Roll in hay in 1830s adds a big gap to the family tree

I was so thrilled when I discovered my great-great-grandmother’s maiden name after piecing together information after a few years. But thanks to her grandfather’s indiscretion in a barn or a field when he was 50 years old, the family tree always will be incomplete.

A few years ago, I asked a researcher to study my great-great-grandmother’s surname in the family village from 1880-1919. Nothing exciting was discovered. Her siblings nor her father’s siblings were found in church records.

I just assumed records went missing and were damaged over the years. Now I finally have the answer why I will never know about my great-great-grandmother’s siblings and her paternal aunts and uncles.

The out-of-wedlock birth of her father in 1835 resulted in the Russian Orthodox Church not acknowledging his birth nor his children’s births. Don’t mess with the laws of the Russian Orthodox Church, which still looks down on women who wear pants to church.  Too bad great-great-great-great-grandpa wouldn’t marry the nameless woman he got pregnant.

Thanks to the open mind of the father of my great-great-grandmother, I was able to learn about her ancestors, sadly with the horrible two-generation gap of information. My great-great-grandmother inherited land of her paternal grandfather from her father, giving information to help connect the family tree back to the 1640s.

It is disappointing that I will not ever find descendants of my great-great-grandmother’s close relatives. But I am grateful for having a professional researcher in Kursk Region who knows how to get around the challenges of religious politics of Russian genealogy.

Another researcher would have laughed his way to the bank with my money after telling me the research couldn’t be completed with missing records.

The silver lining on this cloud was learning that my Korostelev family came from Voronezh. There goes another pin on the map of Russia for my ancestral roots.