Mother

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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He said he did not love her, but his notes prove otherwise

A couple of years before he died, my father told me that my parent’s marriage was “never a love match”. I found his statement difficult to believe because I knew my mother loved him very much. But I had no way of asking her, she had died several years before

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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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As a girl she collected stamps

Although I gave away and threw out many of the things my parents collected, such as a large pile of magazines, unopened newspapers, recipe books and empty margarine containers, I kept my mother’s stamp collection, even though I have no idea what to do with it. It appears that, as

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She met Greta Garbo at Saks Fifth Avenue

Greta Garbo, the glamorous Swedish American motion picture star of the 1920’s and 30s, was to be one of my mother’s first customers when she began work at Saks Fifth Avenue, the high end department store in New York City. It was the 1940s and, despite the outbreak of war,

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