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The Presidential Library combined past and present of the Plancon family

1 December 2018

The Presidential Library is not only the largest national electronic repository of data on the history of our country, but it also provides unique documents related to individual families.

One of the strong examples of this took place quite recently. An unusual letter from the United States of America was sent to the Presidential Library: “Good afternoon, dear sirs! I have visited the Presidential Library’s website. My grandmother is Yelizaveta Lvovna Plancon. To my amazement and joy, I discovered a huge number of digitized documents belonging to the Plancon family ...".

In the course of further correspondence, the letter's author Natalya Leshkova and her husband Roman Shparber told they live in a small American city in the state of New Jersey, teach children in Russian Sunday schools to read and write in their native language, and at their leisure they do genealogical research.

The Presidential Library reacted immediately. Archival materials dedicated to the Plancon family, previously available only in electronic reading rooms, were promptly published on the institution's portal, becoming accessible to everyone.

This is the case of 1866 on the redemption of land plots by temporarily peasants from a landowner Honorata Frantsevna Grosson in the village of Pustobori in the Slonim district of the Grodno province.

In truth the story of love and family life is worthy of the pages of the novel. In 1812, Antoine Karl Trousson de Rigny came to Russia with Napoleon Bonaparte - a young resident of the French capital, a recent graduate of the University of Paris who retrained in the Guards Dragoons for the time of military operations. But as soon as the future Anton Karlovich crossed the Russian border, he was wounded during one of the battles. As a result, the wounded Frenchman settled in the estate of the local landowner Kretovich and married his daughter Honorata ... Later, Anton Karlovich worked as a French teacher in gymnasiums in several western regions of then-Russia, and then was a lecturer in French at the universities of Kiev and Kharkov.

The Presidential Library’s collections feature a case for assigning a pension to A. K. Plancon. “The lecturer of the Imperial University of Kharkov, the court counselor Anton Plancon, continuing his service in the academic department since 1817, always corrected his duties with due diligence and jealousy, acquired the right to receive his pension for the twenty-five-year service in the academic part of his pension”, - document of 1842 states.

Another case from the Russian State Historical Archive (RGIA), digitized by specialists of the Presidential Library and being in its electronic collections, states that A. K. Plancon accepted the oath of citizenship of Russia: and now a lecturer of the same language at the local [Kharkov] University Plancon... took the oath of allegiance to Russia in Vilna on November 29, 1825, along with other members of the university and the gymnasium".

Electronic collections contain materials related to Anton Karlovich’s son Anton Antonovich Plancon (1824–1914). The latter created books The Last Word on the Polish Question in Russia (1868), A Few Words about Agriculture in Russia (1865), On the Nobility in Russia: The Current Situation of the Question (1893), Epistle to the Nobles of Central Russia (1897), “Estates in ancient and modern Russia, their position and needs” (1899), and also “Complete collection of new laws and regulations on hiring workers for rural work, for factories and for factories” (1886), available on the Presidential Library’s portal. These documents say that Anton Antonovich was a very prolific publicist, wrote a lot on pressing social issues and was not afraid to express his own point of view.

The children of A. A. Plancon, many of whom have made a good career and gained fame are of interest. He had seven sons and one daughter. The son Konstantin Antonovich (1861–1921) became a vice-admiral, participated in marine scientific expeditions in the Baltic and in the Pacific Ocean, and even visited the Maklay Coast together with N. N. Miklukho-Maklay in 1880. A brief historical sketch of the hydrography of the Russian seas is available on the website of the Presidential Library, one of whose co-authors is K. A. Plancon.

Another bearer of this family, Vladimir Antonovich (1871–1950), became a famous architect, built a number of famous buildings in Vladivostok. Victor Antonovich (1860 - after 1930) became a well-known lawyer and head of the legal department of the Russian Society for the Protection of Women.

But perhaps the most interesting is the biography of a Russian diplomat and full member of the Russian Geographical Society Georgy Antonovich Plancon (1859–1937). He was the ambassador in Siam (modern Thailand), the consul general in Seoul, the head of the diplomatic office of the governor in the Far East, and also a collector of the collection of Siamese sculpture, which for some time was kept in the State Russian Museum, then entered the Hermitage.

Moreover, the history of Plancon family is not the only example when the Presidential Library “bridges” people and allows readers to learn more about their own roots with the help of materials from their electronic fund. So, in October of this year, our reader, a descendant of the Ogreshnikov merchant family from the city of Plyos (now in Ivanovo Region), found on the library’s portal materials about their ancestors: about approval in this rank".

Electronic copies of these documents are available in the reading rooms of the Presidential Library throughout the country and abroad. Our reader visited the regional center of the Presidential Library in Yekaterinburg. Search and share your stories and interesting finds from our electronic collections!