I have recently completed my book about the history of the Ukhtomsky (also spelled Ukhtomskiy, Ouchtomski and Ouchtomsky) family, titled The Desolation of Exile: A Russian Family’s Odyssey, and it is now available in the e-book version at  


I plan to publish it in hard copy some time in the future. I tell the story of the family through the prism of Russian history from its very beginnings, to Rurik. The book includes rare historic photos dating back to the nineteenth century.  In telling the story of the Ukhtomsky family, I follow their path into exile, as their story is one of the many such stories of the Russian Diaspora, scattered all over the world after the Russian Revolution and Civil War. To view additional historic photos of Simbirsk, Harbin and Germany, please visit www.thedesolationofexile.com.

This particular blog includes thoughts, musings and descriptions of my travel across Ukraine, Russia and China in 2010. Most of the places visited have some relation to the Ukhtomsky family history (after all, the known history of the family extends back 1000 years and that is plenty of time to move around to different places in the world) but, of course, on this trip, and on other trips I’ve taken in relation to this research, there was much more to the journey than doing research.  Seeing places for the first time is always exciting and interesting but I find that returning to once-visited places is no less so.

There is much that I experienced in my travels that is peripheral to my main subject of research but that was memorable and perhaps worth mentioning, so I decided to share it here along with some of the 1900 photos that I took along the way. 

In 2010, the book I co-authored for the Images of America series, Russian San Francisco, was published. This is a photographic history of the Russian community in San Francisco. The history of that community dates back to the famous love story of Nikolai Rezanov and Conchita Arguello, who met in 1806 in the very place that was later to become the city of San Francisco. The book chronicles the history of the Russians who continued to arrive throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through historic photographs. San Francisco is the place where some members of the Ukhtomsky family immigrated after World War II. The book is available from Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco bookstores and sites such as www.amazon.com.

For information about my translation services please visit www.ninabogdan.com.


2 Responses to About

  1. Karen says:

    Hello Nina,
    Thank you for your wonderful website and very interesting info!
    I’m also writing to see if you, by chance, have any info or suggestions about where to look for information on our ancestor from Simbirsk, Russia.
    He would have been born around 1914-16 and was orphaned (or perhaps separated from his parents) during the Civil War. He was then taken to the Czech Republic (around 1918-20) as an orphan and lived in several foster homes (farms). His name was Sergejev and we’re not sure if this is a first or last name.
    We are not ready to give up yet, and any help or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated!

    Kindest regards,

    • ninabogdan says:

      Hello Karen,
      Thank you for reading my blog! With respect to your ancestor, Sergejev would be his last name but that is not much to go on as it is fairly common. There is always the chance that some Simbirsk records have survived, however, such as his birth registration. Please write to me at nbogdan@comcast.net.
      Best regards,

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