Central State Archives of the City of Moscow has unloaded more than 3.3 million scanned pages of church records, dated from 1750-1934.
The best part of this new resource, My Family, is that registration and payment are not required to view these scans.
But I know so many readers will say, “but I can’t read Russian cursive”.
Well, keep on reading to learn how to read enough to find some records. Once, you follow these steps for My Family, the same steps can be taken to look at similar Russian church records online. Links to a video guide and a cheat sheet guide are also below these steps to improve success with your searches.
Here are the steps to search for records in this resource:
- Please download the Goggle Translate web browser onto your laptop or desktop computer first.
- Translate the full names of relatives and ancestors on Google Translate or here.
- Copy and paste the translated names into a word processing document.
- Go to Stevemorse.org to switch the names into cursive. Just copy and paste each name into the box at the bottom and the name in cursive will appear below.
- Copy the cursive writing from Stevemorse.org by handwriting the first and last names of each person you are searching in these records. The script doesn’t have to be perfect because church records can be sloppy.
- Make sure you know at least the month and year the person was born when searching for birth records. Otherwise, the search will take very long.
- Remember to check for birth records two weeks before the actual date that was celebrated in the country where the relative or ancestor lived outside of Russia and Ukraine. My grandfather’s birthday was celebrated in the USA on March 21 but his birth record lists his birthdate as March 8. This difference is because the Russian Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1918. This website will help get the correct dates from the two calendars.
- Church books are broken apart by having birth records in the first section, next are marriages and then deaths.
- Remember to save each possible record on your family or ancestors. Pages from the church books can be saved with right-clicking.
- Many genealogy groups on Facebook exist that could help translate the records you find. It is much better to ask for help in Facebook groups to transcribe the records in Russian and translate the records into English. It will help to learn how to read these records independently.
- Remember to download this FLRUF cheatsheet. It lists words in Russian cursive found in church records, with the words also in English.
Now, it’s time to view my video guide on this website. The guide clearly shows how to look at the records to find potential records on relatives and ancestors.
So many more Russian church records are posted online. Once the video is viewed and the cheat sheet is used to help find records on My Family, try looking at other websites with Russian church records. You may find records on your relatives and ancestors that you never expected to find online.
Remember to follow this blog with the top right bottom to catch posts on new databases and resources for Russian and Ukrainian genealogy.
Secrets of searching the Internet in Russian and Ukrainian like a native speaker
The cure for fearing Russian-language genealogy websites to make breakthroughs
Expert guide to using Google Translate in Russian and Ukrainian genealogy