The family of Princess Daria Karageorgevich (d. 1938)

compiled by William Addams Reitwiesner

The following material on the family of Princess Daria Karageorgevich (d. 1938) should not be considered either complete or authoritative, but rather as a first draft.

William Addams Reitwiesner

The Biographical Cyclopedia and Portrait Gallery With Historical Sketch, vol 5 [Cincinatti: Western Biographical Publishing Co., 1891], pp. 1174-5, has an entry for John F. Pankhurst, vice president of the Globe Iron Works. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on 28 March 1838, a son of John J. Pankhurst (a carpenter, born in England, emigrated to Syracuse, N.Y., then to Cleveland, then to Warrensville, Ohio, then back to Cleveland where he died in 1852) and of Sarah Wellsted (also born in England, emigrated to Syracuse, N.Y., at the age of 15, a daughter of James Wellstead, a merchant in Rye, Sussex). John F. Pankhurst married, in 1858, Miss Marie L. Coates of Barry, Canada, and had four children, only one of whom was still alive in 1891, a daughter named Mrs. Myra Abbie Wright, wife of Herbert A. Wright of New York City.

This daughter, Myra Abigail Pankhurst, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1859. Sometime between 1891 and 1900, her marriage to Herbert Wright was dissolved, either by divorce or by his death, as in October 1900, Myra, now the wife of T. Huger Pratt and known as "Daria", competed in the Paris Olympics, in the field of Ladies Golf, and was awarded the Bronze Medal. Her second husband, Thomas Huger Pratt, is listed in the 1904 Social Register of New York but is shown as deceased in the 1906 issue. Daria married, as her third husband, at the Russian Church in Paris on 11 June 1913, Prince Alexis Karageorgevich, born on 10 June 1859, older son of Prince Djordje Karageorgevich (1827-1884, a nephew of Prince Alexander I of Serbia) by Sarka Anastasijevich (1832/7-1931, m. 1856). Prince Alexis Karageorgevich died in Paris on 15 Feb. 1920, and his widow Princess Daria died at Villa Florentina, near Cannes, on 26 June 1938, ae. 77.

Princess Daria had only one child, a daughter by her first husband, namely Harriet Wright, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Harriet married first, by 1901, Count Alexander Mercati, who was born on the island of Zante on 22 Oct. 1874, a son of Count Leonardo Mercati (1838-1901) and Catherine Bénizélos (1848-1919, m. 1867, see Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza, Dictionnaire historique et généalogique des Grandes Familles de Geèce, d'Albanie, et de Constantinople [Paris : Sturdza, 1983], pp. 344-345). Count Alexander Mercati was a boyhood friend of King Constantine of Greece (for whom he served as Grand Marshal of the Court), was one of the original members of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, and died in Athens on 5 April 1947. Harriet was his first wife. They were divorced, and he remarried, at St Cloud on 12 Dec. 1926, Mrs. Newbold Leroy Edgar, née Marie de Forest Manice, who died in New York on 4 Feb. 1951 ae. 82 (thus born in 1869). Countess Harriet (Wright) Mercati married, secondly, at Paris on 5 Feb. 1914, as his only wife, Freiherr Emmerich von Pflügl, born 24 Oct. 1873, died at Geneva on 16 Feb. 1956, son of Freiherr Richard von Pflügl and of Marianne Hengelmüller Edle von Hengervár (Österreichisches Familienarchiv, Band III [Neustadt an der Aisch: Degener, 1969], S. 148).

Harriet died at Bellerive, near Geneva, on 14 Sept. 1946, leaving no children by her second husband, and three children by her first husband:

1.       Count Leonardo Mercati, born at Cannes on 31 January 1901, died while grouse shooting in England on 20 Dec. 1974. He was board chairman of the Athenian Brewery in Athens, a part of the Amstel Group of companies. He married, in Athens on 21 April 1934, Lily Strathatos, daughter of Anthony Strathatos. At his death, Count Leonardo Mercati was survived by his widow, Barbara Tapper Warburg, by his three daughters by his previous marriage, Eleni Dracopoulos, Atalanta Goulandris, and Harriet Sitinas, all of Athens, and by seven grandchildren.
2. Atalanta Mercati, born in 1903, died at Athens on 7 Sept. 1964. She had married, at Cannes on 1 May (civil) and 2 May (religious) 1928, the novelist Michael Arlen, who had been born Dikran Kouyoumdjian at Roustchouk, Bulgaria, on 16 Nov. 1895, and died at New York, N.Y., on 25 June 1956. Mrs. Atalanta Mercati Arlen was survived by two children (Michael John Arlen, b. 1930, the author and critic, and Venetia Arlen) and three grandchildren.
3. Daria Mercati, born in Paris on 8 May 1908, still living 7 Sept. 1964, married, first, at Geneva on 11 Dec. 1929, Andre Firmenich, son of Frederic Firmenich. She married, second, civilly, at Coligny, near Geneva, 26 April 1946, Paul Palmer, European editor of Reader's Digest.

William Addams Reitwiesner