Ekaterina (Karamzina) Meshchersky’s son Prince Nikolai Petrovich Meshchersky (1829-1901) was rector of Moscow University. He was described in the book “The Russian Album,” authored by his great-grandson Michael Ignatieff, as “”a mild old gentleman of conventional opinions, ruled by his wife and daughters…generous and absent minded, always doling out money to the Moscow beggars when out on his morning walk…” He was married to Countess Maria Alexandrovna Panina (d. 1903) a plain-faced woman with dark hair, an olive complexion, and a keen mind. “Vivacious, imperious, and argumentative…famous in her heyday for the sharpness of her tongue,” with Countess Sheremetev and Mlle Tiutcheva, Maria was part of the triumvirate known in Moscow society as the “Council of the Infallibles.” Maria was descended from Catherine the Great’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikita Panin, whose brother Peter Panin squelched the Pugachev rebellion in 1773/74. When not in Moscow Nikolai and Maria lived at their estate Doughino, nr. Smolensk. They had at least five daughters and three sons. After losing one daughter (Ekaterina) to tuberculosis they became hypochondriacs regarding the health of their remaining children, calling a doctor when they heard even the slightest sniffle.
Nikolai’s daughter Princess Maria Meshcherskaya (1866-1948) married Count Nikolai Mikhailovich Tolstoy (1857-1915). Maria remained something of an invalid after suffering a riding accident in her youth. She escaped to France after the Revolution, two of her children were not so fortunate. Her daughter Countess Elizabeth Tolstoy (1892-1919) died in Siberia before she could emigrate. Another daughter, twelve-year-old Ekaterina (b. 1907) was shot by the Bolsheviks in 1919.
Nikolai’s daughter Princess Natalia “Natasha” Meshcherskaya (1877-1946) was a beautiful, mild-mannered, but when warranted an extremely blunt woman. A private person she loathed St. Petersburg society. She married the far more dynamic Count Paul Nikolayevich Ignatiev (1870-1945). Their lives are detailed in the book “The Russian Album” written by their grandson Michael Ignatieff (b.1947) a Canadian historian, professor, and politician. Paul Ignatiev served as Governor of Kiev, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, and Minister of Education during the reign of Nicholas II. Paul was arrested by the Bolsheviks, but was eventually released, and afterwards fled Russia and settled in England. He didn’t stay there long, though. Leaving his family behind in England, Paul moved to Paris where he served as president of the Russian Red Cross. Paul and Natasha eventually settled in Canada. Paul’s father Count Nikolai Pavlovich Ignatiev was a diplomat and had served as Minister of the Interior during the reign of Alexander III. It was Count Nikolai who instituted the infamous anti-Semitic “May Laws” in 1882. Paul and Natasha’s son George Ignatieff (1913-1989), Michael Ignatieff’s father, was a Rhodes Scholar and Canadian diplomat. George served as Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Ambassador to the UN, and Permanent Representative to NATO.
Nikolai’s daughter Princess Alexandra Meshcherskaya (1864-1940) was described in “the Russian Album” as “too earnest.” The Meshchersky sisters as a whole are referred to as “all good women, but none of them brilliant.” She married Prince Paul Pavlovich Golitsyn (1856-1914), Grand Marshal of the Nobility of Novgorod. They spent most of their time at their estate Marino in Novgorod. Alexandra served as a lady-in-waiting to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna “Miechen.” The family only escaped Russia in 1922. Alexandra eventually settled in Hungary, dying at Budapest. Her daughter and namesake Princess Alexandra “Aleka” Golitsyna (1905-2006) was married first in 1928 to GD Xenia’s son Prince Rostislav Alexandrovich. In 1954 she married a wealthy Chicago banking executive, Lester Armour. During the Revolution Aleka, then fourteen, spent several months at a Soviet colony for “criminal children” before being allowed to return to Moscow. She came to Chicago with her brother and worked for a time at the Marshall Field department store there before marrying Rostislav. A kind and regal woman she is remembered in Chicago for her philanthropy. Her son was the merchant banker Prince Rostislav Rostislavovich “Rosti” Romanov (1938-1999).
Nikolai’s daughter Princess Sophia “Sonia” Meshcherskaya (1867-1942) was tall, auburn haired, elegant and attractive. A flirt before her marriage she later became “too austere and serious-minded.” She married Prince Boris Alexandrovich “Boria” Vassiltchikov (1863-1931), leader of the Novgorod nobility, governor of Pskov, and chairman of the Russian Red Cross. They had an estate named Vybiti in Novgorod. Sonia and Boris did escape Russia after the Revolution, but Boris was plagued for the rest of his life by tuberculosis contracted in 1917 in a Soviet prison. They lived for several years with her sister Natasha in England before settling in Paris. Sonia established a finishing school there which she operated until her death.