Part 8 (The Youngest Sibling)
Maria Andreyevna Shugaevskaya, 1894 - 1916 or 1917
Valentin left very little information about his sister. She was young when she died and Valentin didn't leave personal reminiscences of any of his family (at least we I haven't found any in his writings). I don't even have the month and year of her birth though it may be somewhere in Valentin's handwritten notes.
It is odd that Valentin didn’t know the exact year of her death. Perhaps it was sometime around the turn of the year. We know that Valentin traveled from St. Petersburg to Chernihiv after his father’s death in the autumn of 1917. I seem to remember that Maria died in Chernihiv. Their mother, Anastasia, lost two loved ones within a year.
Maria was born in December 1894 so she was either 21 or 22 when she died. My mother remembers hearing that she was twenty.
Click on images to enlarge.
Maria A. Shugaevskaya. According to Valentin the photo is from around 1910, and was taken in Poltava. Maria would have been 15 or 16.
We know from notes on the back of a family portrait that Maria attended the Institute for Noble Maidens in Poltava, the same city where her older brother Leonid attended a cadet corp. Leonid had probably graduated before she started. My mother remembers that Maria's mother was "born in Poltava", so the family may have had relatives in Poltava when she was attending school.
Maria in a photo dated ca.1906. At this age she was probably spending the school year in Poltava.
The following is from an English Language Wikipedia article:
Secondary education for girls and a path to university education for women was extremely limited in Tsarist Russia. One path of educational training for the daughters of the Russian nobility were the Institutes for Noble Maidens (Instituti blagorodnykh devits), cloistered private academies which housed primary and secondary students and offered basic scholastic and cultural training.
This building that housed the Poltava Institute for Noble Maidens is now part of the Polytechnic National Technical University named after Yuri Kondratyuk More information can be found at: https://pntu.edu.ua/en/page/about-university.html
Maria attended the Women's Pedagogical Institute (ЖЕНСКИЙ ПЕДАГОГИЧЕСКИЙ ИНСТИТУТ) in St. Petersburg. The only mention of this is from notes written on the back of a photo. I don't know when Maria left the Institute for Noble Maidens and started at the pedagogical institute. If she graduated from the Institute for Noble maidens at nineteen years old she could have entered the Pedagogical Institute in 1913, less than a year before the start of WWI. The years during WWI were very difficult in St Petersburg. There were food shortages and political unrest.
If Maria started at the Women's Pedagogical Institute at an earlier age than I calculated above, she would have missed the worst of the turmoil. Either way, she would have been living in the same city as her brother Valentin and her Uncle Pavel.