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Messages - Mike

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Imperial Russian History / Re: Pre revolution spoken Russian
« on: November 03, 2018, 04:40:53 PM »
He speaks fluent Russian but like a person whose first language is different - French and/or German. His advanced - to say the least - age is also well perceived in his speech.

Russian Noble Families / Re: von Nybeck
« on: October 26, 2018, 02:25:03 PM »
In 1822, some Second Lieutenant Nybeck graduated from Imperial Engineering School and was assigned to Vyborg Engineering Detachment. To be admitted to that school and then commissioned, he had to belong to nobility.

Since Vladimir was just a private soldier and the surname Romanov is pretty widespread among Russians, I don't believe that it might be realistic to find any info on him in Russian archives or in other Russian sources. However, you might try French archives. Most Russian soldiers were repatriated upon the end of WW1 and much few had chosen to stay in France. Their names and other personal data must be kept somewhere in France together with residence applications etc.

The uniformed guy on the photo is an infantry private, most probably of the Russian Expeditionary Force in France, 1916 - 1917.
See e.g. here.

There is a hamlet named Rovnitsy [Ровницы] in Plyussa district of Pskov Region, that was formerly alternatively named Slepoy Konets. Before 1917 it belonged to Luga uezd of Petersburg Governorate. It's almost certainly the estate you're looking for.

This is a photo of Valerian Ketteritz, b. 1838, d. 1907. He was senior inspector of Russian Railways in the rank of active state councillor (equivalent to major-general).

Another possibility for the upper badge: Regimental badge of 13th Life-Grenadier Erivan regiment.

I have a photo of him, and he is wearing a couple medals (though he is not in a uniform). Does anyone recognize any of these?
They are graduation badges, not medals. The upper one: most probably, Alexeyevskoe Officer School, Moscow. The lower one (Maltese cross): Corps of Pages, St. Petersburg.

Lavrentiy Nikolayevich von Løvendal (b. 1878) was probably son of Captain 2nd rank Nikolay Lavrentievich Løvendal, who in 1893 was commander of the schooner Chasovoy in Reval.

25 October 1900 was the date of the battle. The village's name was spelt as some junior staff officer back in 1900 thought it should be pronounced. The chance of locating it today is next to zero.

Research Russian Roots / Re: The Origins of the Comital? de Witt Family
« 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.

Research Russian Roots / Re: The Origins of the Comital? de Witt Family
« 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.

You're welcome, Erik. The Ungern-Sternberg family has left many traces in Russian military and general history. If you give me a couple of full names, I could try finding some info on the Russian web.

There was no princely family named Gusakov or like that. The only known prominent person of that name (but certainly not a prince!) was Lieutenant General Epifanii Gusakov (1850 - 1916).

Volunteer was both a status and a rank, equivalent to private. Since they only served one to two years, volunteers were almost never promoted to NCOs. However, they enjoyed some privileges similar to those of military schools' cadets. For example, they were allowed to hire cabs, visit public gardens and travel first class by rail and steamships.

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