Two years ago, I wrote letters to several people who carried my great-grandfather’s surname in Kursk. One letter arrived at a house where the woman died soon after my letter arrived but the letter was passed onto a younger relative.
I wasn’t too excited to get a response to my letter after so much time had passed until I learned the woman’s family had relatives in my great-grandfather’s village, in addition to a nearby village.
Now, I am waiting to hear from a researcher whether Kursk Regional Archives have a birth record of the woman’s grand aunt born in 1906. It would be a miracle to find one person connected to my Trunov family.
My great-grandfather and two brothers together left the family village before the Russian Revolution for a better life in Kiev. Several siblings were left behind and never heard from again after the 1950s.
I am lucky my letter was not trashed. Even if I can’t find a connection to this woman’s family now, it still gives me hope that I will eventually find relatives of my great-grandfather.
Having faith in letters to strangers
A Russian-American’s inside view of the FamilyTree DNA’s Family Finder Test