Author Topic: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?  (Read 11721 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ortino

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Ortino
    • View Profile
Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« on: February 06, 2015, 01:32:16 PM »
Hi everyone,

I apologize in advance if there is an existing thread on this woman. While reading the biography of a prominent member of a Chicago museum, I stumbled across an interesting claim--this individual claims that he is related to a Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz, "imperial nurse to Czarevich Alexis Nickolaevich at the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo." Has anyone heard of such a person? I have never come across her before and can't find anything relating to her. I thought I would consult with the experts at this point. :)

Offline Превед

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2015, 03:53:56 PM »
Hi everyone,

I apologize in advance if there is an existing thread on this woman. While reading the biography of a prominent member of a Chicago museum, I stumbled across an interesting claim--this individual claims that he is related to a Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz, "imperial nurse to Czarevich Alexis Nickolaevich at the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo." Has anyone heard of such a person? I have never come across her before and can't find anything relating to her. I thought I would consult with the experts at this point. :)

Seems like yet another fraud. Narkiewicz was a prominent Polish intelligentsia family and also landowning, but not noble and certainly not titled, as the use of the titles Graf (German and Russian for count) and the misspelled Gräfin (German for countess) indicate. The name Kacuiciewicz is either misspelled (it sounds very strange), made-up or very obscure. I have never seen any female nurses for Alexey Nikolayevich mentioned and certainly not a Polish countess.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 04:12:49 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2015, 05:03:42 PM »
So Christian K. Narkiewicz-Laine claims to be the great-nephew of Prince Dominik Radziwiłł, who was married to Princess Eugénie of Greece and Denmark. His parents and thus Narkiewicz-Laine's presumed great grandparents were Prince Hieronim Mikołaj Radziwiłł and Archduchess Renata of Austria. None of their children can be identified as his grandmother, the alleged "Sophia Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz". However, Princess Eleonore Radziwiłł married Count Benedykt Tyszkiewicz and this is probably the inspiration for Narkiewicz-Laine's fraudulent claims, substituting the aristocratic and comital Tyszkiewicz family with his own intelligentsia Narkiewicz family.

BTW Michalina, not Michelina, is the Polish form of Michaela. Why do these fraudsters always make the mistake of misspelling the names they claim?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 05:18:57 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Ortino

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Ortino
    • View Profile
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2015, 09:27:02 PM »
Thank you, Превед, that is what I assumed. The whole thing sounded quite odd to me when I read it and I wanted to confirm that I wasn't the only one thinking that. By the way, I just reread Mr. Narkiewicz-Laine's biography on the Chicago Athenaeum website and he claims that "Michelina" was Lithuanian--something that makes it even more dubious:

https://chi-athenaeum.org/museum-president/
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 09:30:29 PM by Ortino »

Offline DNAgenie

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 168
    • View Profile
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2015, 04:18:29 PM »
Quote
BTW Michalina, not Michelina, is the Polish form of Michaela. Why do these fraudsters always make the mistake of misspelling the names they claim?

Surely your insistence on not misspelling names is somewhat misplaced. "Correct" spelling is a modern phenomena and was not a feature of communications, especially letters, in the 19th century. Have you ever tried to read handwritten letters from that period? It is common for names and places to be spelled several different ways in the same letter, at all levels of society. This occurs in letters written by the IF, for example, especially if written by the children, but it happens in some of Alexandra's letters as well.

Modern transcribers often tend to correct what they see as misspellings, so modern reader sometimes get a mistaken impression of what was "good" spelling at that period.

Offline Превед

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 09:42:10 AM »
Thank you, Превед, that is what I assumed. The whole thing sounded quite odd to me when I read it and I wanted to confirm that I wasn't the only one thinking that. By the way, I just reread Mr. Narkiewicz-Laine's biography on the Chicago Athenaeum website and he claims that "Michelina" was Lithuanian--something that makes it even more dubious:

Actually, that is not so odd. Many Polish nobles were of Lithuanian descent (gente Lithuanus, natione Polonus, as they said) and resided in what is today Lithuania and Belarus. This applies both to the Radziwiłłs (Lithuanian: Radvila) and Marshall Piłsudski (Lithuanian: Pilsudskis).


Quote
BTW Michalina, not Michelina, is the Polish form of Michaela. Why do these fraudsters always make the mistake of misspelling the names they claim?

Surely your insistence on not misspelling names is somewhat misplaced. "Correct" spelling is a modern phenomena and was not a feature of communications, especially letters, in the 19th century. Have you ever tried to read handwritten letters from that period? It is common for names and places to be spelled several different ways in the same letter, at all levels of society. This occurs in letters written by the IF, for example, especially if written by the children, but it happens in some of Alexandra's letters as well.

Modern transcribers often tend to correct what they see as misspellings, so modern reader sometimes get a mistaken impression of what was "good" spelling at that period.

You are quite right that spelling was quite erratic in former times, but generally all European languages had gotten one (or more!) standardized spellings in the 19th century. Confusion can arise from translations between different languages, alphabets and spelling systems (Sophie or Sofia? Louise, Luise or Lovisa? Carl or Karl? Nikolas or Nikolay?), usually not from people's spelling mistakes.

I wouldn't say it adds to their story if claimants in an official statement claim to be descended from "Nicky and Alicky", despite what these people might have called each other in private letters.

The thing is, each case must be examined individually. Michelina is an Italian name form, whereas both the Polish and Lithuanian forms are Michalina. The name is thus far more likely to have been Michalina. Add to that attributing a false and misspelled title to the woman and it's clear that the writer is either a clueless fool or a foolish fraudster.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 09:55:15 AM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 03:24:15 PM »
Surely your insistence on not misspelling names is somewhat misplaced.

And BTW my aim was not to point out any spelling mistakes (and there are several in the biography), but to use the spelling as proof of how Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz is a bogus, made-up name and person.

Kacucevičius is evidently an (apparantly not prominent) Lithuanian surname. In Polish it should be Kacucewicz. Here is the proof, from the obituary of the president's cousin: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicagotribune/obituary.aspx?n=dorothy-kacucewicz&pid=150262233
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 03:33:50 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Ortino

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Ortino
    • View Profile
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2015, 10:48:36 AM »
Thank you, Превед, that is what I assumed. The whole thing sounded quite odd to me when I read it and I wanted to confirm that I wasn't the only one thinking that. By the way, I just reread Mr. Narkiewicz-Laine's biography on the Chicago Athenaeum website and he claims that "Michelina" was Lithuanian--something that makes it even more dubious:

Actually, that is not so odd. Many Polish nobles were of Lithuanian descent (gente Lithuanus, natione Polonus, as they said) and resided in what is today Lithuania and Belarus. This applies both to the Radziwiłłs (Lithuanian: Radvila) and Marshall Piłsudski (Lithuanian: Pilsudskis).

How interesting. I stand corrected!

Offline Превед

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2015, 02:11:40 PM »
Actually, that is not so odd. Many Polish nobles were of Lithuanian descent (gente Lithuanus, natione Polonus, as they said) and resided in what is today Lithuania and Belarus. This applies both to the Radziwiłłs (Lithuanian: Radvila) and Marshall Piłsudski (Lithuanian: Pilsudskis).
How interesting.

The old Grand Duchy of Lithuania certainly was an interesting region, with Polish-speaking nobles calling themselves Lithuanians, all the towns inhabited by Jews speaking a German dialect (Yiddish) and the real Belarussians often not calling themselves Belarussians, but merely Тутэйшыя = People from here / Locals!

Like most claimants, Christian Narkiewicz-Laine seems to muddle himself into several contradictory claims:

Here he is on a genealogy site, claiming his family "was the noble family of Novogrudek". I presume he means the Belarussian town of Навагрудак / Navagrudak / Nowogródek. It must be close to sacrilege to Poles to claim that his family was the town's noble family, as it's the home town of Poland's national poet, the Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian nobleman Adam Mickiewicz, whose most famous work, Poland's national epic poem Pan Tadeusz, BTW starts with the lines:

Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! Ty jesteś jak zdrowie.
Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie,
Kto cię stracił. Dziś piękność twą w całej ozdobie
Widzę i opisuję, bo tęsknię po tobie.

=
Lithuania, my fatherland! You are as good health:
How much one should prize you, he only can tell
Who has lost you. Your beauty and splendour I view
And describe here today, for I long after you.

What he means must be the Jodko-Narkiewicz estate of Наднёман, Nadyoman / Nadmieman / Nadneman, which he actually visited, as seen from this Belarussian site.

His family was no doubt prominent in 19th and early 20th century Poland, but not abroad. Is the disappointment of not being recognized in the US as hailing from a great family the reason why he makes up such outlandish claims linking him to well-known names?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 02:20:12 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Ortino

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Ortino
    • View Profile
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2015, 04:05:48 PM »
Actually, that is not so odd. Many Polish nobles were of Lithuanian descent (gente Lithuanus, natione Polonus, as they said) and resided in what is today Lithuania and Belarus. This applies both to the Radziwiłłs (Lithuanian: Radvila) and Marshall Piłsudski (Lithuanian: Pilsudskis).
How interesting.

The old Grand Duchy of Lithuania certainly was an interesting region, with Polish-speaking nobles calling themselves Lithuanians, all the towns inhabited by Jews speaking a German dialect (Yiddish) and the real Belarussians often not calling themselves Belarussians, but merely Тутэйшыя = People from here / Locals!

Like most claimants, Christian Narkiewicz-Laine seems to muddle himself into several contradictory claims:

Here he is on a genealogy site, claiming his family "was the noble family of Novogrudek". I presume he means the Belarussian town of Навагрудак / Navagrudak / Nowogródek. It must be close to sacrilege to Poles to claim that his family was the town's noble family, as it's the home town of Poland's national poet, the Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian nobleman Adam Mickiewicz, whose most famous work, Poland's national epic poem Pan Tadeusz, BTW starts with the lines:

Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! Ty jesteś jak zdrowie.
Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie,
Kto cię stracił. Dziś piękność twą w całej ozdobie
Widzę i opisuję, bo tęsknię po tobie.

=
Lithuania, my fatherland! You are as good health:
How much one should prize you, he only can tell
Who has lost you. Your beauty and splendour I view
And describe here today, for I long after you.

What he means must be the Jodko-Narkiewicz estate of Наднёман, Nadyoman / Nadmieman / Nadneman, which he actually visited, as seen from this Belarussian site.

His family was no doubt prominent in 19th and early 20th century Poland, but not abroad. Is the disappointment of not being recognized in the US as hailing from a great family the reason why he makes up such outlandish claims linking him to well-known names?

Thank you, Превед, for providing that information. Your investigative skills are most impressive!

As for why he does it, you've got me. Perhaps he thinks that no one will take the time to investigate such claims (clearly he hasn't come across this forum!). All you have to do is look at his career/history to know that he is shamelessly self-promoting.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 04:07:28 PM by Ortino »

Offline Превед

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2015, 01:36:38 PM »
Thank you, Превед, for providing that information. Your investigative skills are most impressive!

Oh thanks, but I'm just a horse's head ahead (as we say in Norwegian) of Narkiewicz!

An interesting titbit I just stumbled across:
The abovementioned Mickiewicz, the national bard of Poland, who grew up in what is today Belarus and was exiled to Russia and France, only lived in ethnic Poland for seven months of his life, in 1831-1832, when he stayed in Prussian Poland, hoping to join the November Uprising in Russian Poland.
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Michelina Gräfen Narkiewicz-Kacuiciewicz?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2015, 02:08:50 PM »
Many Polish nobles were of Lithuanian descent (gente Lithuanus, natione Polonus, as they said) and resided in what is today Lithuania and Belarus. This applies both to the Radziwiłłs (Lithuanian: Radvila) and Marshall Piłsudski (Lithuanian: Pilsudskis).

The Lithuanian connection (when not descent) is also found in the family of Poland's president, (Count) Bronisław Komorowski, about to be re-elected as we speak, whose father was born in the Lithuanian village of Kavoliškis / Kowaliszki, where this branch of the comital Komorowski family were the lords of the manor.

BTW I just figured out the distant relationship between Bronisław Komorowski and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, whose mother was Countess Anna Komorowska: Their shared common ancestor is Count Franciszek Komorowski (1723 - 1800), whose sister BTW was married to a Piłsudski, something which makes them 6th cousins once removed. (Perhaps 6th half-cousins once removed, as the two sons of their common ancestor were half-brothers.)

« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 02:31:29 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)