(genealogical registers of noble families). In 16th- and 17th-century Russia, the rodoslovnye knigi contained the genealogies of the princely and boyar families occupying the highest positions in the government and army. The rodoslovnye knigi were first compiled in the 1540’s and were revised several times. The best-known example is the Gosudarev Rodoslovets of 1555–56, which was the tsar’s official genealogical directory. After the abolition of mestnichestvo in 1682 (seeMESTNICHESTVO), the Palata Rodoslovnykh Del (Chamber of Genealogy) was established for the compilation of rodoslovnye knigi of the entire Russian dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry). The chamber expanded the Gosudarev Rodoslovets and compiled the Barkhatnaia Kniga (Velvet Book).
After the issuance of the Charter of the Nobility in 1785, the provincial assemblies of the dvorianstvo compiled for their provinces rodoslovnye knigi that included all information on the dvorianstvo of the provinces. These registers were maintained into the 19th century; the information contained in them was supposed to be submitted to the Department of Heraldry. In the mid-19th century, individual authors began compiling rodoslovnye knigi of princely families and families of the dvorianstvo. In contrast to the earlier registers, which were administrative documents, these rodoslovnye knigi were works of scholarship.
M. E. BYCHKOVA