The Family of Princes Obolensky

________________
History of the Members of that Family
who are the Direct Ancestors of

Mrs. DAVID BRADLEY MORGAN
(Princess Darya Alexeyevna Obolensky)



________________


Prepared at the request of Mr. David B. Morgan by

ALEXIS B. TATISTCHEFF
New York, 1971

   INDEX

Page
FORWORD, Letter to Mr. D. B. Morgan……………………………………………………………………3
AN EXPLANATORY NOTE………………………………………………………………………………..6
CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF THE DIRECT
     ANCESTORS OF MRS. D. B. MORGAN……………………………………………………………...11
SUMMARY of the 1,109-year History of the
     Obolensky Family………………………………………………………………………………………..18
DETAILED BIOGRAPHIES OF THE ROYAL ANCESTORS
     OF MRS. DAVID B. MORGAN………………………………………………………………………..18
PRINCES OF CHERNIGOV……………………………………………………………………………….31
PRINCES OF OBOLENSK………………………………………………………………………………...34
PRINCES OBOLENSKY…………………………………………………………………………………...35
     	PRINCE ALEXANDER PETROVICH OBOLENSKY…………………………………………..35
    	PRINCE DIMITRIY ALEXANDROVICH OBOLENSKY……………………………………...37
         		The Decembrists…………………………………………………………………………44
PRINCE ALEXANDER DIMITRIYEVICH OBOLENSKY………………………………………………46
The Polovtsevs and Princess Anna
			Alexandrovna Obolensky………………………………………………………50
The Children of Prince and
			Princess A. D. Obolensky………………………………………………………53
	  	Life in Pestrovka…………………………………………………………………………59
	 	Hunting in Pestrovka…………………………………………….……………………….67
PRINCE ALEXEY ALEXANDROVICH OBOLENSKY…………………………………….…71

FOREWORD
Letter to Mr. David Bradley Morgan.

Dear David,
	The Obolenskys are one of the leading aristocratic Russian families
whose members participated actively in the 1,000-year history of
pre-Revolutionary Russia from its very beginnings as an organized state in
the year 862 A.D.  to that fateful year 1917, when the greatest social
upheaval the world had ever known brought an end to the empire and the rule
of the Tsars.
Regardless of what may be said about tsarism and the short-comings of
absolute monarchy, the pre-Soviet rulers of Russia, the Grand Princes of
Kiev--the Grand Princes and later Tsars of Muscovy succeeded in the end by
the tsars and emperors of the Russian Empire--did create the largest
geographically and one of the most powerful and rich nations on earth. 
Members of the Obolensky family, together with others of the ruling class of
the country, participated in and contributed significantly to this growth. 
Contrary to that which is the want of many since the 1917 revolution who
portray that class as bloodthirsty exploiters of the miseries of the great
bulk of the peoples of Russia, they were patriotic individuals, devoted to
their Tsar, to their Orthodox Christian faith and to the welfare and
happiness of the entire population of their beloved country.
They were for the most part simple folk who enjoyed the natural beauties and
bountiful resources with which the Almighty had so generously endowed their
Russia.  They glorified in the simple joys of life and, the more recent
members of the Obolensky family in particular, contributed significantly to
Russia's cultural development, especially in the realm of music and the
arts.
In writing the brief history of the Obolensky family, it has been my aim to
portray its members as much as possible as they were: how they lived, how
they dressed, what they did and so on.
The Obolenskys were among the "elite" of Russian families who trace their
origins to a "Varanguian" Prince named Rurik who in the year 862 A.D. united
the Slavic tribes that roamed present-day European Russia, after having been
invited by the Slavs to rule over them and put order in their country. 
Rurik is in a sense the "Mayflower" of these Russian families.
The Russia that Rurik and his immediate descendants ruled was known first as
"Kievan Rus" and later "Muscovy".  It has seemed to me appropriate,
therefore, to give some detailed information about these early royal
ancestors of the Obolenskys.  I have followed this up with a simple listing
of the various successive members of the family, giving their names and
dates wherever possible, together with some more detailed facts about some
of the more outstanding members.  I have concentrated especially on the more
recent members, starting with your wife's great-great grandfather, Prince
Alexander Petrovich Obolensky, and ending with her father.
Most of what I have set forth in this history has been gleaned from existing
genealogical references, but the more recent information has been gathered
from numerous sources, including memoirs and remin-iscences of members of
the Obolensky family.  As far as I know this latter information is set forth
here in English for the first time.
 I hope that what I have produced will be interesting and informative and
will provide those of your descendants who may be interested, with authentic
information on a portion of the world's history that came to a cataclysmic
end some 54 years ago in March 1917.

A. B.   Tatistcheff
New York, 1971.
 APOLOGIES TO THE READER
To non-Russians, Russian names are sometimes difficult to assimi-late to say
nothing of pronouncing them!  For the benefit of non-Russian readers,
therefore, it is best for an author to stick to a single set of names when
referring to persons in his narrative.  The author of this modest work
pleads guilty to not having done so.
This observation refers especially to that portion of the Obolensky history
that commences on page 84 - "The Children of Prince and Princess A. D.
Obolensky."  Since those children - four boys - are all uncles of the author
and since various portions of that part of the narrative were written at
various times, sandwiched in between the many travels of a busy life, I have
found on re-reading the finished copy, that I have referred to each of them
in different ways.  Rather than make changes in the text, I have thought it
preferable to set forth the names used in the story for those four persons
in such a way as to afford the reader a ready reference.
1)	Dimitrik, Uncle Dimitrik, Dimitriy Alexandrovich, oldest brother of
Mrs. Morgan's father.

2)	Alyosha, Uncle Alyosha, Alexey Alexandrovich, Mrs. Morgan s father.

3)	Sasha, Uncle Sasha, Alexander Alexandrovich, brother of Mrs.
Morgan's father.

4) Petrik, Uncle Petrik, Peter Alexandrovich, youngest brother of Mrs.
Morgan's father.
A.B.T
 AN EXPLANATORY NOTE,
Which is an attempt to bring some light into the origins of Russian names
and titles.

In its administrative structure ancient Russia was considered the property
of the ruling princely family, the head of which, "sat" in the city of Kiev
and ruled as the Grand Prince.  At the start, from 862 AD to the year 1054
AD, the year in which Grand Prince Yaroslav of Kiev, the great-great
grandson of Rurik, died, the Kiev Grand Princes were sole rulers and "owner"
of the "property", known as Kievan Rus.
From 1054 and for some 43 years until the year 1097, the country was
subdivided into principalities estab-lished by Grand Prince Yaroslav, who
distributed them among his seven sons.  Each of them ruled his land as
Prince and each was known by the name of the principal city, the capital, of
his realm.  This system gave rise to a series of princely families such as
the Princes of Chernigoff, whose seat was the city of Chernigoff, the
Princes of Smolensk, whose seat was the city of Smolensk, and so forth. 
Each of the princes ruled his principal-ity - his "property" - in a
semi-autonomous manner, rec-ognizing only the senior among them, who "sat"
in Kiev as Grand Prince.
Since the power of these princes was not hereditary, each being succeeded on
his death not by his eldest son, but by whichever of the other princes had
seniority, the resulting shuffle of all the princes upwards along the line
of seniority led to a great deal of confusion and to bloody internecine
struggles.
In the year 1097, at a gathering of all princes in the town of Lubetsh, the
system was changed.  From that date onwards each princely family became
attached to its own realm, the rule over which became hereditary.  Since
many of the princes had more than one son, however, and since their father
wanted each to be a prince in his own right with his own principality or
"property," it became the practice for the original principalities to be
sub-divided into a series of smaller principalities, where-upon the original
one became known as the "Grand Principality" (in Russian:
Velikokniazhestvo), and its ruler became known as the "Grand Prince" (in
Russian: Velikiy Kniaz).  Thus, for example, the Prince of Smolensk created
the principality of Bryansk, a town in his realm, giving it to one of his
sons, who then became known as the Prince of Bryansk, while he himself
became Grand Prince of Smolensk.
This "Balkanization" of the Russian State led to the eventual creation of
some ten "Grand Principalities" and over one hundred "Principalities" that
continued their semi-autonomous existence for some 300 years until well into
the 14th century, when the gradual rise in the pre-eminence of the Grand
Principality of Moscow, resulted in a trend in the opposite direction - a
reunification of the land under the aegis of the Moscow Grand Prince, who
eventually himself became Grand Prince and "Tsar" of "All Russia".
The reunification process that was first prompted by the result of unending
internecine struggles among the numerous princes that made the land an easy
prey to the invading Mongol hordes of Ghengiz Khan and his suc-cessors from
the deserts of Central Asia, and later, upon the defeat of the invaders and
the end of the Tartar rule over Russia, was continued through the efforts at
reunification by the successive Grand Princes of Moscow, did not come to an
end until the 16th century during the reign of Grand Prince Vassiliy III,
the first Tsar of Russia and the father of Ivan the Terrible.
One of the long-term results of Russia's "Balkaniza-tion" - a legacy of
doubtful merit of Grand Prince Yaro-slav of Kiev - was to give rise to
numerous Russian families who preserved the title of "Prince" as a matter of
birthright.  Some of them, like my own family - the Tatistcheffs, for
example, - dropped their titles for various reasons, but carefully retained
family records of their princely origins and their princely family crests,
and preserved their status as members of Russia s leading nobles of
aristocratic birth.
Rurik's descendancy thus gave rise to the existence over the years in Russia
of some 276 families with the title of Prince, and another 40 noble families
with no title.  By the outbreak of the revolution in 1917 these 316-odd
families became reduced in number to just 28, as shown on the attached
Genealogical Table of Rurik's descendancy.  It is my opinion, based on some
fairly reliable estimates and guesswork, that only some 12 of them are in
existence at present (1971).  In order of seniority they are:

Line of the Princes of Chernigoff:	

Princes Gorchacoff

Princes Baryatinsky

Princes Obolensky

Princes Dolgorouky

Princes Scherbatoff

Princes Volkonsky



Line of the Princes of Smolensk:

Princes Vyazemsky 

Princes Shakhovskoy  

Vsevolozhsky

Tatistcheff


Line of the Princes of Vladimir:
	
Princes Byelosselsky 

Princes Gagarin

Volkoff

While there were, of course, many other noble fami-lies among the ruling
class of pre-Revolutionary Russia, the above may be considered "the elite".
One of the consequences of this emphasis on seniority both within and as
between different families resulted in the custom in Russia to refer to a
person by his given name and his patronymic, i.e., the given name of his
father.  The Russian equivalents of "Mr." and "Mrs." -"Gospodin" and
"Gospozha" - are never used in addressing a person in conversation and only
rarely used in writing.  Even in present-day Soviet Russia, the term
"Comrade" (in Russian: "Tovarisch") is used only when referring to a member
of the Communist Party.  Non-members con-tinue to be addressed by their name
and patronymic (and sometimes referred to as "citizen" - "grazhdanin" in
Russian).  Thus Michael son of Peter would be addressed as "Mikhail
Petrovich", his sister Natalie, as "Natalya Petrovna".  And so forth.  (Mrs.
Morgan, for example, whose father's first name was Alexis /in Russian:
Alexey /would be referred to in Russian as Darya Alexeyevna.) 
Just as in America it is normal to ask a person to spell his surname, it is
equally normal in Russia to ask a person for his patronymic.  (It may seem
especially complicated and difficult to remember how to address him, or her
after the first meeting.  It is a curious fact, however, that most Russians
have no trouble in this re-spect, or at least no more than people in America
have remembering the first name and surname of those they meet in everyday
life.)
As far as titles are concerned, in pre-Revolutionary Russia there existed
two categories: the title of "Prince" denoting royal origin, and titles such
as "Count", "Baron" as well as "Prince" that were the result of the
conferring of the title on some member of a family that had none previously,
in cases where that family member had distinguished himself in some way in
his service to the Tsar or the country in either a military or civilian
capacity.
Among the first category were, of course, the de-scendants of Rurik (in
Russian: the "Rurikovichi") mem-bers of the Romanov family by virtue of the
fact that a Romanov had been Tsar of Russia,  and the descendants of the
Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, of whom only three families exist at
present: the Princes Galitzyn, Kurakin and Troubetskoy (see attached
Genealogy Table).  These are the only Russian families that may be
considered as having the title of "Prince" by right of birth.  In the case
of all other titled Russian families, the title was "acquired'' by being
granted to one member of the family, after which it was passed on down the
line to all of the descendants of the recipient.  This is what accounts for
the proliferation of titles among members of the former Russian ruling
class.
In a few cases a Tsar was want to grant two titles to an especially
meritorious subject.  Thus the famed Russian general Alexander Suvorov in
the 18th century, as a result of his victories over the Turkish armies at
the Rymnik river in 1791 was first awarded the title of "Count of Rymnik". 
Following his resounding defeat of the French armies at Cassano d'Adda and
the Trebbia river in Italy in 1799, he was awarded the additional title of
"Prince of Italy".  Suvorov died childless and his titles therefore were not
inherited.  Another example is the granting of the additional qualification
of "Serene" to a person already possessing the title of "Prince".  Thus,
Prince Alexander Constant-inovich Gorchacoff, a contemporary of the German
Chancel-lor Bismarck, and who was one of only two or three Chancellors of
the Russian Empire in the history of the country, and who had the title of
Prince as a descendant of Rurik, was awarded the title of "Serene" Prince,
which title, of course, was inherited by his descendants.  There were
several other ''Serene Princes'' in Russia including the Galitzyns and the
Lievens among others.  A Prince in Russia was addressed as "Your Highness". 
A Serene Prince was addressed as "Your Serenity".
The so-called "ruling class" of Tsarist Russia, to which all titled families
belonged, also included many who had no title, but who were recognized as
belonging to the "nobility".  They were known as the "Dvoryanye", from the
word "Dvor" or "Court", meaning "Courtiers" serving the Tsar in various
capacities.  The Dvoryanye, together with the titled nobility, formed a
total of per-haps some one million persons in Russia immediately prior to
the revolution.
Then, in extremely class-conscious Tsarist Russia, came the so-called
"Mestchanye", from the word "Myesto" or "locality", i.e., the "local people"
or "local gentry".  They comprised most of the leading merchants, lawyers,
medical doctors, engineers and members of various other professions and the
so-called "Intelligentsia".  Most of them served the "Dvoryanye", who, in
turn, served the State, i.e., the Tsar.
The overwhelming majority of the balance of some 180 million people that
formed the population of Russia immediately prior to the revolution of 1917,
were ordi-nary peasants and workers, a tremendous percentage of them
tragically illiterate and the peasants, before 1861, living in bondage as
serfs on the landed estates of the titled nobility and the Dvoryanye.
This short description of the different types of social classes that existed
in old Russia may help in a fuller understanding of the circumstances that
surrounded the lives of those who are the subject of this history.

CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF THE
DIRECT ANCESTORS OF MRS.  DAVID B.  MORGAN
(The second name following the first name is the "patronymic".)

Grand Princes of Kiev, Rulers of Kievan Rus 
(862 to 1054 AD)
_________________________
RURIK, first ruler of Russia………………………………………………..…………...………….862 to 879
IGOR Rurikovich……………………………………………………………………...….………..912 to 945
(For the 33 years from 879 to 912, Igor's uncle, OLEG, brother of 
Rurik's wife, Envinda, ruled as regent.)
 SVYATOSLAV Igorevich…………………………………………………………………...…….962 to 972
(For the 17 years from 945 to 962, Svyatoslav's mother, OLGA, ruled as 
regent.)
VLADIMIR Svyatoslavich (Saint Vladimir).…………………………………………………….977 to 1015
 YAROSLAV Vladimirovich…………………………………………………………………….1019 to 1054
The Princes of Chernigov (1054 to 1300)
_________________________
SVYATOSLAV Yaroslavich……………………………………..……………………………..1054 to 1076                   
OLEG Svyatoslavich………………………………………….…………………………………1076 to 1115	
VSEVOLOD Olegovich…………………………………………………………………………1115 to 1146                       
SVYATOSLAV Vsevolodivich…………………...…………………………………………….1146 to 1194
VSEVOLOD Svyatoslavich (nicknamed "Chorny")……………………………………………1194 to 1215
MIKHAIL Vsevolodovich (Saint Michael)…………………………….………………………..1215 to 1246
YURIY Mikhailovich…………………………………...……………………………………….1246 to 1300   



The Princes of Obolensk (1300 to 1368)
_________________________
 KONSTANTIN Yuryevich………………………………………………………………………….no dates
IVAN Konstantinovich……………………………………………………………………………….no dates
KONSTANTIN Ivanovich………………………………………………………………………….? To 1368                   
The Princes of Obolensky (1368 to date)
_________________________
IVAN Konstantinovich………………………………………………………………………………no dates
 He is known to have been in the military service of the Grand Prince of
Moscow. The Russian historian, Karamzine cites him as having participated
with his brother, Semyon, in the battle of the field of Kulikovo in 1380
when the Russian troops inflicted a decisive defeat on the Tartars, thus
marking the of the Tartar hegemony over Russia that began in the 12th
century.
SEMYON Ivanovich………………………………………………………………………………….no dates 
We know about him, too, through the Russian histor-ian, Karamzine, who
mentions that in the year 1446, he defended Vassily II, Grand Prince of
Moscow, against the machinations of one of that Prince's dishonest
courtiers, a certain Shemyaka. The latter succeeded in tricking the Grand
Prince into grant-ing him a private audience in the course of which Shemyaka
gouged out the eyes of the Grand Prince, thus blinding him. Vassily II is
known in Russian history as "Tyomnyy" - "The Dark One" for that reason. In
1453, Semyon Ivanovich Obolensky suc-ceeded in causing Shemyaka to flee to
the city of Novgorod, thus ridding the Moscow court of that man. For this
feat, Vassily II presented Obolensky with a landed estate and the village of
Tolstikovo in the vicinity of Moscow--the first landed estate in the
Obolensky family.
KONSTANTIN Semyonovich………………………………………………………………………..no dates 
Nothing is known of him, other than his name which is  mentioned in ancient
Russian Chronicles.
MIKHAIL Konstantinovich…………………………………………………………………………..no dates 
Known by the nickname of "Soukhoruky", meaning "Withered Arm", a deformity
that was the result of a wound in battle. He was a military leader of the
Russian armies in their campaign against the Tarars of Kazan in 1544, under
Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) of Moscow. In the capture of the city of Kazan,
he is mentioned in Russian Chronicles as having been in command of the "Left
Flank" of the Russian armies. In 1545, he led part of the Russian troops in
the battle of Ryazan; and in 1549, he is listed as being in command of the
"Right Flank" in the battle against the Swedes. Ancient records of the city
of Novgorod list him as having been granted several landed estates in the
region of Derevskaya.
VASSILIY Mikhailovich……………………………………………………………………………..no dates 
Nothing other than his name is known about him.
BORIS Vassilyevich…………………………………………………………………………………..no dates 
Records of the city of Novgorod mention him as being the owner in 1582 in
the Derevskaya region of several landed estates that he is said to have
inherited from his grandfather and from an uncle a Prince Fyodor (Theodore)
Obolensky.
ANDREY Borisovich…………………………………………………………………………………no dates
Mentioned in Russian Chronicles as having been sent to the Valday region of
European Russia for the purpose of recruiting an army for Prince
Skopin-Shuysky in 1610, in the course of the so-called "Troubled Times" of
Russian history that preceded the election of the first Romanov Tsar to the
throne of Moscow.
VENEDIKT Andreyevich………………………………………...………………….…………..died in 1651
Listed in the Moscow Chronicles as having served as military and political
adviser to Patriarch Filaret, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church under
the first Romanov Tsar, Mikhail Feodorovich, in 1626. In 1627, he became
"Stolnik", or principal adviser to the Tsar. From 1629 to 1635, he was
military commander in the region of Arzamass, south of Moscow. Back at the
court of the Tsar in 1635 he served as military commander at Velikiye Luki
west of Moscow on the borders of Poland in 1638, then at Terka from 1645 to
1649. In 1650 he is cited as having accompanied the Tsar in a pilgrimage to
the holy shrines in the cities of Suzdal and Vladimir and the great
fortress-monastery of the Trinity (Troitsko-Seguiyevskaya Lavra, presently
known as Zagorsk), one of the holi-est shrines of the Russian Church south
of Moscow. Venedikt Andreyevich, while serving as military commander in
Terka, promoted that area's forest industry, the rapid development of which
was due entirely to his efforts. He also started the sericultural industry
(silk-worms and natural silk) in Terka and the adjoin-ing region.
MATVEY Venediktovich………………………………………………………………………died in 1686 
Participated in an unknown capacity in the campaign against Lithuania in
1654-56. Is known primarily as the owner of numerous and extensive land
properties in various parts of Russia that he appears to have obtained
through his three marriages, probably in the form of dowries given his wives
by their families. Spent his life as a courtier at the court of the Moscow
Tsar as one of the Tsar's closest advisers.
MIKHAIL Matveyevich………………………………………………………………………….died in 1739
Listed in 1686 as Aide-de-Camp to the Tsarina. Then as military commander
during Peter the Great's war against Sweden, after which he was among the
courtiers who were ordered by the Imperial Senate - a body created by the
emperor Peter the Great - to take up residence in the new capital of St.
Petersburg. Became a mem-ber of the troupe of Jesters, created by the
emperor for his personal amusement, and is cited as having served as
"priest' in that troupe. Was the recipient, through grants by the emperor
and by inheritance from other child-less members of the Obolensky family, of
numer-ous and extensive landholdings in various parts of Russia. Before his
death in 1739 divided his land holdings between his two sons, Ivan and
Alexander.  
ALEXANDER Mikhailovich……………...………………………………………..…………1712 to 1767 
Listed as sergeant in the Preobrazhensky regi-ment of the Imperial Guard and
"First" (?) Major in that regiment in 1731 and 1745 respect-ively. Married
twice. First wife: Anna, daughter of Prince Alexey Ivanovich Naryshkin.
Second wife: also Anna, daughter of Prince Mikhail Sergeyevich Mi1oslavsky.
PYOTR Alexandrovich…………………………………………………….……………………1742 to 1822 
State Counselor. Married to Ekaterina Andreyevna, daughter of Prince Andrey
Feodorovich Vyazemsky, a tremendously wealthy family. In 1812 is listed as
being the owner of lands with 226 peasant serfs that came to him through his
wife. He had ten children--six sons and four daughters.
ALEXANDER Petrovich………………………………………………………………………..1780 to 1855 
Mrs. Morgan's great-great grandfather. Buried in the Lavrenty monastery in
the city of Kaluga, capital of the province of the same name in which he
served as governor. In 1801 served as lieutenant in the Imperial Mounted
Guard regi-ment (the "Kavalergardy"), but retired from that regiment in
1802. In 1807 is listed as Captain in the regiment of the Inguermanlyandsky
Dragoons, from which he retired in 1809 as Lieutenant Colonel. Made State
Counselor and awarded the Civil Service grade of Gentleman of the Court.
That same year, 1809, appears to have re-entered military service first as
Captain of the Imperial Mounted Guards, and later, in 1812, as Captain of
His Majesty's Dragoons. Retired from military service in 1816 as Senior
State Counselor. Awarded a Gold Sabre for the battle of Friedland in 1807,
the Cross of St. George 4th grade for the battle of Lutzen and the Order of
the Prussian Red Eagle. Named governor of the province of Kaluga in 1825 and
Senator of the Empire in 1831. Served in the Senate from 1839 to 1849, when
he was named Privy Counselor to the Emperor. He owned extensive landed
estates in the provinces of Moscow and Kaluga with over 1000 peasant serfs,
a paper mill, and a sugar factory. Married twice. First wife:  Agrafena,
daughter of Prince Neledinsky-Meletsky. Second wife: Natalya, born Princess
Obolensky, who brought him over 20,000 acres of land with about 250 peasant
serfs. He had 12 children--9 sons and 3 daughters. His total land hold-ings
exceeded 100,000 acres with probably a total of more than 2,000 peasant
serfs. At the average price in the middle of the 19th century, (a decade or
so before the Emancipation Declara-tion of the Tsar Alexander II that freed
the peasants) of some 400 rubles per head, his wealth in serfs alone may be
estimated at around one million rubles--well over $10 million in present-day
purchasing power. His land holdings must have been worth at least another
million rubles, so that his total wealth at death, counting the paper mill
and the sugar factory, must have been well in excess of $15 million
equivalent at present.  All of his lands and serfs were subdivided among his
12 children. One of his sons, Serguey Alexandrovich, is the grandfather of
Colonel Serge Obolensky, the well-known figure of New York society. Since
Serguey Alexandrovich's mother, his fathers first wife, born
Neledinsky-Meletsky, was the last representative of that illustrious Russian
family, Serguey Alexandrovich petitioned the Tsar for permis-sion to add her
surname to his own. In 1870 the petition was granted and he and his
descend-ants thenceforth became known as Princes
Obolensky-Neledinsky-Meletsky. (A more detailed biography of Prince A. P.
Obolensky appears elsewhere in this history.)
DIMITRIY Alexandrovich…………………………………………………………………1822 to 1881
Mrs. Morgan's great grandfather. He graduated in 1842 from the Imperial Law
School in Moscow; and in 1843 entered the service of the Ministry of Justice
and served as President of the Civil Court in Toula in 1844, and in St.
Petersburg from 1845 to 1854. From that year until 1858, when he was
appointed His Majesty's State Secre-tary, he served in the Navy Ministry in
a civil-ian capacity. Appointed Privy Counselor to the emperor in 1862, he
served as Acting Minister of Finance until 1867. In 1870 he was appointed
Minister of State Holdings and a member of the Council of the Empire in
1880. He owned a landed estate named Berezichi in the province of Moscow
with some 25,000 acres on which, in 1860, there were about 400 peasant
serfs. His wife, Darya Petrovna, born Princess Troubetskoy, brought him
another 20,000 acres in the province of Saratov. He had seven children--
three sons and four daughters, of whom the eldest son, Alexander
Dimitriyevich, was Mrs. Morgan's grand-father. His eldest daughter, Varvara
Dimitriyevna, who married general Mikhail Bibikoff, was my maternal
grandmother. Hence, Mrs. Morgan and I are second cousins. (A more detailed
biography of Prince Dimitriy Alexandrovich Obolensky appears elsewhere in
this history.)
ALEXANDER Dimitriyevich…………………………………………………………………...1847 to 1917 
Mrs. Morgan's grandfather. A typical "Grand Seigneur" of Imperial Russia,
the owner in 1885 of over 150,000 acres of land at Nikolskoye--Pestrovka in
the province of Moscow, member of the Council of the Russian Empire and a
famous patron of arts. He graduated in 1871 from the School of Law of the
University of Moscow, but lived most of his life in St. Petersburg, where he
resided in a spacious apartment on the fashion-able Serguiyevskaya street.
Named Gentleman of the Imperial Court in 1875, he was exempt from military
service as the eldest son, and from about 1875 to 1882, served as Officer
for special mis-sions in the Ministry of Justice. He was Grand Marshal of
the Nobility in the province of Penza, was appointed His Majesty's
Chamberlain in 1882 and Aide-de-Camp to the Emperor in 1893. From 1899 to
1914, when he was appointed to the State Council, he served in the Senate.
He was awarded the Order of the Knight of the White Eagle and the Cross of
St. Vladimir, 2nd grade. He was married to Anna, daughter of Alexander
Alexandrovich Polovtsev. She died in St. Petersburg just before the
Bolshevik Coup d'Etat on August 7, 1917. He survived his wife by some 3½
months, was forced to flee from the capital in October, 1917, and died on
November 26 of that same year in the city of Essentouki in the Caucasus. He
had four sons, the second of whom, Alexey Alexandrovich, was Mrs. Morgan's
father. (A more detailed biography of Prince Alexander Dimitriyevich
Obolensky appears elsewhere in this history.)
ALEXEY Alexandrovich………………………………………………………………………..1883 to 1942
Mrs. Morgan's father. He was an officer in the Imperial Mounted Guards
regiment and saw active duty at the front in the course of World War I. His
military career was interrupted by the revolu-tion of 1917. He and his
family fled Russia in 1919 and took up residence in Paris, where they
arrived destitute and penniless like most Russian political ιmigrιs at the
time, sometime in 1920. Mrs. Morgan, his youngest child, was 5 years old at
the time. His wife, Lubov Petrovna, born Princess Troubetskoy, always famed
for her resourcefulness and energy, opened a dress shop in a fashionable
section of Paris under the name of "T A 0", the three letters standing for:
"Troubetskoy", "Annenkov", and "Obolensky". The first two names were those
of her sister-in-law, Princess Marya Sergueyevna Troubetskoy, and a friend,
a Miss Annenkov. T A 0 was very successful and was the main source of the
family's income until the Obolenskys emi-grated to the United States in
1929. Alexey Alexandrovich, who was gifted with a glorious typically Russian
sonorous bass voice, in the meantime, had started on a singing career. He
took up serious voice training. Beginning with appearances in private homes
and charity affairs, he gradually emerged as a full-fledged profes-sional
singer of considerable stature. Together with the famous soprano, Dame
Nellie Melba, they toured European countries, Australia, and the United
States giving concerts. Early in 1926, he settled down in New York
continuing as a concert performer and singing teacher. In 1929 he was joined
by his wife and five chil-dren in the New World. He died in September, 1942,
in Butler, New Jersey, where the family had purchased a small country estate
where they resided during the summers. He died two weeks before his 59th
birthday.



SUMMARY of the 1,109-year History of the Obolensky Family
_________________________
GRAND PRINCES OF KIEV, RULERS OF RUSSIA, FROM 862 to 
1054……………………………………………………………………….……………….192 years
PRINCES OF CHERNIGOV, from 1054 to 1300…………………………………………………..246 years
PRINCES OF OBOLENSK, from 1300 to 1368……………………………………………………..68 years
PRINCES OBOLENSKY, from 1368 to date (1971)……………………………………………….603 years
___________
1,109 years




DETAILED BIOGRAPHIES OF THE ROYAL ANCESTORS
OF MRS.  DAVID B. MORGAN
_________________________
RURIK……………………………………………………………………………………………862 to 879
Rurik, also known in Scandinavian historical chron-icles as Roerich, was a
native of the southern part of the Jutland peninsula, an area known as
"Roestringen" or "Rustringen".  While the personality of Rurik himself is
not legendary, most of the history of his ancestors is lost in antiquity and
has survived to our days only in the form of Swedish historical legends. 
What emerges from these legends that appears to be authentic is that the
peoples who inhabited present-day Sweden, Norway and Denmark were known as
Scandinavians, that they spoke a language understood by all of them, and
that they were ruled by a number of kings or "Konungs" who belonged to
certain illustrious families, among which were the "Skjoel-dungs" and
"Inglings".
These families all feuded among themselves.  Rurik appears to have belonged
to the "Ingling" family which, in the year 780 AD, was defeated and ousted
from the Jutland peninsula by the Swedish king, Ivar Videradm, head of the
"Skjoeldungs", who then became king of both Sweden and Denmark.  The chief
of the Inglings at that time was Rurik's father, Halfdan, who two years
later, in the year 782 AD, pledged allegiance to the Holy Roman emperor
Charlemagne and received from him the fief of Friesland in present-day
northern Germany.
In the year 823, upon the death of Halfdan, his eldest son Harald took over
the reins of power.  Rurik, who was born around the year 810, was then a boy
13 years old.  Charlemagne, who died in 814, had been suc-ceeded in the
meantime by Louis, his third son, who in-herited the throne of the Holy
Roman Empire, and who also became King Louis I of France, known as "Le
Debonnaire".  On Louis' insistence the pagan Harold became converted to
Christianity together with his younger brother, Rurik.  Upon the death of
Harald in 837, Rurik, at the age of 27, became the sole ruler of Friesland.
Some time later, Rurik's Clef was invaded once again by the Skjoeldungs and,
despite help from King Louis, Rurik was ousted from his land.  By 843
Friesland was reconquered by Louis successor, Lothaire, but for some reason
Rurik was not reinstated in his land which was annexed by Lothaire and made
part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Furious, Rurik renounced Christianity and, at the head of the Inglings who
had remained loyal to him, became a roving warrior.  He led his hosts in
many raids along the coasts of present-day Germany, France and Eng-land
looting and devastating large areas.  For many years his name struck terror
into people's hearts, and he was referred to as the infamous 'Tel
Christiantatis" - the "Gall of Christendom".  For decades thereafter
churches in France and Germany resounded to the prayer: "A furore Normanum
libere nos Domine - "From the fury of the Normans liberate us, Oh Lord."' 
By the year 850, or thereabouts, Rurik appears to have been appeased by
Lothaire who gave Friesland back to him.  But a return to a sedentary life
of inaction ap-parently did not suit Rurik.
For some years various Scandinavian tribes had been conducting raids along
the Eastern coast of the Baltic sea.  Some had penetrated far inland into
the lands of the roaming Slavic tribes seeking the rich furs that the Slavs
were willing to sell or barter for Scandinavian iron and textiles.  Rurik,
too, became interested in this trade and turned his eyes towards the East.
Unlike the other Scandinavian leaders whose warlike behavior made them
unwelcome guests among the Slavs, however, Rurik, whose ambitions went well
beyond a simple chance to obtain valuable furs, entered the land of the
Slavs in a peaceful manner.  Some time in the late 850's Rurik dispatched
one of his generals, a certain Ragnar--Bjork with a party of warriors to the
West by sea.  Bjork was expected to travel south through the straits between
England and France, around Spain and East on the Mediter-ranean sea to
Constantinople, the rich and bountiful land of the Greeks.  Rurik himself
was to enter the land of the Slavs from the Baltic sea and, sailing down
over lake Ilmen and south along the great Dnieper river and the Black sea,
meet with Bjork and his men in Constantinople, thus accomplishing an
enormous and very ambitious pincer operation.
The entire project, which probably germinated in Rurik's mind as a result of
his raids along the coasts of France and England where he must have
encountered goods that originated in the rich land of the Greeks, was an
ambitious search for a water route from Scandinavia to Greece.  In Russian
history, in which the Scandinavians are referred to as the Varanguians, and
the Baltic sea as the Varanguian sea, the route down the Dnieper river is
known as the "Road from the Varanguians to the Greeks."
This remarkable undertaking stamps Rurik as a truly great statesman.  That
it did not succeed so far as Rurik is concerned (we do not know what
happened to his envoy Ragnar-Bjork), is due entirely to a circumstance that
Rurik could not foresee, and that was due largely to his decision to treat
the Slavic tribes in a peaceful manner.  For some years the Slavs had been
victims of the warlike behavior of most other Scandinavian tribes. 
More-over, even in those times, some 300 years before the great invasion of
Russia by the hordes of Ghengiz Than, some of the Slavic tribes on the
eastern borders of the land began experiencing the growing menace of the
raids by the savage mounted Mongol warriors from Asia.  The Slavs were a
peaceful people.  There is no evidence that any of them maintained any
organized armed forces to defend their territories against outside enemies. 
Rurik, who had penetrated the land of the Slavs as far inland as the cities
of Ladoga and Novgorod, must have impressed them both by his peaceful
behavior and statesmanlike stature.
In the year 862 AD the Slavs asked Rurik to remain with them.  "Our land is
great and abundant, but there is no order in it.  Come and rule over us."
Such are the words by which, according to the Chronicles, the Slavic tribes
requested Rurik to become their first ruler.  Rurik accepted, setting
himself up as Grand Prince, first in the city of Ladoga on the lake of the
same name; later he moved to Novgorod and set up princes and nobles of
either Scandinavian or Slavic descent in other populated centers of his
newly-acquired realm.
The Chronicles referred to Rurik and his warriors either as Varanguians, the
old Russian word for Scandina-vians, or the "Rus".  The latter is probably a
contraction of the word "Rustringen", the name of Rurik's original fief in
Jutland.
Up until a few years ago, Rurik, in Russian history, was usually identified
as the first Grand Prince of Kiev, ruler of Kievan Rus. Unquestionably,
"Rus" is the origin of the name of the country, Russia.  While Rurik
certainly appears to have been the first ruler of Russia as an organized
state, recent historical research seems to have established rather
conclusively that he never went to Kiev.  That city, which is still known as
the mother of Russian cities, and Russia's first capital, appears to have
been founded by two of his emissaries, Varanguians named Askold and Dir,
barons at Rurik's court in Novgorod, whom he dispatched to the south to link
up with Bjork in Constantinople.  The Hypathian Chronicles relate as
fol-lows: "Askold and Dir sailed down the Dnieper river and saw a small town
on a hill, and asked, 'Whose town is this?' and the townspeople said, 'There
were three brothers--Kiy, Shchok, and Khoriv, and their sister, Lybed.  Kiy
founded this city, and we now live in it and pay tribute to the Khazars.'
Askold and Dir stayed in the town and named it Kiev after its founder and
assembled many Varanguians in it, and began ruling over the land in the name
of the Grand Prince Rurik."
While this really marked the beginning of Kievan Rus as a separate nation,
it did not really assert itself on the international scene until after the
death of Rurik in 879, when his brother-in-law, Oleg, came down from
Novgorod, slew Askold and Dir, and established the city as the residence of
the new Grand Prince of the Rus--Igor, the son of Rurik, for whom Oleg ruled
as regent.

IGOR………………………………………………………………………………………………912 to 945
Rurik's son, Igor, was only four years old when Rurik died, so Oleg, one of
the barons at Rurik's court and the brother of his wife, Envinda, assumed
the regency.
Oleg was an ambitious warrior and initiated a policy of expansion of the new
state.  In the year 882, accord-ing to the Hypathan Chronicles, "Oleg set
forth from Novgorod down the river Dnieper, taking with him many warriors
from among the Varanguians and the Slavs, the latter including the Chud, the
Merians, the yes, and the Krivichans."  He announced his arrival before Kiev
as a trade caravan, concealing his troops in the tall reeds on the banks of
the river.  Askold and Dir in Kiev, believ-ing that they were having to do
with traders who usually came down the river bearing rich furs from the
north, opened the city gates and came out to greet Oleg.  The latter
promptly had them slain and proceeded to occupy the town.  He gradually
brought most of the surrounding Slavic tribes under his rule which lasted
well beyond the time when Igor came of age.
Oleg is glorified in Russian history as a wise ruler and is known as
"Veshchiy" which means "farsighted" or wise.  He, rather than Punk, took the
first steps to "de facto" create the new nation, Kievan Rus.  Oleg is the
subject of many colorful legends in Russian history.
One of these concerns his death.  It is said that Oleg once asked his court
magician to predict the manner of his death.  He was told that this would
come to him through his favorite horse.  Reluctantly, Oleg had the animal
slain and buried in a specially-erected mound out-side Kiev.  Some years
later, Oleg rode out to the site of the burial and, placing his foot on the
skull of his beloved steed, started to berate the magician for his false
prophecy.  Just then, according to the legend, a poisonous snake crawled out
from the skull and sunk its fang into Oleg's leg, causing his death.  This
was in the year 912, and Igor, who was then 37 years old, became ruler in
his own right as Grand Prince of Kiev.
Igor's reign was beset by unrest and revolts among the various Slavic tribes
whom Oleg had subjugated and who were now obliged to pay tribute to the Kiev
Grand Prince.  Igor conducted several wars against the Greeks of Byzanthium
and was probably the first ruler of any European nation to use
flame-throwers in battle.  His fleet would start out from the mouth of the
Dnieper on the Black sea and sail down its west coast to "Tsar City", as
Constantinople was referred to in early Russian his-torical chronicles.  At
one time he decimated the Greek fleet in the Bosphorus by having his
warriors throw spears dipped in phosphorus against the Greek ships.  
Periodically, Igor would stage expeditions among the Slavic tribes to
collect tribute.  This was known as the custom of "polyudye", meaning that
the Grand Prince was going "po lyudi"-- "to the people".  In the course of
one such expedition against a tribe known as the Drevlyanye (from the word
"derevo" meaning "tree"), who lived in the forests north of Kiev, the irate
tribesmen slew the Grand Prince at the age of 70.

SVYATOSLAV…………………………………………………………………………………….962 to 972
Once again, as was the case after the death of Punk, the heir to the throne
of Kiev, Igor' s son, Svyatoslav, was a three-year-old infant when his
father was slain.  This time the regency was taken over by Igor's remarkable
wife, Olga, who appears to have been 55 years old at the time.
Olga was born around the year 890 AD in the Slavic city of Pskov and was a
pure Slav.  She was a wealthy woman in her own right, the owner of much
land.  The Chron-icles do not tell us how she acquired her wealth, but they
mention that she owned the entire town of Vyshgorod, lo-cated not far from
Kiev, as well as several villages and populated places in the Pskov and
Novgorod regions.  Olga's first act on becoming regent was to wreak
vengeance on the Drevlyanye for her husband's death.
She invaded their lands in person at the head of her warriors and caused the
entire tribe to flee and take refuge behind the wooden fortifications of
their principal city, to which she then laid siege.  In order to force the
Drevlyanye to come out from behind the high wooden stockade that surrounded
their city, she sent word to them that she was satisfied at having shown her
military might and hoped that the Drevlyanye henceforth would respect her
strength.  She also said that she would lift the siege of the city, provided
the citizens paid her tribute in the form of a single dove from each
household.
The Drevlyanye were delighted by this modest request and hastened to comply,
whereupon Olga had a rag dipped in phosphorus tied to the tail of each of
the birds.  The doves were then released and flew back each to its own
house, setting fire to the wooden dwellings.  The entire city was destroyed
by fire, and the fleeing inhabitants were mercilessly cut down by Olga's
warriors.  Thus perished the entire tribe.
Olga instituted important administrative reforms in her land, reforms that
she had first tried out in her own domains.  She abolished the custom of
"polyudye" by divid-ing the country into administrative units that were
known as "pogosts", in which tribute was now collected by agents specially
appointed by the Grand Princess, the title she adopted pending the coming of
age of her son.
Olga was much interested in developing trade with Byzanthium.  Skillfully
utilizing the reputation of her late husband and the previous regent, Oleg,
as fierce and fearless warriors, she threatened Byzanthium with in-vasion
unless the Greek emperor arranged for the immedi-ate dispatch to Kiev of a
fleet with merchants and goods she said she wanted to acquire in exchange
for furs and other goods from the Slavs.
Probably sensing a trap, the emperor delayed compli-ance with Olga's request
until the latter embarked and moved a mighty host over the sea to
Constantinople.  When news of the approaching Russian fleet reached the
emperor, he dispatched emissaries with rich presents of silk and velvet
cloths in an effort to appease the Grand Princess.  Olga was so pleased with
the gifts that she sent word back to the emperor saying that she had decided
to come in peace to Constantinople herself without her army to visit the
land whence such beautiful things had come to her.
The emperor received her with great pomp and cere-mony in Constantinople and
plied her with more gifts.  As a further gesture of appeasement, the emperor
decided to try to induce the heathen Olga to embrace the Christian faith. 
The Princess was so overcome by the beauty of the services in the cathedral
of St. Sophia that she con-sented to be baptized, her godfather being the
emperor himself.
After the ceremony, the emperor, who had fallen in love with her, proposed
marriage; but the wily Olga declined, pointing out to the emperor that by
offering to marry her, he was going against the precepts of his own religion
that forbade a father from marrying his own daughter.
Olga's conversion to Christianity occurred in the year 955 AD, and she
returned to Kiev to become a gentle and benevolent ruler.  Eventually, she
was canonized by the Russian Orthodox church under the name of St. Elena and
has remained one of the most venerated saints in the Russian Orthodox church
to this day.  Her son, Svyatoslav, was 13 years old at the time of her
conversion.  Olga continued to rule Russia for another seven years, when she
turned the power over to him.  She was then 73 years old.
A typical heathen warrior, Svyatoslav was the very antithesis of his gentle
mother.  He spurned her Christian faith.  His short ten-year reign was
marked by continuous military campaigns.  At the head of his host, he roamed
as far east as the Caspian sea and the Ural mountains, and as far south and
west as the Danube river.  He gained at least temporary control over vast
areas extending from the foothills of the Ural mountains in the east, down
the Volga to the Caspian sea, and thence west along the Caucasian mountains
and the northern coast of the Black sea, all the way to Adrianople and the
Danube river.
A description of Svyatoslav has reached us through the pen of a Greek
general, Tzimiskes, who met the Grand Prince and his army on the Danube
river in the year 971.
"Svyatoslav crossed the river in a Scythian-type boat.  He handled the oars
alongside his men.  His appear-ance was as follows: He was of medium height,
neither too tall nor too short; he had bushy eyebrows, blue eyes, and a snub
nose.  His beard was shaved, but he wore a long bushy mustache that was
curled back on either side around his ears.  His entire head was shaven,
except for a long lock of jet-black hair on one side of his head that was a
sign of nobility in his clan.  His neck was thick, his shoulders broad, and
his whole stature proud, fine and dignified.  He seemed gloomy, and his eyes
had a savage look.  One of his ears was pierced by a large gold earring,
adorned with two pearls and a ruby set between them.  His white garments
were not distinguish-able from those of his men, except that they were
clean."
This picture of Svyatoslav is reminiscent of the Cossacks of the Dnieper,
the so-called "Zaporozhtsy" of the 16th and 17th centuries, who sported the
so-called "Oseledets", a lock of hair left to grow to its natural length on
the top of an otherwise clean-shaven skull.
Contrary to his predecessors on the Kiev throne, and especially to his
mother's habits before she became a Christian, Svyatoslav never resorted to
ruses when doing battle.  He scrupulously observed the rules of warfare,
including a sort of declaration of war.  It was his cus-tom to start a war
by sending a message to his would-be enemies with the terse, "Eedu na vy"
meaning: "I am setting forth against you."  He spent little time in his
capital city, Kiev, preferring to sojourn on the shores of the River Danube. 
He was willing to leave the actual inter-nal administration of the country
to his aging mother, who enjoyed the love and respect of all until her
death.
In the year 969, Svyatoslav announced to Olga, who was then nearing her 80th
birthday, that he had decided to transfer his residence to the town of
Pereyaslavets on the Danube river: "Since that town, " he said, "is the
center of my realm and the spot where all riches are concentrated: gold,
silks, wines, and various fruits from Greece; silver and horses from
Hungary, and Bohemia, and from Russia, furs, wax, honey, and slaves."  He
stayed in Kiev until his mother's death later that year, however, and made
sure according to her wishes that she was given a Christian burial.  He then
departed for the Danube.
Three years later, the Khazars, a nomadic people of Mongol origin who roamed
the eastern steppes over which Svyatoslav had established temporary
hegemony, hearing of his absence from the capital, moved toward Kiev.  Word
of the impending attack was sent to Svyatoslav, who hastened back to
confront his foe.  He was killed in a skirmish, not far from Kiev.  His
enemy, Kuria, leader of the Khazars, who then invested Kiev, ordered
Svyato-slav's skull to be covered with gold and, filling it with wine, drank
a toast to the victory over the slain Grand Prince.

VLADIMIR………………………….………………………………………………977 to 1015
For five years after the death of Svyatoslav, the country was the scene of a
struggle for power among his three sons: Yaropolk, the eldest, who "sat" in
Kiev, Oleg, who ruled over the land of the Drevlyanye, and Vladimir, the
youngest, who reigned in Novgorod.  Follow-ing Svyatoslav's death, one of
his generals, named Sveneld, led his armies back to Kiev and defeated the
besieging Khazars.  He then became Yaropolk's close ad-visor.
An ambitious and power-hungry man, Sveneld aspired to add the fur-rich land
of the Drevlyanye to those ruled from Kiev.  He sent his lieutenant with a
few men on an ostensible hunting expedition to that land.  In reality, their
mission was to murder Oleg, the second son of Svyatoslav, and proclaim
Kiev's sovereignty over his lands.  Oleg, however, had the lieutenant and
his men slain as poachers, whereupon Sveneld persuaded Yaropolk to make war
on his brother and kill him.
In the year 976 Oleg's troops were defeated by those of Yaropolk, and Oleg
himself perished rather...(to be continued shortly).