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Saturday, January 01, 2000

Digging up your Russian Roots

by Barbara Krasner-Khait

The usefulness of the web to research genealogy cannot be overstated. Here are some of the most useful links.

General Sites

All Russia Family Database Search the free database for your surnames. It’s helpful to be able to read Russian for this site, even if accessing the English language version.

Federation of Eastern European Family History A central site for Eastern European genealogy that includes the former Russian Empire.

American Family Immigration History Center If your family came to America between 1892 and 1924 through Ellis Island, you can use this site to find their passenger records and view copies of the actual ship manifests. The long-anticipated site can tremendously boost your search and beats sitting in a dark room perusing microscopic print on a microfilm reader.

Germans from Russia

Germans from Russia Heritage Society

Germans from Russia Heritage Collection If your heritage is ethnic German, accessing this site is a must. It provides "one-stop-shopping" for resources and links.

Einwanderungszentralstelle (EWZ) Anträge One of the most important document sources for Germans from Russia is this collection of more than 400,000 applications of ethnic Germans living outside Germany during 1939-1945. The actual records were kept in the Berlin Document Center and filmed by the National Archives. These two sites describe what’s available.

Village Reports In the 1940s, Dr. Karl Stumpp headed up an organization set up by the Ministry of Occupied Eastern Territories to gather information on ethnic Germans in Ukraine. This site contains some of the reports written to accomplish the task.

German Russian Genealogy Says Brosz, "Here’s a site that everyone should visit if they are researching German Russians."

Online Discussion Groups Choose from several distinctive listservs to ask questions and exchange information with others from the same geographic area: Bessarabian Germans, Glückstal Colonies, Crimea Germans, and Volga Germans. In addition, two groups provide forums on genealogy and family research as well as heritage and culture.

St. Petersburg Archives Access surname lists from the St. Petersburg holdings on Germans from Russia.

Jews from Russian Lands

JewishGen The ultimate site for Jewish genealogy.

JewishGen Family Finder Allows you to enter a surname or place name and find other researchers with similar interests. Enter your own names so others can find you.

Family Tree of the Jewish People Contains family trees submitted by 1,500 Jewish researchers around the world. Armed with a researcher code and password (which you get through an e-mail request), you can access this database and you can upload your own tree. The database also enables you to contact the submitter—you may even find new family connections! Fox, for example, found connections with a recent émigré from Moscow through the Family Tree of the Jewish People. They share a great-grandmother.

All Belarus Database A compilation of more than 100,000 records from sources such as vital records, voter lists, business directories, tax lists, and ghetto inventories. Just enter the names you wish to search.

All Latvia Database Similar to the All Belarus Database, this consolidated index contains 50,000 entries referring to more than 80,000 individuals.

All Lithuania Database Sponsored by the Litvak Special Interest Group, this database contains more than 200,000 entries.

Vsia Rossia Database An index to more than 30,000 entries from the 1895, 1899, 1903, and 1911 All Russia business directories, representing Chernigov, Poltava, Kiev, Volhynia, Minsk, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Odessa, Berdichev, Zhitomir, Slonim, Volkovysk, and Tiraspol.

Yizkor Book Necrology Database After the Holocaust, survivors from a particular town banded together to write and memorialize their annihilated town and friends and family. This site provides easy, English-language access to the names contained in many of these books covering the geographic areas of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Special Interest Groups Researchers share common interests in groups covering Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. These SIGs also feature online discussion groups.

Nobility

Association of the Belarusian Nobility A fee-based society headquartered in Minsk open to descendants of nobility from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Russian Nobility Search a database of 11,000 names.

Belarus

Belarusian Genealogy Offers links to maps, researchers, documents.

Belarus Genealogy Forum Join this newsgroup if you’re looking to network with others researching their Belarusan roots.

Compiled by Barbara Krasner-Khait.