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.

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.

21 thoughts on “Anne of Kiev

    1. Thank you for alerting me to that WikiTree function!

      For others who may be interested, here is Anne:

      Near the bottom of the page, click on the link for:

      “your genealogical relationship with Аnne”

      “Only” 73 lines of descent from Anne for me.

  1. Thank you for this very interesting post. I am a bit confused, though, as I thought Peter II of Courtenay was the son of Peter I of Courtenay and Isabel/Elizabeth of Courtenay, rather than being of the de Warrenne family.

  2. Chris,
    Thanks for another timely report. Timely not only to the terrible current events, but also to my own research. I discovered recently that I, too, am a descendant of Anne of Kyivan Rus’ (ca.1030-1075).
    Anne’s father was Yaroslav the Wise; her grandfather was Vladimir the Great. Both have monuments and statues in Ukraine and elsewhere, and appear on Ukraine currency. Vladimir is also known as Saint Vladimir because he converted to Orthodox Christianity when he married Anna Porphyrogenita, daughter of Byzantine Emperor Romanos II, although corporeal Vlad did not act very saintly before he was baptized – he had several wives, plus an estimated 800 concubines, that he had to divorce before he could marry Anna of Byzantium.
    Incidentally, Anne’s ancestors were Varangians (mainly Swedish Vikings). Her mother was Ingegerd Olofsdotter, daughter of the King of Sweden. Perhaps that is why we see so many blue-eyed blonds in the news videos about the invasion of Ukraine.
    The world is one dysfunctional family.
    Cousin Duane

  3. #IstandwithAnne

    Thanks for this post Chris to remind us that we are all Ukrainian at heart. God bless them all and keep them free and safe. May this nightmare soon be over.

    1. Jeff, my prayers echo yours… May God bless the Ukrainian people, keep them free and safe. May this nightmare soon be over. Chris, I thank you for your scholarship and generously sharing your knowledge! Very interesting ancestry.

  4. You have seen my wikitree tree. I have all of them in my family tree. Is there any leta scholarship they can even slightly confirmed the parentage of the daughter that somethings is the daughter of Yaroslav the wise? Wasnt her name Agatha?

  5. Sold Out? SOLD OUT! Says the link to Gary’s 900. Plans to republish or are we in revision mode for, say, 1066 or 1215 or 1348 or 1558 Royal Descents? Marketing suggestion: Next revision, and thereafter to the crack of doom, title should be [Gary Boyd] Roberts’ ROYAL DESCENTS. If there can an always be an in print Robert’s Rules of Orders, then there can an always be an in print Roberts’ Descents. After all, you own the copyright.

      1. Reviewing my RD600, yes, that’s correct. Gary himself holds the copyright. So, up to him as to what happens to it. Just thinking it should have a “renewable”, and useful, life beyond us present researchers.

  6. Just want to bring to your attention a misstep when you referred to Ukraine as “the Ukraine.” This is how Russia referred to Ukraine when it was under Soviet rule. Perhaps you would be good enough to correct.

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