|Gravestone of Olga Platonina Dinwiddie|
When I decided to investigate the reason that some of the gravestones in the cemetery were in English, I would never have believed the fascinating information I would find. I picked Olga Platonina Dinwiddie as the first person to check out, as her name is so unique and she has such a beautiful granite stone. Born in 1886 in St. Petersburg, Russia, her former name was Olga Platonina Stenbock-Fermor, and she was a Countess. She was also an accomplished painter and her works are still sold today. There seems to be a mystery surrounding her life. Not much is known other than she was born in 1886 and died in 1956, according to the art dealers who sell her paintings.
She was known to have spent a lot of time in Paris and possibly Italy. Her most famous paintings are listed as Italian 20th Century and I found two sites in England that has paintings of hers for sale. They are Wooley and Wallis and Newfield Galleries.
Since I found her gravestone and was able to investigate the genealogy of her husband, Donald Mackenzie Dinwiddie, I was able to piece together some information on her life. I found that she married in 1929 at the Brentford Registry Office in the UK. The man she married had an incredibly interesting past. His grandfather was David Dinwiddie from Penpont, Dumfrie-shires, Scotland, who spent most of his life working for the British Crown in India. His grandmother was Mary Mackenzie, who was born in India, but her family roots were from Glasgow, Scotland and Dublin, Ireland. The grandfather, David Dinwiddie, wrote his memoirs and they are incredible. If you are interested in what life was like in the 1800s in the British colony of India, click here.
But the most amazing thing I found was on a genealogy site, and it was written by the nephew of Donald Dinwiddie. For the article, click here. But the gist of it is this ... Countess Olga Stenbock-Fermor fell out of a taxi in Paris in the arms of the man who would become her husband. It doesn't get more romantic than that. I never thought I would find such a wonderful fairy tale life from one grave stone! RIP, Ms. Olga!