About this blog

Vera Ivanova Miller

Welcome to my blog! I hope you will find the information and advice in this blog interesting and useful.

I learned very quickly that my newspaper reporter skills are needed to find my missing family and research my ancestors. I thought finding my relatives would be almost impossible, but I have found people and resources that have opened many doors for me. The relationships I have developed through my search have been wonderful. I hope I will help you find the same joy.

About me- I am a former award-winning American newspaper reporter and mother of two school-age sons. Now, I work as a special education aide for a public  elementary school.

Mostly recently, I became the author of “Genealogy at a Glance: Ukrainian Genealogy Research,” a publication of Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore, Maryland.

Earlier in 2021, the publishing company printed my first genealogy guide,
“Genealogy at a Glance: Russian Genealogy Research.” More than 350 copies have sold for far. The Russian guide is also available on Amazon here. The eBooks of both guides are available for $6.95 through the publisher’s website.

The guides give advice, information and resources to change Russian and Ukrainian genealogy from challenging tasks to more enjoyable and successful experiences.

I am happy to offer free guidance on dealing with the challenges of Russian and Ukrainian genealogy and family searches.  I am unable to provide any professional genealogy services.

Adoptees are welcome to contact me for free help to find their birth families in Russia and Ukraine. (I help adoptees for free only on the condition that when the family is found, contact by the adoptee will be made. Once, I had to tell a birth mother that her son doesn’t want contact after I was promised the adoptee was ready for the experience. These reconnections also are emotional for me on a different level, of course.)

Click here to contact me. (If your e-mail message bounces back, try this e-mail address.) Please provide all possible details on genealogy research and family searches and I try to respond within a week of receiving messages.

21 thoughts on “About this blog

  1. Teresa

    I am the mother of a Ukrainian adoptee. We have her parents names but she is not wanting to make contact. She would, however, like to know more about her family line and if she has siblings. I have had no luck finding records. I have contacted a couple of recommended researchers but never gotten a response. The children’s home where she lived is no longer in service. Apparently they have gone to a foster care system.

    I happened upon this blog so I will try to input what we have for her parents into one or 2 of the search engines. Would it be normal for both parents to share the same family name? And can you give me any leads on a record search site for living persons? My daughter was born in Zymiiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine.

    Thanks for all the info!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Vera
    I hope you could direct me.
    I came to the States in 1977 from Kiev. I have a half sister that I’m trying to find.
    Our father’s name was Gregory Frenkel, born April 7, 1936 in Kiev and died sometime in 1989 or 1990. My half sister’s name is Victoria and I don’t think she took our father’s name because it sounded too Jewish. So I don’t know her last name. She was born in 1975 in Kiev. This is all the information I have, Do you have any suggestions for me as to where to look and how to try and find her.
    Thank you for your time.
    Vicky Frenkel


    1. Maybe you should join vk.com and create a profile with your childhood photos with your father and have looking for my sister Victoria Frenkel as your status. Join Kiev Facebook pages and post about your missing sister. Send me a private message with more info at bepa.miller at mail.ru and maybe I can come up with other ideas.


      1. Vicky Frenkel

        hello again vera
        i tried several places and have not succeeded. do you have any other suggestions for me?
        thank you


  3. Pingback: Blog – Lost Russian Family | Harbiner Stories: Russian Diaspora Histories from China and the Northeast Frontier

  4. ThriftyToronto


    I had previously asked if you might possibly be Vera Grabovetsky, since I have that name on my list of matches at 23 and Me. You replied that you aren’t. I noticed I had another Vera there as well, so did a search for the name Vera. Turns out I have:

    Vera Grabovetsky
    Vera Gerasenko
    Vera Vyssotski
    Vera Tourick

    I think it is worth asking if you might be any of those people. If you were I can’t offer much information since I know almost nothing, but I’m sure you would have a lot that would be of interest to me.


  5. Hello,

    I am looking for any help in finding any records of my Grandmother’s family. Her name was Antonia Rodina (married name Schneider). She had a sister Onya and brother Paul. Her family were wheat farmers in the Millerovo Oblost (I believe they may have been kulaks), she was born in 1918. Her father and brother were taken and never heard from again.

    She married Friedrich Schneider who I believe was Austrian and they immigrated to Australia in 1949.

    Any help would be so greatly appreciated.



    1. Hello Sam, What documents have you already obtained from Australian Archives? I would first start with collecting as much information as possible from relatives and archives before you move on to contacting Russian archives. Did they every stay in a displaced persons camp before coming to Australia? Please give me more details here or e-mail at bepa.miller at mail.ru.


      1. Thankyou so much for your quick reply it is sooo appreciated!! I have requested a copy of their immigration records to Australia from the Australian Archives which I believe will have more information on the town that she was born in and hopefully parents names. I also have some photos and a photo of her sister who she never found.

        Unfortunately my grandfather passed away 10 years after they came to Australia and my Grandmother’s relatives she never knew what happened to them except that she believed her sister Onya was still alive, her brother she thinks had died after being taken (she also would not talk about her past very much either which makes it difficult to know a lot). They were in a displaced persons camp I believe in Austria before they came out on the displaced persons immigration scheme.

        Thankyou so much again this site is such a wonderful resource!


      2. Once you get the records from Australian archives, fill out this form to obtain more information on them here- https://www.its-arolsen.org/en/information/request-for-information-on-victims-of-nazi-persecution/ The search is free but takes 2 years to receive a response. It’s worth the records that the organization has on WWII refugees and victims of persecution. Contact me again when you get more information from Australian archives and I hope to have more advice with the new information. Happy to hear that this blog is useful to you!


      3. Hi Vera,

        I received the immigration papers – unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of new information except that my grandfather has also listed his nationality as Ukrainian. I also have dates of birth now too for my grandparents and their two eldest children.

        I also have that my Grandfather’s father was Jewish and that he was in a concentration camp due to this fact from 1943-1945. I am not sure which concentration camp this was.

        They came to Australia from the St Andre, Wolfsberg, Austria displaced persons camp and before that they were in Poland.

        Many Thanks Again,


  6. Carla

    I am looking for any records for my Grandfather, Alexander Tikhon Philin. I am unsure of the spelling of his name. He was born in the Ukraine about 1910. He was an engineer on the Dnieper Dam project and died in a construction accident in April.1933. he married my grandmother Margaret Klassen from Osterwick, Chortitza Colony in 1931 and they had one daughter Antonia Alexandria. I have searched but am unable to come up with any information. Can you help? thankyou


    1. Alina

      Dear Carla,
      I am genealogical researcher in the Ukraine and plan to be in Dnipro( ex. Dnipropetrovsk) for research. You can contact me if you are still interested,


  7. Anastassia Trifonov

    Dear Alina. My name is Anastassia Trifonov, In the year 2012 I was fortunate to make contact with my great uncle. His name was Vladimir Tkach he was my maternal grandfathers nephew. My maternal grandfather was Ivan Iosovitch Kasperovitch born 2nd December 1889 presumably in Byelorus. The last known address of Vladimir was 49128 Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk ” Jelmassif” “Kommunual” dom 3P kvatira 43. Although I have tried to contact him on numerous occasions. He was to write to me about our family but I have not heard from him. Maybe someone at this address knows what has happen to him. I would be extremely grateful to you if you could investigate this address for me as he was the only link to our past that I have been able to locate. Thanking you Kindest regards Anastassia..


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  9. Pingback: Datenbanken für die Familienforschung in der Ukraine und in Russland • Verein für Computergenealogie e.V. (CompGen)

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