Author Topic: The Origins of the Comital? de Witt Family  (Read 3697 times)

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Offline Превед

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The Origins of the Comital? de Witt Family
« on: August 01, 2016, 08:31:33 AM »
On another, Francophone forum I frequent we discussed the genealogy of Count Serge de Witt, husband of Princess Marie Clotilde Bonaparte in 1938. He was born in Moscow the 30 December 1891 and served as a Lieutenant in the 12th Regiment of Lancers (Belgorodskiy - Белгородский 12-й уланский полк?), became a Captain in the Cavalry in 1918 and was an aide-de-camp of Marshall Mannerheim after the Revolution. His parents were Oscar de Witt, with the chin rank Imperial Russian Councillor of State, and Lydia de (von) Fidler (Fiedler?).

As you can see from the comments in this thread about the recent marriage of one of his descendants, there are many conflicting claims about the origin of these Russian de Witts with an obviously Dutch surname and their comital title. See http://www.noblesseetroyautes.com/mariage-delena-de-witt/ Does anyone happen to know for sure if they hailed from the Netherlands, Belgium or France (and were related to the Guizots?). NB they were not related to Count Witte, whose name and background (Baltic Germans) were different. There seems to have been an Austrian Von Fiedler a family, maybe it's the same as his mother's? And was his comital title real (granted by which monarch?) or just assumed?

I have already written to the Musée Napoléon de la Pommerie in the Dordogne, owned by his de Witt descendants, and asked the same.

Thanks in advance for any help.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 08:48:24 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 Mike

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Re: The Origins of the Comital? de Witt Family
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 03:32:13 PM »
Just before the revolution in January 1917 Serge de Witt was promoted from second lieutenant (cornet) to first lieutenant (poruchik) of Life Guard Dragoon regiment, and he was listed in the imperial order of promotions without any title. So wherever he acquired his comital title, it was definitely not in the imperial Russia.

Offline Превед

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Re: The Origins of the Comital? de Witt Family
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 04:29:40 PM »
Just before the revolution in January 1917 Serge de Witt was promoted from second lieutenant (cornet) to first lieutenant (poruchik) of Life Guard Dragoon regiment, and he was listed in the imperial order of promotions without any title. So wherever he acquired his comital title, it was definitely not in the imperial Russia.

Thank you, Mike!
And afterwards there wasn't much hope for a pennyless emigré in exile to obtain a title either. Some claim he received it from the King of Italy in connection with his marriage to Princess Marie Clotilde Bonaparte, but most likely it was then just assumed.
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

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

Offline Mike

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Re: The Origins of the Comital? de Witt Family
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 02:24:41 AM »
The comital branch of the de Witts (originated from Poland) expired in Russia in the second half of 19 c. While the 1909 officers list mentions at least a dozen de Witts and de Wittes  (not including Serge who was too young then), none of them was titled.