I was thrilled to discover this website and your entry in particular. Yes, I too am fascinated by the topic and (along with my late mother) have been for almost as long as I can remember! Even as a child, I was spellbound by my great-aunt's recollections of how her grandmother (my great, great grandma) went to live in Russia and by the old photographs (three of which I now have) she used to show me,
Great, great grandmama was an English widow who re-married a railway engineer ("The Transiberian" was part of family lore). Leaving behind her son (my great-grandpa who was in his late teens), she, along with her husband and their two children, set off for St. Petersburgin in the 1870s. I recall seeing a photo of the elegant facade of the town house where they lived, photos of the children at different stages, a photo of their handsome son-in-law (a count according to family lore, again!) and several photos of great,great grandma in her coffin, surrounded by potted palms! Letters were frequent until The Revolution of 1917, after which nothing more was heard from those still in touch. Do I have distant Russian cousins, I ask myself? Who knows!
When I visited St. Petersburg, over fifteen years ago now, I immediately took to the hauntingly beautiful city (resplendent in its golden, Autumn glory) and its people, but kept wondering where exactly my ancestors would have llived and worked and what the routine of their daily lives would have been. Did they venture there by train in the first place, how long did the journey take them and did they ever
return home to visit family and friends in Britain?
Is there some way of finding out more, Phil? Would there be consular records and if so, how does one find them? Was there a British cemetery in St. Petersburg, and if so, did it survive the events of history? Were there many British railway engineers and if so, what and where was their working environment? Would they have been part of a British clique or would they have integrated with Russian people? How would their children have been educated? So many questions......................... I look forward to your comments.