Mariya Aleksandrovna Gordeeva,

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Institute of History of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Legal Status of Peasant Orphans in the Tomsk Province in the Late 19th – Early 20th Century: Formal Rules and Their Implementation


 DOI: 10.31518/2618-9100-2021-1-9

 The article examines the observance of the rights of young and minor children of the peasant class in the Tomsk province in the late 19th – early 20th centuries. The mechanism for establishing peasant guardianship and trusteeship is described in detail. On the basis of clerical sources, the stages of establishing guardianship are analyzed: appointment of a guardian, drawing up an inventory of property, drawing up a report on property management. Violations and conflict situations at each of these stages were revealed. The author found that one of the most important social functions of the community was performed consistently and clearly, despite the lack of regulation of this procedure in official legislation. Normatively, the rights of a guardian were enshrined, who could dispose of the property of orphans: to farm on the land, or to rent it out along with yard buildings and livestock. The guardian could invest the proceeds in a savings bank account until the orphans come of age, or use these funds for their needs with the permission of the village gathering. As a rule, children remained with their mother or next of kin, guardians from outsiders were appointed extremely rarely. It is established that the struggle for resources between relatives of deceased peasants and widows did not affect the financial situation of orphans. All violations were carefully recorded, the instructions for their elimination were promptly executed. This testifies to the observance of the rights of orphans.

Publishing: 28/02/2021

The article has been received by the editor on 15.12.2020

Original article >

How to cite: Gordeeva M.A. Legal Status of Peasant Orphans in the Tomsk Province in the Late 19th – Early 20th Century: Formal Rules and Their Implementation // Historical Courier, 2021, No. 1 (15), pp. 96–104. [Available online:]

Links: Issue 1 2021

Keywords: Tomsk province; peasantry; guardianship; orphanhood; property; community