Russian State Public Historical Library, the country’s largest scientific library specialized in history, keeps busy by posting scanned old books and booklets that can’t be found easily elsewhere. The website doesn’t involve any fees or registration and offers simple downloading.
The historical library has more than 200 genealogical and biological references on topics ranging from coats of arms to lists of mischief people expelled from Moscow here. I have listed below more than 35 books/booklets that would have the most interest.
Most of the below books/booklets are listing people in alphabetical order.
Here is the order of the Russian alphabet:
А Б В Г Д Е Ё Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я
Before panicking and closing this page, have your family surnames translated from English to Russian on Google Translate or here. Having the names in Russian is half the effort involved with using these books/booklets.
The next important step is downloading Google Translate browser app or any other similar app onto your desktop or laptop computer. The app will automatically put Russian State Public Historical Library’s website into English.
The last half of the effort involved is lots of clicking and comparing your Russian surnames to the text in front of you. Once you make it to a page with the starting letter of your surnames, it will be lots comparing to see if any information exists on your ancestors or relatives.
Here’s an example how the website looks like before becoming too intimidated by a Russian website:
Once you find your family surnames in these books/booklets for the first time even if it is nothing about your family, your confidence with Russian documents will boom. I promise.
Don’t panic if you are not sure whether you found anything of importance. Facebook is loaded with friendly genealogy enthusiasts to help with translations of your downloads.
Below these links are more important guides for Russian and Ukrainian genealogy. Remember to follow this blog with the top right button to catch more posts on free resources in Russian and Ukrainian genealogy.
Yearbook of the Russian nobility (in French) printed 1899
Nobility by region:
An alphabetical list of the noble families of the Bessarabian province, included in the noble genealogy book printed 1901 (now Moldovia)
Alphabetical list of noble families included in the genealogy of noble books of Mogilev province printed 1908 (now Belarus)
Moscow nobility: an alphabetical list of noble families with a brief indication of the most important documents in the genealogical files of the Archive of the Moscow noble deputy assembly printed 1910
List of noble families of the Sedletsk province printed 1910 (now Poland)
Coats of Arms:
The coat of arms of the noble families of the Kingdom of Poland, the highest approved (in Russian and Polish) printed 1853
Coats of arms of Little Russian noble families printed 1892
Reference book about the persons of the Petrograd merchants and other ranks, joint-stock and share companies and trading houses, who received from November 1, 1915 to January 1, 1916 class certificates for the 1st and 2nd guilds, trade certificates of 1 and 2 categories for commercial enterprises, 1-5 grades for industrial enterprises, 2 and 3 grades for personal fishing activities. printed 1916
List of lieutenant colonels by seniority for Russian Imperial Army [1838, 1840, 1843-1844, 1848, 1842, 1855-1857, 1859, 1861-1881, 1883-1914] Information about the passage of service, awards, and since 1887 – year of birth, religion, marital status, education.
World War I
Lists of Russian prisoners of war delivered from Germany. printed 1917
List of Russian subjects caught in the war abroad. printed 1914
List of addresses of refugees. printed 1916
List of Refugees Wanted by American Migrants printed 1916
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