Siberian Tatars of Knyazevs: historical and genealogical essay  

Korusenko S.N. (Omsk, Russian Federation)


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This paper aims at reconstructing the genealogy of Siberian Tatars of Knyazevs (Western Siberia), identifying the origins of their surname, which is not characteristic of the Tatars, and at analysis of the influence of socio-political and socio-economical processes in Russia in the 18th through 20th centuries on the social transformation of the family. The sources were represented by the materials of the Inventory Revision Book of Tarsky District of 1701 and census surveys of the end of 18th through 19th centuries, which allowed tracing the Knyazev family through the genealogical succession and identifying social status of its members. In this work, recordkeeping materials of the 18th20th centuries and contemporary genealogical and historical traditions of the Tatars have been utilized. In the research, the method of genealogical reconstructions by archival materials and their correlation with genealogies of modern population has been used. The history of the Knyazev family is inextricably linked to the history of modern village of Bernyazhka one of the earliest settlements of the Ayalintsy (a group of the Siberian Tatars) in the territory of the Tarsky Irtysh land which became the home to the Knyazevs for more than three centuries. The 1701Inventory Revision Book cites Itkuchuk Buchkakov as a local power broker of the Ayalynsky Tatars in the village. During the 18th century, this position was inherited by his descendants who eventually lost this status in the beginning of the 19th century in the course of the managerial reforms by the Russian government. Nevertheless, the social status of the members of the gens remained high. In the mid. 19th century, the village moved the villagers resettled from the right bank of the River Irtysh onto the left one. As the result, the village was situated nearby the main road connecting the cities of Omsk and Tara. At the same time, the village became the center of the Ayalynskay region. That led to the strengthening of the social status and property enrichment of the descendants of Itkuchuk Buchkakov. The Knyzevs surname first appeared in the materials of the First All-Russia Census Survey of 1897. Some of the descendants signed up under this surname later in the Soviet period. During the Soviet years, members of the Knyzevs gens had different destinies: some worked in the local government, whereas the others were subjected to political repressions and executed. Knyazevs took part in the Great Patriotic War and seven of them perished. Presently there are no descendants of the Knyazevs in Bernyazhka as they spread over the villages of the Omskaya Region, some living in Omsk and other towns of Russia and abroad.

Key words: Western Siberia, Siberian Tatars, Knyazevs, social status, genealogies.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 29.05.2020

Article is published: 28.08.2020


Korusenko S.N.

Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of Siberian Branch RAS, prosp. Acad. Lavrentieva, 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation