Author Topic: Family story about being in service to the Romanov family  (Read 298 times)

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Offline EstelleM

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Family story about being in service to the Romanov family
« on: March 31, 2019, 10:38:32 AM »
Hello everyone, I was wondering if you may be able to help.
We have a family story that a sister of my great-great grandparents may have been in service to the Romanov family, possibly as a nurse. We think it could have been Mary Mills (sister to my great-great grandfather) or Clementine Gregory (sister to his wife). She would have been English.
When she left their service, she was given a small wooden cross with mother of pearl inlay. Sadly the cross seems to have now been lost.
I was wondering if there is a way of finding out the names of English servants or nurses to the Romanov family? Or if anyone has come across these names? I would be grateful if anyone could point me in the right direction.
I'm quite prepared for this to be a family story that can't be proved or that may have been embellished but would really love to try and find out more information if possible.
Many thanks for any help

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Family story about being in service to the Romanov family
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2019, 07:37:01 PM »
There were no English servants to the Imperial Family aside from a tutor or governess. This is almost certainly just another "family tale" which we have heard literally hundreds and hundreds of times. "Everyone" seems to have an ancestor who worked for the Imperial Family.

Offline JGP

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Re: Family story about being in service to the Romanov family
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2019, 11:19:09 PM »
Yes there were.  The chief maid of the Empress was Madeleine Zanotti, of English and Italian parentage, whose home before she came to Tsarskoe Selo was in England.   http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/maids.html
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 11:22:34 PM by JGP »

Offline Превед

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Re: Family story about being in service to the Romanov family
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 08:26:17 AM »
I'm quite prepared for this to be a family story that can't be proved or that may have been embellished but would really love to try and find out more information if possible.

It could very well be an embellished tale of an ancestor working as a nanny for more distant members of the huge Romanov family or for members of the Russian aristocracy or rich bourgeois.
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)