According to his family legend, his ancestors were sailors, either Scottish or Scandinavian, who came to Russia and settled there.
Konstantin Dmitriyevich Balmont was born on June 3, 1867. He was born at his family's estate, Gumnishchi, Shuya (then Vladimir Governorate, now Ivanovo Oblast), the third of seven sons.
His father's father was a Navy officer and a hero of the Turkish War praised by Tsar Nicholas the First for bravery. His mother's ancestors were Tatars, the first in the line being Prince Bely Lebed (White Swan) of the Golden Horde. That was where two of her distinctive qualities, unruliness and tempestuousness, which I inherited, came from. According to Yekaterina Andreyeva's Memoirs, Balmont's paternal grand-grandfather Ivan Andreyevich Balamut (Баламут, the Ukrainian surname, translated literally as "trouble-maker") was a landowner in Kherson, Southern Ukraine, who served as a cavalry sergeant in Catherine the Great's Imperial Guard regiment (Andreyeva insisted she had seen the proof of it in an original parchment-written document kept in the family archives). Dmitry Konstantinovich, Vera Nikolayevna and all of their relatives pronounced the surname with the first syllable stressed. The poet changed its pronunciation to Balmont, citing "a certain woman's whimsy" as his reason.