DISCLAIMER: I occasionally receive complimentary copies of books to review, including today’s book, from Genealogical Publishing Company. However, my opinions are my own and not influenced by perks.
The Genealogy at a Glance series by Genealogical Publishing Company includes excellent topics, one of which is the subject of today’s review – Russian Genealogy Research.
Vera Ivanova Miller is also the author of Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family, so is well versed in Russian and Eastern European genealogical research.
If you are unfamiliar with the format of Genealogy at a Glance, each topic is a four page brief with hard lamination, making it perfect for tucking into research bags for library visits. It doesn’t take up much shelf space in your reference library either.
Quick Facts and Important Dates
Russian Names – Surnames & Patronymic Names
Religions of Russia
Conversion to the Gregorian Calendar
Locating Russian Ancestral Places – Maps
Archives in Russia
Metrical Books (Parish Registers)
Russian Consular Books
Quick Guide to the Russian Alphabet
Other Online Resources
While it is possible to just jump in and begin genealogical research in a new location, Russia presents a number of obstacles outlined in this At a Glance guide.
There is definitely a lot to learn about genealogical research in Russian records. Although I have no Russian ancestral lines, I do have Eastern European ancestors, which made me aware of some of the difficulties when researching Slavic peoples.
Vera Miller has done an excellent job highlighting areas that may be problematic for inexperienced genealogists and summarizing an overview of Russian family history resources.
First on the problem list is the Cyrillic alphabet, which is unfamiliar to most of the Western world. Let’s face it – if we can’t read the record, we aren’t going to get very far building the family tree.
I love the Quick Guide to the alphabet, which is one of the most useful bits of information in this guide. I’ve had my own experiences trying to read Cyrillic alphabet records, as the political boundaries of Eastern Europe have changed many times. With governmental changes came official language changes that literally appeared overnight.
Next, one would need to know what online resources might be available. Vera’s suggestions are not the typical big-name companies and include Cold War-era databases, which I also like.
The other information categories listed in the Contents are self explanatory and point out the necessity of basic knowledge of Russian history and culture.
There are many records to be accessed if we know how to navigate the system.
I am a fan of the At a Glance series of genealogy guides in general, but I have to admit that I think this is one of the very best At a Glance guides that will help any genealogist researching Russian ancestors.
Genealogy at a Glance – Russian Genealogy Research by Vera Ivanova Miller is published by Genealogical Publishing Company, 2021 and is available for $9.95. It’s a bargain!
Given the difficulties navigating Russian research, $9.95 may well be the best money you ever spend on genealogy.