More than 8 million records posted to massive World War II soldier database for the former USSR

The amount of information on soldiers who served in the Soviet Army during World War II being posted online doesn’t seem to have an end.

This week, Memory of the People announced another update that brings almost 8.5 million more records to the database, the largest database for documenting former USSR soldiers.

The new collection adds:

  • 6.2 million records from casualty cards and disease certificates
  • 720,000 records of conscription and demobilization from the documents of military enlistment offices
  • 154,000 records from name lists
  • 338,000 records for soldier awards
  • 267,000 entries from lists of buried soldiers and funeral notices
  • 780,000 documents from military registration and enlistment offices regarding soldier losses.

The records and information on Memory of the People cannot be found on any paid subscription genealogy website.

A video guide can be viewed here for those unfamiliar with Russian to make the database less intimidating.

The database provides detailed information on soldiers that includes full name, date of birth, place of birth, location for call of duty, map of the individual’s battle route and awards received, with photos of awards and scans of original documents. Documents can be saved by clicking on the disk button on the bottom right.

(Download a cheatsheet for Russian and Ukrainian words found on databases- flruf-database-cheatsheet.pdf)

Here’s how to take advantage of this database without knowing Russian.

  • Have Google Translate in the next window for translating names and places. The results can be copied and pasted for translation. Downloading the Google Translate app or another web browser translator for your device is highly recommended.
  • If Google Translate doesn’t work for certain names, try Transliterating English to Russian in One Step.
  • Start the search with as much information as possible. If results don’t appear, take away one search keyword at a time.
  • Remember that towns and villages can be spelled different than personally known. The birthplace of my great-grandfather is listed in two different neighborhoods and spelled randomly with an o and a on the end.
  • Open a document for copying and pasting results. Also, keep a list of people, surnames and villages/towns searched in a document.
  • If results can’t be found on direct relatives, try searching for cousins, no matter how distant. It sometimes takes a random cousin to bring new life to research.
  • Remember the importance of patronymic names (middle names based on the father’s first name). If particular people can’t be found, look for people with the same surnames and patronymic names from the same village and town. Those people could be unknown siblings of relatives.
  • Keep a close eye on the results because names of places duplicate throughout the former USSR. You’ll need to know the neighborhood (raiyon) and region (oblast) where your relatives lived.
  • In case typos have occurred, it is recommended to search solely by village or town. Copy and paste the village or town name translated in Russian into the place of birth search box to view everyone who is included in the database from that place.
  • Make screen shots of positive and potential results.

If nothing is found in this update, maybe information will be found in the next one. The Russian government acquired POW records from Germany last year and hopefully those records will be online sometime this year or next year.

Follow this blog with the top right button to catch the news on that new database and other important databases.

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Database reveals details on citizens, evacuees and soldiers from the Siege of Leningrad

More than 75 years have passed since World War II ended but the information flowing onto the Internet to document the war continues to the benefit of those doing their genealogy.

The newest database on World War II is “The Book of Memory of the Siege of Leningrad”. View the database text in English here.

(Download a cheatsheet for Russian and Ukrainian words found on databases- flruf-database-cheatsheet.pdf)

Readers can view a video on how to use this database without knowing Russian here. The database will be less intimidating after viewing the video.

About 9 million records are available on this database to document the evacuation of residents from Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), provide information about those who died or survived the siege of Leningrad, offer data on those who served in the Soviet Army’s military units to defend Leningrad from the German army and release records on residents and people’s militia members who received awards for their service during the siege.

The archives of Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl, Tver and Novosibirsk regions are working to provide the database more complete information on Leningrad residents who were relocated to their regions.

Those unaware of the evacuation process of Leningrad can learn about it here (translated into English).

Those who are unfamiliar Russian can follow these directions to search the database:

  1. Downloading Google Translate’s Internet browser app to a laptop or desktop computer is highly recommended to make viewing of the database so much easier.
  2. Use Google Translate or Transliterating English to Russian in One Step to write relatives’ and/or ancestors’ names in Russian.
  3. Create a document to keep a list of searched names so the search is organized and efficient.
  4. Copy and paste the translated names into the search box.
  5. Start searching with full names (in the order of last name, first name and  patronymic name (name derived from the father’s first name such as Nicholaevich or Nicholaevna). If the patronymic names are not known, just use the last and first names.
  6. If results don’t appear, remove the first name (given name). Then remove the patronymic name to see what is available on the last name.

Here is a sample result on an evacuee:

Those who want to search specifically about evacuees need to use this link.

With using the Google Translate browser app, the search page for evacuees will look like this:

The keywords still need to be written in Russian to search even with using the Google Translate app.

Those who don’t know Russian also can try looking through the alphabetically listed evacuees under the search box but it will take awhile with more than 800,000 evacuees documented on the database.

This database is worth searching for anyone who had relatives or ancestors living in Leningrad during WWII. It is a database that I never imagined would get online because the complications involved to detail the information.

Hopefully, this database gives closure for those wondering all these years about what happened to their families and ancestors during the siege.

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New WWII databases reveal amazing information, honoring 75th anniversary of victory
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