Russia

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

This day in my maternal family’s history – April 4, 1919

On this day, 102 years ago, my grandmother, Olga Woronoff, began a diary which documents their last months in Russia and their movements during the Civil War. My grandfather, Paul Woronoff, was fighting with the White Army (the Volunteer Army) and my grandmother had travelled to the south of Russia

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

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

Read More

Some digging shows that both family trees have similar roots

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.

Read More

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

Read More