Life and Death in Narva, 1918-1920.

Extracts from the metrical records of the Kreenholm Orthodox Church.


This is a selection of entries from metrical records (births, marriages, deaths) kept by the Orthodox church in Kreenholm, Narva, in present day Estonia, just on the border with Russia. The records were first microfilmed by the Church of Latter-Day Saints and the owners – the religious authorities in Estonia - have been wonderful in making them available on their web site at http://www.eha.ee/saaga/ (specifically, Group 1886 - Kreenholm kogudus). Narva had long been a garrison town and Kreenholm in particular was the site of a very large textile plant with a history of proletariat revolutionary activity.

I went through this particular church’s records for the years 1918-1920 (the years of the revolution and civil war) and drew out all the entries with a military connection (military personnel are in boldface). It is an interesting glimpse of units and events, but especially of common individuals. The fighting rolled back and forth over Narva, and it is not easy to connect deaths to specific military operations. There is also the question of Old versus New Style in dates. I think the metrical records are New Style, but sometimes it seems to make better sense if they were Old. I’m also not even sure to which side some of the mentioned military units belong.

A surprisingly large number of people from distant places were in Narva, including, you will see, an Amur Cossack.


---[5 November 1917 (N.S.) - Two days before the October Revolution in St Petersburg, Estonian Bolshevik leader Jaan Anvelt violently usurped power from the legally constituted Maapäev government in a coup d'etat.]


- 1918 -

[In January there are many “peasants” in the metrical records but by February such persons have become “citizens.”]

7 January 1918Ensign Aleksandr Aleksiev Gormov, of the 50th “June 18th” Siberian Rifle Regiment, age 26, Orthodox, marries peasant girl Mariya Theodorova Murdakova of Petrograd Province, Yamburg District, Gorskaya Sub-District, village of Novopyatnits’e, age 26, Orthodox.
For the groom are peasant Yakov Richter of Estland Province, Wesenberg District, Chadel’sk Sub-District, and Aleksandr Aleksandrov Gerasimov of the same province, Juganeshof Sub-District. For the bride is peasant Vasilii Theodorov Turbakov of Petrograd Province, Yamburg District, Iorsk Sub-District.

14 January 1918Citizen Valerian Ivanov Vetchinov, commander of the 6th Company of the 427th Pudozh Infantry Regiment, Orthodox, age 26, marries citizen Anna Borisova Lavintal’, age 19, Orthodox, of Estland Province, Wesenberg District, Undol’sk Sub-District.
For the groom are citizen Heinrich Yakovlev Mersepp of Petrograd Province, city of Narva, and citizen Alfred Jansov Kurg of Lifland Province, Yur’ev District, Ratshof Sub-District. For the bride is citizen Pavel Vartholmeev Ivanov of Mogilev Province, Gorets District, Kuglyaevsk Sub-District. [Note by M.C. – Pudozhskii was mispelled in the original document as “Purozhskii.”]

28 January 1918Cossack Aleksandr Antoniev Karlik, 2nd Sotnia, 1st Amur Regiment, age 22, Orthodox, marries citizen Ol’ga Ioannova Zernova, Lifland Province, town of Valka, age 22, Orthodox. For the groom is citizen Andrei Ivanov Unensk of Vitebsk Province, Dvinsk District, Levenhof Sub-District. For the bride is citizen Prokopii Vasil’ev Vasil’ev of Pskov Province, Opochets District, Ezhinsk Sub-District.

---[February 1918 – Estonia occupied by German troops as Bolsheviks retreat.]

11 February 1918 – Captain Nikolai Ivanov Rozhestvin, 6th Latvian Regiment, age 37, Orthodox, marries citizen Aleksandra Bronislavova Bogdanovich, Petrograd Province, town of Luga, age 36, Orthodox, her second marriage.
For the groom are Hussar Vasilii Vasiliev Kulakov, 2nd Squadron, 17th Chernigov Hussar Regiment, and Hussar Ioann Theodorov Bogatyrev, of the same squadron. For the bride are Mikhail Iliich Dolgopolov, Chief of the Voiskovitsk Station, and Lieutenant Ardalion Mikhailovich Dolgopolov, 461st Zubtsov Regiment.

23 February 1918 – Citizen Vasilii Gustinov Naumov of Smolensk Province, Dukhovshchiksk District, Shklov Sub-District, village of Staroe Selo, age 19, Orthodox, marries Anna Dimitrieva Yegorova of Petrograd Province, Yamburg District, Gorksk Sub-District, age 19, Orthodox.
For the groom are citizen Aleksandr Aleksandrov Parzhik of the town of Kovno and citizen Vasilii Dimitriev Yegorov of Petrograd Province, Yamburg District, Gorksk Sub-District. For the bride are Cossack Nikolai Il’in Zhilkin of the Don Cossack Region, Mikhailovskaya settlement, and citizen Pavel Ivanov Sokelman of Petrograd Province, city of Narva.

25 February 1918 – Daughter Alla born to Sublieutenant Mikhail Pavlovich Shaflik-Grotovskii, chief of signals of the Lieutenant Gusarov Partisan Band [nachal’nik svyazi partizanskogo otryada imeni poruchika Gusarova], and his lawful wife Yevgeniya Petrova, both Orthodox.

Baptized 11 March. Godparents are Captain Mikhail Petrovich Gusarov, commander of a partisan band, and the wife of an Actual State Councilor, Yekaterina Vasil’eva Voevodskaya.

2 March 1918 – Citizen Leonhard-Daniel Adamov Kerner, widower, of Petrograd Province, town of Gdov, age 52, Lutheran, marries citizen Mariya Osipova Kommisarova of Petrograd Province, Gdov District, Kol’tsovsk Sub-District, village of Izorovna, age 20, Orthodox.
For the groom are citizen Konstantin Karlov Shitts of Petrograd Province, city of Narva, and Ensign Ioann Karlov Shitts, 464th Seliger Regiment. For the bride is citizen Simeon Ivanov Grigor’ev of Petrograd Province, Yamburg District, Fedkinsk Sub-District.

2 March 1918Pavel Semonovich Patanov, Red Guardsman of the Red Army [Krasnogvardeets Krasnoi Armii], citizen from Vyatka Province, Melinsk District, Bogorodsk Sub-District, village of Shishuv, age 22, died from a bullet wound to the buttock and urinary bladder. Buried 8 March.

2 March 1918Unknown Red Guardsman of the Red Army, age about 30, died from gunshot wound. Buried 8 March.

4 March 1918Ioann Ramul’, soldier from the Estonian Regiment [estonskii polk], citizen of Petrograd Province, age 21, died from peritonitis consequent to being wounded. Buried 8 March.

6 March 1918Lieutenant Georgii Nikolaev Polyakov, regimental adjutant of the 53rd Siberian Rifle Regiment, age 24, died from gunshot wound. Buried 9 March.

---[October 1918 - Northern Russian Volunteer Army established in Pskov, already occupied by Germany since 24 Feb 1918.]

---[22 November 1918 - First Bolshevist attacks at Narva on were met by both German forces and Estonian defenders, but the Germans thereafter withdrew westwards. On November 28, the Red Army conducted an assault to capture the city with artillery support and, on November 29th, the Red Army captured Narva.]

December 1918 – Lyubov’ Ioannova Parvitskaya, widow of a church sexton, of Gdov District, Kresto-Ol’ginskaya Church, age 55. Died of lack of food. Buried 11 June in the town paupers’ cemetary.


- 1919 -

1 January 1919 – Citizen Aleksandr Nikolaev Sosnovskii of the town of Gdov, age 20, shot by Finnish troops. Buried 11 June in the town paupers’ cemetary.

----[January 1919 - Estonians launch a counteroffensive]

----[18 January 1919 - First Finnish Volunteer Unit’s advance party reaches Narva.]

18 February 1919 – A son, Yevgenii, is born to retired Reserve Ensign Trofim Ioannov Kolodko of the 92nd Pechora Infantry Regiment, citizen from Kharkov Province, Sumy District, Belopol’skaya Sub-District, and his lawful wife Vera Marinova, both Orthodox. [Note – Pechorskii was mispelled as “Pecherskii.”] Baptized 23 February. Godparents are citizen Vladimir Martinov Wachter and his wife Yelena Martinova Wachter.

23 February 1919 – Citizen widow Aleksandra Arkhippova Dmitrieva of the city of Petrograd, age 39, killed by a shell. Buried 11 June in the Siversk Orthodox Cemetary.

23 February 1919 – Citizen Theodor Boris, son of Dimitrii, of the city of Petrograd, age 11, killed by a shell. Buried 11 June in the Siversk Orthodox Cemetary.

---[8 March 1919 - North-Western Russian Army established in Narva, Estonia.]

22 March 1919 – A son, Georgii, is born to unmarried citizen Yelisaveta Aleksieva Ivanova, of the town of Yamburg, Orthodox. Baptized 13 April. Godparents are Lieutenant Rikhard Yur’evich Myagi, Narva Self-Defense Force [Narvskaya samozashchita], and citizen Mariya Gavriilova Yefimova of the city of Narva.

25 April 1919Private Mikhail Sergiev Semenov, intendance command of the 1st Rifle Division, Northern Army, citizen of Luga District, Butkovsk Sub-District, village of Butkovo, age 21, killed by a shell fragment. Buried 27 April in the Ivangorod cemetary.

---[13 May 1919 - North-Western Russian Army invaded Russia, occupying Yamburg.]

---[July 1919 - Bolsheviks began a counter-offensive.]

31 August 1919 – A son, Aleksandr, is born to citizen Simeon Georgiev Frolov of Petrograd Province, Gdov District, Vyskatsk Sub-District, village of Rebel’skaya, and his lawful wife Mariya Stefanova, both Orthodox. Baptized 7 September. Godparents are Andrei Mikhailov Bogdanov, Sergeant in the headquarters of the 2nd Light Artillery Battalion [Vakhmistr Upravleniya 2-go legkago diviziona artilleriiskago] and citizen of Pskov Province, Pskov District, Dokatovsk Sub-District, village of Gorbalova, and Nataliya Theodorova, wife of citizen Ioanna Yemel’yanov, of Gdov District, Vezhishchensk Sub-District, village of Vtroi.

3 September 1919Kirill Ioannov Vil’tsin (also known as Volkov), Medic of the 2nd Etape Company of the North-Western Army and citizen of the city of Kostroma, age 45, Orthodox, widower, marries citizen Nadezhda Andreeva Grudkina of Petrograd Province, town of Yamburg, age 29, Orthodox.
For the groom are citizen Dimitrii Andreev Gruzdev of Pskov Province, Porkhov District, Beshkovits Sub-District, village of Virovok, and citizenVasilii Onufriev Yeliseev of Olonets Province, Kargopol’ District, Panfilov Sub-District, village of Nikitinskaya. For the bride are citizen Lavrentii Yeliseev of Petrograd Province, Gdov District, Staropol’sk Sub-District, village of Veletov, and citizen Vladimir Dimitriev Novikov of the same province, town of Luga.

---[28 September 1919 – North-Western Army began offensive.]
---[18 October 1919 - North-Western Army reached Tsarskoe Selo, a suburb of Petrograd, but was defeated by the Soviet troops.]

26 October 1919Captain Bruno Eristovich Arngol’d, chief of YEVTOSHKOLN [?] of the Northern Army, age 33, died of typhoid fever and a weak heart. Buried 29 October in the Ivangorod cemetary.

27 October 1919 – Citizen Ioann Konstantinov Golubkov, of Moscow Province, Vereisk District, Mashirovsk Sub-District, village of Naro-Fominsk, age 34, killed in battle at Krasnaya Gorka. Buried 4 November in the Siversk Orthodox Cemetary.

16 November 1919Nikifor Pavlov Mikhailov, Military Official of the North-Western Army’s Armored-Trains Battalion [Voennyi chinovnik diviziona bronepoezdov Severo-Zapadnoi Armii] and citizen of Petrograd Province, Petrof District, Begunitsk Sub-District, village of Zyabitsa, age 31, Orthodox, marries citizen Yevdokiya Vasil’eva Smirnova of Petrograd District, Begunitsk Sub-District, the farm “Russkiya Golubovitsa,” age 21, Orthodox.
For the groom are citizen Vasilii Vasil’ev Ivanov of Petrograd District, Begunitsk Sub-District, the farm “Drevnovo,” and citizen Aleksandr Pavlov Yevdokimov of the same sub-district, village of Zyabitsa. For the bride are citizen Athanasii Vasil’ev Semenov of Petrograd District, Begunitsk Sub-District, village of Russkiya Golubovitsa, and citizen Nikolai Pavlovich Mikhailov of the same sub-district, village of Zyabitsa.

18 November 1919Private Ivan Alekseev, Replacement Battalion of the North-Western Army [Zapasnyi batalion Severo-Zapadnoi Armii], died from a serious head wound. Buried 21 November in the Siversk military cemetary.

19 November 1919Lieutenant Aleksei Semenov Strel’nek, 3rd Prince Liven’s Rifle Regiment [3-i strelkovyi polk Svyatleishago Knyazya Livena],of Courland Province, Gazenpot District, Rudbarn Sub-District, age 20, Lutheran, marries citizen Nadezhda Trofimova Rolodko, Khar’kov Province, Sumy District, town of Belopol’, age 20, Orthodox.
For the groom is Ensign Aleksandr Markov Kopelovskii, 3rd Prince Liven’s Rifle Regiment and citizen of the town of Libau. For the bride is Ensign Ioann Yakovlev Leonov of the same regiment and citizen of the Vitebsk Province, Lyutsensk District, Bolovsk Sub-District, village of Bolovsk.

1 December 1919 – Yurii, age 2, son of Klimentii Ivanovich Dydorov, brigade commander in the 5th Liven Division of the North-West Army [5 Livenskaya diviziya], died of inflammation of the lungs, Buried 3 December in the Siversk Orthodox Cemetary.

---[5 December 1919 - North-Western Regional Russian Government dissolved as all Russian territories were lost to the Soviet Government, the army interned by Estonian government.]

7 December 1919Mokei Bratyakin, citizen commandant of the town of Luga, of Petrograd Province, Luga District, Gorodnyansk Sub-District, village of Gorodnya, widower from his first marriage, age 27, died of scarlet fever. Buried 10 December in the Siversk town no-fee cemetary.

10 December 1919 – Citizen Matosya Semenova Antonina, of Yamburg District, Gorki Sub-District, village of Koshkino, age 15, killed by a shell [snaryad]. Buried 14 December in the Ivangorod cemetary.

---[Presumably, the following five entries relate to family members killed when an artillery shell hit their domicile.]

18 December 1919 – Citizen Pimen Yemel’yanov, of the city of Petrograd, age 69, killed by a shell [ognestrel’nyii snaryad]. Buried 21 December in the Ivangorod cemetary.

18 December 1919 – Citizen Mariya Ioannova, wife of Pimen Yemel’yanov, of the city of Petrograd, age 62, killed by a shell. Buried 21 December in the Ivangorod cemetary.

18 December 1919 – Citizen Aleksandra Pimenova Yemel’yanova, of the city of Petrograd, age 39, killed by a shell. Buried 21 December in the Ivangorod cemetary.

18 December 1919 – Citizen Anna Pimenova Yemel’yanova, of the city of Petrograd, age 25, killed by a shell. Buried 21 December in the Ivangorod cemetary.

18 December 1919 – Citizen Paraskeva Aleksandrova Platonova, of the city of Petrograd, age 27, killed by a shell. Buried 21 December in the Ivangorod cemetary.


- 1920 -

8 January 1920Captain Ferdinand Andreevich Kabanov, Talabsk Rifle Regiment, age 26, marries citizen Tatiana Georgieva Leont’eva Skarebskaya of the city of Petrograd, Orthodox, age 20.
For the groom are Colonel Ilarion Mikhailov Stavskii, Talabsk Regiment of the North-Western Army, hereditary nobleman of Tobolsk Province, and Staff Captain Aleksandr Maksimov Noskov of the same regiment, citizen from Perm Province, Okhonsk District, Ocher [?] Works. For the bride are citizen Boris Viktorov Solov’ev of the town of Dvinsk, and citizen Vasilii Vasil’ev Ryabov of Petrograd Province, Tsarskoe-Selo district, Rozhdestvensk Sub-District, village of Gryazno.

21 January 1920 – Citizen Aleksei Theodorov Markov, Yamburg District, Kotel’sk. Sub-District, village of Voinosolov, Orthodox, age 23, marries citizen Nina Adamova Kotelaikek of the city of Narva, age 24.
For the groom are Artillery official of the North-West Army Ioann Vladimirov Petrov, from a family of government officials rank in the customs service in Petrograd, and student Harold Al’fonsev Figel’ of the Petrograd Commercial Institute. For the bride are Artillery Colonel Aleksandr Mikhailov Shvetsov of the North-Western Army and student Yevgenii Mikhailov Nikifov of the Riga Polytechnical Institute.

21 January 1920Colonel Ivan Grigor’evich Ivanov, Replacement section of the North-Western Army, age 62, died from parlysis of the heart. Buried 26 January in the Ivangorod cemetary.

---[2 February 1920- Treaty of Tartu signed by the Republic of Estonia and Russian Soviet Republic.]

8 February 1920Sister Aleksandra Pullo, North-Western Army, widow from Novgorod Province, age 30, died. Buried 12 February in the Siversk Orthodox Cemetary.

21 February 1920Lieutenant Vladimir Alekseev Chistyakov, 36th Artillery Brigade, serving in the North-West Army, age 29, died from spotted fever. Buried 26 February in the Siversk Orthodox Cemetary.

3 March 1920Lieutenant Theodor Theodorov Radlov, armored trains of the North-Western Army, from Finland, student in the Petrograd Polytechnical Institute, age 21, died from spotted fever. Buried 5 March in the Siversk Orthodox Cemetary.

4 March 1920Ensign Vladimir Mikhailov Shabalin, North-West Army, from Vyatka Province, Kotel’nichesk District, Kazakevsk Sub-District, village of Kiril’ya, age 25, died from spotted fever. Buried 6 March in the Siversk Orthodox Cemetary.

15 April 1920 – Galina, born 5 December 1919, daughter of Engineer-Technologist Dimitrii Ioannov Karmanov and his lawful wife Yelena Mikhailova, both Orthodox, is baptized.

Godparents are Russian citizens Artillery Colonel Sergei Mikhailov Filipchenko and Staff-Captain Georgii Simokov’s wife Mariya Aaronova; actually present at the baptism are nobleman Mikhail Nikolaev Laman and merchant of the 1st Guild of the city of Tver Vasilii Nikolaev Kukov’s wife Yelena Ioannova.

11 April 1920 – Citizen Iosif Vasiliev Vlasov, Gdov District, Vyskatsk Sub-District, village of Pogaromtsa, Orthodox, age 20, marries citizen Klavdiya Nikolaeva Konstantinova of the city of Narva, Orthodox, age 19.For the groom are Captain Georgii Ivanov Razumov, commander of the 6th Heavy Fortress Battery, and citizen Mikhail Gerasimov Luzhskov. For the bride are citizen Paul Danilov Todeson of Yur’ev District, Meksk Sub-District, and citizen Vladimir Iosifov Kivistik of the city of Narva.

5 May 1920 – Citizen Herman-Albert Ioannov Forbikhler of the city of Vilno, Lutheran, age 31, marries Yelena Nikolaeva Rize, daughter of a colonel, Orthodox, age 28.
For the groom is Captain Vladimir Sergeev Bel’chenko, I Artillery Battalion of the North-West Army. For the bride are Colonel Theodor Theodorov Paduchev, inspector of artillery of I Army Corps of the former North-Western Army, and veterinary doctor of I Artillery Battalion of the same former army Leonard Aleksandr Ieropal’skii.

---[I do not know if the following is due to military action, civil crime, or accidental mishap.]

19 July 1920 – Citizen Nikolai Silin, Gdov District, Vyskatsk Sub-District, village of Pesvits, age 43, died from peritonitis and blood poisoning consequent to a gunshot wound. Buried 22 July in the Ivangorod cemetary.

* * * * * * *


Compiled by Mark Conrad, 2007.