Family history

This genealogical project has been in paper format for a long time. At first I found it quite enough for my purposes. There were not so many materials referring to the period prior to my birth. Had I not taken the documents and photoes from my granny’s old house at the beginning of the nineties, there would have been much less. I was not seriously keen on genealogy and history then. That is why I limited myself to some elementary activities: asked relatives, drew the genealogic tree based on their stories, stored the documents in a separate filed and forgot about it for years.

But then everything changed, my attitude to the subject and external circumstances. In 2011 I moved to Riga to my wife. While packing my things before the departure I came across the old file with family documents. And now I took a completely different look at the contents. Then many years ago I was interested only in the exterior side of the matter. I felt an exceptional enthusiasm holding artifacts of the past. But the thoughts were quite different now: “My lord, I’ve got the document dated 1912. Incredible!” It became much more important to know what was my ancestors’ life like. I wished to look into their relations, views, activities, hobbies, housekeeping. I wondered how different historic events influenced their lives. Bare facts referring to names, titles and dates are still important to me. However, it is a certain coordinating net using which I place the details of the historic landscape on an outline chart of my kin.

There was a great surprise awating in Riga: family documents and photoes saved by my wife’s granny Tatyana Vladimirovna Lavrenko, Pravdina in maidhood. She honoured greatly and remembered her ancestors though she never had anything to do with genealogy. I was fascinated both with her historic memory and the scope of saved documents. Tatyana Vlsdimirovna told me a lot about her family past, showed me those she knew on the numerous old photoes. She passed away in the spring of 2013. Her relatives took decision to hand over all her documentary heritage to me since being a genealogist I had to take all responsibility. Thus I received not only documents saved by Tatyana Vladimirovna, but also a significant number of old photoes from their stocks. All of a sudden my genealogic collection increased by times. Besides, at that time I started working actively with archives and making copies of documents. I also got in touch with distant relatives and received digitized documents and photoes from them.

Thus, I encountered two tasks to be tackled closely:

  1. To transform piles of various papers and files into data base handy to work with;
  2. To make the relatives aware not only of the results of my search but the facts of family history as well.

I sorted out the first task by total digitizing of all documentary heritage and filling in the data base. However, the second task turned out to be more complicated. At first I made an interactive presentation in pdf format for circulating it to relatives.I drew a general tree with my and my wife’s predecessors . It covered 10 pages in general. I gave a brief view about about the biographies known to me in the second part of the presentation. My intention was to get something small-sized easy to be circulated but informative at the same time. Now I am aware of the absurdness of the idea, but then I was keen on getting across to me relatives absolutely everything about their and our common relatives. It was like overdosing them with information. Because of a small volume the presentation was stuffed with those dry facts I had thought to be just a little asset for reconstruction of the family history. There was no space for the vivid tissue of history itself.

Thus I made a blog site and started placing there different stories, documents from the family archive, write about the acquired experience. The site was planned to become an online-encyclopedia of the history of several kins. There are already 14 of the initally stated. Selection of individuals is effected under the following criteria: within the project format there are persons due to whom my family members and myself are still around. Of course, different persons close to our family come in sight from time to time since communication with them took significant part in our presecessors’ lives. with the help of tagging you can pick up information referring to a certain person. On a parallel line in I built a family tree where I transferred the basic information from my family base. By the way, I managed to find some distant relatives through this project and receive additional information about certain branches of my tree.

Due to contact form I receive applications from those who are looking for their ancestors in the territotry of Baltic States and am busy with helping other people in reconstruction of their family history. However, it is this project which gives me true inspiration to study genealogy since it helps me to know myself better as well as my dear family members.

Works done:

  • website structure;
  • general site view and pages’ design;
  • all required graphics;
  • WordPress template;
  • all texts.