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Posted by: Roberta Ward (ID *****1840) Date: May 28, 2006 at 12:10:27
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My name is Roberta Ward of Brisbane, Australia. My father's family lived in Shanghai in the 1930s and possibly earlier. I would like to research dates of births/ marriages of my father's parents. They died before I was born and I have a suitcase of photos with pictures of Russian dances, musicians and great parties with Russian handwriting on the back that I am trying to have translated.
My father's name is THOMAS ANTHONY WARD (English/later Australian) born 14 Oct 1940 in Shanghai.
His father was THOMAS HENRY WARD born Birmingham c 1889 (+/-10 years or so). He worked as a Merchant Officer (purser) for British Merchant Navy. He married HELEN (IVANOFF/KLECHKINO) in Shanghai either a) 6 November 1931 b) 6 February 1931 c) 2 June 1931 or d) 11 June 1931.
Dad's Russian/English mother, HELEN WARD (IVANOFF/KLECHKINO) died soon after childbirth in 1940. Not much was heard from Dad's father after that. I think he was in Hong Kong at one time.
Dad was raised by his Russian aunt, MARIA SERGEVNA SPEELMAN (KLECHKINO). She married JOSEPH SPEELMAN a Dutchman. They may have had a daughter, LEA b 19 March 1928 d 15 July 1932. Not sure whether this was in Shanghai or Singapore. I think JOSEPH SPEELMAN worked at a Hotel HARLEQUIN in Singapore c 1970s?
Dad's other Russian aunt, ANNA NOVITSKY (KLECHKINO) married an American NOVITSKY. She ran a shop 'MRS NOVITSKY'S HOME FOOD' out of their home on 882/115 Bubbling Well Road (now Nanjing Road West).
My father, brother and I went to Shanghai together last year(2005) and were able to visit this address and even take a look inside, thanks to some help from a friendly Chinese tourist we'd met on the street minutes earlier!!
Dad went to the COLLEGE STE JEANNE D'ARC in the French Quarter but we couldn't find this school, even with the help of friendly tourists!!
Dad and his adopted Russian aunt, Maria (Dutch) were interned in a Japanese camp c 1948, i think. The other aunt, Anna (American) wasn't.
Dad and his two Russian aunts emmigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1950/51 via Hong Kong and Singapore.
Any help with locating birth/wedding certificates on any of these people would be appreciated. Or any information at all would be great!

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