Guide to finding family in Ukraine like a native expert

It’s taken years to figure out how to use the best-known database for searching out Ukrainian family. Then, the improved search abilities at the two most popular social networks in Ukraine have made it incredibly easy to find relatives.

With following these guidelines, finding family will be easier than could be imagined. These tips even have been useful in finding birth families of adoptees, who usually know so little about their families.

Here’s how to find long-lost family in Ukraine. A laptop or desktop computer is highly recommended.

1. Create profiles on vk.com and ok.ru, the most popular social networks in Ukraine. They are available in English.

2. Have relatives’ names and hometowns translated on Google Translate. If Google Translate doesn’t work well, try this website for Russian translations. Then translate on Google Translate from Russian to Ukrainian.

3. Visit Google Maps and search for your relatives’ hometowns, make a list of surrounding villages, towns and cities and then have them translated into Russian and Ukrainian. (Of course, keep all the translated names and places in a Word document or a similar program.)

4. Then, go to this database of Ukrainian residents. Don’t worry if you don’t know a word of Russian. Here are the translations of each search box from left to right: фамилия (last name); имя (first name);  отчество (patronymic name, i.e. Nikolaevna, Sergeevich); нас. пункт (location/city/town/village); ул. (street); дом (house number/street number); and кв (apartment number). Here is a sample of how the results will appear.

The sample above shows the full name, birthdate, hometown and street address are given on each person, with some people having phone numbers.

5.  Start the search with only the last name in Russian, unless common last names are being searched. This will give  you a good idea of how common the name is in Ukraine. (Remember that sometimes surnames end differently for men and women. Make sure to search both version of surnames.)

6. This website limits viewing of result pages to 50 pages per day. If the results cover more than 50 pages, then refine the search by hometown.

7. If results no longer appear after searching by surname and hometown in Russian, try the Ukrainian versions. Also search for the surnames in the surrounding cities, towns and villages in Russian and Ukrainian.

8. Families may have moved to another place. Copy and paste the place of residence from Вся Украина – жители into Google to see where it is located. If the full name is uncommon and the birthdate seems possible for that person, it could be the correct person even if their place of residence is far from their last known address. The chances are higher of having a good match if the place of residence is in the same region as their last known residence.

8. To be completely thorough in researching good matches for relatives, search for other people who lived at the same address. Copy their hometown, street and house number into a Word document and paste those keywords into the proper search boxes to get the names of other residents for that address.

Find their profiles on  vk.com and ok.ru. The people may have moved since the database was created so find them online.

1. Search for the relatives on vk.com and ok.ru using your new accounts. Copy and paste the relative’s name in the top search box.

2. If too many matches appear, scroll down to the filter for extra options on the bottom right on vk.com. Then enter his or her birthdate. The birthdate filter on ok.ru is under age on the right.

3. If the all the results disappear, search only by first name and  birthdate. Then when too many results appear, reduce the results by adding their place of residence and nearby cities, towns and villages. The regions and neighborhoods of each place will need to be known on vk.com.

4. When good matches appears, view all the details of their profile. Then look at their friends. Look for friends who have the same last name as your relatives.

5. Some people on vk.com only allow friends to send them messages. To go around that, message friends who live in the same town or nearby. Then search for their profile on ok.ru to see if his/her profile is open there.

When relatives still can’t be found, it’s time to find some neighbors who could help on vk.com.

7. The last option is searching for neighbors of the address found on Вся Украина – жители. You’ll need to make temporary changes to your profile. Click on your name on the top right corner, click on edit under my profile, click on contact info under basic info. Change country, city, district and street to where your relative lived.

Then press save, click on my profile in the left column, click on show full information under birthdate and marital status, click on the house number or street name shown for the hometown address to find everyone who has listed as living at the same address or nearby.

8. Send polite messages to people found in the results, asking if they know of your relatives, and remember to say thank you for responding.

9. Step 7 can be avoided when searching in small towns and villages. Message friendly-looking people who are at least 30 years old to see whether they know any information.

Related posts:

Build the best mousetrap to find long-lost family this holiday season

Here’s the finest cheese for the best mousetrap to find long-lost family

Connect and click with long lost family in Russia and Ukraine

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One thought on “Guide to finding family in Ukraine like a native expert

  1. Pingback: This week’s crème de la crème — December 16, 2017 | Genealogy à la carte

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