France

Starting over – could he forge a new life?

After writing the final chapter of the story of my great-grandmother’s escape from Russia with her second husband, which you can start reading here, I was curious about her second husband. Where did he come from? Where and how did they meet? What did he do when they finally settled

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At long last they made their escape Final

In this final episode, we learn how my great-grandmother and her husband finally was able to leave Russia to be with her daughter, my grandmother. If you have missed the first four chapters of her story, you can start reading them here. Last week we followed my great-grandmother as she

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My grandmother with my mother

On birth, foreboding, love letters and rabbits

Researching family history, for me, is more than drawing connecting lines on a family tree. I always want to know more about my ancestor’s stories, how they lived their lives, what their thoughts were. Often this information can be gleaned from the letters they wrote or the memories they jotted

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And After That, She Never Learnt to Drive

I never saw my grandmother get behind the wheel of a car. Whenever we went out as a family, she always sat in the front passenger’s seat, no matter who was driving. It was a matter of respect. As the matriarch of the family, she sat in the front. Once,

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100 Year Old Nun in the Family

On 10 May 1990 my great Aunt Tata celebrated her 100th birthday. Beginning life as Countess Natalia Kleinmichel, older sister of my grandmother Countess Olga Kleinmichel, Aunt Tata saw in her birthday as Sister Mary of the Resurrection. The celebrations were recorded in this newspaper article from France, seen above

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