Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov was born on October 3, 1814 in Moscow into the respectable noble family of Lermontov, and he grew up in the village of Tarkhany (now Lermontovo in Penza Oblast).
His paternal family descended from the Scottish family of Learmonth, and can be traced to Yuri (George) Learmonth, a Scottish officer in the Polish-Lithuanian service who settled in Russia in the middle of the 17th century.
Lermontov's father, Yuri Petrovich Lermontov, like his father before him, followed a military career. Having moved up the ranks to captain, he married the sixteen-year-old Maria Mikhaylovna Arsenyeva, a wealthy young heiress of a prominent aristocratic Stolypin family. Lermontov's maternal grandmother, Elizaveta Arsenyeva (née Stolypina), regarded their marriage as a mismatch and deeply disliked her son-in-law. On October 15, 1814, in Moscow where the family temporarily moved to, Maria gave birth to her son Mikhail.