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
There is something about reading the personal letters of my ancestors which is very addictive. Recently my friend Sveta, who lives in Russia, sent me transcripts of letters which my great grandfather, Konstantin Petrovich Kleinmichel, wrote to his sister Olga Petrovna Volkonskaya in the late 1800s. You can follow Sveta
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
My great-great grandfather, Count Pyotr Andreevich Kleinmichel is apparently still quite well known in Russia (one might say infamous rather than famous), despite being dead for over 150 years. He is not an ancestor I am proud of but, as the saying goes, you cannot choose your family… Pyotr Andreevich
My first nine winters were spent in the depths of snow. I remember taking forever to put all of the required winter layers on before trudging through mounds of soft, white snow or navigating carefully along icy sidewalks. There were the times my father had to put chains on the
The geographical history of Europe often blows my mind. Areas, regions and even entire countries are seemingly juggled between various governments, with borders being drawn and redrawn at will. Both sides of my family have been impacted by the geographical history of the land which is now known as Latvia.