Wednesday, February 4, 2009

General Abraham Hannibal, General Ivan Hannibal, Alexander S. Pushkin and Descandants




I have left the best for last. As I have presented in the last four parts, the stories of Abraham and his descendants are very remarkable. It even gets amazing. Get hold of a glass of water for the ride. Before you read this article, you probably have wondered what the title of this article (in five parts), “From the Eritrean Camel, to the Russian Double-Headed Eagle, to the British Lion..” is all about. By now, at least,” From the Eritrean Camel, to the Russian Double-Headed Eagle” part should be clear. So, what is the British Lion (symbol of British royalty) via the German Lion (Symbol of the Ducal House of Nassau) is all about? This is the rest of the story.

Pushkin’s Second Generation (Abraham’s Fifth Generation)

As I have already mentioned earlier, Alexander S. Pushkin and Natalia Gonchorova had four children. From the oldest to the youngest were : 1. Maria (1832-1919) 2. Alexander (1833- 1914) 3. Gregory (1835-1905) and 4. Natalia (1836-1913).

1. Maria married Gartug in 1860.

2. Alexander married his first wife, Sofia Alza Linskina in 1858 and had eleven children. They were, Natalia, Sofia, Maria, Alex, Olga, Anna, Gregory Peter, Nadjeda , Vera and Sergei. Alexander married his second wife Maria Alexievna Vallava in 1883 and had two children. And they were Nicholai and Elena.

3. Gregory married Barbara A. Melnikava in 1883 and had Polina, Nina and Yevlalia.

4. Natalia (pictured below was the connection for this part of the story).
Natalia married Prince Nicholas of Nassau (a German prince) in 1868. Since the marriage was considered unequal because Natalia was not of royal blood, a new morgantic title was created for her and her children. The title was created for her by Furst Georg III and acknowledged by H.I.M. King Wilhelm of Prussia (Genealogy of the Imperial Family of Russia). As a result of the morgantic marriage, Natalia became Countess of Merenberg. (Note: There were many morgantic marriages earlier, however, today it is a common practice. For example, Prince Andrew’s marriage to Sara --Duchess of York etc.) Based on this practice, the children of the marriage were also accorded the same title. Therefore, the three children of Natalia and Nicholas of Nassau, became:

A. Countess Sofia Von Merenberg (1868-1927)

B. Countess Alexandrine Von Merenberg (1869-1950) and

C. Count George Von Merenberg (1871-1948)

Pushkin’s Third Generation (Abraham’s Sixth Generation)

A. Countess Sofia Von Merenberg (pictured on the left) married H.I.H Mikhael Mihailovich Romanov in 1891. (Note: Grand Duke Mikhael Mihailovich was the grandson of Czar Nicholas I and the brother of the last Czar of Russia, Czar Nicholas II. If you recall, it was Czar Nicholas I who informed Pushkin that he (the Czar) would be his censor. It is ironic that the descendants of Czar Nicholas I and Pushkin would marry each other. In other words, Czar Nicholas I and Pushkin after their death had become grand parent -in-laws.) Because of the morgantic nature of this union, a new title was created for Countess Sofia Von Merenberg and her children. The created title was Countess De Torby. And the title was created by H.R.H. Grand Duke Adolphe I of Luxembourg (Genealogy of the Imperial Family of Russia). The children were :

A1. Countess Anastasia De Torby, Zia (1892-1977)
A2. Countess Nadejda De Torby, Nada (1896-1963)
A3. Count Michael De Torby (1898-1959)

B. Countess Alexandrine Von Merenberg married Massim De Elia in 1914.

C. Count George Von Merenberg married his first wife H.H. Princess Olga Yourevsky Romanov (daughter of Czar Alexander II) in 1895. (Both pictured on the left). They had three children and they were:

C1. Count Alexander Von Merenberg (1896-1897)
C2. Count Georg Michael Von Merenberg (1897-1965) and
C3. Countess Olga Von Merenberg (1898-1983).

(Note: Grand Duke William of Luxembourg, who was the uncle of the Von Merenbergs, faced a choice as to who should succeed him. The choice was between George, Count of Merenberg and abrogation of the Sallic Law, which excluded female succession. The Luxembourg Parliament chose the latter allowing Charlotte to claim as Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. (Pushkin Genealogy). Racism Ala royalty. Count George Von Merenberg married his second wife Adelheid (Ada) Brambeer in 1930)

Pushkin’s Fourth Generation (Abraham’s 7th Generation)

A1 Countess Anastasia De Torby(Zia) married her husband Sir Harold Wernher (baronet) in 1917. (pictured below). (Note: At the time of their marriage, Sir Harold Wernher was considered to be the wealthiest bachelor in England. He had inherited the riches from his father, Sir Julies Wernher, who was one of the “creators” of modern South Africa. Sir Julies Wernher was a financier and mining magnate. He was one of the four original “Life Governors” of De Beers Consolidated Mines. Countess Anastasia’s title was changed to Lady Zia by the King of England. Their children are:

A1A. George Michael Wernher (1918-1942)
A1B. Georgina Wernher (1919-
A1C. Myra Alice Wernher (1925-

A2 Countess Nadejda De Torby (Nada)

Countess Nadejda De Torby (Nada) married George Mountbatten (formerly Battenberg) in 1916. (pictured below). (Note: George Mountbatten was the 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven and great grandson of Queen Victoria, the sibling of Queen Louise of Sweden and uncle of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (husband of Queen Elizabeth of England). He was also the older brother of Earl Mountbatten of Burma who was the last viceroy of India. It must be noted too that when Prince and Princess Andrew of Greece -the parents of Prince Philip –were exiled at the beginning of the war, Prince Philip was sent to stay with Countess Nada and George Mountbatten. (Genealogy of Pushkin). As a result, the son of Nada and George, David, was like a brother to Prince Philip. As a matter of fact, David 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven was the best man at the wedding of Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth, later Queen. George and Nada had two children and they were:

A2A. Lady Tatiana Mountbatten (1917-1988)
A2B. David Michael Mountbatten, 3rd Marquess of Milford haven.(1919-1970)

C2. Count George Michael Von Merenberg

Count George Michael Von Merenberg married Paulette in 1926 and divorced. He then married his second wife Elizabeth Anne Muller in 1940 and had one daughter from his second marriage namely:

C2A. Countess Elisabth Clotilde Von Merenberg (1941-

C3. Countess Olga Von Merenberg

Countess Olga Von Merenberg married Count Michail Loris-Melikov in 1923. And had:

C3A. Count Alexander Loris-Melikov

Pushkin’s Fifth Generation (Abraham’s 8th Generation)
A1B. Georgina Wernher
Georgina Wernher married her first husband Harold Philips in 1944. (pictured on the left) Their children are:

A1B1. Alexandra Anastasia Philips (1946 -
A1B2. Nicholas Harold Philips(1947-1991), godson of Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh
A1B3. Fiona Mercedes Philips (1951 -
A1B4. Marita Georgina Philips (1954 -
A1B5. Natalia Ayesha Philips (1959 -

Georgina married her second husband Sir George Kennard (baronet) in 1992 thus became Lady Kennard.

A1C. Myra Alice Wernher

Myra Alice Wenher married Sir David Butter in 1946. Their children are:

A1C1. Sandra Elizabeth Butter(1948 - (god-daughter of Queen Elizabeth II)
A1C2. Marlyn Davina Butter (1950 -
A1C3. Rohays Georgina Butter (1952 -
A1C4. Georgina Marguerite Butter (1956 -
A1C5. Charles Butter (1960 -

A2A. Lady Tatiana had no children

A2B. David Michael Mountbatten

David Michael Mountbatten 3rd Marquis of Milford Haven married his first wife Romaine Pierce in 1950 and divorced her in July 1960. He then remarried Janet Mercedes Bryce in Nov. 1960. From his second wife he had the following children:

A2B1. George Ivar Louis Mountbatten 4th Marquis of Milford Haven (1961 -
A2B2. Lord Ivar Alexander Mountbatten (1963 -

(Note: George Ivar Louis Mountbatten 4th Marquess of Milford Haven and Lord Ivar Alexander Mountbatten are both second cousins to Prince Charles of Wales (the future king of England)

C2A. Countess Elizabeth Clotilde Von Merenberg

Countess Elizabeth Clotilde Von Merenberg married Enno Von Rintelen in 1965 and the children are:

C2A1. Alexander Enno Von Rintelen (1966 -
C2A2. Nicolaus Von Rintelen (1970 -
C2A3. Gregor Von Rintelen (1972 -

C3A. Count Alexander Loris-Melikov

Count Alexander Loris-Melikov married Micheline Pruiner in 1958 and had:

C3A1. Countess Anne Loris-Melikov (1959 -
C3A2. Countess Dominique Loris-Melikov (1961-
C3A3. Countess Nathalie Loris-Melikov (1962 -
C3A4. Count Michael Loris-Melikov (1964 -

Pushkin’s Sixth Generation(Abraham’s Ninth Generation)

A1B1. Alexandra Anastasia Phillips (pictured on the left)

Alexandra Anastasia Phillips married Sir James Hamilton, the 5th Duke of Abercorn. As a result, Alexandra (Sasha) became Duchess of Abercorn. They were married in 1966. Their children are:

A1B1A. James Hamilton, Marquess of Hamilton (1969 - )( godson of Prince Charles)
A1B1B. Lady Sophia Hamilton (1973 -
A1B1C. Lord Nicholas Hamilton (1979 -

A1B2. Nicholas Phillips

Nicholas Phillips married Countess Maria-Lucie Czernin Von Und Zu Chudentiz in 1975. Their children are:

. Charlotte Phillips (1976 -
A1B2B. Edward Phillips (1981-

A1B3. Fiona Mercedes Phillips

Fiona Mercedes Phillips married James Burnett of Leys in 1971. Their children are:

Alexander James Burnett of Leys (1973-
A1B3B. Eliza-Amelia Burnett of Leys (1977-
A1B3C. Victor Burnett of Leys (1982-

(Fiona's wedding to James Burnett of Leys. Among the pictured on the left are also Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Mother, Zia (all seated from left to right) and standing second from the left, Prince Phillip)

A1B4. Marita Georgina Phillips

Marita Georgina Phillips married Randall Crawley in 1982 and they had:

Adian Crawley (1983 -
A1B4B. Cosima Crawley (1985 -
A1B4C. Galen Crawley (1988 - (godson of Prince Charles)

Natalia Ayesha Phillips

Natalia Ayesha Phillips (is pictured standing second from the right) married Sir Gerald Grosvenor 6th Duke of Westminster. Thus making Natalia the Duchess of Westminster. (Note: The 6th Duke of Westminster is Britain’s wealthiest aristocrat and the sixth richest man in Britain. The Duchess is also known as Tally. She was a friend of Princess Diana of Wales and she is the godmother to Prince William--the son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana-. Their children are:

Lady Tamara Grosvenor (1979 -
A1B5B. Lady Edwina Grosvenor, god-daughter of Princess Diana of Wales (1981 -
A1B5C. Hugh Grosvenor, godson of Prince Charles of Wales (1991 -
A1B5D. Lady Viola Grosvenor (1992 -

A1C1. Sandra Elizabeth Butter

Sandra Elizabeth Butter married William David Morrison in 1983 and their children are:

A1C1A. Charles Nicholas Morrison (1985 -
A1C1B. Sophie Natasha Morrison (1987 -

A1C2. Marlyn Davina Butter

Marlyn Davina Butter married James Hubert Ramsay 17th Earl of Dalhousie in 1973. (Pictured on the left. Also pictured is Prince Charles standing second from the left). Their children are:

A1C2A. Lady Lorna Ramsay (1975 -
A1C2B. Lady Alice Ramsay (1977 -
A1C2C. Simon David Ramsay, Viscount Ramsay (1990 -

A1C3. Rohays Georgina Butter

Rohays Georgina Butter married Prince Alexander Galitzine in 1945. Their children are:

A1C3A. Princess Sasha Galitzine (1989 -
A1C3B. Princess Nadezhda Galitzine (1990 -

A1C4. Georgina Marguerite Butter

Georgina Marguerite Butter married Count Peter Pejacsevich De Verocze in 1982 Their children are:

A1C4A. Count Alexander Pejacsevich De Verocze (1988 -
A1C4B. Countess Anastasia Pejacsevich De Verocze (1992 -

A1C5. Charles Butter is not married

A2B1. George Ivar Louis Mountbatten

George Ivar Louis Mountbatten 4th Marquess of Milford Haven married his first wife Sara Georgina Walker in 1989 and divorced in 1996. They have the following children:

A2B1A. Lady Tatiana Helen Georgina Mountbatten (1990 -
A2B1B. Henry David Louis Mountbatten, Earl of Medina (1991 -

A2B2. Lord Ivar Alexander Mountbatten

Lord Ivar Alexander Michael Mountbatten married Penelope Anne Vere Thompson in 1994 and had the following children:

A2B2A. Ella Louise Georgina Mountbatten (1996-
A2B2B. Alexandra Nada Victoria Mountbatten (1998-

C2A1. Alexander Von Rintelen not married

C2A2. Georg Nikolaus Von Rintelen not married

C2A3. Gregor Von Rintelen not married

C3A1. Countess Anne Loris-Melikov

Countess Anne Loris-Melikov married Marc Moos in 1983 and they had:

C3A1A. Alain Moos (1984 -

C3A2. Countess Dominique Loris-Melinkov is not married

C3A3. Countess Nathalie loris-Melinkov

Countess Nathalie Loris-melinkov married Johan Dierbach in 1996 and they have:

C3A3A. Sophie Dierbach

C3A4. Count Michael Loris-Melikov is not married.


By now, I presume you had your glass of water. What started as a kidnapping of an eight year old boy from Eritrea led into what you have read in the five articles that I presented. The lives of Abraham, Ivan and Pushkin not only shows how the human spirit despite obstacles, adapts and survives, but also prospers and excels. Abraham’s contribution to Russia was immense. He was the first and the finest engineer in modern Russian history. His son, Ivan, not only fought for Russia gallantly, but also built Kherson (in modern day Ukraine). Pushkin’s contribution to the Russian people in particular and to the people of the world in general was remarkable. He was a poet of the people, novelist, short-story writer, historian, dramatist, children and fable books writer. According to William J. Dean's article on Pushkin entitled,"Pushkin was the Source" wrote,

Pasternak (author of Dr. Zhivago) declared Pushkin’s tetrameter to be a measuring unit of Russian life, a yardstick, as it had been patterned after the whole of Russian existence. Describing Pushkin’s impact on one of the Russian art form, opera, for example: Virtually all the great Russian operas are based on Pushkin’s works. “Ruslan and Ludmila” by Glinka.“Eugene Onegin” and “The Queen of Spades” by Tchikovsky, “Boris Gudonov” by Mussorgsky“The Golden Cockerel”by Rimsky-korsakov. It is therefore no wonder that Pushkin keeps getting bigger and bigger because he keeps appealing to what is universal in every one of us: humanity.

It is no wonder that some, if not all, of the former Soviet Union despite their political separation as different countries, still claim Pushkin to be their national poet in their respective countries. It is also no wonder, a lot of other countries claim Pushkin-through Abraham Hannibal -to be theirs. Chad, Cameroon, Ethiopia and others are among them. However, the best candidate according to the biographers and historians of Pushkin is Eritrea.(A lot of other newspaper articles also attest to that, e.g. The Times.) When it comes to Pushkin’s descendants, I will quote at length, from a letter that Charles Stewart sent to Ebony magazine in 1988. In it he wrote:

…Pushkin’s direct descendent, the 27 –year old(1988) Marquis of Milford Haven (George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, 4th Marquis of Milford Haven-see AB21-) is a second cousin of the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and is in line of succession to the British throne. In 1868, Pushkin’s daughter, Natalia, married a German prince, Nicholas of Nassau. Their son Count George Von Merenberg, married Princess Olga Yurievska in 1895, a daughter of Czar Alexander II. Natalia’s daughter, Sophie, also married into the Russian imperial dynasty when in 1891, she wed Grand Duke Michael Romanov. In turn, one of her daughters, Countess Nada de Torby, married Prince George of Battenberg (Later Mountbatten), whose siblings included Queen Louise of Sweden, Princess Alice of Greece (mother of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth The Second’s husband) and Earl Mountbatten, last British viceroy to India. At the time of the wedding, in 1916, the British press openly speculated about the scandal that would ensure if Nada were to give birth to a “blackamoor prince!” another of Sophie’s daughters, Anastasia (Zia) married an English baronet, Sir Harold Wernher. The king substituted the title of countess. In the 1970’s “Lady Anastasia’s grand daughters, Alexandra, Natalia and Marilyn (see A1B1, A1B5 & A1C2) were married respectively to three of England’s wealthiest noblemen; the 5th Duke of Abercorn, the 6th Duke of Westminster and the oldest son the 16th Earl of Dalhousie (17th Earl). So not all royalty is blue-blooded. Some have the black blood of African tribal chieftains flowing through their veins.

Finally, the story of an eight year old boy who was kidnapped from Eritrea and who ended up to be a great general of Russia is incredible. His son, Ivan, had also an incredible life. The maternal great grand son of the stolen eight year old boy was Pushkin. Pushkin was one of the world's greatest authors. Pushkin's descendants married into the European royalty to the point where two of the descendants (8th generation) are second cousins to the future king of England. Hence, this real life story would put any Hollywood film to shame. By the way, don’t be impressed if you thought I wrote all the descendants name from memory. It was done through research, research and more research. In closing, of course, more study is needed to fill some gaps of this incredible odyssey that started in a small village in Eritrea called Lagwen in the 17th century.



1. Pushkin: A Biography. Elaine Feinstein
2. Pushkin: The Man and His Life. Robin Edmonds
3. Pushkin. Henry Troyant
4. Russia and the Negro. Allison Blakely
5. Distant Pleasures: A. S. Pushkin. Stephanie Sandler
6. Great Black Russian. John Oliver Killens
7. Alexander Pushkin: Complete Prose Fiction. Paul Deverczeny
8. Tiwlidi Lagwen
9. Pushkin's Button. Serena Vitale
10. World's Great Men of Color Vol. II. J.A. Rogers
11. The Duke: A Portrait of Prince Philip. Tim Heald
12. Prince Philip. Douglas Liversidge
13. Grand Dukes of Diamond: The Wernher's of Lutton Hoo. Raleigh Trevelyan
14. Two Lives One Russia. Nicholas Daniloff
15. The Princess of Siberia: The Story of Maria Volkonsky. Christine Sutherland
16. A Romanov Diary: The Autobiography of H.I.& R.H. Grand Duchess George
17. Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin. Sebag-Motefiore
18. Eugene Onegin. Alexander Pushkin
19. Anna Karenina. Leo Tolstoy
20. Notes on Prosody and Abraham Gannibal. Vladimir Navakov
21. The Mountbattens: From Battenberg to Windson. Douglas Liversidge
22. Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece. Hugo Vickers
23. Russians views of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. Sona Stephen Hoisington
24. Court of Russia in the 19th Century. Vol. I. 1908. E.A.Brayley Hodgets
25. Gannibal: The Moor of St. Peters burg. Hugh Barnes


1. Natioanl Geographic Magazine. Mike Edwards. Sept. 1992
2. The New Yorker. Shooting Pushkin. Ralph Fieness. June 7, 1999
3. Russian Life. "My Pushkin/Our Pushkin" Mike Ivanov. June/July 1999
4. Russian Life. "Dine with Pushkin". June/July 1999
5. Pushkin and His Works. Pushkin Centenary, 1837-1937
6. Russian Life. "The Poet's Fate." Elaine Feinstein. June/July 1999.
7. Ebony. "Letter to the Editor" Charles Stewart. December 1988.
8. Christian Science Monitor. "Pushkin was the Source". William J. Dean. February 7, 1990.
9. Descendants of Duke Wilhelm of Nassau
10. Genealogy of the Royal Family of Great Britain.
11. Genealogy of the Imperial Family of Russia.
12. Genealogy of the Ducal Family of Nassau
13. The Times. "Pushkin Turns 200". Maura Reynolds. June 4, 1999.
14. The Journal of Negro History. Albert Parry. October 1923.
15. Great Negroes Past and Present. Russell Adams. 1963