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Immigration in late 1940s, anyone?

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RStar Report 20 Apr 2014 19:23

I want to know (and its a long shot) where men tended to gravitate to when they arrived by boat in England. My grandfather came from Sweden in 1946 aged 18, and settled in London for a short while doing any job he could. But is anybody else looking at this sort of research; does anybody know which areas the men went to? I cant see him on the electoral roll. He returned to Sweden for a while then came back in the early 1950's- this time docking in Hull, and went to live in Nottinghamshire.


brummiejan Report 20 Apr 2014 19:55

RStar, just an observation - he wouldn't have been on the electoral register unless he became a British citizen, so this is probably why he doesn't show up.
I assume you want to know where he was in the mystery years! I don't think anyone will be able to answer your question to be honest, but you never know. I think you can only track him by events such as marriage and births of children though.


RStar Report 20 Apr 2014 20:42

Jan, I never knew that!! I had seen other foreign surnames so presumed I'd find him. (Doh). He was naturalised but only later on and lived in Notts then. He isnt on passenger lists either, driving me mad because he destroyed his birth cert and naturalisation records. Thankyou.


brummiejan Report 20 Apr 2014 23:16

RStar, have you any idea where is Sweden he came from? Maybe you can track his birth down. You don't say if he married your grandmother, but if so hopefully there is a father named on the cert.
I have no experience of this personally, but I wonder if there might be records at the national archives.


RStar Report 21 Apr 2014 11:35

No Jan, he went to boarding school in Stockholm but they have no record, yes he married and had 8 kids so I do have his fathers name (Aleksander Krilovs, naval captain). But Sweden say there was no naval captain with that name.... all my traces come to a blank. It seems to be an Eastern European surname; most found in Latvia and Estonia. He was definitely hiding something because he wouldnt tell anyone his grandparents names or talk about aunts/uncles etc, also no ID of his was in the house. No 'Krilovs' were in Sweden at the time, Im thinking he used a fake name. God help me lol :-D


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 21 Apr 2014 11:45

He sounds too young to have been a Nazi or Communist sympathiser, but perhaps his parents were??

Alternatively as he was brought up during the War years, if his extended family were persecuted, he might have only had false papers to flee the country & land up in neutral Sweden. Perhaps he was still protecting the family left in Europe?


RStar Report 21 Apr 2014 14:56

Ive often wondered, because it doesnt add up. Destroying his ID, the school have no record of him, no passenger lists name him, and no naval records can be found of his father who allegedly died at sea in the late 1920s or early 1930s. All I know is he hated Polish people! I dont like to think that I may never find out because he was a lovely man, I know he had a very strict childhood and his stepfather (Swedish) was not a nice man. Thanks for replying.


patchem Report 21 Apr 2014 15:28

Presumably you have looked for records in his father's and his step-father's names?

If 18 in 1946 then born in 1928. So he was very young if his father died in the 1920's - so any recollections would be limited - or do you mean he did not talk about his step-father?


RStar Report 21 Apr 2014 21:42

Yes, although his stepfathers forename isnt known. He was v young when his natural father died, and was sent to some kind of boarding school. I gather his parents (I presume this is mother and stepdad) were very strict, and he wouldnt answer any questions I used to ask him when I was little. I dont think it was a happy childhood.

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 21 Apr 2014 23:28

There could be endless reasons why he came to UK, but particularly the years following the end of WWII, there was a lot of movement of people throughout the world.

I suspect, with the surname Krilovs he was not of Swedish origin, certainly not his father Aleksander Krilovs the naval captain - sounds like Baltic states or Russian.
If he went to school in Stockholm, I guess his father could have been stationed in Sweden at the time? Or his parents sent him to boarding school in Sweden to save him from whatever was going on in their home country...wherever that was.

Since he entered the UK in 1946 I wonder if he was one of thousands of DPs (Displaced Persons) who had fled their own country during and at the end of the war. They were housed in DP camps, or labour camps (nothing like concentration camps by the way!) , as they could not (I don't say would not, but could not) return to their homeland - either it was occupied, or no longer existed as its own country etc. Hence the name Displaced Person.

..."In 1947 there were 1.6 million people in Europe in 920 camps under the care of occupying armies and relief agencies. They were survivors from concentration camps, former Nazi conscripts, people fleeing Soviet rule, people facing persecution in their homeland....." (ref:

After the end of the war these DPs had to be repatriated or go somewhere or other. This was organised by the Allied Nations and/or United Nations Relief & Rehabilitation Administration, and US, Canada and Australia took the largest numbers. My uncle was one such DP who came to UK.
He was Lithuanian but found himself in a DP camp in Germany, and then having no 'Lithuania' as such to return to, arrived with a batch of DP's, by train, in Edinburgh. Many DPs worked in factories and on farmland.

Destroying ID.
I'm inclined to think along the same lines as DetEcTive ref: false papers, since there is no paper trail for him or his father.
In order to protect family at home, many people who had managed to flee changed their name/identity. This would have meant no contact with people back at home either, since mail was intercepted, particularly those countries which, after the end of the war, were now under the USSR.

Sorry, not much help. I'm full of speculation and pondering :-D :-D :-D ifs buts and maybe's. :-0

You could try posting a message here

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 21 Apr 2014 23:34

It might be worth you writing to the Home Office to apply for your granddad's Naturalisation papers.
I didn't have much information about my grandad, ie date of birth etc, but gave what info I did have, and was pleasantly surprised at what I got back from HO.

EDIT: I am sure you have done so already, but I thought I'd check 'Sweden, Indexed Birth Records, 1870-1941 ' on Ancestry - don't see anyone with father's name Aleksander Krilovs.


RStar Report 22 Apr 2014 12:01

I love reading your replies because you give so much to think about :-D lots of food for thought there, thankyou so much. On his marriage cert he does claim he was born in Sweden, and I know he spoke fluent Swedish but unsure if he spoke any other language apart from English. He must have had some kind of ID to have married in 1956 but perhaps just a passport. Ive enquired about Naturalisation papers and nobody with my grandads name fits (although he did say he was Naturalised and they spelt his name wrong). Cant view London alien identity cards because of the 100 yr rule. Thanks Karen, xx


Flip Report 22 Apr 2014 12:26

There are so many variations of his name, even the marriage/death registration. Have you searched all the variants on the national archives site - just from Ancestry, there apears to be Kilous, Krilous, Krilovs - and googling the surname also suggests Kryloff, Kriloff! Bit of a nightmare really.


RStar Report 22 Apr 2014 12:31

Flip :) I know, it makes it worse that out of a huge family Im the only one interested in actively doing the tree, so theres no help. All the Krilous are no doubt my lot (mistranscribed) lol. Ive even started branching out to Kirillov, Krylov, etc etc... thats without doing the complicated Polish surnames with all their Z's in. Thankyou.

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 22 Apr 2014 23:28

Talking of different name spellings I noticed some Krylov names on ships lists travelling to USA, their origin was Russian, just for the record.

Just a thought, but if he was born in Sweden of non-Swedish parents, then might his birth have been recorded with the relevant Embassy/Consulate rather than the regular Swedish bmd registrations?
hmmm all we have to do is decide which country the parents were from :-D :-D

;-) K


JoonieCloonie Report 23 Apr 2014 02:22

I wonder whether his family was in Sweden as refugees and he really was from somewhere else as seems to be the case.

'Sweden also became a refuge for anti-fascist and Jewish refugees from all over the region. In 1943, following an order to deport all of Denmark's Jewish population to concentration camps, nearly all of Denmark's 8,000 Jews were brought to safety in Sweden. Sweden also became a refuge for Norwegian Jews who fled from Nazi occupied Norway.'

is there any chance that the family was really Jewish? the mention of hating Poles ... although statistically Poles collaborated less than people in other occupied nations ... but the history of Jews in Poland is complex

it would be unusual for him to have gone back to Sweden years after the war in that case though
and if I am understanding correctly the family was in Sweden well before WWII

his marriage shows in the index as Krilous as Flip noted - is that just a mistranscription from the marriage certificate ? but no since the earliest births show that spelling ... that's quite odd since the two spellings are not really variants of each other

as has been mentioned elsewhere, the 'Baltic connection' between Sweden and Latvia could explain a Latvian sea captain having his family in Sweden

and of course being happy to stay there once Nazi Germany invaded Latvia

although oops, father Aleksander died in the 1920s?
"He was born 1928, and his parents were Annette and Aleksander Krilovs. Aleksander was a naval captain, who died at sea in the mid/late 1920s"
... well he would have had to die no later than 1927 !

Aleksander is certainly a Slavic name ... the Latvian form would be Alexeij ... although Aleksander could be an adaptation of the Latvian name
mother Annette, ethnicity could be anything ... do you know what WWK's stepfather's name was? edit - I see elsewhere that he was a Swede

you've posted the name elsewhere so no harm mentioning it I'm sure -
the marriage is
Waldeman Waldis Krilous
and you say elsewhere
'he was born Valdis Valdeman Krilovs'
... but not sure how you know that

definitely Germanic spelling with the W pronounced V ... and again, both are also Jewish surnames

you do have lots of posts elsewhere on the net so one hesitates to replough the same fields ...

searching at for the surname Krilovs to see whether an immigration trajectory for others can be determined ... ah yes, definitely the names 'Vjaceslavs' and 'Artjoms' are Latvian ... as is Valdis

anyway here is what I am going to suggest as I often do :-)

DNA testing

I'm sure that you have a descendant in the male line (son of a son of Walter) you could prevail on for some cheek scrapings

I suggest a YDNA-37 test, the basic starter for meaningful results and comparisons, at Family Tree DNA

this will provide a Y-haplogroup which can be a signpost to the ethnic / geographic origin - for instance, Latvia and Lithuania are unusual for the high proportion of Y-haplogroup N in the population
and that result would mark your family as Uralic rather than Germanic, e.g.

and also provide enough STRs (markers) to find whether there are any matches in the database worth pursuing as close relations
(37 markers is how I found my close relation, and upgrading to 67 bore out the match, but because I cannot trace my family before 1800 by 'traditional/paper' means, probably because of a 'non-paternal event' i.e. unmarried parents, we will not be able to identify the exact common ancestor, who almost certainly lived after the mid-1500s when parish records began in Cornwall - but I have at least confirmed where my parent's peripatetic clan originated, before scattering to London, Lancashire and points between)

the vast majority of testees at present are in the USA but because it is such a country of immigrants the odds of finding a match there are as good as anywhere; it is what I found myself (the match is with someone whose ancestor emigrated from the same area of Cornwall my ancestor left when he went to London, both around the mid 1800s)

it just strikes me that you are not likely to get any further with any of the 'traditional' research routes available and you might well strike it lucky with DNA, and if not now, perhaps sometime in future as the databases of people taking this step grow, and you might at least be able to get enough info and even remote matches to give you an ethnicity/geographic region of origin

here is the Latvian YDNA project for example:


JoonieCloonie Report 23 Apr 2014 02:42

I see you have considered the Jewish possibility ;)

I finally got my registration at the relevant site from 5 years ago completed, and searched for surname Krilovs in Latvia and was thrilled to find two results ... and I have reinvented the wheel :-D

I do wonder about Krilov and whether Krilous was a sort of Swedishization ... the suffix '-us' from Latin is still fairly common in Swedish names

and under 'V' there are Valdi, Waldi, Valdus

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 23 Apr 2014 23:54

A little more food for thought.....

According to
Alexander....Latvian form is Aleksandrs. The Estonian form is Aleksander.

And KRILOVS is included in the surname listing of this website