1.Origins and branches of the family
Mavrogordatos’ family comes from Chios and belongs to the aristocratic families of the island. It descends from the Byzantine families of Mavroi and Kordatoi which had been merged in the Mavrokordatos family.1 The Mavrokordatos family is divided in many branches. Its most important representatives were Alexandros Mavrokordatos and his son Nikolaos, who had been high rank officers in the Ottoman administration. Alexandros Mavrokordatos gradually replaced the letter k with g in his surname and as a result there are family branches under the name “Mavrokordatos” and others under the “Mavrogordatos”.
Different branches of the Mavrokordatos family were active in different areas of the Balkans and the Mediterranean Sea. One of them was established in the Danubian Principalities, where they took over offices as governors or officers in the court of successive sovereigns. Several members of this family branch were engaged in trade and banking. Another branch of the Mavrogordatos house moved to the Russian territories at the end of the 19th century, to Odessa, Taganrog (Taiganio) and Rostov, where they had a significant economic development over the decades 1880-1890.
2.Stamatis Mavrogordatos’ family
In the branch of Mavrogordatos family that settled in Russian territory belongs Stamatis Mavrogordatos (Skarlatos) who was born in Syros in 1829 and died in Taganrog of Azov in 1872. While being in Russia he entered as officer in the battalion of Saint Stanislas and got married to Viktoria Avgerinou, daughter of Nicolaos and Batou Avgerinou, who was born in Taganrog in 1857 and died in Geneva in 1923. Victoria Avgerinou was a well-known pianist of the time and her father, Nikolaos M. Avgerinos, had been an important composer of ecclesiastical music. The couple Stamatis and Viktoria Mavrogordatou gave birth to Maria, who was born in Taganrog in 1959 but died when she was one year old, to Maria, who was born in 1861 in Taganrog and died in 1922 in Geneva, to Pavlina, who was born in Taganrog in 1863 and died in Sèvres in 1940, and Matthaios Mavrogordatos, who was born in 1860 and died in Sèvres in 1941.
Matthaios Mavrogordatos in 1880 took over the direction of his uncle’s business firm D.A. Negropontis. At the same time, he ran a shipping company, active in Don and the Azov Sea. In 1903 he moved to Rostov together with his wife Alexandra Ranter, daughter of Arnold Ranter and Maria Semkov (1878-1911), and their son Kostantinos. Rostov was the place where three years later their daughter Eleni was born. In Rostov Matthaios Mavrogordatos founded the "Banque d’ Escompte de S. Petersburg", active in credit for the rural sector and the financing of commerce. Further to that activity he took over the management of the "Banque Russo-Assiatique" that disposed of 176 branches in the European and Asiatic Russia. Matthaios served as president of the Greek communities in Taganrog and Rostov after 1903, as well as consul of Greece in Taganrog, and contributed to the foundation of an educational establishment and a church in Rostov. He wrote musical compositions, published musical studies and reviews and set Solomos and Drosinis’ poems to music.
His son, Konstantinos Mavrogordatos, was born in Taganrog in 1901 and got married to Aliki de Yacoubenko Fechoz in 1926. They gave birth to a son, Alexandros Alexios Matthaios Mavrogordatos, who was born in Paris in 1929. Their daughter, Eleni, was born in 1906 in Rostov and got married in Casablanca in 1933 to Renato Ferracciu. This branch of Mavrogordatos’ family left Rostov and tried to seek their fortune in western Europe.