What surnames were given to illegitimate children in Russia: the history of the origin of surnames that have survived to this day

Many surnames went for a reason. Let's study how in Russia they called children born out of wedlock.

Today, independent held women often give birth to babies not in order to save the family or keep the man, but simply for themselves. And, as a rule, they give their surname to their daughter or son.

What surnames were given to illegitimate children in Russia?

But this, unfortunately, was far from always. From time immemorial, babies were born, whom they viciously, or even simply indifferently, called "bastards" or "bastards." And all their fault was that they were born out of wedlock.

Until about the 16th century, the attitude towards such children was quite tolerant. Russian princes recognized all their children, including illegitimate ones. Born by the housekeeper Malushe from Svyatoslav Igorevich, Vladimir not only became a prince, but all his children, born both in church marriages and on the side, were counted among the princely family.

But with the strengthening of the role of the church and its canons, it gradually came to the point that illegitimate children were not always allowed to be baptized, not to mention the fact that young men could not apply for priesthood, and the girl did not even have the right to become a bride in the church. It got to the point that illegitimate children were perceived as a shame for the family.

Surnames of illegitimate children

In Russia, it was customary for such children to be “branded” by certain surnames, in which, as it were, information about their origin was laid. Shameful surnames at first could not even be called such - they were more likely nicknames entered in the official metric. Dialects of the Russian language have many definitions for descendants of extramarital affairs: from the already mentioned a baistryka to a kurvenka, a found, a walk. Very explicit definition "seven-batch" or, for example, stray.

Bogdans and Fedots

Many of these definitions became the basis of a surname for a child born out of wedlock. Especially often used options on behalf of Bogdan, say, bogdanych or bogdanenok. And this is understandable: God Dan - given by God - this name was interpreted in the same way and literally gave it to almost all foundlings. And foundlings are most often not the heirs of high-profile noble titles. So it happened that they became Bogdans and Bogdanovs children not recognized by fathers. The people said so: "All the priests to Bogdanushka," or even "if the baby is not baptized, then Bogdan."

Many Bogdans have their own noble and famous dynasties. For example, in the Turgenev family there is the Bogdanova-Lutovinova line, the artist Bogdanov-Belsky said about himself that he became Bogdanov as the illegitimate son of a boss. An interesting observation was made by Chekhov, who noticed that on the island of Sakhalin there are many illegitimate, and no less large number of Bogdanovs.

By the way, perhaps, precisely because of the name Bogdan is not in the calendar, and his counterpart is Fedot. And as an analogue, it was also often used precisely for "stray".

Fedot or Bogdan

Sometimes priests also contributed to the creation of surnames for children born out of wedlock, and when they wrote down the child in church books, they could mark them in such a way that Christaradins or Judahs arose.

A little later, the attitude towards such children in society softened a little - they began to be considered half legitimate. So in the metrics for lack of a middle name they wrote: if not Polunadezhdin, then just Polovinkin. They could start from the surname of the mother, or they even remembered the godfather, but anyway there were "halves" in the surnames: Polustroyev or Polupyanov.

Half blue blood

A little differently related to their illegitimate offspring among the aristocracy. Children were often taught the sciences, determined by them wealth, but they did not dare to give their surnames. Limited to only a part: So from the Golitsyns a new branch was obtained - the Litsins, and from the Trubetskoys - the Betsky.

  • Sometimes, they resorted to anagrams altogether, and then Shubin's son already became Nibush, and simple Petrov became Ropet.
  • Pnin is the son of Field Marshal Repnin.
  • Agin, illustrating "Dead Souls", said about himself that the beginning of the name El was not laid to him, since the landowning father could not legitimize his relationship with his serf.
  • The grandmother of the writer Polonsky was Umskaya, because the illegitimate daughter of Count Razumovsky could not bear his last name. The pupil (often this is what illegitimate children were called if his father nevertheless took him to his family) Count Golovin was called Fedor Lovin.
Blue blood
  • We recalled the family estates (it was Bobrinsky who recorded the son of Orlov and Catherine, from the name of the lands in Bobriki), the long-forgotten branches of the genealogical tree (Ekaterina Dolgorukova and Alexander II baptized their illegitimate children Yuryevsky, from the nickname Romanovs). In honor of his beloved regiment, Prince Nikolai Konstantinovich named his offspring Volyn.

Educated nobles could give their children surnames based on foreign vocabulary. Addressing the mistress "mon amant", the son born of her, the prince could well be called Amantov. And the surname Herzen came from the German "heart" (herz).

Soldiers - brave kids

In the 18th century, a regular army began to form. 25 years of service away from home, where the young wife remained. It is not surprising that upon returning home, a soldier could meet not only a gray-haired wife, but also several “Bogdanchiks”. And it’s good if they lived separately.

Often, the daughter-in-law was left to live among her husband’s relatives, and then the fate of the children was not to be envied. Soldiers often called their sons "seven-battles", and at best they could count on the same military service, moreover, they often went there before they became adults.

Soldiers often gave birth to illegitimate children

Soldiers could be called children, starting from the way their mother was approached. Ivaniha (i.e., Ivan's wife), Strelchiha (wife of Streltsov or Sagittarius) were brought up by the Ivanikhins and Strelchikhins.

Wrong kids

There were many other approaches to distinguishing illegitimate children from other children. According to Kostomarov, they could be given rare, little-used names. Many examples can be found in classical literature.

  • So, at Ostrovsky we meet Neznamov, who does not know his origin. Nezhdanov from Turgenev’s Novi, whom his father simply did not expect, Dobchinsky from the Gogol’s “Inspector”, asking to recognize his premarital son legal, Katyusha Maslova from Tolstoy’s “Resurrection”, bearing the name of his mother.
  • Sestrin, Prachkin, Avdotin - so they could name the child not by the name of the father, but by kinship, profession or name of the mother.
They gave rare names

But all this is in the past. Now children, regardless of whether they were born into a full or single parent family, have equal rights. And the recognition of his child born out of wedlock, fortunately, is increasingly becoming an ordinary male act.

Watch the video: Brief History of the Royal Family (February 2020).