Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky was descended from Russian nobility, specifically traced back to a Lithuanian man by the name of Danilo.

Danilo Irtishch (fl. 1506)

Nothing is known much about Danilo or the Irtishch name, whether he was already a noble or a commoner.

In 1506, as a reward for his service to a prince, he was granted the title of boyar, which is among the highest noble titles in Russia. Danilo was given lands in the village of Dostoievo near the town of Pinsk.

Danilo Dostoevsky (-deathdate)

Obviously, the new surname derived itself from the village which Danilo had ownership over. It derives from the Old Polish word dostojnik meaning “dignitary.” Perhaps it was a meeting place for important people within circumference of the Pinsk region?


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