Nabokov Family Web

July 2000                                                                                           »

Revision and add-ons through February 2015

by Dieter E. Zimmer

Wedding Photo 



»Home Card

(Vladimir Nabokov)




»List of Surnames


Nabokov Coat of Arms

"I have now looked up that blazon, and am disappointed to find that it boils down to a couple of lions ... licking their chops, rampant, regardant, arrogantly demonstrating the unfortunate knight's shield, which is only one sixteenth of a checkerboard, of alternate tinctures, azure & gules, with a botonée cross, argent, in each rectangle. Above it one sees what remains of the knight: his tough helmet and inedible gorget, as well as one brave arm coming out of a foliate ornament, gules and azure, and still brandishing a short sword. Za hrabrost', 'for valour,' says the scripture."

– Vladimir Nabokov on the Nabokovs' coat of arms,
Speak, Memory, p.51


Visualizing genealogy is a notorious problem. The Nabokov Family Web comprises 475 individuals from nineteen generations on 212 family cards. As as a ramified structure it is so large that with all the information it contains it could not be visualized graphically even on a very wide piece of paper, let alone on a monitor screen. So the user will have to "walk through" its 212 "cards" (technically, HTML pages) of "kernel families," each one variously linked to parents and offspring, either starting with Vladimir Nabokov on the Home Card or with any of the names in the two indexes and then clicking her or his way up, down or sideways from card to card.

To facilitate a larger overview of relationships, seven graphic family trees have been generated by a genealogical software (Daub Ages! v2.04) from a database of names and life dates, each showing different (but partly overlapping) sections of the unfeasible complete tree. Though it has not even half of all the names, the biggest of these still would have a full canvas size of 3 × 1 metres and has to be scaled down to 10% to fit into a wide computer screen. To make it at all legible, it has to be enlarged at least to 50%, meaning that only part of it will be visible at a time.

Family Trees

tree   »#1 Forebears: Ancestors of Dmitri Nabokov - 58 persons

»#2 The Nabokovs: Consanguine relatives of VN's grandfather Dmitri Nikolaevich Nabokov and their spouses - 203 persons


»#3 Korff: Ancestors and descendants of VN's grandmother Maria Eduardovna Baroness Korff and their spouses – 178 persons


»#4 Nicolas: Ancestors and descendants of Nicolas (Nikolai Dmitrievich) Nabokov – 76 persons


»#5 Falz-Fein: Consanguine relatives of Lidia Eduardovna von Peucker née Falz-Fein and their spouses – 77 persons


»#6 Sayn-Wittgenstein: Consanguine relatives of Prince Heinrich (Genrikh) Sayn-Wittgenstein and their spouses – 47 persons


»#7 Rausch von Traubenberg: Descendants of Alexander Rausch von Traubenberg – 29 persons


The main source for this genealogical Web has been, of course, Les Nabokov: Essai généalogique by Jacques Ferrand. His invaluable study has been supplemented by various other sources, some of them rather recondite. Some of the recent additions come from Internet genealogies. Whenever there was conflicting information, the source that had the most detail or authority or whose author presumably had had access to family papers was preferred. Some further information, mostly of a recent kind, has come from members of the family whom I wish to thank for their contributions.

Corrections and additions are welcome.

Books by Vladimir Nabokov cited on the cards
("SM 91" meaning Speak, Memory, page 91)

Letters to Véra (LtVé). London: Penguin, 2014

Selected Letters 1940 - 1977 (SL). San Diego CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989

Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited (SM). New York: Putnam/ Perigree Books, 1966


Principal sources

Boyd, Brian: Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years. Princeton, NJ (Princeton University Press) 1990

Boyd, Brian: Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years. Princeton, NJ (Princeton University Press) 1990

Ferrand, Jacques: Les familles princières de l'ancien empire de Russie (en émigration en 1978). Montreuil (Jacques Ferrand) 1979-1980

Ferrand, Jacques / Serge Nabokov: Les Nabokov: Essai généalogique. Montreuil (Jacques Ferrand) 1982

Genealogisches Handbuch der fürstlichen Häuser, Band 1, Band 15. Glücksburg (Starke) 1951, 1997

Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels: Freiherrliche Häuser A, Band 6. Limburg (Starke) 1966

GENi at https://www.geni.com/

Gothaisches genealogisches Taschenbuch der freiherrlichen Häuser. Gotha (Perthes) 1857, 1861, 1863, 1877

Grossman, Lev: "The gay Nabokov." http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2000/05/17/nabokov/index.html

Hartung, Bernhard: Die Buchdruckerfamilie Hartung. Königsberg (Sonderdruck der Königsberger Hartungschen Zeitung) Sommer 1913

Heiss, Lisa: Askania-Nova - Animal Paradise in Russia. London: Bodley Head, 1970

Ikonnikov, Nicolas: La noblesse de Russie. Paris 1934 ff.

Kitzig, Berthold: Carl Heinrich Graun. Mitteldeutsche Lebensbilder, Band 4, Magdeburg (Historische Kommission) 1929

Mennicke, Carl: "Zur Biographie der Brüder Graun". Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (Leipzig), Jg.71, Bd.100, Nr.8, 1904, S.129-131

Nabokovskii vestnik, Vypusk 2: Nabokov v rodstvennom okruzhenii. St.Petersburg (Dorn) 1998

v. Olfers, Margarete: Elisabeth von Staegemann: Lebensbild einer deutschen Frau 1761-1835. Leipzig (Koehler & Amelang) 1937

Schiff, Stacy: Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov). New York (Random House) 1999


Memoirs by members of the Nabokov family

Falz-Fein, Woldemar von: Askania Nova - Das Tierparadies. Neudamm: Neumann, 1930. Askania Nova. Kiev: Akhrana Nauka, 1997

Nabokoff, C. (= Konstantin Dmitrievich Nabokov): The Ordeal of a Diplomat. London: Duckworth, 1921 and 1929

Nabokov, Nicolas: Old Friends and New Music. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1951

Nabokov, Nicolas: Bagazh: Reminiscences of a Russian Cosmopolitan. New York: Atheneum, 1975

Nabokov, Serge (= Sergei Sergeevich Nabokov): "Profils." In Jacques Ferrand (1982), q.v., p.77-106

Nabokoff, Wladimir Dmitriewitsch: Arkhiv russkoi revolyutsii, vol. 1, Berlin 1922, p.9-96. Petrograd 1917 - Der kurze Sommer der Revolution. Berlin: Rowohlt, 1992

Memoirs by Vera Pihatcheff née Nabokoff (7 Red Years). Rowsley: Bibliophila Library, 1935

Als unsere Welt unterging - Tagebuch der Prinzessin Katherina Sayn-Wittgenstein aus den Tagen der Russischen Revolution. Berlin: Siedler, 1984. La fin de ma Russie - Journal 1914-1919. Montricher: Noir sur Blanc, 1990

Wonlar-Larsky, Nadine: The Russia that I Loved. London: MacSwinney, 1937



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