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Letter: Can you help in woman’s search for a long lost uncle?

Karin Lavrits of Estonia is trying to determine if a man who died in Sudbury in 2007 is an uncle of hers who disappeared during the Second Word War
typewriter pexels-cottonbro-3945337 (From Pexels by Cottonbro)

Editor’s note: A resident of Estonia reached out to recently trying to confirm if a man who died in Sudbury in 2007 was a lost relative of hers. Contact information is provided below.

In the July 18, 2007, edition of "Northern Life", I found a death notice for an Arnold Selge, who had died June 27, 2007, at Sudbury Regional Hospital. He might have been my great uncle. We lost contact years ago with the half-brother of my grandmother, also named Arthur Selge.

My Arnold’s father was Kornelius Selge, who was married twice. His first wife, Rosina, and two little daughters died of tuberculosis in 1918/1919. The only surviving daughter, Elsa (my grandmother, born in 1917), was left to her grandparents and as much as I know, she had no more contact with her father, Kornelius. 

Kornelius married again in 1920 to a woman named Anna and they had two boys: Heino Johannes (born in 1922) and Arnold Selge (born 1924), both born in Otepää, Estonia.

Here's a link to Arnold in my family tree.

While I was searcing information for my family tree, I found out that Heino was a freedom fighter and was hiding from Soviet troops during the Second World War, but was found and shot by them in 1946 (some fighters hid themselves in the forests after the war). 

I haven’t been able to find any information about Arnold, just the church records of him being born. Then I had a breakthrough. Not long ago, I googled Arthur’s name again, but this time I found a death notice for someone with that name.

Not only do the name and age of the Arther Selge of Sudbury match those of my uncle, but his parents names also match. I think he might have escaped the Soviet horrors and ended up in the USA and perhaps in Canada.

If that’s what happened, it explains why there was no information about him in Estonia. In the Soviet Union, speaking about people who had escaped/migrated was not allowed. The remaining relatives would have been in danger of being deported to Siberia for questioning the state.

I would like to confirm the Arthur Segle who died in Sudbury is my uncle. I would like to know if he had any children or if maybe someone remembers him and maybe could tell (write) to me about his life? When and how did he manage to escape and what was his life like in the U.S.? Did he ever visit Estonia again? Did he know what happened to his father and brother and did he ever know that he had an older sister in Estonia? 

Thank you again if you can maybe help me. My email is [email protected].

Karin Lavrits
Rapla, Estonia