St Petersburg

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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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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My maternal great-grandfather; his two wives and five children

Searching for information on my maternal grandfather, Pavel Voronov (Paul Woronoff) uncovered more material than I ever thought possible and I have written quite a few posts about him. However, moving one generation up the tree and the information is more difficult to come by. Naturally, if I could read

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Thursday’s Child Has Far to Go

Does anyone still recite the nursery rhyme “Monday’s child”? I believe it was written to help children learn the days of the week. It goes:           Monday’s child is fair of face           Tuesday’s child is full of grace           Wednesday’s child is full of woe           Thursday’s child has

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The Winter Palace fire and my great great grandfather

On 17 December 1837, the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Russia, burst into flame. Almost as soon as the last embers ceased to burn, Tsar Nicholas I started to plan the rebuilding of this remarkable structure, hoping the new palace would wipe the memory of this disaster from the minds

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