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This article is about the Lithuanian family. For the player of American football, see Igor Olshansky.

Olshanski (Lithuanian: Alšėniškiai or Alšėnų kunigaikščiai, Belarusian: Гальшанскі, Polish: Holszański) was a Lithuanian[1] princely family of Hipocentaur coat of amrms from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Their patrimony was in Halshany (now in Belarus) and their property included Rokantiškės and Halshany Castles. During the 14–16th centuries most of the family was Orthodox by faith and Ruthenian by language, although there were exceptions, in particular Paweł Holszański was a Catholic Church official.

The family was founded by Ivan Olshanski (fl. 1382–1402), a close ally of Vytautas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. Ivan's daughter Uliana married Vytautas while granddaughter Sophia of Halshany married Vytautas' cousin Jogaila, King of Poland. Sophia gave birth to Jogaila's sons and became the mother of the Jagiellonian dynasty which ruled Poland, Lithuania, Hungary and Bohemia. The male line of the Olshanski family ended in 1556 with the death of Prince Semen (Paweł Holszański, last-but-one male representative of the family, died just one year before). Princess Maria Olshanskaya, the wife of Andrey Kurbsky, died in 1586.[2] Their estates were inherited by the Sapieha family, which hailed from Smolensk.


For the first time Olshanski family is mentioned in written sources at the end of the 14th century when Ivan, son of Algimantas, assisted Vytautas in the Lithuanian Civil War (1381–1384) against Jogaila. Such a late mention of strong family is attributed to the geographic location of their domain: Halshany was not in the way of either the Livonian Order or the Teutonic Knights.[3] In contemporary sources, Algimantas is mentioned only in Ivan's patronymic name. However, late and unreliable Lithuanian Chronicles created a fanciful genealogy of Algimantas that connected him to the legendary Palemonid dynasty that allegedly hailed from the Roman Empire. Modern historians have discarded the genealogy as a work of fiction not based on historical facts.[3]

Family tree[edit]

Note: the family tree below is incomplete. Main source:[3]

Ivan Olshanski
Died in or after 1402
Served Vasili I of Russia
Ruled Pereyaslavl until 1408
Regent of Kiev?
Wife of Vytautas
Grand Duke of Lithuania
Regent of Kiev
Died in 1433?
Semeon the Fierce
Executed in 1433
Wife of Jogaila
King of Poland
Wife of Iliaș
Voivode of Moldavia
Wife of Ivan Belsky
Died after 1456
Several other?
Jagiellonian dynasty Roman II and Alexăndrel Belsky family Alexander
Castellan of Vilnius
Died in 1511
Eastern Orthodox Saint
Died at age 16
Prince of Dubrovytsia
Executed in 1481
Wife of Martynas Goštautas
Great Hetman
Died in 1505
Wife of Petras Jonaitis Mantigirdaitis
Starost of Slonim
Died after 1505
Voivode of Kiev
Died in 1510
Bishop of Lutsk and Vilnius
Died in 1555
Died in 1536
Vasilisa Tatiana
Wife of Konstanty Ostrogski
Died in 1522
Several daughters and sons Maria[2]
Wife of Andrey Kurbsky
Died in 1586
Voivode of Kiev and Trakai
Died in 1549
Last male heir
Died in 1556


  1. ^ Bumblauskas, Alfredas (2005). Senosios Lietuvos istorija 1009-1795 (in Lithuanian). Vilnius: R. Paknys Press. p. 207. ISBN 9986-830-89-3. 
  2. ^ a b A.N.Narbut (1995). Genealogy of Belarus, vol. 1. Moscow.
  3. ^ a b c Jonynas, Ignas (1933). "Alšėniškiai". In Vaclovas Biržiška. Lietuviškoji enciklopedija (in Lithuanian) I. Kaunas: Spaudos Fondas. pp. 347–359. 
  4. ^ Petrauskas, Rimvydas (2003). Lietuvos diduomenė XIV a. pabaigoje – XV a. (in Lithuanian). Aidai. p. 261. ISBN 9955-445-67-X. 
  1. (Lithuanian) Jonas Zinkus, et al., ed. (1985). "Alšėnų kunigaikščiai". Tarybų Lietuvos enciklopedija I. Vilnius, Lithuania: Vyriausioji enciklopedijų redakcija. p. 52. 
  2. (Polish) Wolff J. Kniaziowie litewsko-ruscy od końca czternastego wieku. – Warszawa, 1895. S. 94-115;