Post by Lisa Davidson
The Beckendorffs are one of many Baltic German families who served the tsars in
Imperial Russia. It is very likely to two Beckendorffs were related. These
families worked for the tsars and also intermarried with one another. The Count
B. who served Nicholas II, for example, had a Schilling von Canstatt mother
(just as I have an SVC grandmother and Grant M various SVC ancestors).
But, to answer your question, I don't know of any particular web sites that
would be helpful in researching this family. I know the SVC's have a family
union, and perhaps the Beckendorffs do, too?
Happy New Year!
The Benckendorff's genealogy (the c is optional, while any variants
omitting the n seem to be due to faulty transliteration) is in Frank
Baron Freytag von Loringhoven (ed.), Europäische Stammtafeln, 2nd ed.,
vol.IV, 98, Marburg 1968. Christoph v. Benckendorff (1749-1823), the
son of a Russian Lieut.-Gen. and of the governess of Alexander I,
married Anna Juliane Freiin (i.e. Baroness) Schilling v. Cannstatt
(1744-1797) in 1780; she came from a well-known Württemberg (i.e.
South-West-German, not Baltic) family and had been appointed a maid of
honour to the future Russian Empress Marie (born pcss. Sophie
Doroithea of Württemberg) because her cousin, Countess Franziska v.
Hohenheim (divorced Baroness Leutrum v. Ertingen, née Bernerdin v.
Pernthurn) was the morganatic wife of the princess' uncle, ruling Duke
Carl Eugen of Württemberg. All future Russian Benkendorffs are
descended from this couple's two sons Alexander (1781-1844, made a
count in 1832 and head of the imperial secret service) and Konstantin
(1787-1828), whilst their daughter Dorothea (1783-1857) was the famous
princess Lieven, Metternich's close friend and wife to the Russian
ambassador at London. Since Alexander only left daughters (countess
Apponyi [whose husband was Austrian ambasador to London and whsoe
daughter later became pcss. Borghese], pcss. Volkonskaya and pcss.
Kotchoubey), his brother's line alone remained. Konstantin's only son
Konstantin (1817-1878) was made a count with his uncle in 1832, became
a Russian Maj.-Gen. and married pcss. Johanna of Croy (ex matre
Salm-Salm,1825-1890) in 1848; his daughters pcss. Hatzfeldt and
marchesa Giuccioli both married foreign diplomats, his son Paul
(1854-1928, married s.p. to pcss. M.S. Dolgorukaya) was a Russian
General of Cavalry and Oberhofmarschall (roughly equivalent to
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household) and his elder son Alexander
(1849-1916) died as Russian ambassador to London; from his marriage to
countess S.P. Shouvalova, he had two sons Konstantin (b.1880,
apparently the last of his line and unmarried?), Peter (b.1882, killed
in action in 1915 and married s.p. to J.D. Narishkina) as well as a
daughter Natalia (1886-1968), who in 1911 married the Hon. Sir
Nicholas Ridley and left issue (cf Burke's Peerage, 1970 ed., p.2264).
Best wishes (and greetings to all those Schilling von Canstatt
descendants from another expatriate Württemberger),