Anne of Kiev

As much of the recent news has regarded the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I thought I would post on a distant Ukrainian ancestor of mine, Anne of Kiev, an ancestor to millions of people with western European ancestry whose siblings are ancestral to millions of eastern Europeans.[1]

Anne of Kiev, or Anna Yaroslavna, was born just under one thousand years ago in Kievan Rus, present day Ukraine, daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev, and his second wife Ingegerd of Sweden. She married King Henry I of France in 1051. Her marriage to the French king reflected the Catholic Church’s growing disapproval of consanguineous marriages; Anne’s father had already married some of his children to Western rulers in an attempt to avoid the Byzantine Empire’s influence. This marriage was also just three years before the East-West Schism between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox church, so Anne and Henry’s marriage was one of the last dynastic marriages between the two disparate regions for some time. Anne and Henry had two surviving children, sons Philip and Hugh. Philip succeeded his father as King of France, and Philip’s Greek name has often been credited to his mother as deriving from Anne’s culture; it afterwards became a popular name amongst royal families of western Europe.

Philip’s Greek name has often been credited to his mother as deriving from Anne’s culture...

The simplified chart below (with most names anglicized) shows how Anne was an ancestor to not just all later monarchs of France, but later rulers of most western kingdoms. As such, nearly every immigrant to the present day United States treated in the first volume of Gary Boyd Roberts’s The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants would also be descended from Anne of Kiev, a common connection to Ukraine for much of the western world.

Click on image to expand it.


[1] To see how Anne’s parents were ancestral to nearly all later tsars of Russia, both in the Rurik and Romanov dynasties, see here.

Christopher C. Child

About Christopher C. Child

Chris Child has worked for various departments at NEHGS since 1997 and became a full-time employee in July 2003. He has been a member of NEHGS since the age of eleven. He has written several articles in American Ancestors, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and The Mayflower Descendant. He is the co-editor of The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton (NEHGS, 2011), co-author of The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts (Newbury Street Press, 2011) and Ancestors and Descendants of George Rufus and Alice Nelson Pratt (Newbury Street Press, 2013), and author of The Nelson Family of Rowley, Massachusetts (Newbury Street Press, 2014). Chris holds a B.A. in history from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.View all posts by Christopher C. Child