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The Rurik Dynasty or Rurikids (Rurikid Dynasty) were the ruling dynasty of Kievan Rus' (after 862), the successor principalities of Galicia-Volhynia (after 1199), Chernigov, Vladimir-Suzdal, and the Grand Duchy of Moscow, as well as the early Tsardom of Russia (after 1168).

According to the Primary Chronicle, the dynasty was established in 862 by Rurik, the legendary great ruler of Novgorod. The exact origin of his tribe, the Varangians called Rus', is disputed and his ethnicity remains unclear, although Scandinavian and Slavic influences, as well as Finno-Ugric more distantly, are cited (see "Rurikid Dynasty DNA Project", below). He and his brothers founded a state that later historians called Kievan Rus'. By the middle of the twelfth century, Kievan Rus' had dissolved into independent principalities (Russian, or Rus' principalities), each ruled by different branches of the Rurik dynasty.

In the west, Galicia-Volhynia continued to be ruled by the Rurikids until 1323. The last ones were two brothers Andrew and Lev II, who ruled jointly and were slain trying to repel Mongol incursions on behalf of the rest of Europe. Polish king Władysław I the Elbow-high in his letter to the Pope wrote with regret: "The two last Ruthenian kings, that had been firm shields for Poland from the Tatars, left this world and after their death Poland is directly under Tatar threat." Losing their leadership role, Rurikids, however, continued to play a vital role in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the later Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Most notably, the Ostrogski family held the title of Grand Hetman of Lithuania and strove to preserve the Old Ukrainian language and Eastern Orthodoxy in this part of Europe.

In the north-east, the principality of Moscow won a struggle for supremacy among medieval Rus states by the end of the fifteenth century. Beginning with the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the Muscovite branch of the Rurik dynasty used the title "Tsar of All Russia" and ruled over the Tsardom of Russia. The death in 1598 of Tsar Feodor I ended the rule of the Rurik dynasty. The unstable period known as the Time of Troubles succeeded Feodor's death and lasted until 1613. In that year, Mikhail I ascended the throne, founding the Romanov dynasty that would rule until 1762 and as Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov until the revolutions of 1917. One descendant of the Rurik Grand Prince of Tver was Catherine the Great, who married Peter III of the Romanov dynasty. Historian Vasily Tatishchev and filmmaker Jacques Tati were descended from Rurik.

Among Rurik descendants are the Volkonsky, Obolensky, Shuyski, Dolgorukov, Khilkoff, Repnin, Gorchakov, Gagarin, Wassilchikov, and Putyatin families, as well as the Ruthenian families of Ostrogski, Wareg-Massalski, and Czetwertyński families, among others.


List of rulers of the Rurik Dynasty

The following image shows the descent of the so-called central branch of the Rurikids, descendants of Vladimir II Monomakh through his sixth son Yuri Dolgorukiy:


Princely families of Rurik stock

from princes of

  • Starodub: Gagarin , Golibesovsky, Gundorov, Kovrov, Krivoborsky, Lyalovsky, Nebogaty, Neuchkin, Ossipovsky, Paletsky, Pozharsky, Romodanovsky, Ryapolovsky, Tatev, Tulupov and Khilkoff.
  • Polotsk: Vitebsky, Izyaslavsky, Drutsky, Minsky and Polotsky.
  • Peremyshl: Galitsky and Peremyshlsky.
  • Chernigov: Baryatinsky , Belevsky , Volkonsky , Vorotynsky , Gorensky , Gorchakov , Dolgorukov , Yeletsky , Zvenigorodsky-Ryumin , Zvenigorodsky-Barashev , Zvenigorodsky-Spyachy , Zvenigorodsky-Shestov , Zvenigorodsky-Zventsov , Zvenigorodsky-Tokmakov , Zvenigorodsky-Nozdrevaty , Karachevsky, Kashin , Klubkov-Massalski, Kozelsky, Koltsov-Massalski , Koninsky, Kurlyatev , Litvinv-Massalski , Lykov , Massalski, Massalsky ,Machevsky, Mezetsky, Obolensky, Nogtev-Obolensky, Strigin-Obolensky, Yaroslavov-Obolensky, Nagiye-Obolensky, Telepnev-Obolensky, Ovchinin-Telepnev-Obolensky, Obolensky-Cherny, Obolensky-Bely, Obolensky-Zoloty, Obolensky-Serebryany, Odoevsky, Ogiński, Ossovitsky, Peremyshlsky (Peremyshl of Kaluga), Peninsky, Puzyny, Repnin, Repnin-Volkonsky , Svyatopolk-Chetvertinsky , Spashsky, Torussky, Trostensky , Turenin, Tufyakin , Khotetovsky , Shchepin-Obolensky and Shcherbatov .
  • Ryazan: Muromsky and Pronsky.
  • Galich (Southern Galich): Babichev , Bakrinovsky, Volynsky, Drutsky, Drutsky-Ozeretsky, Drutsky-Sokolinsky, Drutsky-Gorsky, Drutsky-Lyubetsky , Drutsky-Podberezhsky, Zaslavsky, Lutsky, Ostrogski, Skajnowski and Putyatin.
  • Smolensk: Vyazemsky, Berezuisky, Dashkov, Zhizhemsky, Kozlovsky, Korkodinov, Kropotkin, Porkhovsky, Rzhevsky, Selekhovsky, Solomeretsky and Fominsky.
  • Yaroslavl: Alabyshev, Alenkin, Belsky, Velikogagin, Golygin, Dulov, Deyev, Zhirovy-Zasekin, Zaozersky, Zasekin, Zubaty, Kubensky, Kurbsky, L'vov, Molozhsky, Mortkin, Okhlyabinin, Penkov, Prozorovsky, Sandyrevsky, Siseev, Sitsky, Sontsov, Sontsov-Zasekin, Sudsky, Temnosiny, Troekurov, Ukhorsky, Ushaty,Skulimowski, Khvorostinin, Yukhotsky, Shamin, Shastunov, Shakhovskoy, Shekhonsky, Shumorovsky and Shchetinin.
  • Rostov: Bakhteyarov-Rostovsky, Brity-Rostovsky, Buinosov-Rostovsky, Bychkov-Rostovsky, Gvozdev-Rostovsky, Golenitsin-Rostovsky, Goluby-Rostovsky, Kasatkin-Rostovsky, Katyrev-Rostovsky, Lastkin-Rostovsky, Lobanov-Rostovsky, Priimkov-Rostovsky, Puzhbolsky-Rostovsky, Temkin-Rostovsky, Khokholkov-Rostovsky, Shchepin-Rostovsky and Yanov-Rostovsky.
  • Beloozero: Andomsky, Beloselsky, Vadbolsky, Dyabrinsky, Kargolomsky, Kemsky, Sugorsky, Ukhtomsky and Sheleshpansky.
  • Suzdal: Barbashin, Brukhaty-Shuisky, Glazaty-Shuisky, Gorbaty-Shuisky, Kirdyapin-Shuisky, Nizhegorodsky, Nogtev-Suzdalsky, Skopin-Shuisky and Shuisky.
  • Moscow: Borovsky, Vereisky, Volotsky, Galitsky (Galich of Merya), Mozhaisky, Uglitsky and Shemyakin.
  • Tver: Dorogobuzhsky, Kashinsky, Mikulinsky, Telyatevsky , Kholmsky and Chernyatinsky.

Noble families of Rurik stock

who do not use or lost their princely titles, from princes of

Rurikid Dynasty DNA Project

The Rurikid Dynasty DNA Project seeks to study the male-line Y-chromosomal DNA of modern princely descendants of Rurik, as well as of the Lithuanian ruler Gediminas (Gedymin), in order to establish the ethnic origins of both men, as well as determining the extent to which they may have been related to each other. In addition to modern princely descendants, the project also accepts participation from any men who think they may possibly be descended from either Rurik or Gediminas. The ideal situation would be for the actual bones of these dynasty-founders to be discovered, and to extract their Y-DNA for study. Unfortunately with Gediminas, his body was burned after his death, thereby destroying his DNA; however, it is unknown if Rurik was burned, but there is a burial mound near Novgorod with the name "Shum Gora" (Russian for "Noise Mountain") that is alleged to be Rurik's tomb. Seismic readings of the mound have revealed buried stone structures and artificial cavities. However, the mound has not yet been excavated, due to a lack of funds. Thus, the Rurikid Dynasty DNA Project is doing what is possible under the current situation, until such time as actual bodily remains of Rurik may be found and analyzed. Here is the state of the project, as of March 15, 2010, in the words of the project administrator, Dr. Andrzej Bajor:

"The administrators of this project until 2008 were co-operating with Stepan Kravchenko and Nikita Maximov, who are the Editor-in-Chief and the Scientific Editor of the Russian Newsweek Magazine, respectively. The Russian Newsweek had tested the first two Rurikid princes.

"The first of these two was Prince Dmitri Mikhailovich Shahovskoi of Paris, France, the prominent Professor at the Russian Orthodox Institute, who made the 1st Y-DNA test in the Rurikid dynasty (at the end of 2006). Unexpectedly, he was found to be descended from a Finno-Ugrian background (genetic haplogroup N1c1 - earlier it was described as N3a). The 2nd one was Professor Andrei Petrovich Gagarin of St. Petersburg, Russia. His Y-DNA test result matched that of Prof. Shahovskoi. Professor Gagarin's test was confirmed later by the test of his cousin, Grigori Grigorievich Gagarin. Andrei Gagarin is also the 1st Rurikid prince to have done a Deep Clade N test (this proved that his haplo is, in fact, N1c1); in addition, after he joined the Rurikid Dynasty DNA Project, he also upgraded his test up to 67 markers (FTDNA Co.'s standard).

"Next came Alexandr Solomin. For very many years he has declared that his family was, in fact, a lost branch of the Monastyrev family. The Monastyrevs of Smolensk lost the rights to their princely title as early as the 16th century. Since his Y-DNA test result matched those of Shahovskoi and Gagarin, he became the representative of the 1st family, unknown to genealogists, which proved its princely descent by Y-DNA testing. However, another test done later by Prince Nikolai Rzhevsky of the Smolensk branch showed that Alexandr is not descended from this branch of the Rurikid dynasty. Most probably he is descended from early Rurikids, but not necessarily from the princes of Smolensk.

"The 4th one was Nikita Dmitrievich Lobanov-Rostovsky of Great Britain, whose result matches the remaining three.

"The 5th one (or the 6th one after G.G. Gagarin) was Nikolai Rzhevsky of the Smolensk stock. Shortly thereafter Andrei P. Gagarin he also made his Deep Clade N test to prove his N1c1 haplo.

"These six princes are descended from St. Vladimir Monomakh. Their genetic haplo (N1c1) can be explained like this: the Roslagen seashore (slightly north of Stockholm, Sweden, where Rurik was supposed to have been born) until approx. the 4th/5th centuries A.D., was inhabited mainly by a Finno-Ugrian population. The Norse Vikings and Goths were also living in this region and were mixed with the native Finns. However, Finnish genes survived on the paternal lines. Their test results were later matched and confirmed by the tests done by the following princes from Russia: Putyatin, Kropotkin, Khilkov, Vadbolsky and Myshetsky. Although Prince Kropotkin by all means is a Rurikid, probably he is not descended on the Smolensk branch.

"The other two princes, Volkonsky and Obolensky, who are descended from Oleg Svatoslavovich (grandson of St. Yaroslav Mudry (the Wise)) are genetic Slavs (haplo R1a1). Their test results were later confirmed by a test done by another Prince Volkonsky. It seems that it was probably the king of Poland, Boleslaw II Smialy, who broke the genetic line of the Kievan Rurikoviches. In 1069 he visited Kiev with his troops. However, he escaped from Kiev shortly thereafter. The reason for this was not given by historians. He also visited Kiev in the years 1077/78 (he spent more than one year in Kiev). Their genetic haplos are typical for western Slavs, and especially for the Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) region in Poland, where the Polish royal Piast dynasty established their first princedom. Nevertheless, more explanations may exist, and these are still to be sought for.

"Prince Jakub Maria Puzyna was believed to be descended from Oleg Svatoslavovich of Kiev. However, he is not. Most probably he is not a direct descendant of Rurik. However, he is at least descended from one of Rurik's closest relatives.

"Prince Piotr Szuyski (most probably he is the last Shuyski in the world; his ancestor escaped from Moscow to the Gr. Duchy of Lithuania) was believed to be descended from St. Vladimir Monomakh. However, he is not. He is somehow related by blood with Prince Volkonsky. This puzzle can be solved by Y-DNA tests carried out among the Lyapunov and Shemyakin families (certainly, provided that the Shemyakins are descended from Prince Dmitri Shemyaka).

"By no means is Prince Stanislaw Antoni Czetwertynski a genetic descendant of Rurik. His genetic haplo (I2a2) is typical for the native population of the Ukrainian and Belarusian Polissyia region. This can also mean that Prince Tur(e), who founded the Turov-Pinsk princely dynasty, wasn't at all a genetic descendant of Rurik.

"Currently, it has been discovered that the marker # 41 (DYS 395S1b) may play a considerable role in the genealogy of the Rurikid dynasty. This marker seems to be invariant in a genetic clan. It was found that Princes Gagarin and Puzyna inherited a rare mutation (18) in this marker.

"My private database is here .

"The database also includes Gediminid princes.

"Bogdan Korybut-Woroniecki was found to be descended from a Swedish or Norwegian Viking (genetic haplo I1a). However, experts of the Polish Association of Nobility don't believe that he is a genuine Gediminid prince. In my opinion he is descended from one of the native Lithuanian princes.

"Prince Tonu Trubetsky (he is a famous musician nicknamed Tony Blackplait) is descended from the Gediminid Trubetskoi princes. His family tree since Gedimin is well documented. He was found to be descended from the native Lithuanian population. And this seemed reasonable, since from Stryjkowski's chronicle (end of 16th century) it follows that the early Gediminid princes spoke Lithuanian as their native tongue. Alas, Tonu Trubetsky's branch was broken by someone in the past [Tonu Trubetsky is of the R1a1 haplotype]. Most probably an adoption unknown to historians occurred in this branch of the Trubetsky princes. Besides, this is what the Trubetsky princes wrote in Obshchiy Gerbovnik Rassiyskoi Imperii (Armorial of the Russian Empire, vol. 2, St. Petersburg 1798). That Gedimin was descended from St. Vladimir the Great of Kiev on the Polotsk branch seems to be uncertain from the point of view of true genetics. In spite of the lack of close blood relations between the Rurikids and the Gediminids, one may, however, think of "political" family relations, i.e., that both princely lines were related in another way to each other: namely, in the Suzdal Chronicle (Suzdalskaya Letopis') one can find a text dealing with the siege of Polotsk by St. Vladimir the Great of Kiev. From this it comes out, that ROGNEDA, the future wife of St. Vladimir, as well as mother of his sons, HAD HER OWN SON from her 1st MARRIAGE. It's then quite probable that IZIASLAV VLADIMIROVICH of POLOTSK was, in fact, AN ADOPTED SON of St. Vladimir.

"Prince Askold Georgievich Khovanskii, whose ancestors were genuine Gediminid princes in Russia, is also of Finno-Ugrian descent (N1c1). He matches well with Alex Chartorisky (Czartoryski) of Australia, whose family comes from Russia. They both match well with another Prince Trubecki (Trubetzkoi) of Canada, who, for the time being, doesn't wish to show his Y-DNA test result to the public. Their tests were later confirmed by the tests made by another Trubetzkoy of Russia and Galitzine (Golitsin) of Russia. Their genetic haplos depart from those of the Rurikids. By no means were the Gediminid princes descended from St. Vladimir of Kiev. Currently, it seems that the Gediminids and Rurikids shared a common male ancestor in the time of Jesus Christ, or slightly later.

"Nevertheless, the project is seeking other princes of Gediminid descent, such as Trubecki (Trubetskoi), Golicyn (Galitzine), Chowanski (Khovansky) and Kurakin (Kurakine). Others, such as Czartoryski, Sanguszko and Koriatowicz-Kurcewicz, are rarely met in the world anymore.

"Prince Jerzy Czartoryski of Canada decided to make his Y-DNA test in spite of what historians speculate(d) about the descent of his princely branch. It is believed that his G...Grandmother, Princess Izabela Czartoryska (nee Fleming) had her 1st son with the Rurikid Prince Nikolai Vasilievich Repnin, while it was Armand-Louis de Gontaut-Biron, Duc de Lauzun, who fathered the 2nd son, Konstanty, from whom Prince Jerzy has descended. Prince Jerzy was found to be descended from a Germanic tribe (R1b1). He can still be descended from the French, since the majority of them are of Germanic origin. This is what counts here: that Prince Jerzy inherited the title of Prince, as well as family tradition, from his legitimate ancestors, the Czartoryski princes. On the other hand, however, providing that he is really descended from the Gontaut-Birons, this duly means that he is a genetic descendant of an old French family, having their roots in the 12th century, that may also eventually belong to one of the ruling dynasties (the Merovingians, or the Carolingians)." Metsamies (talk) 14:27, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

See also

External links



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