Provincial genealogy books of nobles

Pursuing a kind of genealogy at a certain stage of the search, or even at the very beginning, many have the hope that their kind is of noble origin. How, in the days of estates and empires, received noble titles? What documents proved and confirmed the noble origin?

Record in genealogical books was made only at the request of the nobles themselves. Some nobles were not recorded in the genealogy books, although they could do so at their own will and financial position. Those who received the nobility by rank or order could be entered in the book of that province where they wished, regardless of whether they had real estate there. The same rule also applied to foreign noblemen, but the latter were entered into the genealogy books only after they had been submitted to the Heraldry Department about them.
Hereditary noblemen of Cossack troops were included: Don troops in the genealogy book of this army, and the rest of the troops in the genealogy books of those provinces and regions where these troops were located. When introducing the nobles of the Cossack troops into the genealogy books, their belonging to these troops was designated.
Personal nobles were not included in the genealogy books.

The genealogy book was divided into six parts:

  • In the first part – “the clans of the nobility granted or effective” were introduced.
  • In the second part – the clans of the military nobility.
  • In the third – the clans of the nobility, acquired in the service of the civilian, as well as those who received the right of hereditary nobility by order.
  • In the fourth – all foreign births.
  • In the fifth – titled childbirth.
  • In the sixth part – “ancient noble noble families”.

Provincial genealogy books are stored in the federal archives (funds of the Heraldmeister Office (RGADA), the Department of Heroldia (RGIA)) and regional archives (funds of the provincial noble assembly, personal funds).

What was the proof of belonging to the noble family

The evidence of the nobility was considered: diplomas for the award of noble dignity, coats of arms granted from monarchs, patents for ranks, evidence of the award of the order, evidence “through the granted or meritorious letters”, decrees for the award of lands or villages, imposition of nobility on estates, decrees or letters of award their estates and estates, decrees or letters of honor to the esteemed villages and estates (even if they were later lost by family), decrees, orders or letters given to a nobleman at an embassy, ​​a mission or proof, evidence of the noble service of the ancestors, evidence that father and grandfather “led a noble life or condition or service similar to the noble name”, supported by the testimony of 12 people, whose nobility there is no doubt, merchants, mortgages, in-line and spiritual about the noble estate, evidence that the father and grandfather owned the villages, as well as evidence “generational and hereditary, ascending from son to father, grandfather, great-grandfather and so on, as much as they can and want to show” (genealogies, generational paintings).

The noble assembly of deputies, consisting of deputies from county noble societies (one each from the county) and the provincial leader of the nobility, examined the evidence presented to the nobility, kept provincial genealogy books and sent information and extracts of these books to the provincial boards and the Department of the Senate Herald, and they also issued letters on the inclusion of noble families in the genealogy book, issued to the nobles upon their request lists from the protocols by which their genus was entered in the genealogy book, or certificates of nobility ve. The erection of the nobility or the restoration of the nobility was not within their competence, the evidence was considered only of those persons who own or owned property in this province themselves or through wives. But the deputies could freely enter the genealogy books themselves upon presenting patents for their ranks and certified service records or formulary lists, as well as approved by the spiritual consistories of metric certificates for children, to retired military officers or officials who chose this province as their place of residence.


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