76 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Debra

    I have been searchng for my great grandparents village to be able to learn more from them with no luck. How can I find a good forum that can help me in my future research for my Russian great grandparents and beyond?


  2. kathy fietz

    hi. I am looking for the following place/s in Bielrussia, near Minsk which my grandfather stated on his U.S. Declaration of Intent in 1935:
    Psysczow,Poland (c. 1888 + 1941)
    Psyczow,Russia (c. 1888)
    Pozerely Poland (c.1913)
    Psycyely,Poland &/or Pazozely, Poland (c. 1935)
    Kathy jfietz@cegecom.lu


  3. Sandie Miller

    I am trying to find my ancestors. Here is my story
    I am looking for Joseph Eckharth, born 10 Mar 1903 in Eberan, Hungary. His parents are Franciscus Eckhart and Elisabeth (Reiter) Eckhart. Joseph immigrated to the United States on 30 Jun 1921 to Ellis Island, New York with his mother and sister. Joseph Eckharth married Josephine Rosenberger on January 29, 1927 in Manhatten, New York. Joseph Eckharth received his US Naturalization papers on March 6, 1931.
    In January 1933 I see Joseph Eckharth arriving back in the United States, so he must have gone back to Austria or Germany. From family stories, it seems Joseph could not find work in New York, he also had an interest in the Communist Party and wanted to join the Communist sector. He went back to Germany for a year to be able to get a Visa into Russia. About 1933 he returned to pick up his wife and they both entered Russia. It is said that Joseph worked in the URAL Mountains rebuilding old buildings. Joseph and his wife Josephine had a child (Olga or Stephanie) born in Russia
    In 1939 he was drafted into the Russo Finnish War and survived. From letters home it seems Joseph lost his faith in Communism. After World War II, this family was never heard from again. It seems they just disappeared.
    I am trying to find out what happened to them, were are their bodies, anything I could find out would be much appreciated. I do not know where to write or who to contact to gather information on this family.
    Can you please help? Thank you for any suggestions or advice. You may email me directly if you like at smil1025 @sc.rr.com


    1. I sent you a private message. ITS Arsolen or the American Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Program should be able to find information or family for you. American Red Cross can take about two years sometimes. ITS should take a few months. Good luck!


  4. Dimitris


    I am trying to find information about my lost family history.The only sourse was my grand father’s details as below:

    a) My grant father’s name was Tsiplikof Alexander (translated in english) , born on 1900 and probably he was Kossak.

    b) His father’s name was Ivan and his mother’s name was Xenia.

    c) He had two brothers named:Konstantin and Michael.

    d) He described his family town name as :STANITSA ,belonged to regional called:

    ‘SUBOROV” or “SUBOROFSKAYA” / second region of DON.

    e) He was a military school cadet and he reached on Greece as an immigrant on 1921.

    That’s all we know and we hope to help us in my future research for my lost family.

    Thank you in advance for your actions.

    Best regards

    Tsiplikof G. Dimitrios


  5. Hello,

    I am looking for long lost family as well. I believe my grandfather was from Starocherkassk. He was a Don Cossack.

    I am a proud grandson of a great Don Cossack warrior Ivan Feodorovich Sekretov who was forced to leave his beloved Mother Russia and land of his ancestors in 1910 after surviving being shot in the revolution fighting for the God, the Czar, and Mother Russia. I was born in Canada and am 38 years old now, and I keep the history of my ancestors in my heart and blood. Although I was never raised as a warrior of the Don, it is in my blood and my love for Mother Russia is as strong as ever, and the warrior spirit lives within me. My biggest wish is to come to the Don where I can spread the earth from my Grandfathers grave on the Don River one last time, so that his soul can breath and taste the air and waters of the Don again for which he long so badly for.

    I wish to see the land of my grandfather, and learn more of his fantastic history. Train with the new cossacks, and learn something so that I can teach my son and pass it on here in Canada. To wear a uniform of my ancestors, and be one with my brothers. My Russian language skills are very poor, but I will not let it stop me.

    God Bless you all,

    Your Don Cossack Brother in Canada,
    Aleksandar Mihailovic Sekretov
    Email: sasha@phyzex.com


  6. Hello Sasha,

    I believe your Cossack surname is Секретeв. Read this post on getting information on Cossack ancestry- https://lostrussianfamily.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/discovering-don-cossack-ancestry-the-easy-way/.

    You should e-mail the author I mention in the post. Your surname was researched in Book 1. You should ask the author first if he researched your surname in the family village. The book will cost between $10-$20 US Dollars. You will need to write in simple English in online translator- http://www.online-translator.com/Default.aspx/Text.


  7. Pauline

    I am trying to find out information about my great grandparents that were from the Ukraine. Stephan Schmillar and Domka Demczuk were married in 1884 and lived in Bukovania , Civil County of Chernistsi, Civil Community of Mamevtsi Staryj , Village address Current #19 and house#329. Sorry about spelling if it wrong.
    Stephan was a forester and policed the property of a large land owner. Domka was a weaver..
    They immigrated to canada in 1902.
    I am trying to find out about their families before they came to Canada.
    Can you help. ?


  8. Lori

    Hello My Rusn’s and native sons & daughters,

    I just signed up for this blog to follow my Russian Ancestry……………

    I am researching my Rusn’s born in Russia, but do not know where in Russia, good guess is near the N.W. Border of Poland. They were “OLD BELIEVERS ORTHODOX RUSSIAN CHURCH” They came here in 1869 during The Great Migration From Russian, worked as a coal miner.In Vestaburg, Pennsylvania. My G-Grandfather’s Russian name is: YEVLAMPI LAKOVLEV CHELPANOV, ( He Americanized his name to: JOSEPH WILLIAMS Born: Nov. 1869, in Russia, married: 1880, died 28 July 28, 1936 in Vestaburg, Pennsylvania. His wife ( G-Grand Mother is:
    MARY ROMANOFF, born: 1869 in Russia, died: 07 June 1943 in Vestaburg, Pennsylvania.

    I do not know his first father’s name, but his Mother’s name was MARY GOLOBOFF

    Hoping to find more data on my Grand Parents.

    Iche Leiba Drihe.

    Lori ;- ) in Arizona formally from Washington, PA.


    1. Have you tried contacting the church- St Nicholas Old Believers Russian Orthodox Church PO Box 332 Marianna Pa 15345? Maybe the church has information on the men who built the church or knows a local historical society that has written about the church builders.


  9. Lori

    My Great Grandfather and his friends built the first Old Beleivers Russian Orthodox Church in Marianna, Pennsylvania, They came to America to escapt the Religious Prosecutions, They held their Masses deep in the woods and secretly in the home of fellow Believers.in Russia, I believe they were from Belirus, I do recall my Mother saying they were “White Russians” supposed to be of a higher class? She could do the Russian Cossack Dance way into her 60’s, she passed at the age of 86, on Russian Christmas in 1994. Many of my Relatives are buried in Erie, Pa, and Marianna, Pa.


    1. Ivan Davis

      I was born in Vestaburg, Pa. My Grand Parents lived in Marianna, Pa. My Grand Father John Kozloff worked in the mines. All our families went to the OLd Believers St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Marianna , Pa. My mother moved to Erie, Pa. and went to the Church of The Nativity, Russian Orthodox Church of the Old Rite. and is buried there. I am now retired and living in Las Vegas, Nv.


  10. Galina Sergeevna Repina

    My name is galina sergeevna repina i am 20 years old i have 2 sisters and a brother there names are yulia repina, Nathasha repina and sergey repina. I was adopted at the age of 10 and havent seen them seens then can you please help me. I dont know where to turn to anymore. Are parents names are Alla Nikolaevna Repina and my fathers name is Sergey Vladimirovich Repin. I really need to find them please help me


  11. Rosa,

    I have received new information.

    The name of the village on the photo is Горняк (Луганская область). The village is still large, about 900 people.

    I highly recommend you write to the village council for information. There could be people in the village or council who could have information.

    The address is Местный совет, вул. Молодіжна, буд. 8,
    Ровеньківська міськрада, смт. Михайлівка,
    94790, Луганська обл., Ukraine



  12. Fantastic blog, very inspiring. I hope that the guides, hints and such you have may allow me to find out more about my wifes family (From St.Petersburg). Sadly it seems a bit difficult to get grandparents of hers to speak of old family. With that said, how far “back” do i really need to go in order to be able to get into the archives and get facts through researchers. I know for excample that in Sweden, where i live, we have a 70-year rule for most documentation so it is very good if one can get passed that time before researching.. Which was no problem, is back in 1700:s there, but my wifes line only back around 1940 atm…


    1. Thanks so much. I’m glad that you enjoy my blog.

      Right now, archives has records up until 1919. Records 1920 and later are in the registry office. Can your wife prove ancestry to her relatives with passports, birth/marriage/death records or other documents? If so, you can reach the registry office for St. Petersburg to see whether they will release information to you. I can help you find the registry office for the city.


  13. Sandra

    I have tried to use your links, but they are all in Russian and I can’t read it! I am trying to find out information on my great grandfather; William Gorski (although we think he defected from Russian Navy and changed his name when arriving in U.S.). He would’ve been in Russian Navy sometime between 1900-110. Is there any way I can either rule in or rule out this being his actual name. He was apparently born in Lativa.


  14. Aiva

    Im looking for my father, whom I havent seen 23 years. His name is Sergej Kravcenko and he should live in Russia, Krasnodar area, Armavir city. I would like to contact him or maybe my siblings as he might have another family.
    I tried to search on internet, but its difficult as this name and last name are very common.
    Maybe you could help me? I could provide more details.


    1. Send me your info at bepa.miller at mail.ru. I found several men who could be your father and three men in their late 20s and early 30s as possible siblings. It would be great to know your father’s possible age, too.



  15. Lorenzo

    I am need of a researcher for the Kiev archives particular Fund 1040 in the Catholic Metrical books Inventory 1 & 2, do you have any suggestions and maybe more then just one name….thanks so much and really like following your blog


    1. Lorenzo,

      Thanks for the compliments.

      Try these guys:

      Nikita Kovalchuk nikita@rodoslov.com.ua

      Nikita knows how to get around Kiev archives. He charges a reasonable rate and answers all messages in fine English. Nikita is honest about the condition of archive records.

      Dmitry Kremenetsky dvk20031@ukr.net

      He knows some English and does well in Russian. He is helpful here- https://www.facebook.com/groups/624355200964477/?pnref=lhc He is very knowledgeable.

      Hope this helps.



  16. Alexandra Worthington

    Hello my name is Alexandra but my Ukrainian or Russian name is different it is Svetlana Syhina or Cyhina i am trying to find my real mom i went to orphanage as a little girl due to my dad being so abusive i only know my real mom first and last name which is Natasha or Natalia Syhina or Cyhina i am not truly sure where i was born between Russia or Ukraine but i think its Ukraine but i maybe wrong about it i got adapted at the age of 12 years old January 29th ,2007 and came to US ever since i came to US i been looking for my real mom when i start looking for her it makes me cry to the point i cry my self to sleep because its hard and there is no luck i do have 2 brothers their Russian or Ukraine names are vladic and oleg syhin if i spell their first name right i may not be spelling their first name right but not truly sure but thats all i know about my mom is her first name and last name but id like to try and get more info on her and see if i can get reunited with her like i said i dearly love her and i hope to get my wish by getting us back to my mommy


  17. sharon blott

    Looking for Russian connection. Found family in Ukraine on maternal grandfather’s side (Zorniak). Cannot find information about grandmother’s paternal side (surname Stechysha – or some variant of spelling). All I know is her father Stephan Stechysha was killed in Talerhof concentration camp. can’t find his origins. They were Ruthenians. Any suggestions?


  18. Mia

    Hello, I wanted to leave you a comment to tell you what a wonderful resource your blog is. I have spent years putting together the story of my maternal grandparents who were from opposite ends of Ukraine (village of Serney in Western Ukraine and Skrepayiv in Eastern Ukraine) and taken as forced labourers to Germany in WWII. They never heard from most of their siblings again. Now that I have their stories written down, I’m turning my attention to searching for their siblings.
    Like another comment, my grandmother changed her name on all documentation before emigrating to Australia so may not have been traceable if her siblings had ever searched for her.
    I will be using the resources you have signposted to – thank you for collating this information.

    I have one question: when you wrote to the Ukrainian Secret Service, did you write in Ukrainian? (Mine is basic a best!)
    There is a brilliant family myth that one of my grandfather’s brothers died in a shoot out with Bolsheviks while holed up in an apartment…I’d love to check if that’s true!


    Liked by 1 person

  19. God bless you for the wonderful work you’ve done to create this website. It has given me renewed hope that it may be possible to find someone from my deceased father’s family in Russia. You have provided so much fantastic information to help me get started again on searching. He and my mother met in England as teenagers after being sent there as displaced persons after WW2. They are now both gone and I’ve never met/known anyone from their families (except my maternal grandmother who died in UK when I was a baby). I have very little information to lead me as they didn’t have documents and wouldn’t talk about what happened. All my life I have longed to find a Russian cousin, or anyone alive as I think most of their families were killed in the war. Thank you again for giving me the hope to try again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. Your kind words are appreciated. I also didn’t grow up with cousins of my generation from my Russian family. If I can help you in any way, write me at bepa. miller at mail. ru.


  20. Maj

    Hello Dear Vera
    I am quite impress with the nice gathering here and about your work. Thank you.

    I am from Montreal. I am looking for my birth father of italian nationality but who had a “short Eastern European surname” apparently (not known to me). He emigrated from Europe after WW2 – around 1956 and lived in Oshawa, Ontario Canada. That is where he met my mother – of young women of French Canadian and Scottish origin. I do not know more, my mother being dead for a while, bringing the secret with her.

    Like you, I face the problem of American DNA banks bias – with very few “recent” emigrants from E-Europe. My DNA (on Gedmatch; Family finder and 23&Me) brings a significant number of E-European and Russian matches that are clearly on my father side – but they are so remote (5th cousins and more). Of course, I get more recent matches on my mother side and I can easily distinguish (French/Scottish/Irish). I reunited with a significant of them.

    My ethnicity results confirms that I am half Eastern European (depending of the algorithms: hungarian; polish; russian/bielorussian etc). Would you have any advices on what I can do more with my DNA results to get more on my Eastern European origin. Without a name it is an almost impossible task. Thanks.


    PS The only tip that I have that could be of any help is that my father had 2 eyes of different colors (heterochromia iridis). But where should I explore this information ?


    1. Maybe you should try Ancestry DNA. The database has more than 2 million people. You could have a sibling or close cousin in that database. It’s a waiting for us Eastern Europeans to get great matches. Gedmatch only has a small percentage of Ancestry DNA customers.


  21. Eugene


    My great grandfather was from western Ukraine and was killed during WW2. I don’t have a lot of information other than he was killed in Lithuania or one of the other Baltic States. Do you know anyone who specializes in military records. I would like to find out where he is buried or at least the area where he was killed.


  22. helen Tschesnokow

    Hi my father passed 3 yrs ago and I am trying very hard to find living family in the Moscow area, The family originated from restive Danube river district after the war they lost their Fram and she relocated to Moscow. my father and grandfather after dangerous series of events eventually came to Canada in the 50s , neither ever saw there family again. I am desperate to find lank or someone who can help me in English to find and connect with a relative, I am aware that the last name was slightly different before they arrived in Candid, I have passport #, boat # diff stamps from various ports , tie spent in prison camps ect, It is vital to connect wt someone to fulfill my dads last with. Please if any one can turn me in the right direction I would be appreciated Thank you for your time


  23. PJ

    HI, Vera,
    My name is PJ Miller I just came across your Blog I enjoyed reading it.
    I was wondering if you can help me out I would like to find more info on my great grandparents they are from Kirov, Russia. They spoke Jewish in the home My Great grandpa Stephen Normich left Russia in 1907 at the age of 19 to come the United States and He settled in New York (Queens) I don’t Know if He changed His name before coming to the states. I really don”t know munch more about my Russian family. I would love to find out more info on them like were they come from and what the names are and if I still have any relatives in Kirov or in other parts of Russia.
    Thanks PJ


      1. Paul miller

        Hi Vera,
        The email would not let me send it to you. My name is Paul I read your blog and saw you commented on my comment! I’m here to write you back. The only information I have is
        Looking my great grandpa Stephen Normich was born on March 18, 1888 in Kiev, Russia died In Queens, NY on October 5th, 1960. His parents spoke Jewish in the home as well. I had heard that he may have changed his name before coming to America in 1907 and living in New York I don’t know his Russian name or anything about my Russian roots! He was the only person to come to America.
        He married my great grandma Anna don’t know her last name she come from Ukraine or Austria she was born on April 15, 1887 together they had 5 kids.
        That’s all the information I have. I hope you can help me find my family.
        Thanks Paul


      2. I just noticed I didn’t reply to this message. I would recommend getting your great-grandpa’s Social Security application for $21 here-https://secure.ssa.gov/apps9/eFOIA-FEWeb/internet/main.jsp His application will include names he has used before he came to the USA and while living in the USA. He also could have included his parents’ names on the application and a village where he was born (if he wasn’t born in the actual city of Kiev). You can also get your great-grandmother’s application also. It would be helpful to get their Social Security number from the Social Security Death Index, found on many genealogy websites. But it’s not required to know the Social Security number.


  24. Bonnie Headley

    Harry Levy b. 10 Aug. 1882 kiev, Ukraine. He died 13 Jan. 1927 Indiana. Is anyone related to Harry? I can’t go back any farther than Harry on the Levy line. Thank you, Bonnie


  25. Jason

    Hi Vera,

    My grandfather’s surname is Gopshes (who I have never met and died 20 years ago) which was a very unusual name and we weren’t sure if it shortened or otherwise changed when he emigrated from somewhere in the area between Lithuania and Ukraine. I once had a class in college with a girl from Belarus and she exclaimed that Gopshes (or something pretty close to that) was the name of her ancestral village in Belarus! I should have asked her to write it down but didn’t and have not been able to find her again or the village on any maps. Any thoughts where it could be or how it could really be spelled?


    1. Did he live in the USA? If you are really curious and he lived in the USA, get your grandfather’s Social Security Application photocopied for $21 here- https://secure.ssa.gov/apps9/eFOIA-FEWeb/internet/main.jsp You’ll need to provide proof of death by obit, Social Security Death Index, or death record. It should have his original spelling of his name and birth village. Maybe this post will help you if you want to research him- https://lostrussianfamily.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/best-tips-on-uncovering-u-s-documents-on-mysterious-soviet-union-relatives/ Good luck!


  26. Juliya Arbisman

    Dear Vera,
    Do you have any recommended researchers who could cover both, Odessa and Saratov? Obviously I would like to instruct one researcher if possible, but understand that people have different experience levels. I am looking for birth, marriage, death records.

    Also, whatever we can find in the town of САЛЬЦЫ.

    Any recommendations? Please email me.

    Many thanks


  27. Tracy

    Hi Vera,

    I’m curious if you have any information on surname Mandrona. My grandfather Stephen Mandrona (1886-1968) came to the United States in 1908. He had two brothers and married my great grandmother Anastazia Woyawoda. Do you have any advice?

    Thank you so much, Tracy


  28. Donna Makarewicz

    The marriage record for my great grandparents states that my great grandfather was “a soldier on leave”. The marriage took place Feb.1879 in Gawrychy,Poland. Gawrychy was in the Russian occupied area of Poland at this time. Do you have any suggestions on where I can find Russian military records for the period 1850-1890? I would love to find Josef’s military records.


  29. Stephen Horoff

    I have a brick wall-and it is a tricky one. I have a branch of my family tree that I can’t find out any information on. My great-grandfather had a sister who was married and had five daughters. I have the name of her husband and five daughters. However there is my brick wall. The more complicated thing is that they were married and all daughters born in Poland and then were sent to Lviv (not sure where in Lviv, all I know is they were sent to Lviv) during the Vistula. The Polish offices where the family lived has been a brick wall and I even hired a Polish genealogist who hit a brick wall for me also. I know their birth/marriage records are there, but I’ve tried unsuccessfully to be able to get those records. I’m not sure if Lviv has a vital statistics and even if it is accessible. Any suggestions would be apprecited.

    Stephen Horoff


  30. Добрый день
    А Вы говорите на русском ? Огромнейшая спасибо за фото могилы Владимира Габаева (Габашвили). Мы генеалоги из Грузии (Georgia Country Caucasus)


    1. Доброе утро!

      Я использую программу компьютерного переводчика, чтобы написать вам. Я счастлив, что вы цените фото надгробия. Я знаю разговорный русский лучше. Вера


  31. Sadie Reid

    Dear Vera Miller,

    I have followed you for some time. Your break throughs are just amazing to me, and you persistence more fierce than any one I have ever come across. My question to you is – How do you find someone in Russia who will go look at the archives for you, and is it costly to do? I do not speak Russian, but use Google translate for anything German/Russian I come across, as that is where my Research is. I do not know how to find someone to look in the Russian Archives where there are suppose to be Birth, Baptism, Marriage, and Death Records stored on my Grandmother’s/Great-Grandmother/Great-Grandfather’s etc…. People. Can you tell me how you found someone to look for you? I would greatly appreciate some information with this issue.

    Sadie Reid

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sadie,
      I love your name. Thank you for following my blog. I really should create a post on this topic. What areas of Russia are you researching? I will see if I can find you someone. I use Russian-language forums to find my researchers and people recommend me researchers. Vera


      1. Sadie Reid

        Hello again Vera,

        I am researching the Volga area, and was told there are Records in the Saratov National Archive that would benefit me greatly. I just have no way to access this archive, or know who to contact to do so for me. If you can point me in some sort of direction?? I would be sooooo grateful!

        Thanks so very much,


      2. Thank YOU soooooo much, Vera! I will let you know how it goes. I appreciate the contact so very much! If I break through my brick wall and bring it tumbling down I will e-mail you all the details, because you will have given me the contact to do so.


        Liked by 1 person

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