More than 8 million records posted to massive World War II soldier database for the former USSR

The amount of information on soldiers who served in the Soviet Army during World War II being posted online doesn’t seem to have an end.

This week, Memory of the People announced another update that brings almost 8.5 million more records to the database, the largest database for documenting former USSR soldiers.

The new collection adds:

  • 6.2 million records from casualty cards and disease certificates
  • 720,000 records of conscription and demobilization from the documents of military enlistment offices
  • 154,000 records from name lists
  • 338,000 records for soldier awards
  • 267,000 entries from lists of buried soldiers and funeral notices
  • 780,000 documents from military registration and enlistment offices regarding soldier losses.

The records and information on Memory of the People cannot be found on any paid subscription genealogy website.

A video guide can be viewed here for those unfamiliar with Russian to make the database less intimidating.

The database provides detailed information on soldiers that includes full name, date of birth, place of birth, location for call of duty, map of the individual’s battle route and awards received, with photos of awards and scans of original documents. Documents can be saved by clicking on the disk button on the bottom right.

(Download a cheatsheet for Russian and Ukrainian words found on databases- flruf-database-cheatsheet.pdf)

Here’s how to take advantage of this database without knowing Russian.

  • Have Google Translate in the next window for translating names and places. The results can be copied and pasted for translation. Downloading the Google Translate app or another web browser translator for your device is highly recommended.
  • If Google Translate doesn’t work for certain names, try Transliterating English to Russian in One Step.
  • Start the search with as much information as possible. If results don’t appear, take away one search keyword at a time.
  • Remember that towns and villages can be spelled different than personally known. The birthplace of my great-grandfather is listed in two different neighborhoods and spelled randomly with an o and a on the end.
  • Open a document for copying and pasting results. Also, keep a list of people, surnames and villages/towns searched in a document.
  • If results can’t be found on direct relatives, try searching for cousins, no matter how distant. It sometimes takes a random cousin to bring new life to research.
  • Remember the importance of patronymic names (middle names based on the father’s first name). If particular people can’t be found, look for people with the same surnames and patronymic names from the same village and town. Those people could be unknown siblings of relatives.
  • Keep a close eye on the results because names of places duplicate throughout the former USSR. You’ll need to know the neighborhood (raiyon) and region (oblast) where your relatives lived.
  • In case typos have occurred, it is recommended to search solely by village or town. Copy and paste the village or town name translated in Russian into the place of birth search box to view everyone who is included in the database from that place.
  • Make screen shots of positive and potential results.

If nothing is found in this update, maybe information will be found in the next one. The Russian government acquired POW records from Germany last year and hopefully those records will be online sometime this year or next year.

Follow this blog with the top right button to catch the news on that new database and other important databases.

Related posts:
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New WWII Soviet Army database gives faces to veterans
New database documents fighters of independence of Ukraine from 1917-1924
Arolsen Archives quietly adds 13 million more WWII records…

Database reveals details on citizens, evacuees and soldiers from the Siege of Leningrad

More than 75 years have passed since World War II ended but the information flowing onto the Internet to document the war continues to the benefit of those doing their genealogy.

The newest database on World War II is “The Book of Memory of the Siege of Leningrad”. View the database text in English here.

(Download a cheatsheet for Russian and Ukrainian words found on databases- flruf-database-cheatsheet.pdf)

Readers can view a video on how to use this database without knowing Russian here. The database will be less intimidating after viewing the video.

About 9 million records are available on this database to document the evacuation of residents from Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), provide information about those who died or survived the siege of Leningrad, offer data on those who served in the Soviet Army’s military units to defend Leningrad from the German army and release records on residents and people’s militia members who received awards for their service during the siege.

The archives of Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl, Tver and Novosibirsk regions are working to provide the database more complete information on Leningrad residents who were relocated to their regions.

Those unaware of the evacuation process of Leningrad can learn about it here (translated into English).

Those who are unfamiliar Russian can follow these directions to search the database:

  1. Downloading Google Translate’s Internet browser app to a laptop or desktop computer is highly recommended to make viewing of the database so much easier.
  2. Use Google Translate or Transliterating English to Russian in One Step to write relatives’ and/or ancestors’ names in Russian.
  3. Create a document to keep a list of searched names so the search is organized and efficient.
  4. Copy and paste the translated names into the search box.
  5. Start searching with full names (in the order of last name, first name and  patronymic name (name derived from the father’s first name such as Nicholaevich or Nicholaevna). If the patronymic names are not known, just use the last and first names.
  6. If results don’t appear, remove the first name (given name). Then remove the patronymic name to see what is available on the last name.

Here is a sample result on an evacuee:

Those who want to search specifically about evacuees need to use this link.

With using the Google Translate browser app, the search page for evacuees will look like this:

The keywords still need to be written in Russian to search even with using the Google Translate app.

Those who don’t know Russian also can try looking through the alphabetically listed evacuees under the search box but it will take awhile with more than 800,000 evacuees documented on the database.

This database is worth searching for anyone who had relatives or ancestors living in Leningrad during WWII. It is a database that I never imagined would get online because the complications involved to detail the information.

Hopefully, this database gives closure for those wondering all these years about what happened to their families and ancestors during the siege.

Related posts:
Newly published genealogy guide will help get a better hold on Russian genealogy
New WWII databases reveal amazing information, honoring 75th anniversary of victory
Another treasure for researching World War I heroes
New WWII Soviet Army database gives faces to veterans
New database documents fighters of independence of Ukraine from 1917-1924

New database documents fighters of independence of Ukraine from 1917-1924

Quietly during the COVID-19 pandemic, an important database involving Ukraine’s history went online.

Ukraine 1917-1924 has documented more than 16,000 people who were involved in the fight for Ukraine’s independence. This website is in ENGLISH and can be searched in ENGLISH.

The database provides the following information on participants: name, unit of service, rank, birthdate, birth place, death date, cause of death, place of death and place of burial. Information varies for each person, naturally.

The results pages come back in English but once a brown bold last name result is clicked on, the information pops up in Ukrainian. Downloading Google Translate or a similar language translator app onto computers and other devices can put the information into English.

Ukrainian text also can be copied and pasted into Google Translate for quick English translation. Having Google Translate open in the next window would make the process easier.

Luckily, only last names of participants are required to search the database. A search trick that works for those of unsure of spellings of last names is using the first four letters followed by a * will provide a listing of participants with those spellings.

The database is expected to continue to expand with information on more participants so bookmark the database or this post. News on the database can be found here. The project managers also post news on their efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks.

Once participants are found in the database, don’t be shy and copy the Ukrainian keywords from the database into Google to check whether more information is available online.

Remember to follow this blog with the top right button to catch more posts on new and updated databases and important guides on Ukrainian and Russian genealogy.

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Secrets of searching the Internet in Russian and Ukrainian like a native speaker

Guide to finding the mystery family villages of Russia and Ukraine

Guide for spelling Russian and Ukrainian names to break those solid brickwalls

Major German forced laborer database on Ostarbeiters goes online

Newly published genealogy guide will help get a better hold on Russian genealogy

You are reading the 300th blog post for Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family. It took almost 10 years.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the best advice, information and websites for Russian genealogy research from this blog in a convenient form? If that is your wish, it has come true.

I am excited to announce that leading and oldest publisher of genealogy books in the USA, Genealogical Publishing Co., has published “Genealogy at a Glance: Russian Genealogy Research”($9.95 U.S. dollars and U.S. shipping only for now).

Click here to view a video about the genealogy guide.

Back in August, the company approached me to write the guide on Russian genealogy. I almost said no but changed my mind when I realized that the genealogy market is lacking on informational guides for Russian genealogy.

My journey into Russian genealogy started 11 years ago and I had to learn everything on my own. I have looked for years for books and guides that could help me. Instead, I used my basic Russian language knowledge from my childhood to maneuver around Russian genealogy websites and connect with Russian-speakers on the same journey.

After learning incredible and invaluable information on Russian genealogy and revealing that information in “Genealogy at a Glance: Russian Genealogy Research”, others on the same journey will have the information and confidence needed to take on Russian genealogy.

Three months of thinking, researching and writing went into the guide. Topics such as Russian names, conversion to the Gregorian calendar, locating Russian ancestral places, metric books, censuses, archives, Russian consular records, online databases (not the ones listed everywhere else), the Russian alphabet and more complete the guide to Russian genealogy.

So far, I am aware of one review by Linda Stufflebean of Empty Branches of the Family Tree. Read her praises of the guide here. (Other bloggers and writers can obtain review copies of the guide by contacting Joe Garonzik.)

The guide is perfect as presents, additions to reference rooms of genealogical organizations and merchandise for in-person genealogy workshops and conventions.

I’m awaiting to hear when the genealogy guide will be made available on Amazon.com, which will ship the guide to the USA and abroad. Follow this blog with the top right button to learn about the big news. The publisher only ships within the USA.

Help me spread the news about the genealogy guide by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Don’t forget to check out the amazing selection of professional genealogy publications on Genealogical Publishing.

Thank you to each person who purchases the Russian genealogy guide. I hope it leads readers to some great genealogy success stories!

Getting a marriage record from Ukrainian archives gives a surprising eye-opening view

I have been determined to get the marriage record of my paternal great-grandparents from an eastern Ukrainian archive office.

My journey was put on hold in 2013 for the 1890 record when the archives told me that the record was still in the registry office, which was only supposed to have records from the past 75 years. Records sitting in the registry offices are not available for public view with simple record requests.

Eight years ago, I found a researcher willing to help me with my situation. He also told me that the record was sitting at the registry office. I didn’t have the money to collect all my documents to prove ancestry to my great-grandparents and have those records translated to Ukrainian to get an official extraction of information.

For $100 the researcher could only get me an unofficial extraction of information from the marriage record. It came in the form of two computer screenshots but there wasn’t any new information. I felt ripped off for $100. I just wanted to see the actual record.

My stubbornness led me to try the Consulate General of Ukraine in New York to obtain a copy of the record a few months later. I collected all possible family documents to prove my relationship to my great-grandparents.

For the $75 I was charged, I got a newly minted and sealed document for the marriage of my great-grandparents. Still not the original marriage record I was determined to see from the church book.

Since then, I distracted myself with record searches that had higher chances of success. I finally had enough of this waiting game last month for obtaining a scan of this coveted marriage record.

This time, I came armed with a document created by Maria Golik, making my request formal and guaranteeing payment for services.

(Download this document to submit requests for record scans from Ukrainian archives. All text in bold needs to be replaced with the suggested text. Copy and paste the document text into Google Translate for Russian translation and then copy the Russian text for Ukrainian translation. Google Translate works better this way for Ukrainian. Make sure the request documents sent to archives are signed in cursive.)

The day after I submitted my  request using the above document, the archives accepted my request. A month later, the archives confirmed the record is FINALLY sitting in archives and available to be seen by my eager eyes in scanned form.

The bill was 47 hryvnia ($1.69 USA/2.14 Canadian/1.40 Euro), the equivalent of a cup of coffee on a Kyiv street. But paying the bill was not simple. Western Union was not accepting the bank account information to send the money.

So my second cousin in Kyiv came to the rescue. A unpaid bill equal to a cup of coffee was not going to make this a never-ending journey.

I sent the archives the receipt for payment from my cousin.  Ten days later, I finally saw the scan of my great-grandparents’ marriage. I was hoping to see my great-grandmother’s parents’ names and relatives of my great-grandparents as witnesses.

But that didn’t happen. As witnesses, I got a motley crew of a telegraph worker, soldier, merchant and some honorary citizen, none of whom can be identified as relatives. It’s as if my great-grandparents asked random people on the street to be witnesses a few days before their wedding. In addition, the record doesn’t have a word on the parents of my great-grandparents.

The biggest surprise was that the number associated with the request from the Consulate General of Ukraine was noted on the marriage record. It looked creepy as if the former Soviet Ukraine tracks people who request records. But that notation just proves the request was properly documented.

All of this was for one marriage record. This was quite the learning experience. Now, I have gained valuable knowledge in dealing with Ukrainian archives and a better understanding about how these records are managed in Ukraine. Let the next Ukrainian journey be more brief and enjoyable, please.

Remember to follow this blog with the top right button to catch informative posts on Ukrainian and Russian genealogy and news on important databases for researching relatives and ancestors from the former USSR.

Related posts:
Expert guide to using Google Translate in Russian and Ukrainian genealogy
Secrets of searching the Internet in Russian and Ukrainian like a native speaker
Guide to finding the mystery family villages of Russia and Ukraine
Guide for spelling Russian and Ukrainian names to break those solid brickwalls