Grandmother

Who was Sarita? And why did my grandmother have her icon?

Do you ever associate one word or concept with someone in your family – either close relative or ancestor? When I think of my maternal grandmother – Olga Woronoff – the word which always springs to mind is religion. My grandmother was very religious. Her day began, ended and was

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She had an artistic nature combined with resilience

My great grandmother – my maternal grandmother Olga Kleinmichel’s mother – Countess Catherine Nicolaievna Kleinmichel, neé Bogdanov was born in Riga on 2 November 1865, when Latvia was part of the Russian Federation. Her father, Nicholas Bogdanov, was Marshal of Nobility of the government of Kursk, Russia, an area which

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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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The haunted manor house where she was born

My paternal grandparents were born on neighbouring estates in the Talsu District of Latvia. As the crow flies there are approximately 8kms between Nurmhusen, my father’s family’s estate, and Dursupe where my grandmother Sophie Elisabeth Marie von Hohenastenberg-Wigandt, was born on 21 September 1881. I wish I had known that

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To Live Without Hope is to Cease to Live

Fyodor Dostoevsky, the great Russian writer, wrote those words. I’m sure they were written from experience. My grandparents, Paul and Olga Woronoff understood how important hope is to life. If they had not had hope they might not have survived through the tumultuous years that their homeland of Russia threw

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The home of her childhood was wantonly destroyed

My grandmother’s family’s first country home was destroyed by fire. After that the Kleinmichel family spent their summers at Ivnia in the Koursk region. The family lived in Moscow during the other three seasons but, as summer approached, the children would begin to dream of the journey to Ivnia. Ivnia

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