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In December 2008 I was sorting out my Christmas decorations in my loft and came across a box of letters addressed to my father. I had seen them before but as they were all in Latvian I hadn’t really looked at them.
I had been watching the BBC series “Who do you think you are” and I guess this must have sparked my interest. On the back of one of the letters was a printed return address with the name Biruta Grantovska.

envelope-back

I thought it was unusual for the 1940s for someone to have personalised stationary so I decided to Google the name and to my amazement on a message board a man in Australia had posted a message looking for information about Biruta Grantovska…….. For more info see Bill’s Page.
Having had such a successful outcome with my first search this spurred me on and I have found out quite a lot about my Latvian, English and Irish Ancestors. I have visited Latvia (photos) for the first time and met up with an English cousin I never new existed and he gave me a copy of a photo of my Great Grandmother. I have corresponded with someone who has written a book on my English ancestors and given me information going back to the 15th Century. I have corresponded with a schoolfriend of my fathers who lives in the USA and contacted me through this website, he didn’t know what had happened to my father after World War II. Another schoolfriend of my father has published his wartime memoirs-see “arnold’s war”.

Matiss_ArnoldsPhoto Latvia, date unknown. Back row right to left -Arnold Rozentals, Matiss Ulmkalns

 

Recently a 2nd cousin living in Sweden contacted me and visited us in the UK. I had a photo of Inita from 1958 in my house but didn’t know who she was !

I have also now visited her and her husband in Sweden and then they took me to Latvia to show me my where my ancestors lived and met family I didn’t know I had. Click here for the photos.

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School photo. Matiss Ulmkalns back row 2nd from left

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School photo. Matiss Ulmkalns, 2nd row from the back, 3rd from the left

 

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