An Inventor and a Cosmonaut

My trip to London for the ceremony to posthumously honor my cousin, Louis Brennan, has been planned. I received the invitation last week as well as an email inviting my husband and I to visit the Gillingham Library outside London the day before the ceremony. We will be traveling with the group from Ireland. http://www.visitmedway.org/events/louis-brennan-inventor-extraordinaire-gillingham-library-community-hub-gillingham.

Our plan is to arrive several days in advance of the ceremony in order to acclimate to the new time and tour the area a bit. My father had spent some time in the UK twice—once as a boy on his way from New Jersey to the Soviet Union during the Great Depression, and the second time during World War II. The Trip: First Stop London-December 1931.

I am hoping to retrace part of Dad’s trip to help me imagine what he saw as a boy and later, a young man.  The importance of reading between the lines (London-1931) describes some of the sites they saw in London such as this:

View from the bridge

During both trips, Dad arrived at the port in Southampton. I would love to take a train to visit this port city, but I wonder if this is a good idea because of the recent flooding which has been happening there. Does anyone know if this is a good idea?

I am honored and excited to be included in this ceremony. I will, of course, write of my trip.

Invitation

Now, I need to investigate my allegedly famous Russian relative—Soviet Cosmonaut Gherman Titov. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/6/newsid_2944000/2944638.stm.

My father’s grandmother was Martha Titova, and during his return to Russia many years ago with my sister, Dad was told that he was indeed related to the second man to travel in space. Russian genealogy is a lot more difficult to investigate, so I have not been able to confirm this relationship.  Perhaps another invitation some day?

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About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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