S02EP05: ‘The Noble’ with Marina Brizhatova

The fifth episode of Series Two is now available, and in it Andrew meets Russian genealogist Marina Brizhatova.

He finds out what it’s like to research family history in Russia and the challenges of researching in a country that is so vast and without the convenience of large companies such as Ancestry or Find My Past with digitised online records. He’ll also be finding out about Marina’s Genealogy Rocks research company, what made her want to become a professional, and how VGD‘s forum has been useful for Russian family historians.

Relatively Speaking – Vladimir Udovenko

Marina has chosen her step-mother’s great grandfather Vladimir Udovenko as the Life Story to share, after researching her family for her.

It’s a story of a life that’s built on a hidden identity – one that was given to him by the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (the Committee of State Security), which is probably better known to those outside of Russia as the KGB.

Discovering the truth about him whilst researching the family years after his death, came as an unexpected shock to his descendants. They had no idea at all of their ancestor’s hidden life, nor his early life as a noble.

The Brick Wall – Aleksey Grigoryevich Sarychev

We’re off to Nyukhovets in the Ryazan region of Russia to try to solve a puzzle in one of Marina’s clients’ cases. Unlike most brick walls in the series, this one already has its beginning and its end, it’s the middle part of Aleksey Grigoryevich Sarychev that remains a mystery.

Marina was able to research right back to the 1600’s for her client’s family but it’s a brief period between the 7th and 8th Revision Tales (an 18th-19th century document that’s a bit like an irregular census in Russia, used at the time for taxation reasons) where the mystery occurs.

Her client’s family had lived for a very long time in one village called Nyukhovets until they suddenly move to Chernobayevo by the time of the 8th Revision Tale. Then, by the time of the 9th Revision Tale they vanish from there and re-appear back in Nyukhovets. What’s not known is why the family briefly left their ancestral home in 1812. Was it by choice? For work? To escape or avoid something?

If you think that you have any clues or ideas of why the family moved between the Revision Tales then you can let Marina know by contacting her via her website or via her twitter account, or alternatively you can contact her via our contact form and we’ll pass the message on.

Although a little nervous, Marina is happy to accept Andrew’s offer of help, even if it’s not quite as good as it sounds…


Episode Credits:
Series Two, Episode Five

Andrew Martin (Host/Producer)
Marina Brizhatova (Guest)

©2021 The Family Histories Podcast

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