Great grandmother

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

Read More

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

Read More

At long last they made their escape Part 3

Last time our story ended when my grandmother finally learned her mother and step-father had made their way back to Petrograd and how to contact them. She could at last get in touch with her mother. My grandmother had discovered my great-grandmother’s address through an acquaintance of her elder sister,

Read More

At long last they made their escape – Part 2

Last week we left my great-grandmother, now Catherine Yakovtsov, and her second husband, Vasily Yakovtsov (pictured together above), en route to Petrograd probably at the beginning of 1919. This week the story continues. Catherine and Vasily made it to Petrograd but were dismayed at what the once beautiful city had

Read More

At long last they made their escape – Part One

A few weeks ago I promised to share the story of how my great-grandmother, Catherine Kleinmichel, and her second husband managed to escape from Russia. At the time I did not know his name and also did not realise I had a photograph of him (see above – it must

Read More

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

Read More