Making the right connections on forums

Finding the right forums in Ukraine and Russia to help locate family can be tricky. Some forums take some time to figure out where to place posts to get responses.

Some Russian and Ukrainian forum users don’t like posts on searching for family or genealogy information. The comments on these posts can get pretty obnoxious. Thick skin is needed to deal with the people who aren’t the friendliest on these forums.

A simple request for information on the community or pictures of the community is a great start when joining a forum. It could attract forum users who are enthusiastic about the same village or town.

If a forum does not have an area for genealogy or missing people, a history section is a good place for posts. I have used history sections to ask for information on a family factory, village, local cemeteries and Don Cossack ancestry.

Some forums have areas for specific villages/towns or neighborhoods. These areas are perfect for posting information on missing relatives. A miscellaneous area also is a great place to post information on missing family.

The forums that actually have areas for missing relatives are gems. I would highly recommend posting only information that can be confirmed and bookmarking pages with your posts to keep track of responses.

Some small towns actually have forums for their communities. These forums are gifts. If the right member sees your post, the amount of information coming your way can be like a child’s Christmas. I also have found that some Russian newspapers have forums, some of which include areas for missing people.

Make sure the subject line for your posts are not too general- information want, looking for grandparents’ family, help please or family search. You need to be very specific for the subject line such as searching for Chehkov family from Ivanskoye; looking for photos of Rostov 1920s; and looking for historical information on Ivanskoye.

Some responses to my posts have been obnoxious. I have been accused of being French, Polish and Canadian. I have no idea why these are insults. My Russian has been insulted. I do not have any control over how some online language translators write Russian from my English.

I am very grateful when forum members look up information for me. Some forum members have genealogy-related books, historic documents or links to Russian census records and other directories. You will be amazed by the information some Russians can find online or in books.

It is especially important to thank forum members for information they give. If you don’t seem grateful, the members who help you and others may not respond to your posts again. It is also best to ignore obnoxious responses because they are not worth your time.

Russian and Ukrainian forums will require you to register. I make sure that the forum websites e-mail a main account when I get private messages or responses to my posts. Sometimes, these alert messages are filtered to the junk/spam mailbox because Cyrillic is not recognized by some e-mail programs. Make sure your settings for the spam box do not clean out messages automatically.

I will be happy to post links to forums designated for the areas where you are searching for relatives. Please post below the regions and towns where you are searching and I will try to find forums for those areas.