The family name Kaznacheev is derived from a nickname which refers to a profession – a treasurer. The word “kazna” (“казна” in Russian, which is of Arabic and Turkic origin) means “treasure chest”. The history of the Kaznacheev family dates back to the dawn of Russian nobility. The first mentioning in archives can be traced to Fedor Semenovich in the 14th century – the treasurer of Prince Oleg of Ryazan. A descendant of Fyodor Semenovich in the third generation, Ivan Nikitivich, together with his brothers took part in the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380. After the Grand Duke of Moscow Dmitry Donskoy defeated the Tartar Khan Mamai in that battle, Ivan Nikitivich was granted the rank of “treasurer”, which roughly corresponds to the Minister of Finance in modern terms. In the 17th century, Pavel Borisovich, Grigoriy Borisovich and Ivan Stepanovich Kaznacheev were granted fiefdoms for their participation in the defence of the capital during the siege of Moscow. In the 18th century, many Kaznacheevs served in senior administrative posts in the government.
One of the most prominent members of the Kaznacheev family was Alexander Ivanovich Kaznacheev (1788-1880), depicted in the portrait painted by the famous Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky. Alexander Ivanovich at different times was governor of the Taurida Governorate, senator, and mayor of Feodosia and Odessa. Alexander Kaznacheev, served under Mikhail Kutuzov during the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and took part in the Battle of Borodino. While he was mayor of Odessa, Alexander Kaznacheev befriended the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, as evidenced by their surviving correspondence. In Feodosia, Alexander Kaznacheev became friends with and provided support to the artist Ivan Aivazovsky.
Alexander Ivanovich Kaznacheev, portrait by Ivan Aivazovsky Alexander Ivanovich Kaznacheev, a sketch by Alexander Pushkin
Peter Mikhailovich Kaznacheev (1854-1931) depicted in the photo was my great-grandfather. He established and led the Martinist Order in Russia, and was the General Delegate of this Masonic society, engaged in the study of the occult and esoteric philosophy. Biography of Peter Mikhailovich Kaznacheev on Wikipedia (in Russian)
Peter Mikhailovich Kaznacheev, photo c. 1912
Members of the Kaznacheev family are mentioned in genealogical archives of Ryazan and Tambov provinces and the Taurida Governorate in the Russian Empire.
The Kaznacheev family coat of arms