The history of Shemetov
As I know from our family legends, Shemet clan is descended from the ancient Lithuania. First records concerning our clan one may find in the so-called Gorodel Union (1413), when the Lithuanian gentry was equalized in rights with Polish gentry. At that time Poland and Lithuania, and also the part of Ukraine formed one total state.
People often ask: what is “Shemet” (meaning the sense) ? “Shemetit” in the ancient Russian (Slovenian) means to worry. In other words – disturbing. Though the ancient Lithuania was settled by the North Slovenians, probably, this nickname became a surname.
Shemet is a prince’s family, having the Russian background and settled on the territory of the Great Lithuanian Principality, they have got the gentry and Polish herbs. The Shemet family has got the family herb “Swan” (the herb has the Dutch background, but considers to be Polish.) But our herb has got the specialty – the lion with the high unsheathed sword is situated up of the crown. Such heraldic changes were caused by the important circumstances, unknown to me.
The classic styled patrimony was safed in the settlement Dikterishki on the territory of the modern Lithuania, not far from the Lithuanian-Belarusian border; it was the ownership of the well-known in Lithuania Shemet family. Frantishek Shemet (1802-1882) was the owner of the patrimony, he was the marshalak of the gentry of Shavel region and the leader of the “January revolt” (1863-1865). The patrimony in Dikterishki was confiscated due to the Tsar order because of the participation in the revolt; Frantishek Shemet family became the subject to a repression and was directed to Siberia. Some family members were able to return to the motherland and settled around the late patrimony; Frantishek Shemet immigrated to France to avoid the repressions of the Tsar authorities.
The authorities still persecuted the Shemet family issues at the time of the young Soviet Republic. I know from my grandfather stories, that producers’ artel, manufacturing the goods from the fibre, owned to my grandfather Demian Shemet, in 1937-40 was confiscated by the Soviet authorities due to the program of the dispossession of the kulaks. Thanks to the fortune, the family avoided shooting .
I have the Polish background due to maternity line (Kowalewskie). My grandfather, as many people, was a subject for the Stalin’s repressions in 1939 and was directed to Siberia, as it was considered at that time, he was the “disloyal element for the Soviet authorities”. He was able to return home at the time of the “Hruschiov’s thawing”.
As for my opinion, every person has to incline to the knowledge, to remember his history and to help to the further generation to save the memory of his past, his background, because we step into future, turning around to the past.
“The labour, the strength of those, who lived before us, lives in us. And in their turn let the future generations be able to live as a result of our labour, the strength of our hands and our mind. Only in this case we should execute our debt with dignity.”