Monday, February 9, 2009

The Princes Kudachev (Koudacheff)

The following text has kindly been provided by Marion Scheinberger-Koudacheff.

There are two branches of this family, one which remained Muslim and the other one, which converted to the Christian faith in the beginning of the 17th century, since it was obligatory to take up the orthodox faith in order to be admitted to the Russian nobility by Czar Boris Godunov. Our ancestor Kudach Murza took the precaution to only convert his first three sons.

According to old Russian archives our ancestor KUDACH MORZA (murza being a tatar title equivalent to prince) was given land by Czar Boris Godunov, in the region of Temnikov (Tambovsk gubemija) and its wealth came from the cultivation of bees (bee-hives), Bees are still part of the coat of arms of the region of Ternnikov and Tambovsk.

1. His son Murza TCHEPAI is registered in the 5th part of the Pensenskii Nobility Register as well as in the 6th part of the Pensenski and Kiev Nobility Register, It is known that Prince Tchepai Murza took part in the siege of Moscow in 1618, In 1621 he owned land in Kussenova, Schatzk. In the official registrary of land property of Schatzk dating back to the year 1649 he was called "Knjaz"- Prince.

2. His son Prince Basil - Vassilii ( before baptism Alei), was Stolnik of tsar Alex Mikhailovitch (stolnik signifies that he was responsible for the wine of the tsar as well as for his household, it was a position of great trust). According to official documents, he received in compensation for his services the big village of Rakovo in the district of Schatsk and he owned in 1668 the villages of Itiakovo (district Temnikov) and Rakovo (district Schatzk)

3. His son, Prince Ivan Vassiljevitch was also Stolnik of the Tsar in 1690. His second name was Uraz (probable still Muslim origin). One of his daughters, Princess Evdokia Vassilievna was called Daria and is cited to have owned properties and land in Schatzk and in Ternnikov, She was married to Vassilii Sergeievitch Viacheslavtzev who was landowner in 1693 in Schatzk. Temnikov and in Pereiaslav-Zalessky,

4. His son Prince Ivan Ivanovitch is our ancestor.

5. His son Prince Danilo Ivanovitch, 1760-1845 had the military rank of a Colonel. He left the property of his ancestors "Rakovo" to his uncle Prince Fedor Ivanovitch. He had another official function "chamberlain".

He was married to Princess Ekatenna Sergewa BARATOV, (1764 or  1762-1847) is buried in Kiev in the Lavra Petcherskaia, at the wall of the Kresto-Vozdvijenskii monastery after having taken the veil under the name of Efrosinja following her husband's death. She was a Georgian princess whose name was Baratashvili - from eastern Georgia. She became Mother Superior of a convent.

6. He had two sons:
1. Prince Nikolai Danilovitch, born in 1786-1813, Major General who was married to a daughter of Kutuzov, Katherina Mikhailovna Golenitchaeva-Kutuzova.

He fought against Napoleon and was wounded in the battle of Leipzig in 1812 and died in 1813 of his wounds. He is buried in a church in Leipzig. His portrait is in the Hermitage in the military section Hall of the Field Marshals, his portrait is placed between that of Tsar Alexander I and Kutuzov. He had no children.

7. His brother Prince Sergei Danilovitch is our ancestor, 1795-1862 (1869), he was a royal chamberlain and state counselor of the governor of Kiev and later on governor of Kiev himself. He is buried in Kiev at the Lavra Petcherskaia monastery, at the wall of the Kresto-Vozdvijenskii church. He was married to Countess Mathilde Choiseul-Gouffier, 1806-1867. He donated this church and land to the monastery and the monks still take care of his grave and are writing a book on his life.

Countess Mathilde Choiseul-Gouffier was born in Russia, her father Count Octave was the eldest son of Count Marie-Gabriel~Florent-August Choiseul-Gouffier who came from a long line of French nobility which had played important roles in French history. At the time of the French Revolution he was Ambassador of France in Turkey and took refuge at the court of Katherine the Great and became her counselor. ( see chapter Choiseul-Gouffier). His son founded the Russian branch of the family and married countess Victoria Potocki, whose father count Felix-Stanislas Potocki had also sought refuge at the court of Katherine after the
second partition of Poland. Their daughter Mathilde married Prince Sergei Danilovitch Kudashev. They had 10 children, one of them being my great-great grandfather Vladimir.

8. Her son Vladimir Sergeevitch, 1833-1871 is our ancestor (my great-great grandfather). His sister Alexandra was the mother of the philosopher Berdyaev.

His wife was Olga, nee Khorvat, born in 1840.

9. Their son was Vladimir Vladimirovitch, 1866-1922, his wife was Nina Nicolaevna Masanova. He was President of the Nobility of the gubemija of Voline. They had three sons, Vladimir( my grandfather) George and Evgenii. They divorced and my great grandmother fled with her 2 younger sons to Serbia.

10. Their son was Vladimir Vladimirovitch, (26.12.1891-23.2.1957)
Captain of the Cavalier- Guard Regiment of her Imperial Highness Alexsandra Theodorovna (he was my grandfather and married Fanny Carlovna, Baroness Standertskjoeld

11. Their daughters were Tatiana and Irina.

After the Russian Revolution the Kudashev fled to France, my grandmother Fanni with her 2 daughters Irina and Tatiana, her husband Vladimir followed later, he was fighting against the Communists. They settled in Nice, where my great -grandparents Standertskjoeld had properties; soon my grandparents divorced and my grandfather emigrated to New York, USA. His mother and 2 of his brothers had left Russia via land and had to Belgrad??. I found traces of his youngest brother George, who was an engineer and had married a Slovenian women. They had a son Raphael (born in1933 and who died as a young man in his late twenties. I visited their grave near Celje, Slovenija.

During the early 20th century other branches, descending from Sergei Danilovitch Kudashev had produced a number of diplomats, accredited all over Europe and the USA and China:
1. Prince Ivan Alexandrovitch (1859 - 1933) married to Countess Olga Carlovna Tholl, born 1861, he was the uncle of my grandfather.

1901-1906 Residing Minister in Darmstadt (Hessen - Germany)
1906-1910 Minister in Denmark
1910-1916 Ambassador in Belgium
1916-1918 Ambassador in Spain (see picture dedicated by him to his nephew Prince Vladimir V. Koudacheff - my grandfather)

2. Nicolai Alexandrovitch Koudacheff was ambassador to China and brother of Prince Ivan Alexandrovitch.

When I was In Russia in 1988 working with JCR (International Committee of the Red Cross) I was told by a journalist that one descendant of the Kudashev, also going back to Sergei Danilovitch Kudashev had stayed in Russia after Revolution, Sergei Sergeevitch. While his mother Princess Maria Koudacheff, by her first marriage to Prince Sergei Koudacheff (married the writer Romain Rolland and moved to Switzerland, her son had remained with his grandmother in the USSR. He married at the age of 18 a young ballerina by the name of Tania/Tatiana and died in 1941 as a young student defending Moscow against the Germans. (see newspaper article of Ella Maksimova) His mother Maria - Masha- was the illegitimate daughter of the French governess living with the Koudacheff in St. Petersburg. Her father was a Russian nobleman who never recognized her. During the Revolution she fled with her husband, a young Prince Koudacheff, to France who died there from, typhoid fever, she herself was a writer and poetess.

The nobility of the Princes Kudacheff/Kudashev has been confirmed by various Senatorial Decrees of January 15, November 9 1823, June 29 and September 301825, July 5, 1852, June 17 1854, May 30 1861, November 1861, April 1885, July 1889 and April 1890 and they are registered in the VI Nobility Register (6th book of nobility).


  1. I'm most interested to read this, we are in fact related. My mother was Sophie Kudasheva, daughter of Alexei Aleksandrovich K, son of Alexander Sergeievich, son of Sergei Danilovich 1795-1862, married to Mathilde Josephina Ekaterina Choiseul-Gauffier. Their daughter married A.M Berdiaev, and the philosopher was their son (I've just read his wife's diary. very interesting indeed).
    My maternal grandmother was Maria Gorchakova, granddaughter of the Imperial Chancellor.
    Do get in touch!
    Your distant cousin Kitty
    (christened Katerina and called Kitty after my mother's favourite aunt Kitty K., sister of Vanya and Nicholas, both ambassadors).

  2. Marion Scheinberger-KoudacheffJuly 11, 2010 at 3:25 AM

    Please get in touch, only saw your comment today, almost a year later 7/11/2010

  3. Hello,
    My grandfather was Vladimir Kudashev. He lived and died in St. Petersburg (Leningrad). He was a military general. I was told that 2 or 3 of his brothers left Russia, but not sure where to.

  4. Hello, very interesting to find this site. I was looking a lot in internet, but very few information found. I come from little town in Ukraine, which in past was a little village called Koudashevo, which was given as a present to the family, and where there is still a Residence of Koudachev. This Residence was a home place of Alexandre Koudachev, who became a constructor (looks like another branch than a one described above). He was born in this town (contrary to what is said in wikepedia). But we know little about his place of death. Since I currently live in Paris I started looking for the information in order to find his grave. And found this site. May be some of you have some interesting information about Alexandre Sergeevitch or his son Sergei Sergeevitch, it will be very much acknowledged. Svitlana.