I was told that I would never find my relatives. It would be too hard. Too much time has passed. The family name is too common.
My relative was a great person, but he never used the Internet. I have been using the Internet since 1995. It has taken years to figure out how to find relatives living in the former USSR on the Internet.
The best website for finding living family and ancestors is forum.vgd.ru. I have found relatives from two family lines on this website.
I first found my mother’s father’s family, Tyunin, on the message board for surnames in 2009. I had been on the website for a few years but I never bothered to look up my family’s surnames. I am kicking myself for doing so.
The man looking for my maternal grandfather died two years before I had a friend from Moscow call his house. I found his phone number on Nomer.org. He was so determined to find his uncle’s family.
Luckily, his daughter and son have been wonderful to me. My maternal grandfather had four sisters and one brother. I have found all of their families through my grandfather’s nephew’s children. I have many old family photos, which include the family home where my grandfather grew up.
My next stroke of luck on forum.vgd.ru was a complete shock. A guy wrote to me convinced he was related to me. He sent me a picture of a man who he thought was my great-grandfather, father of my paternal grandmother. I looked at the picture and said he doesn’t look like anyone in my grandmother’s family.
Then, he sent me a family tree with more than 100 people back to the early 1700s. The guy had all the names of my grandmother’s siblings and their spouses correct. I was stunned. I was so excited that I called my grandmother’s niece at 6 a.m. on a Sunday in Utah.
Since then, the family has been wonderful. They would love for me to visit them in Moscow. One cousin, my third cousin, has translated several documents archives in Rostov region sent me and e-mailed me old family photos of my great-grandfather’s brother’s family. I even have a family photo of my grandmother as a two-year-old with four of her five brothers, her father and grandfather from 1904.
Thanks to this connection, I found another cousin from the Kirsanov family tree I received from my third cousin. A cousin from this family tree posted information on his grandmother’s family on forum.vgd.ru and it matched everything on the family tree.
These distant cousins, sixth cousins, live in Ohio and the family researched the Don Cossack ancestry of our Kirsanov family. So, now I have more information on my paternal grandmother’s family than what my own grandmother even knew.
Please don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a possible connection on your family’s surname page. Post your family’s information and maybe a relative will e-mail you.
If you need any help in figuring out this website, please e-mail me at bepa. miller @ mail. ru.