“Every person is endowed with an immortal soul and deserves to remain forever in the memory of future generations. We all have dreamed about their business and accomplishments remain for centuries. But living memory is short and selective. It remains only a few great, the rest into oblivion.”
These are great words I didn’t expect to read now in Russian when the Soviet era taught citizens for generations to think only the “great few” should be respected and remembered. I am gaining more hope that the brick walls I am facing in the Russian-speaking world will crumble quicker as time passes.
The great words come from Skorbim.com, a website I had hoped would exist in the near future. This website is trying to become the Russian language version of FindaGrave.com, where anyone can see pictures of graves and biographical information of deceased people mostly in the USA.
So what is great about a website with photos of Russian language graves? Try getting information on people who died after 1917 from registry offices in the former USSR can be exhausting as Russian full-length dance performances.
Not only is getting information hard for foreigners, my distance cousin in St. Petersburg, Russia, had to prove ancestry to her great-grandmother, who died almost 40 years ago, in order to receive information on the location of her ancestor’s grave. A relative usually led the way to the grave but she wanted to visit the grave on her own.
Once Skorbim.com grows to the popularity of Findagrave.com, the bureaucrats at registry offices can’t read off federal law to state why information on someone’s dates of birth and death and places of birth and death cannot be provided on those already dead.
The website claims to have 1.1 million graves documented but I can only figure out how to view a few thousand. Whatever the true number, the website is worth checking out and following as it grows.
To give this website a try the easiest way, get your Russian surnames translated into Russian on Google Translate, then copy each surname with site:http://skorbim.com into a search engine keyword box.
If you cannot read Russian, copy and paste the results into Google Translate to see which results are worth viewing. It would be best to keep Google Translate open in the window next to the search results to make it a smoother experience.
Фамилия is surname; Имя is first name; Отчество is patronymic name (middle name from father); Мужской is male; Женский is female; Дата рождения is birth date; День is day; Месяц is month; Год is year; Дата смерти is date of death; Страна is country; Область is region, Город is city and Кладбище is cemetery.
Remember to click on поиск on the bottom left to get the search results.
I recommend keeping the searches simple to leave the door open to find unexpected information.
Please share this post with as many people as possible so Skorbim.com can grow into the Russian version of Findagrave.com, where I am a regular contributor. This website can help bring the former USSR into the world of unlimited information if it grows in popularity.