Arms of Counts Stroganov
Anikey Stroganov, progenitor of the ennobled branch
|Current region||Muscovy, Russian Empire|
|Place of origin||Disputed: Tatar, Veliky Novgorod, Pomor|
|Founder||Spiridon Stroganov; Fyodor Lukich Stroganov (the Solvychegodsk branch).|
|Current head||Noble branch is extinct; the family is continued in its impoverished senior line.|
|Distinctions||One of the richest Russian families in history Stroganov school of icon painting|
The Stroganovs or Strogonovs (Russian: , ), referred to in French as Stroganoffs, were a family of highly successful Russian merchants, industrialists, landowners, and statesmen. From the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century they were the richest businessmen in the Tsardom of Russia. They financed the Russian conquest of Siberia and Prince Pozharsky's reconquest of Moscow from the Poles. The Stroganov School of icon-painting takes its name from them. The most recent common ancestor of the family was Fyodor Lukich Stroganov, a salt industrialist. His elder son, Vladimir, became the founder of the lineage that degraded to state peasants; this lineage is still continued. The lineage from his youngest son, Anikey, died out in 1923. Anikey's descendants had made it to the high Russian nobility under the first Romanovs.
There have been suggested several theories of this family's origins. It had been believed that the family's progenitor was a merchant in Veliky Novgorod. However, historian Andrey Vvedensky concluded in his research on the family's genealogy, that they should have been hailing from wealthy Pomor peasants (i.e. from Russia's subarctic north, in the region of the White Sea).
The family's earliest ancestor was named Spiridon; he lived during the rule of Duke Dmitry Donskoy and was mentioned in the 1390s. His grandson, Luka Kuzmich Stroganov, was a renter of royal properties in the region of the Northern Dvina river; he is claimed to have redeemed Duke Vasily II of Moscow from Tatar imprisonment in 1445.
His son, Feodor Lukich Stroganov (d. 1497), the latest common ancestor of the family, settled in Solvychegodsk (also in the Russian north). He was a local salt industrialist and owner of properties in town, which he passed down to his elder son, Vladimir. He had two brothers, Semyon and Ivan, whose descendants are unknown. He also had six sons: Stefan, Joseph (Osip), Vladimir, Ivan nicknamed Vyshnyak, Afanasy and Anikey, and a daughter named Maura.
In 1517, elder brothers, Stefan, Joseph and Vladimir Stroganov, received a wood and a salt mine in Ustyug district. Vladimir Stroganov's lineage is still continued in direct male line. However, his descendants had become state peasants.
His youngest son, Anikey Fyodorovich Stroganov (1488-1570), was the progenitor of the ennobled lineage of the Stroganov family. This lineage is now extinct. He opened the salterns in 1515, which would later become a huge industry. In 1558, Ivan the Terrible granted to Anikey Stroganov and his successors large estates in what was at the time the eastern edge of Russian settlement, along the Kama and Chusovaya Rivers
In 1566, at their own request their lands were included in the "oprichnina", the territory within Russia under the direct authority of Ivan the Terrible. Seizing lands from the local population by conquest and colonizing them with incoming Russian peasants, the Stroganovs developed farming, hunting, saltworks, fishing, and ore mining in these areas. They built towns and fortresses and, at the same time, suppressed local unrest with the help of a small private army (such private units were known as "druzhinas"), and annexed new lands in the Urals and Siberia in favor of Russia.
Yakov Anikeevich Stroganov (1528 - 1577) made Ivan the Terrible forbid the English to trade near Solvychegodsk; he, alongside his brothers, received the right to organize military attacks on Siberian tribes and rulers. He was a provider of tsar in luxuries, including sable fur. In 1574, together with brother Grigory, he was granted with large lands in Siberia, along the Ob river. In 1577, he was granted with iron bogs and a forest in Sodrolinskaya volost with the right to establish ironworks there.
Grigory Anikeevich Stroganov (1533 - 1577) received large lands in the basin of the Kama river, in the region of Perm. In 1558 he was allowed producing saltpeter. In 1564 he was given the privilege to establish a town named Kargedan, which was later known as Oryol-gorodok.
Semyon Anikeyevich Stroganov (? - 1609) and Anikey's grandsons Maksim Yakovlevich (? - 1620s) and Nikita Grigoriyevich (? - 1620) are believed to be initiators and sponsors of Yermak's Siberian campaign in 1581.
By the late 16th century, the Stroganovs had become enormously large landowners and salt industrialists. In the early 17th century, owing to the Turmoil, they strengthened their positions by sponsoring the central government's struggle against claimants to the throne and Polish invaders. The family started to gradually merge with the nobility. In 1608 Kozma Danilovich Stroganov (1580 - 1617) was the voivode at Totma. He died without issue.
During the period of Polish intervention in the early 17th century, the Stroganovs offered humanitarian and military support to the Russian government (some 842,000 rubles just in terms of money), for which they received the title of 'eminent men' (imenitye lyudi) in 1610, and allowed official reference with the 'vich' ending to their paternal names, as was only meant for the members of the royal court. Together with the new title, the received unprecedented privileges for people of trading class: they were subject only to the royal judgement, allowed founding towns and building fortresses, owning armed troops and forging canons, organizing military campaigns against Siberian rulers and duty-free trade with Asian nations.
In the 17th century the Stroganovs began to marry into high Russian nobility (princes, boyars and courtiers). For example, Pyotr Semyonovich Stroganov (1583-1639) married Matryona Ivanovna Borbischeva-Pushkina. Maksim Maksimovich Stroganov (1603-1627) married Anna Alferyevna Streshneva, cousin of tsarina Eudoxia Streshneva. Stroganovs married daughters of voivodes and courties. Amongst the families they intermarried with in the 1600s were a few princely families, such as the Volkonskys, the Mescherskys, the Baryatinsky, the Golitzines, as well as untitled Rurikids, the Dmitry-Mamonov family, and such boyar families as Saltykovs and Miloslavsky.
In the 17th century, the Stroganovs invested heavily in the salt industry in Solikamsk. In the 1680s, Grigory Dmitriyevich Stroganov (1656-1715) united all the scattered lands of the heirs of the children of Anikey Stroganov. He also annexed the saltworks, which belonged to the Shustov and Filatiyev families. In the 18th century, the Stroganovs established a number of ironworks and copper-smelting factories in the Urals.
A number of remarkable Baroque churches throughout Russia were built by the Stroganov family in the late 17th and early 18th century. They include the Cathedral of the Presentation of Mary (? ) in Solvychegodsk (1688-1696), Church of Our Lady of Kazan in Ustyuzhna (1694), Church of Our Lady of Smolensk (? ? ?) in Gordeyevka (part of today's Kanavino district of Nizhny Novgorod) (1697), and the Church of the Synaxis of the Mother of God in Nizhny Novgorod (started in 1697, consecrated in 1719).
The descendants of Vladimir Fyodorovich Stroganov, one of the elder sons of Fyodor Lukich Stroganov, had got impoverished by the 18th century and entered the class of state peasants. Vladimir inherited his father's properties in Solvychegodsk. Later he purchased the village of Tsyrennikovo, to the north of Solvychegodsk, for a hundred rubles. This place had become the family seat of this branch for generations. Afanasy Vladimirovich Stroganov (d. 1607) was engaged in local salt business and fur trade. For the income from that he purchased lands around his village. Afanasy received the title of gost (eniment merchant). He was also a renter of a royal land near Solvychegorsk. Afanasy Vladimirovich was still accepted as a relative by Anika's family. But his son, Ivan, was the first of this branch to mark continuous downhill both financially and socially.
The breach between the wealthy descendants of Anika Stroganov and poor senior branch had formed by the 1670s, when the wealthy part of the family denied relation with the poor one. This may have resulted in the myth of that Anika's elder brothers supposedly died childless.
By the late 17th century this branch of the Stroganovs had already been hardly told from common peasants by their conditions. Being severely impoverished, this family's branch began to get involved in manual labour and even robbing.
One of this branch, Andrey Vasilyev syn Stroganov, was amongst the Russian pioneers in Siberia in the 17th century. He established strongholds in the Zabaykaliya region. He later was raised to a head of a Cossack troop.
According to the information gathered by historian A. Vvedensky, being in Saint-Petersburg, poor relatives visited their wealthy relation's palace located on the crossing of Moyka Street and Nevsky Boulevard; the servants were ordered to kick out the peasant relations.
In 1911, Count Pavel Sergeevich Stroganov died without issue. His fortune of 120 mln rubles was to go to the state. Famous lawyer Maklakov initiated research to prove relation between the late count and the Stroganovs from Tsyrennikovo. At court he struggled with late count's relations in female line. However, Maklakov won the case. Maklakov settled at Tsyrennikovo wishing to share inheritance with Stroganov's relations. However, the inheritance got struck in red tape. Then the Revolution prevented the poor Stroganov branch from coming into the heritage.
The titled branch of the Stroganov family was descended from Anikey Stroganov, the youngest son of Fyodor Lukich Stroganov (d. 1497). Since the 17th century Anika's descendants were very close to the royal court; they mingled with the highest nobility and even intermarried with some. During this time of their prime, they started to alienate their impoverished, almost peasant, relations from the senior line, to the extreme of completely denying the fact of relation.
One of the descendants, Grigory Dmitrievich Stroganov (1656-1715), was a supporter of Peter the Great. He was frequently invited to the court of tsar Alexey Romanov, including invitations to his private dinners. He granted his four military ships built in Voronezh and Astrakhan to Peter the Great. Grigory's sons were rewarded with the baronial title by Peter the Great in 1722.
During the Great Northern War of 1700-1721, the Stroganovs rendered sizable financial support to the government of Peter the Great, for which Alexander Grigoriyevich, Nikolay Grigoriyevich, and Sergei Grigoriyevich would be raised to the rank of baron in 1722 and later to that of count.
From then on, the Stroganovs were members of the Russian aristocracy and held important government posts.
Most of the Stroganovs are known to have shown interest for art, literature, history, and archaeology. They used to own rich libraries, collections of paintings, coins, medals etc. Stroganov Palace (now one of the buildings of the State Russian Museum) is among the chief sights of Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg.
In 1911, Count Pavel Sergeevich Stroganov died without issue. His death stirred litigation for his fortune between his relations in female lines and the senior unnoble descendants of the Stroganov family.
The establishment of the Stroganoff Foundation was the inspiration of Baroness Hélène de Ludinghausen, who lives in Paris and whose mother, Princess Xenia Alexandrovna Shcherbatova-Stroganova, was born in the Stroganoff Palace.
The lineage traced to the youngest brother, Anikey Stroganov, (the ennobled branch) died out in male line in 1923. The peasant lineage traced from the elder brother Vladimir Stroganov continues to date.