Finding living relatives in Russia has been a highlight of my genealogical journey.
Besides just finding more family, another benefit is more photos from an even earlier time have survived in the posession of my great-great uncle Arnolds Vinakmens and his family (likely because they did not have to make a frantic cross-European country, cross-Atlantic trip!)
This one above is the earliest photo I have seen of my great-grandfather Karlis, who is still just a teen here. It’s also the only photo I’ve seen of great-great-uncle Janis Rudolfs Vinakmens as a young man, and the first of a few photos I’ve seen of my great-great uncle Arnolds.
I love old photos. Sometimes between the documents and records and scribbling and stories, you still have a hard time gripping someone’s life story until you see a picture, then they come alive!