on the FamilySearch wiki
  • Familiarise yourself with the geography, religion, culture and language of your ancestors in Russia. That is very important and gives your research a good grounding. Furthermore, it is common that the British were able to converse in basic Russia.  Whilst many Britons remained in the British Community in Russia, it is feasible that some did integrate into the Russian community, including perhaps even having romantic liaisons!

You can read the complete series, of the British Community in Russia HERE

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European Ancestors – British in Russia (Part 8)

Russian Flag

Russian Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

This post is part of a series of 10 posts about the British Community in Russia. You can read the complete series HERE

The material found at Leeds University Archives was created on 25 May 1982 by the Brotherton Library and the Department of Russian Studies at Leeds University.

The collection is a really rich resource and in bringing it all together in this format enabled the archive to attract other material. The archives contain over 300 collections, ranging from single items through to significant collections. There is no original documents for the period of 16-18th Centuries, but there are some copies, in additional to large collections relating to some of the merchant dynasties.

  • Surnames in the collection relating to the 18th Century:

Bell, Call, Cazalet, Fanshawe, Hill, Hubbard, Hyam, Manners, Wishaw, Cattley

  • Surnames in the collection relating to the 19th Century:

Armitstead, Carrick, Coates, Gaubert, Howard, Johnson, McGill, Macpherson, Shanks, Smith, Swan & Swann, Thomson & Thornton

  • Surnames in the collection relating to the 20th Century:

Astbury, Atack, Barnard, Beavan, Bennett, Berney, Birse, Brooke, Brown, Cale, Carr, Carnock, Cheshire, Cottam, Crawshaw, Deacon, Everleigh, Fullard, Gibson, Hargreaves, Harris, Healey, Hilton, Hird, Hopper, Hughes, Isherwood, Jobling,Kinnear, Knox, Lunn, Mackie, Marshall, Martin, Matthews, Maude, Mirrielees, Moreley, Muir, Nicolson, Peet, Philip, Pickersgill, Ross, Sara, Seaburn, Shaw, Spearing, Stevenson, Templeton, Tong, Walcot, Wordell, Webster, White, Whitehead, Yates.

  • Additional Papers & Collections for the 20th Century:

Randsome – Writer Arthur Ransome relating to his time as a war correspondent

Paget – Lady Muriel and the staff at the Anglo Russian Hospital in Pettograd & Southern Front

Rev Frank North of St Andrew’s Church in Moscow

  • Surnames in the collection who fought in Russia as part of the Allied Intervention 1918-1920

Appleyard, Cheshire, Church, Fenton, Hayes, Hodges, Horrocks, Lumb, Mathers, Moore, Schuster, Shepherd, Smith

You can read the complete series, of the British Community in Russia HERE

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European Ancestors – British in Russia (Part 7)

Russian Flag

Russian Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

This post is part of a series of 10 posts about the British Community in Russia. You can read the complete series HERE

  • 18th Century births, marriages and deaths are located in either of two venues
    • The National Archives (TNA) (Kew, London)
      • Foreign Office (FO) records FO 378/3-9
      • Misc BMD Abroad 1627-1917 RG43/1
    • The Guildhall Library
  • The Anglican churches located in Russia, held under the Diocese of London can be found at the Guildhall Library. These include:
    • Moscow 1825-1962
    • Odessa & South Russia 1883-1918
    • Riga 1806-1918 (now part of Latvia, but the City was previously Russian)
  • Consular Correspondence at TNA:
    • St Petersburg 1801-1979 in series FO 181
    • Moscow 1857-1940 in series FO 447
    • Early material 1565-1780 SP 91
    • Foreign Office General Material 1781-1905 FO 65
    • Foreign Office General Material Post 1905 FO 371
    • Shipping at Kronstadt (near St Petersburg) FO 184
    • Wills of British Residents 1817-1866 FO 184
    • Baptismal Registers of the English & American Congregational Church Alexandroffsky, St Petersburg – RG33/146  – The Church was dedicated in 1840 for employees of Alexandroffsky Mechanical works & Thornton Woollen Mills
    • Burials of the German Colony also in RG33/146
  • Records of Evacuations from Russia post 1918 Series FO 371 & FO 369 which contains lists of Evacuees and might include descriptions of journeys made by some families or individuals
  • Finland Consulate Records FO 511
  • Russia was one of the few places prior to 1914 that required traveller’s to have a passport – FO 611

You can read the complete series, of the British Community in Russia HERE

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European Ancestors – British in Russia (Part 6)

Russian Flag

Russian Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

This post is part of a series of 10 posts about the British Community in Russia. You can read the complete series HERE

The material available in Russia is variable, as are the places where you can find it and it would be worth reading the next four posts in tandem with this one.

Data relating to Births, Marriages and Deaths and Census are kept in different archives in Russia:

  • Material relating to events pre 1790 can be located in Russian State Archives of Ancients Acts in Moscow
  • Material for the period of 1790-1920 can be found in any of the 89 regional state archives
  • Material relating to to 1920 and onwards, can be found at any of the regional ZAGS which is the local registration bureau.

The material at any of these archives is provided free of charge, but only to direct descendants. Personal files exist at specific regional and federal archives of the defunct Communist party, government institutions and Ministry of Defence.

You can read the complete series, of the British Community in Russia HERE.

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European Ancestors – British in Russia (Part 5)

Russian Flag

Russian Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

This post is part of a series of 10 posts about the British Community in Russia. You can read the complete series HERE.

Beginnings and Context to Research

The best way of beginning to research is to start and understand the foundations of the community and the context.

  • Papers of Lady Muriel Paget  – as part of the University of Leeds Special Collections
  • Society of Genealogists (SOG) holds a number of books relating to Russia within it’s library. The catalogue is available to all to search and can be found HERE. The search of the library catalogue and the various databases is open to all.
  • The Great Britain-Russia Society – gbrussia.org Provides an opportunity to gain cultural content and travel information
  • The Russian Revolution & Britain 1917-1928 – as part of the digital collection, Archives online at the library of Warwick University – The University has 650 documents digitised and freely available. There are also a smaller collection relating to the Soviet Union 1928 which are a resource in the University’s module on Stalinism in Europe. The majority of records are not digitised and will require visiting the library, having made an appointment. The University also has a selection of genealogical research guides.
  • Russian online Genealogical records at FamilySearch Wiki
  • British humanitarian activity in Russia 1890-1923 by Luke Kelly, published Palgrave Macmillian and available in both eBook and paper format
  • The Treaty of Commerce between Great Britain and Russia 1766 -A study on the development of Count Panin’s northern system, An article by Knud Rahbek Schmidt published online August 2008 in the Scando-Slavica Journal Vol 1, 1954 Issue 1 (Pages 115-134)

You can read the complete series, of the British Community in Russia HERE.

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European Ancestors – British in Russia (Part 4)

Russian Flag

Russian Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

This post is part of a series of 10 posts about the British Community in Russia. You can read the complete series HERE.

Despite the mass exodus of the British Community in Russia during 1918-1921 a few remained in Russia, they were typically old or too ingrained into the Russian way of life. In 1930 the diplomatic relationship was renewed and Lady Muriel Paget set up a charity with the aim of providing some relief to those remaining of the British Community.

For almost a decade, Paget worked tirelessly to track these individuals down in order to provide some assistance. The government too, had provided assistance, albeit, limited assistance, whereby a small villa was set up outside Leningrad where members of the British community could relax during the summer months.

In 1931 four individuals representing Metropolitan Vickers, who were a British heavy electrical engineering company and founded in 1899 and who traded until 1960, found that they had their four employees arrested by the Russian authorities on suspicion of espionage. This was one of the first trials that took place under Stalin.

Following this, fewer people went to Russia, although some British Communists went to Russia during the 1920-1930’s and a few remained there.

In 1939, war broke out and the identification of those from the British community became almost impossible and that marked the end of the British Community in Russia.

You can read the complete series, of the British Community in Russia HERE.

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European Ancestors – British in Russia (Part 3)

Russian Flag

Russian Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

This post is part of a series of 10 posts about the British Community in Russia. You can read the complete series HERE.

The Bolshevik Revolution later that same year marked the beginning of the end of the British Community. Soon families saw that factories and mines were nationalised with those individuals who were not a worker or a peasant treated as suspicious. Bank accounts frozen, large houses and properties seized, motor vehicles confiscated. Some individuals found work as engineers, governess and managers, but others were forced to sell their belongings to survived.

People began fleeing Russia, crammed onto trains heading to Finland, smuggling out what they could, with jewellery and other valuables sewn into clothing. Those that had significant money invested in the banks or in business had to decide between fleeing or remaining in the hope of positive change.

Meanwhile, British soldiers arrived in the south of Russia and at Murmansk to try and intervene in the Civil War that was developing. Many Britons were arrested with some shot. It was to be the end of 1919 before the British and Russian governments to reach agreement of repatriation of their respective citizens.

Many Britons, in a desperate state were smuggled into Finland, or across the Black Sea to Constantinople, where refugee camps had been established by the Red Cross with the support of government and charities. Here they could settle and recover, gradually dispersing having found work. Although some still had not found work nor the means to move on, and were still reliant on charity provisions.

Post Revolution and Civil War, some Britons returned to Russia to seek opportunities, alas they were treated cautiously and subject to arrest by the KGB. Support from the Consulate was not always possible and the degree of suspicion, on both sides was significant.

You can read the complete series, of the British Community in Russia HERE.

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