Research of a maternal great-grandfather shows he came from a Russian peasant family. Somehow he wound up with two mansions in Kiev with servants to help his wife and brood of children.
My great-grandfather worked in Kiev for a famous architect who later designed a building for the last Shah of Iran. My great-grandfather had his own success by running a construction company with 100 workers.
But his success in constructing beautiful buildings is only part of the answer why my great-grandfather climbed the social ladder from peasant to nobleman.
The rest of the answer probably lies in the place where my grandfather’s youngest sister was born. She was born in a town that had a large silver mine. One of her granddaughters told me the communist government took away my great-grandfather’s money he made from his silver mining.
The communist government took control of Ukraine six years after her birth so it makes me wonder about how much time he spent mining in that town. One of the richest families in Ukraine had a mansion there. Did my great-grandfather help build the mansion or network with this family to work for the famous architect in Kiev?
I hope to detail the time he spent in this town. First, I need to find birth records of my four grand-aunts in this town and then I can consider looking into other records archives could have on my great-grandfather.
I am crossing my fingers this week that a researcher will find birth records of two more grand-aunts from 1905 and 1909. Maybe I’ll find some interesting people as godparents or collect more possible direct ancestors’ surnames through the godparents.
I have been amazed by how far godparents of my grandfather and his sister traveled for their baptisms. The godparents came from Kursk Region to Kiev or Zhytomyr. Now if I can use the names of these godparents to find new direct ancestors of my maternal grandfather, the town filled with silver will have the value of a gold mine.