Olga Kleinmichel

Royal Romanov playmates of my grandmother

Above is a photo, taken at Ivnia, of my maternal great-grandmother, Countess Catherine Nicholaievna Kleinmichel, her daughters and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich – according to the writing on the back of the photo. I believe my grandmother, Olga Voronov (Woronoff) née Kleinmichel, is second from the left, next to her

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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

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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

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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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The Controversial Count, the railway he built, and the poem

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

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Snow in Summer: He was Extravagant and Eccentric

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

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