I am anxious to find the family of my great-grandfather’s sister, Anna. She was the only sibling he discussed in his letter about his life to his son and daughter. The rest of the half-dozen siblings were only mentioned by name.
My great-grandfather was 23 years older than Anna. I did not know the age difference until I paid a professional researcher to study the family village’s church records. My great-grandfather left the family village in Kursk for Kiev when Anna was about 15 years old.
My great-grandfather luckily later escaped Kiev during World War II for Germany, with the help of his wife’s German ancestry. He sent packages of clothing to Anna’s family from Germany after he learned about how difficult their life was in the Soviet Union. Anna was lucky that she had a tailor for a big brother.
It is rumored that the packages of clothing my great-grandfather sent caused trouble for Anna. Receiving or sending foreign mail during communist times was a big no-no. Apparently, my great-grand aunt Anna also did not care about rules. She wrote to her nephew, my grandmother’s brother, in the U.S. sometime in the 1960s or 1970s. He never wrote back. This is my grand-uncle who threw out all of his personal documents from Ukraine and Germany and his immigration process.
Luckily, he kept her address for many years. I called him in 1999 to ask him what he remembered about his family. He mentioned his Aunt Anna mailed him a letter, which he no longer had, that he never answered. My grand-uncle mailed me her last address in English.
I sent a letter to the address but the letter was returned in 2000. For 12 years, I have kept the address. I finally have figured out the address. I typed the place I thought was her village into Google. It came up as the Russian word for calculator. So I searched for village calculator in Kursk in Russian and discovered it was a real address in Kursk. I found a woman with the same last name on the same street as where my great-grand aunt lived in an online phone directory. The name is common but this is the only hope I’ve had in finding her family.
My mother tried to call her but the line keeps ringing and ringing. So I will send her a letter, hoping she is related or will pass on my letter to a government office that can help me. I already e-mailed a government office in Kursk for help in finding the family with the old address.
Then, I found a guy on vkontakte.ru, a Russian social website, who lived in the same apartment building as my great-grand aunt in the 1980s and 1990s. He listed his old address on his profile page. I am hoping he knew her or her children somehow and he will e-mail me back.
Finding my great-grand aunt’s family will be one of my major accomplishments in my family search. Hardly anything is known about my great-grandfather’s siblings. Even trying to find the families of his brothers would be hard because the family name is so common in Kiev, where they lived during World War II. I am hoping my great-grand aunt’s family reconnected with the other siblings so I can put this search to rest.