Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by CaroleF, Apr 3, 2016.
So 'tis, my chook, so 'tis!!!
Yes, of course I will
A possible lead on Thaissa's father - an article in French (Google can translate if needed):
About 2/3 of the way down the first page there's a reference to Viktor Sokira-Yakhontov, who appears to be a leader of a resistance group. I'm very hazy on the historical situation, but it may be something like the Galician brigade, and possibly Ukrainian rather than Russian.
Thank you for your interest and the link, Arthur. I have been doing my own research on Thaissa's father and boy am I confused! I'm even beginning to think there might have been two 'military' men with the same name.
There is a Viktor Sokira-Yakhontov (modern transliteration) here in Russian (Google can translate)
I have more documentary evidence for this man too. Mostly - from Ancestry -relating to his residence in the USA, his naturalisation, travels to Europe etc. Also other references to the books he wrote etc etc. This man was clearly sympathetic to the Boshevik régime, but I have yet to find out precisely where he was in 1920
BUT I have also found someone with the same name who was Mayor (possibly Governor - the term seems to be uncertain/interchangeable at times) of Odessa and in the hands of the Whites for a brief period(brief periods even) in 1920. At least that's my understanding.
This man seems to me to 'fit' better with Thaissa being in Constantinople and your link seems to (probably??) be this same man. Trouble is my French isn't good enough to read the original and Google's translation has me a bit confused and furthermore I need to understand the Civil War in the south better than I do at the moment.
I know that Thaissa was born in Brest Litovsk in 1898 (both from her marriage certificate and from the papers I have from my Australian friend relating to her divorce from Barter). If that's the case then the *first* Viktor S-Y was only 17 when she was born. Doubtful?? Was she illegitimate??
Gosh - my head aches!
I've been struggling too, but I think you're probably right about there being two of them. (Or more???)
This one was born in Warsaw in 1881, but as you say, he'd only have been about 17 when Thaissa was born. Looking at the links on that page, in 1917 he graduated from the 1st Cadet Corps (where? St Petersburg???), and was then in the Pavolovsk Military School (St Petersburg), so could he have fathered a daughter who was born in Brest Litovsk?
I think Google came up with a few people of that surname currently in the USA.
I think this is definitely a different chap: the Warsaw/St Petersburg one's father was Alexander (hence patronymic Alexandrovich), and this one is listed with Nikolaevich.
Maybe the question is who would be more likely to have a daughter in Brest-Litovsk in 1898: a 17-year old officer cadet born in Warsaw (though apparently Russian), or a later mayor of Odessa? Thaissa's marriage certificate describes her as "native of Russia" (which Brest was in 1898), though it was briefly in Ukraine around 1920 (acc. Wikipedia). But would any of this rule out her father (if Russian?) being mayor of Odessa?
I wonder - how do you trace historic birth records in modern Belarus?
Don't have the time to reply properly right now - but YES. There were TWO Major Generals in this period with virtually the same name.
Sokira-Yahontov, Viktor Nikolaevich (1874-1929) - Major General
Sokira-Yahontov, Victor Alexandrovich (1881-1978) - Major General, Deputy Minister of War (until October 1917), the military agent in Japan
The second is the one who I initially thought was Thaissa's father, but I now think that *very* unlikely, in large part - though not solely - because of his age (17) when Thaissa was born.
Currently have not found anything out about the first one - other than that I rather think he was Commander of the Ukrainian Galician Army in the Gori 202th Infantry Regiment (corroborates what Arthur has said in post#43)
Not used to these Russian Patronymics (though in theory I know about them) which is why I totally failed to take note initially of the different ones for the two Viktors. Thanks for pointing it out, Arthur.
Engage the services of a professional genealogist there? (almost certainly out of the question for my pocket)
Any ideas gratefully accepted!
One of our linked sites is Genealogy Addicts Anonymous, which is a Facebook page. I have now posted a link to this query on their page to see if anyone is able to help.
My last comment, about how to research in Belarus, was written in a bit of a hurry, and then I had a day off to visit WDYTYA, but I'm back again now.
In another thread I mentioned Cyndi's List:
and that's probably a good starting point, though there doesn't seem to be anything specifically on Belarus. However, two of the links did look possibly useful:
The first is mostly in Russian, though there's a limited English section linked to from low down the page on the right. The second one is in English, and the links at the top (which I didn't follow) look as though they could be useful.
And it gets better - info and advice at FamilySearch:
and some advice in English from the Belarus national archives:
I think you might have a busy weekend (or evening, at least)
I sha'n't have time to follow up these links for several days, Arthur, but I am really grateful to you for finding them for me. I appreciate the interest you are taking in my research.
Hope you had a good time at WDYTYA. I must try to go myself one year.
I now have TWO translations of the marriage certificate - one from 'my' Russian Orthodox priest and the other from a young academic Historian fluent in Russian and with a particular interest in Russian emigrés in Constantinople!
I post below what this young man has said since it is the fuller translation and explanation. I have found the background information and context he has provided particularly interesting:
Title bar: Extract from the second part of the registry (1), relating to marriages in 1920.
First column (counting from left): Number of weddings: 45 (2)
Second column: Month and day: 30 August / 12 September 1920 (3)
Third column: Rank, name, patronymic, surname and confession of the groom, and which marriage (4): Lieutenant in the English armed forces, Barter William Faithorn, Presbyterian, first marriage.
Fourth column: Age of groom: 28
Fifth column: Rank, name, patronymic, surname and confession of the bride, and which marriage: Russian citizen, daughter of Major-General Sokira-Yakhontov(5), Thaissa Sokhoira-Yakhontoff, Russian Orthodox, first marriage.
Sixth column: Age of bride: 22
Seventh column: Who administered the sacrament: Protoiereus Pavel Voronov (6)
Eighth column: Witnesses: Lieutenant Rudolph / Rudolf Rettino, Nobleman (7) Ilarion Sergeyevich Petrov
Higher stamp: Orthodox Russian Consular Church of Constantinople (8) [signed as Protoiereus Pavel Voronov]
Lower stamp: Consular Branch of the Russian Diplomatic Mission in Constantinople (9). No. 2684. The Consular Branch of the Russian Diplomatic Mission in Constantinople, by the application of this state seal, testifies to the authenticity of the signature of the above-named Protoiereus Pavel Voronov, and equally to that of the stamp of the Tula Consular Church in Constantinople. Constantinople, 24 May 1921. [signed illegible]
(1) The term 'registry' here is a translation of the Russian metricheskaya kniga, which roughly translates as 'parish book' or 'register' in a religious sense. As this Russian language article explains
, they were used from the time of Peter the Great's reforms in the early 18th century until the Bolshevik Revolution, and divided into three parts: the first for births, the second for marriages, the third for deaths. This picture of a metricheskaya kniga from Tver in 1903 (taken from the same Wikipedia article), as you will see, is strikingly similar in layout:
The headings are identical. Your marriage certificate is evidence of the old order surviving in Constantinople even after the collapse of Tsarist Russia (as it dates from late 1920).
(2) This was the 45th wedding to be recorded in the metricheskaya kniga in 1920.
(3) I am not sure why two dates are recorded for this wedding - in the other examples of registers that I have seen one date is normally given. (I rather think that the two dates reflect the 'old' and 'new' dates following the Bolshevik calendar reform)
(4) You were required to state in this column whether this was your first or a subsequent marriage.
(5) I have followed your transcription of the daughter's name, but have used Sokira-Yakhontov for the Major-General, which is more in line with modern transcription practice. Viktor Aleksandrovich Sokira-Yakhontov was a fascinating man. (He then goes on to outline what he has found out. However he lept to the same conclusion that I initially did and was, at the time he wrote, unaware of the existence of Viktor Nikolaevich Sokira Yakhantov who I am now convinced was Thaissa's father)
(6) Pavel Voronov has two titles here: Nastoyatel' (настоятель) and Protoierei (протоиерей), which translate as 'senior priest' / 'abbot' / 'dean' and 'archpriest' / 'protopope' respectively, and give him the rank of a senior figure within a religious organisation.
(7) The term used is Dvoryanin (дворянин), which could be any rank of the aristocracy.
(8) I can't make out all of the words around the edge of the stamp here. I am sure of "...Russian...Church of Constantinople", and the other words are educated guesses based on what else is visible.
(9) The image on the seal is the image of the double-headed eagle, a symbol of imperial Russia - another indicator that this was a White Russian community preserving elements of pre-Bolshevik Russia in exile even after the Revolution.
SO.....the original translation that I posted earlier and the work of members here, particularly Arthur, are all shown to be the same/very much the same. That in itself is very useful to me; thank you!
So pleased for you Carol
I have said above that I am now convinced that Viktor Nikolaevich Sokira Yakhantov was Thaissa's father. There are a number of reasons for this, but primarily it's because the Australian lady I mentioned earlier in this thread and I figured out that Barter and Thaissa's elder son (the one born in Constantinople) had a son who was probably still alive in Australia - and HE IS! She has been in touch with him and unfortunately he was not aware of some of the circumstances surrounding Barter and Thaissa's divorce - which I think has been a bit of shock to him. However, quite independently, he has said that Thaissa's father was Mayor of Odessa so I think that clinches it. We are rather hoping that he will eventually be willing/able to tell us more.
Meanwhile I have been finding out what I can about Viktor Nikolaevich. There is quite a lot online mostly in Russian and I often struggle to make sense of what Google translate is saying. Suffice it to say here that some sources don't seem very reliable to me, but all seem to agree that he was in Odessa in 1920. He seems to have fallen foul of Stalin later (I wonder if Thaissa ever knew?); some reports say he was sent to a concentration camp (gulag?) and/or shot, others that he died in a military hospital. The date seems a bit uncertain too, but possibly 1929. Unfortunately nothing I have seen so far says anything about a marriage or child/children.
I haven't spent much time yet in attempting to follow up the leads suggested earlier in the thread to track down Thaissa's birth, though what I have seen so far doesn't seem very helpful where her birthplace of Brest Litovsk is concerned - there are *huge* gaps in the records available online. My one (possible) hope is that in the divorce papers the name Periopelkin is used in connection with her and I'm guessing that might have been her mother's family name. No luck with that either so far though.
Ah well .... one day may be?
Very pleased to see you've made progress on this - and found a rellie too!
Dear Carol, I can confirm all that you have found out so far and furthermore I have traced 'our' General's family in Khabarovsk and the USA and made contact with them. My grandma (Betty Faithorn) was Barter's cousin and his son Alan and wife Elsie used to visit us in Solihull. You might be interested in putting this page through google translate:-
Vsevolod was Viktor Nikoolaevich's son and his story is remarkable. I have made an account with this web site just to respond to your query but do not normally log onto it. You can find me on Facebook or e-mail me at paul(DOT)catchpole1955(AT)hotmail(DOT)co(DOT)uk
I have been writing a book of the Faithorn family 1817 to 2017 but still have some gaps, particularly in establishing who Taisa's mother was - they lost contact on the way from Odessa and never met again. The Australian family knew nothing of V N S-Y's survival (till 1937) or about the rest of the family in the USSR and the Russian family knew nothing of the Australians. With best regards, Paul Catchpole.
Email munged to prevent spammers - Chimp
Oh my word! This is amazing. I knew someone in the UK was also researching this branch of the Faithorn family, but wasn't sure who it was. You're June's son, aren't you? Your grandma, Betty, (who I met once in Taunton many years ago) was the elder sister of my husband's (Brian) father, Howard - the youngest of Betty's three brothers. I didn't realise that Alan and Elsie had visited the UK after they married (?), though I knew Alan had been to England in 1956 not long after Barter died. My husband remembers that.
Thank you so much for getting in touch and for all the info you have sent via private message. Certainly the info about Viktor Nikolaevich's son was all new to me (what an amazing story), though I think I'd found pretty much everything on V N S-Y ....... and also I had no idea that Thaissa had a sister.
I guess it's probably best if our further discussion is taken off line, so I will email you once I have got my head round all the new information. (There are too many Paul Catchpoles on FB to be sure which one is you!)
Thank you *so* much for replying. It's made my day
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