26 October 2011

That's it.

Until and unless other resources become available, whether electronic or from interested individuals, my research will be ending. There are some people who have professed an interest in this topic, but they have not maintained and shared their research and/or communication. I do want to be clear that some of their information was very helpful! I've chased every lead that appeared and was financially reasonable to pursue. If I had unlimited funds, I'd hire people to do a whole lot more research and translate documents for me. I'd cajole people with my last name in Latvia and Germany to take a DNA test to see if they are related.

I have had some success. I've found, confirmed and established some relationships with people as a result of my research. I've accessed archives and found out some interesting and some very sad things about relatives. Most of my (male) ancestors in Latvia were skilled artisans (tradesmen) such as millers, smiths, or merchants. I have at least one mayor of a medium sized city as well as another who was a city council member. I had one relative who was a prisoner of war in the Soviet Union and actually survived long enough to be released, while I had another who was sent to a Nazi concentration camp and perished. I have another relative who was forced into military service for the Nazis and did not survive, but there is no record that I've found and survives about him, his service or his death. I have a ancestor who was a medical doctor and died in Russia. I (very likely) have a relative who was Stalin's maid/housekeeper, but sadly, "disappeared", according to Stalin's daughter, during one of his purges. I've learned that there is no evidence that even hints at the distant Swedish heritage that my grandmother suggested nor of any royal line or linkage to a "Polish Baron" that my grandfather had suggested. Again, while the men in my paternal ancestral line were skilled as far back as my research goes (until the early 1800s), there was never any indication of royalty. While I have been quite pleased with the knowledge I've gained from the research, I'm also filled with envy of people who are fortunate enough to be able to research their family heritage in a bunch of easily accessible records that go back centuries!

I've learned that most people don't really give a shit about genealogy. Oh, and I'm a distant relative of a local weatherman. :-)

Some of my unresolved questions:
  1. Why was Kurschinsky changed to Truschinsky and why was it not merely by one person, but also for adult (close) relatives?
  2. In what role did my grandfather serve while under Nazi occupation in Latvia?
  3. Where was Alma Gunther born and to whom? Do adoption records still exist?
  4. What is the maiden name of Heinrich Wigert's wife, Anna?
  5. Which "Trusinskis" who are in Latvia are related to me?
  6. Where is the link between the Odessa Deifels and my Deifels from Wurtemburg?
  7. Is there any relationship between "von Truschinsky" and "Truschinsky"?
  8. From where did August Till come when he moved to northern Latvia in the early 1800s?
  9. Are there any Trusinskys in Russia?
  10. Is the "Truschinski" found in a google book search related in some way?
  11. To what extent do internal passports and emigration records exist/survive in Latvia?
If anyone wants to share information, feel free to contact me here or on facebook. If you're researching your family history, good luck and have fun!

21 July 2011

Brigitte T.

So, my father called his cousin, Brigitte, for the first time. He got the number from his cousin Karina in Latvia. The call didn't go very well. She wasn't particularly interested in starting a relationship, citing her age and the fact that there was no attempt on the part of anyone to do so years and years ago. My dad did discuss visiting with her when he next visited Latvia, and she said that she would be willing to and even offered to let him stay with her. I found that to be interesting given the very direct and dismissive way in which she said that she didn't want any sort of relationship. My father noted that we didn't even have any contact information for her and have only recently -through my research, I might add- found out her name and so forth. He said that he isn't the person who didn't maintain the relationship with her and her family -it was his parents. That didn't seem to placate her.

I hope that -over time- she becomes a bit more interested, understanding and forgiving.

We did learn that she was married and had at least one daughter and two grandchildren. I am going to attempt to contact them via frype.com

Found Nancy Trusinski

I had been under the impression that nobody in my father's family had spoken with Nancy Trusinski, but I was wrong. Apparently, my father spoke with her at her mother's funeral some years back. He also spoke with her brother who still lives in the Twin Cities. So, after looking a bit more, I found out her married name, her husband and phone number.

I feel kind of silly "trying to find her" when she wasn't "lost" from the perspective of my father. I certainly wouldn't call her, but am considering -though still unlikely- writing her and asking her about my uncle. Who knows if she would respond. While they were divorced when I was quite young, I do recall her being really nice.

02 July 2011

Looking for Nancy Peterfeso / Trusinski

I am seeking the former wife of my uncle, Peter Trusinski, who died in 1988. I am seeking her to further my family research. I am particularly curious about how they met, dated and interests they may have shared. It is my understanding that she had remarried and may have moved to California at some time, but I do not know where, nor her her current last name. I would be fine corresponding via email or speaking on the phone or via skype -whichever is preferable.

I would also be interested in speaking with any surviving relative if Nancy has since passed away. I know she had two sisters -Debbie and Linda.

Finally, in my research, I have found that there are some unclaimed assets that exist in Nancy's name and can make that information available to her or her relatives.

Contact me by clicking on my profile located in the margin on the right side of the webpage.

15 April 2011

Krusinski Trusinski nugget of information

In my ongoing research, I was looking for information about Kurschinski (and its spelling variations) and Latvia. I came upon and google book source (I highly recommend searching google books for information) and have cut and pasted the information here. Click on the image to enlarge it.

The information is in German on the left and Polish on the right. It sure seems to be an AMAZING coincidence that there is someone with the last name "Krusinski" with the specific alias of "Trusinski". The specific person mentioned in the image is not anywhere on my family tree. This is amazing as there is an ongoing issue with people in the mid-1800s changing their name from Kruschinsky/Kursinsky to Truschinsky/Trusinski. Read earlier entries if you were not aware of this background.

08 April 2011

Long overdue update

Well, after a series of failed deadlines, the Estonian research has been completed and sent to me. My only real complaint is the inability to complete the service in a timely manner. I had to inquire about the progress in a series of emails to get them to move on the project. It certainly seems as if I not continued to inquire with them it may never have been completed. I had first contacted them in early 2010 and ordered the translation some months later. I agreed to pay them a very reasonable fee (from my perspective) to acquire the documents from the Estonian archives and then the scanned them and sent them to me without asking for payment. I did tell them that I would be asking them to translate them, so I am sure they relied on that and I know they added on the fee after the whole process was completed early this year. After reviewing them, I considered their fee structure, and said that I'd like 10 hours of translation services. I specified which pages to translate first and what would follow. As you can see, I've attached a few of the pages that were scanned and sent to me prior to their translation.

I have no real ability to comment on the quality of the translation services, specifically, though I can say that there were very few gaps in the pages that they did translate, so I presume they were skilled in reviewing and translating German handwriting. The fee for everything worked out to a little over $200. They wanted me to send my credit card information by fax and specified that I not send it by email. I also could have wired it to their bank, but I learned that the bank fee for doing that was quite high. Because of that, I chose to pay it via Western Union. I received the completed translation the following day.

What did this whole process further in my research? The following events occurred in the early 1880s.

I had figured my relative, Eduard TRUSCHINSKY, was being sued by his landlord, but I was wrong because he sued the owner of a mill with whom he had an agreement for a few years. He sued the landlord for failing to comply with the terms of the lease. This landlord was Baron KRUDENER and it occurred merely a few miles north of the present Latvian-Estonian border and along the Baltic coast. Those terms required the landlord to maintain the property, provide materials for the tenant to make any repairs, etc. From the statements gathered in the court process, it seems that the landlord was wholly negligent in this matter so Eduard sued for damages. Eduard passed away before the legal process had concluded. After Eduard's death, his attorney indicated that Eduard's widow wanted the case to continue. The last communication from the attorney is a second request for a document and in that request the attorney notes that the case cannot proceed without the specified document. There are no further communications present in the series of documents, implying that the other party didn't supply the needed document. Perhaps that is a coincidence or perhaps it is not. What would you do if you had received that last document from the party who was suing you??

A second and in some ways a more exciting benefit is the identification of the attorney acting on behalf of Eduard TRUSCHINSKY, August KRUMING. In a correspondence, he identifies himself as the attorney and brother-in-law of the plaintiff, Eduard TRUSCHINSKY. What that bit of information does is confirm a whole group of TRUSCHINSKYs which I had documented and strongly suspected -but been unable to definitively confirm- as being related to Eduard. Because of this information I can add at least 27 other TRUSCHINSKYs, their spouses and descendants. Further, it provides the possibility I can link this line of Truschinsky's in the past to "Trusinskis" in the present who are still in Latvia. That is useful, because the other, more established line of research doesn't link to any TRUSCHINSKIS in Latvia today, though it does to some other relatives, albeit not with the surname TRUSINSKIS. Unfortunately, it still doesn't solve the problem of getting a few different people in Latvia with the name TRUSINSKIS to reply to my inquiries.

If any of you TRUSINSKIS in Latvija are reading this, do you have any heritage from the Leipaja region of Latvija? If so, we may be related. If you are unsure, perhaps you could ask an older relative who might know...

Overall, though a bit tedious, I am glad to have used the Estonian research service. It provided a more interesting story on one of my relatives on my paternal side AND, perhaps more importantly, provided a link to a whole new set of relatives which -in the future- I may be able to link to TRUSINSKIS in present-day Latvia.

02 January 2011

Estonian research service

I've been working with an Estonian genealogy research service. They have been tasked to translate a series of German language documents involving an ancestor and a legal issue that had occurred. There has been some delay, but they promised to have the translation completed by the beginning of January. I haven't inquired yet, but plan to later this week.

I will report to my fellow genealogists on the quality of their work.