Author Topic: Looking for great-great grandparents' identities, possible nobility  (Read 7088 times)

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Hi all, my great-great grandparents lived in St. Petersburg, Russia and were executed following the revolution. But their identities are unknown. They were my father's father's father's parents, so I would like to find out who they were and what is our real family name.

Their son (my great-grandfather) was born in St. Petersburg circa 1908. After his parents were executed, he was smuggled out of Russia by unknown people. He then lived with the Strod family in Latvia, his identity was changed for his protection, and he was given false Latvian identification, etc. He served in the Latvian army, and married a Latvian woman (my great-grandmother) in 1933. They had a daughter (my great aunt) in 1934, and a son (my grandfather) in 1939. When the Soviets occupied Latvia 1940-1941, he lived in hiding, and then when the Soviets returned in 1944 the family fled for the West, eventually emigrating to the U.S. in 1949.

My great-aunt is the last survivor of the old family. She lived in Latvia 1934-1944 and the family evacuated near the end of the war. According to her, my great-grandfather (Romualds) had one brother, Harry, and two sisters, Janina and Vilhelmina. I do not know if these were their original names or changed after they left St. Petersburg. It's unknown where the others went following the Revolution, but the siblings were reunited some years later as adults. However, Harry went missing long before 1944 and was never heard from again, my aunt never met him. She did meet the two sisters, Janina and Vilhelmina, when she was a girl, but the family permanently lost contact with them following 1944.

I would like to find out who my great-great grandparents were. Here are some of the reasons why we think they might have been among the nobility or some other privileged class:

1. My great aunt remembers very expensive gold framed paintings and portraits of her grandparents (and a few other valuable heirlooms) from her childhood home in Latvia. Presumably my great-grandfather brought these with him from Russia. The items were lost following the evacuation in 1944, but suggest her grandparents were among the wealthier classes of society.

2. My great-grandfather and his siblings spoke high Russian, or modern Russian (not sure exactly what it was called) used by the higher classes of society, different than what most of the common people spoke. He used this to his advantage many times when speaking to Russian officers as an adult. I think after many years the Soviets standardized the language throughout the country, but back in those days it's my understanding that the privileged classes spoke differently than the commoners.

3. My great-great grandparents were executed either in the Revolution or the Civil War, so naturally there is a great possibility their death was politically / class motivated.

4. My great-grandfather and his siblings had their names changed for their own protection and were sent out of the country.

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Unfortunately, there is not a lot go go on, only that my great-great grandparents lived in St. Petersburg and were executed following the Revolution. The names of the children were Romualds, Harry, Janina, and Vilhelmina, but it's unclear at this time if these were their original names or changed after they left Russia. The last name was definitely changed. My great-grandfather was raised by the Strod family in Latvia, it is not known where the others were sent. My great grandfather was given false Latvian identification saying he was born at Viski, Latvia, but he was in fact born in St. Petersburg.

As of now, the identity of our true family surname has been lost to the ages.