The history of the development of genealogy

Historically and historiographically, genealogy developed as a noble science and a science of the nobility.
This was due to the practical interests of the local government system of government, as a result of which a corpus of sources — bit, boyar books and lists, pedigree murals, and others — was laid, which became the basis for studying the genealogy of all Russian historical science, which invariably emphasized and developed it exclusively as a prince-dynastic, noble aspect.
More V.N. Tatishchev and M.M. Shcherbatov, pointing out the necessity, along with chronology and geography, of scientific knowledge of genealogy, saw in it the only way to understand the huge number of princely names mentioned in the systematic presentation of materials on Russian history, in order to know exactly “who was born from whom, from whom children had with whom he was obliged to marry, from which one can understand the right inheritances and harassment”. The creation of special genealogy tables was to serve the satisfaction of the reference need for genealogical facts.
M.V. Lomonosov, before starting to write “Ancient Russian History”, creates a “Brief Russian Chronicler with a Genealogy”, and essentially two “lengthy” generational paintings of the Russian Grand Dukes and Tsars, which precede his “History”. Similar genealogical murals or tables accompany the general historical works of V.N. Tatishcheva, M.M. Shcherbatova, Catherine II, later N.M. Karamzin, as well as a number of documentary publications.

Along with this, special works are beginning to appear dedicated to the princely and noble genealogy: as professional – MG Spiridov, by the way, son-in-law M.M. Shcherbatova, and amateur – Yu.A. Voeikova, V.A. Levshina et al.

In the XIX – early XX century. The publication of reference books on the genealogy of the Russian nobility has gained particular scope, among which P.V. Dolgorukova, “Russian genealogy book” A.B. Lobanova-Rostovsky, “Genealogy collection of Russian noble families” V.V. Rummelya and V.V. Golubtsova, “The Progeny of Rurik” G.A. Vlasyeva, “The Great and Specific Princes of Northern Russia” A.B. Ekzemplyarskogo, “Genealogical records” L.M. Savelova et al.

Theoretically, the exclusivity of the Russian noble genealogy was substantiated by one of the largest Russian genealogies L.M. Savelov, who directly stated in the lectures given by him in 1907-1908. at the Moscow Archaeological Institute, that the Russian genealogy is “narrowly class”. According to him, the dominant position of the noble genealogy stems from the high cultural level of the nobility and low – “the mass of the people”. This led to the conclusion that there were no written family sources on the genealogy of the merchants, the peasantry and other classes, which made it impossible to restore their history. Only some of the merchants’ archives, in his opinion, have “general historical interest”, and documents like bills, accounts “are not even of interest to everyday history”.

Indeed, during the XVIII – most of the XIX century. we do not observe a manifestation of interest in genealogy even among the third estate itself. I know of only one case of compiling a merchant family tree in the XVIII century. It refers to the second quarter of the century, when after the death of the head of the family of the Moscow merchants Krekhovs, his relative, on the side branch (nephew), claimed the right to inherit the house, for which he compiled the “Krekhovs family tree” (in circles), indicating the suppression of the main, male, lines of the genus and that the applicant is the only heir. It is recorded in the clerical office of the confiscation.

But at the time when L.M. Savelov formulated his concept, in Russia, as capitalism strengthened, attention grew to the origins of the Russian bourgeoisie. This was reflected in an appeal to the history of individual capitalist enterprises, in the interest of some representatives of the third estate to their ancestors and entire merchant groups. And although this line of Russian genealogy did not receive wide development before the revolution, its importance cannot be understated, since it fundamentally changed the traditional ideas about genealogy, primarily in the source study aspect.

At the beginning of the XX century. historical essays of P.N. Terentyev, A.F. Gryaznova, P.K. Simoni about the large industrial and commercial enterprises of the most prominent merchant houses of the Prokhorovs, Zatrapeznovs, Yakovlevs, Kolchugins. The coverage of the history of enterprises in these works was inextricably linked with the disclosure of the family history of the owners, in which there were various kinds of genealogical paintings and genealogical tables.

The published works of were devoted to the study of the history of their ancestors N.P. Vishnyakov and N.V. Krestovnikov. The history of childbirth in them covers the period from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It is especially valuable that the authors trace the development of childbirth along all lines, relying on archival materials from the Moscow Archive of the Ministry of Justice.

Of much greater importance was the appeal to the genealogy of the merchants of professional historians. The first among them should be called N.P. Chulkov, who studied at Moscow University with V.O. Klyuchevsky, V.I. Guerrier, who was friends with P.I. Bartenev. Under the patronage of the historian M.S. Korelina after university, he was admitted to MAMU, where he showed the best qualities of a source and genealogy. Subsequently, he worked closely with the Moscow Archaeological Society, the Historical and Pedigree Society of Moscow (being one of its founders, and in 1920-1922 – the leader), participated in the preparation of the best pre-revolutionary reference books, such as “Collection of Biographies of Cavalry Guards”, “Russian portraits of the XVIII-XIX centuries”, and others. It was he, at the request of P.I. Bartenev, wrote in 1907 the first systematic study of the genealogy of the Moscow merchants.

To a large extent, the appearance of this study was prepared by the titanic efforts of two outstanding merchants – I.E. Zabelina and N.A. Naydenova. The first collected and published a two-volume publication of materials on the history of Moscow, including pre-zemsky zemsky books and statements of salary obrochnye books with a detailed description of city rows, trade and fishing shops and places, etc.

The contribution to the study of the history of merchants is enormous N.A. Naydenova, who carried out a grandiose publication of several series of multivolume publications. Their preparation was entrusted to the MAMY archivist Nikolai Nikolaevich Nikolaev, who, with his staff, identified and processed sentinel, census, salary books, revision tales for the 17th-19th centuries, public sentences for Moscow merchants, as well as for the small central Russian cities of Belev, Borovsk, Zaraysk, Maloyaroslavets, Toropets, Tula, etc.

The previously ignored varieties of mass clerical sources were introduced into scientific circulation, at once crossing out conceptual constructions about the impossibility of studying the genealogy of the merchants and other unprivileged classes. It was on them that the research of N.P. Chulkova. It seemed that great prospects were opening up, but there was no further movement in this direction. Still was the overwhelming inertia of the noble genealogy. And soon the October Revolution took place. The merchants as an object of study became faceless and predominantly abusive (“Tit Ti-tychi”). More than a dozen years have passed by the Soviet almost completely oblivious of genealogy, including the unprivileged estates, before N.A. Naydenovym materials “earned” in the research field. This does not mean that nothing has been done in this area. In the 50-60s of the XX century. a number of fundamental studies appeared both in individual commercial and industrial houses, and in entrepreneurial groups. Among the first it should be noted monographs N.A. Baklanova and A.A. Vvedensky about Kalmykov and Stroganov. About the dynasties of miners wrote N.I. Pavlenko, and about peasant commercial and industrial names – S.V. Bakhrushin and N.E. Nosov. But still, these were works that posed different historical tasks and based on a different source base.

Fundamental changes occurred in the 70-80s, when the studies of M.M. Gromyko, L.H. Semenova, the author of these lines, based on those varieties of mass documentation that were opened for N.A. Naidenov, N.P. Chulkov, I.E. Zabelin. It was then that it became clear that genealogy is not just being reborn, but that it is on the path to qualitative transformation.

It can be said that two vectors simultaneously changed: at the source study and at the structural, or, more precisely, at the functional level. The access to new social objects – the unprivileged estates, primarily the merchants – has radically changed the objective functions of genealogy. First of all, a completely different body of sources requires completely new techniques. Indeed, in the new varieties of sources are reflected not genealogical, but mostly biographical facts. And this puts the researcher not only with a specific source study task of evaluating these materials, but also with the need to carry out a number of intermediate procedures that would reduce discrete biographical facts into certain genealogical “clauses”, be it genealogical dossiers, genealogy tables or murals, data banks. By the way, the creation of computer databases on genealogy has become an obvious sign of recent times, although, unfortunately, in the field of noble genealogy.

Thus, the study of the genealogy of the unprivileged classes requires an integrated approach, specific methods in assessing the information capabilities of sources and their further processing. In other words, the source study problem of the genealogy of the unprivileged estates is the problem of mass clerical work, primarily audit materials, due, according to B.G. Litvaku, the presence of three main features: ordinary, uniformity, form. It is they that make it possible to carry out a kind of non-diplomatic reconstruction of lost or not preserved fragments (for example, revision tales from individual censuses).

The other side of qualitative changes in genealogy or a change at the structural level is related to the fact that the processing and analysis of the data identified at the source level puts the researcher at the need for a general historical understanding of them, related to solving the problems of studying the evolution and development of individual social groups. This fundamentally changes the position of genealogy in the structure of relations of the so-called complex of auxiliary historical, or, as they are also called, source-disciplines, which, as we have already noted with N.A. Sobolevoy, is exclusively subordinate in nature. In one case, it is not genealogy that performs an auxiliary function in relation to source study, but source-study methods are auxiliary in relation to genealogy. In another, genealogy takes on its own at the level of historical construction.

The research tasks are immeasurably complicated when solving even purely traditional, that is, “reference” functions of the genealogy of the lower classes. The genealogy refers to a number of varieties of sources that are heterogeneous in origin, structure and preservation: scribe and census books, revision tales, acts of civil status (metric books), clerical confession statements, capital, philistine books, lists of compositions of posadov and communities. Although each variety is based on a family-wide fairy tale, significant differences in real content, significant chronological gaps, uncertainties with family names make it necessary to create new methods for building genealogy chains, to look for new sources.

One of the brightest finds of recent times, which has not yet been fully realized, is the discovery (literally) of the primary materials of the All-Russian Census of 1897. It is known that the provincial statistical committees sent the questionnaires to the Main Census Commission in St. Petersburg, but after processing their data and publication of summary results at the highest command, they were destroyed. Fortunately, not everywhere. Somewhere preserved. Petersburg genealogies M.V. Borisenko and A.V. Rodionov, independently of each other and in different archives, found out that in some provincial boards, before sending to St. Petersburg, second, doublet, copies of census forms were made for their own local needs. In particular, census sheets of peasants from Moscow, Bogorodsky, Klinsky districts of Moscow province, South Ussuri district, Primorsky region, an array of census sheets of peasants in the Tobolsk and Arkhangelsk provinces were preserved.

In particular, M.V. Borisenko established that the fund of the Tobolsk Provincial Statistical Committee stores handwritten preprinted forms of second copies of census forms for settlements of almost the entire territory of the Tobolsk province. Yard questionnaires are grouped by city, rural municipality, village, village or homestead. The total number of cases is 4036. The entire present population, including small villages, where even guests and wanderers are noted, is taken into account entirely. The census form contained information in a larger volume than metric books and revision tales: 1) surname, name, patronymic; 2) gender; 3) attitude to the head of the household and the head of the family; 4) age; 5) marital status; 6) estate, status, rank; 7) place of birth; 8) place of registration; 9) place of residence; 10) a note on the absence, absence and temporary stay; 11) religion; 12) mother tongue; 13) the ability to read and write; 14) the main occupation: craft, craft, position or service, side classes, attitude to military service. Separately, there was data on special signs (blind, deaf, dumb, mindless), as well as questions: do they live in their own house? How many buildings are in the yard? What material?

It is important that here information about the resident was contained in the system of his family and economic ties. Each census form did not contain information about an individual person or even about a specific family, but had a courtyard principle of records about “household”, which is a broader concept.

But the main thing in these sources is that they correlate with audit censuses. More V.O. Klyuchevsky noted that at each given moment in the family history, representatives of five generations can be observed. This is the theoretical maximum. Source revision tales and census sheets contain data on three generations, and therefore, the break between the last revision of 1857 and the 1st All-Russian census of 1897 can be considered exhausted. This applies equally to subsequent, already first, Soviet censuses. Here, sometimes there are finds that connect not only diverse sources, but also historical eras. Indicative in this regard is the material introduced by the Tula genealogy I.A. Antonova, is the name catalog of the former special guard of the State Archives of the Tula Region. Name cards here (and they are 30 times more than in the general fund) began to be collected in a catalog founded by the GAU NKVD circular of 1939 and a special order of the NKVD on December 23, 1940 “On the use of archival materials in the KGB operative work”, signed L.P. Beria. And the source base of the catalog was foundations not only of the Soviet, but also of the pre-Soviet period – bodies of power, justice, gendarmerie, police, etc. But in total this makes it possible to study the genealogy of repressed persons to the fifth knee.

A distinctive research feature of the modern genealogy in the study of the unprivileged classes, including the peasantry, is a comprehensive source-based approach, which, incidentally, is based on established traditions. After all, with the seemingly undeveloped peasant genealogy, we have solid literature. To the above works, we can add the research of A.A. Alexandrov on the peasants of Siberia, V.M. Paneyaha about the slaves, M.F. Prokhorov on the estate of peasants. In this regard, it is no coincidence that modern scholars not only attract the entire set of mass varieties of sources (revision tales, confessional murals, metric books, act materials), but also raise the question of the methodology of the genealogy of peasants.

In conclusion, a few general considerations about the genealogy of the unprivileged estates as an element or factor in historical construction. We are talking, as mentioned above, about the emergence of genealogy at the general historical level, while maintaining its original reference meaning. Of course, a significant part of the work of the last one and a half to two decades is devoted to the study of specific individual genera. The large “Ural genealogy book” contains about two dozen peasant genealogies; monograph A.V. Mathison, although turned to the genealogy of the parish clergy, but studies only one genus. This is a traditional genealogical research.

But there is another direction, when genealogy ceases to be an end in itself, and becomes a means or method of studying more general historical issues. Of course, A.B. Demkin speaks in his works on a number of merchant families of the Upper Volga region, but only in order to clarify the issue of overflow and, therefore, the functioning of merchant capital. Of course, N.G. Dumova, restores the family stories of the most prominent Russian capitalists, but only in order to emphasize the contribution of the domestic bourgeoisie to culture. A.N. Bohanov reconstructs the merchant tribal succession, but in order to reveal the nature of the social evolution of the estate. G.N. Ulyanova uses the entire arsenal of genealogical data and family traditions of beneficence, but sets the task of establishing the social and moral self-awareness of the Russian merchants, one of the manifestations of which was charity. Finally, the author of these lines wrote specifically about the genealogy of the Russian merchants, but his books in the library catalog are under the heading “Prosopography”, since this direction is aimed at studying the status, socio-economic, political life of its individual strata.


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