Random database search uncovers information waiting to be found at archives

After so many years of doing research on my ancestors, it is hard to predict what else could come my way. My latest discovery proves that good things do come to those who wait.

Out of boredom, I posted during the holiday season on the biggest Russian-language genealogy forum to find anyone who is researching my great-great-grandmother’s surname in southern Russia.

The responses on the forum weren’t of any use. Then, messages came this week from a man who saw my post. He suggested I have a researcher look at files at Russian State Historical Archive, the largest archive in Europe.

I know my great-great-grandmother’s family had some kind of connection to Luhansk, Ukraine. My great-grandfather had an uncle living there in the 1880s from his mother’s family.

The guy who contacted me found files on men with the same surname of my great-great-grandmother in Luhansk on the database for Russian State Historical Archive. I know it will be hard to connect those people with her family because I know so little.

Just out of curosity, I searched the full name of my grandfather on the database. My grandfather wrote in a letter to my father that he worked for Russian-Asian Bank in the early 1900s. I had a researcher attempt to find archive records on his work several years ago.

She couldn’t find any records. I gave up on trying to find information on his work for the bank.

Yesterday, my curosity peaked again. I waited a few minutes for the results of my search for him on Russian State Historical Archive. Then the first result was my grandfather’s personnel file from that bank where he had worked.

I was stunned and continue to be stunned. This has been waiting online for me to be found. It took a forum post completely unrelated to my grandfather to make this discovery.

Also, this is thanks to using Google Chrome as my Internet browser. It has an automatic language translator app and I couldn’t search or use these Russian websites without it.

So much money has been spent looking at records at this archive. I assumed I was done with this archive. Now, my researcher has plenty of reason to return to the archive.

I didn’t bother searching the archive’s database until now because I still get intimidated by large Russian archive websites. Having USSR-born parents only comes with a slight advantage in Russian genealogy.

This is a fine example of why not to give up. It’s hard to predict how one search can zig-zag into a perfect brickwall crashing.

Follow this blog with the top right button to learn about how this story continues.

Related posts:
Expert guide to using Google Translate in Russian and Ukrainian genealogy
Years of frustration ends with discovery of one key document
An unreal surprise appears when research on a great-grandfather seems stalled
10 Mythbusters for making breakthroughs in Russian genealogy
The cure for fearing Russian-language genealogy websites to make breakthroughs

 

11 thoughts on “Random database search uncovers information waiting to be found at archives

  1. Pingback: Random database search uncovers information waiting to be found at archives — Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family | Ups and Downs of Family History V2.0

  2. Vera, loved reading about your discovery!
    I am usually afraid to post specific details with surnames on Russian Forums. I herd that somebody could be using that information on their genealogical sites without asking for your permit. At the same time it impossible to ask for help without giving those surnames.
    Meanwhile I am very happy for your perfect brickwall crashing.

    Like

  3. Vera, I was thrilled to read this post! How exciting! Please keep us updated on what you learn from his file. And yes, Google Chrome translate is indispensable to those of us searching in another language 🙂

    Like

  4. Jan Butler

    So glad you found information! I, also, am looking for some on my grandmother who was born in 1897 in Moscow, I think. She came from a very large family. Mostly sisters. I do have a photo of one of her sisters bit I really don’y know where to look for additional information. Will try what you did–if anyone else has some ideas please send them on.
    Thanks
    Jan Butler

    Liked by 1 person

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