Blood ties

This weekend I did a very big and important deal. Well, at least to me it is. I recovered the genealogical tree of my family. I recovered it until the end of 1880-1890’s when my grand grandfather was born.

First of all, I should say thatI trace my roots back to Rostov and Orenburg Cossacks. And without my grand grandfather Stepan I would have never been born in Chelyabinsk – the city that I adore with my heart and soul – and probably wouldn’t become the person I am now.

By the way, by blood, my son is a Cossack too. Not just from my side but from his father’s side too as my ex-husband is a real Cossack and even goes to some kind of meetings with his father. I added his branch to my genealogical tree too for my son should know his origins. For example, he should know that his grand grandparents are from Germany – that’s why a lot of my ex’s relatives live in Germany.

Here’s my grand grandfather Stepan with his wife, his son’s family and his sister’s family:


He had a hard life. In 1914 he was taken captive by the German army. But he survived and after the war worked as a chief accountant. Taking care of his family, he made an invitation for his son and his son’s wife who stayed in Siberia and they could move to the Ural, in Chelyabinsk. Otherwise, they could have been repressed by a new government after the revolution in 1917. Stepan died in 1961 and he had a long and hard, yet interesting life.

That’s his son Ivan and his wife Irina, my grandfather and grandmother:


My grandmother Irina’s father, my grand grandfather Ivan was a kolkhoz (collective farm) chairman and his son, my grandmother’s brother Pantelei, had a big farm with horses. During the Revolution of 1917, he had to go hiding in mountains with horses because both red and white armies needed horses. Finally, he was found and they took away his horses and gave him a sick one that he nursed.

Here is my grand grandfather Pantelei that tried to hide his horses in the mountains. The picture was taken in 1943 in a military hospital… yes he was fighting for our country, our motherland during the Second World War – for the country whose government has deprived his family of everything. He passed the whole war and after it’s finished in 1946 he was slandered and condemned to 6 years in jail:


After the Revolution, there were dispossessions when all wealthy people lost everything they had. Anyway, my relatives said it was good that they were only deprived of everything, not repressed.

I heard stories about dispossessions told by my mother’s mom, my grandmother, too. When she was alive she and her sister tried to get back the house of her ancestors but after her death, everyone forgot about it.

I have other relatives who passed the war too. For example, Pantelei’s son Sergey. He was 19 years old when he died in 1943 during the Battle of Kursk, the biggest tank battle the world has known. Here is his picture taken in the beginning of the war:


I remember very well my grandparents. I wasn’t a little kid when they died and I had time to know them – and I am very proud of that. For example, I adored my father’s mother, my grandmother Nina. Well, both of my grandmothers were called Nina which determined my own name 🙂 And I am proud to be named after those wonderful women.

My father’s mother told me she was just like me. When I was coming to her house after school telling her how I laughed during lessons, she smiled and told me that’s how she was when she was young – laughsome and unseriously behaving. It’s hard for me now to understand how could she be so careless when she had to live her childhood during the war and without a father. She had 6 sisters and brothers and she had to work since she was a kid to get some food. Anyway, then she finished the evening school and even became cost-engineer.

At work, she met my grandfather. She told me she was in love with another guy but my grandfather was very insistent, he stalked her for one year and she fell in love with him. He was an engineer at the Experimental and Technological Bureau. Looking at his pictures now I can’t imagine it took him one year to make my grandmother fall in love 🙂 That’s my grandfather Victor:

By the way, I went to the same school my grandfather Victor finished. It’s founded in 1930 and is still working and is one of the best schools in the Ural region where they do teach the French language. During the war, this school was a military hospital.

That’s my grandmother and my grandfather with their first baby, my aunt Helen:


Now I will talk about my mother’s relatives. My grandmother – my mom’s mother – was also called Nina and she was a nurse. She only had one brother and I don’t really remember him. It’s my grandmother’s picture (she’s on the left):


My mother’s father, my grandfather Gennadiy was what you would probably call a redneck. But I realize now he was a great guy who worked as a truck driver on a big factory and earned more than his father. My mom recalls that even during the hard times they always had cakes and such. My mom was their unique kid. Here is she and her father:


Now I will tell you about my parents. But you should know that I personally think that I am much like my father and my sister – like my mother, especially when it comes to our characters.

My mother is a very mild, tender and sweet woman. Our family is her everything although she made a career too. She studied at two universities and has two diplomas – of an IT specialist (which she got even before my birth in 1989) and of a jurist. Now she works as a landscape designer and she is fond of it.

My father is a Candidate for Master of Sport in swimming, and after the army, he came home as a Staff Sergeant (he served in the Strategic Missile Forces). Here are his pictures of that time:

Then he finished the college that his both parents and his sister have finished and then university. After his diploma, he is a robotics engineer. But during the hard 90’s he decided to become a businessman to maintain his family which already included me and my sister. Thanks to his efforts I now have everything that I have.

Here is a pic where there are all my grandparents, my mom and my aunt, me, my little sister and my cousin:


Now when I know so much about my origins I found myself extremely proud. How can I feel weak or do so little when I have all those wonderful people behind me? How can I forget all that they did to make me able to be born and to enjoy this life?

It all also makes me think of the heritage that I will leave behind me. What legacy will my kids get? What will they tell the world about me?

All I know is that it’s all so touching. I think we all should know not only where we are going but also where we came from.




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