Another imperfection of archives is that they are very slow. Although the law established a deadline to respond to requests within 1 month, actually this condition is not satisfied. Sometimes one certificate must wait six months or longer! Many archives do not perform genealogical researches because of their overload with other work, or lack of specialists. That is why in Russia, Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union is actively developing this kind of business as the provision of services of private genealogists. They are people mostly having higher historical or philological education, or simply enthusiasts interested in history who have mastered the technique of reading Old Slavonic language and understand the search technology. Most often, the result of their work is more successful than the result of the very archives. In addition, private genealogists execute research much faster than the state archives. And do not be afraid of fraud, that they will simply “draw” a family tree, and not hold a real research work. After all, you can require the researcher to provide copies of archival documents. Thus, you’ll have a documentary evidence of relationship with your Russian ancestors. But sometimes luck turns away also from private genealogists. The fact is that the documents may be lost during the wars, fires and other disasters. In addition, people who until 1917 belonged to such estates as the gentry, merchants, tradesmen, intellectuals, can often move from one locality to another. Farmers usually didn’t change the place of their residence, but it also could happen. Routes of such movements are sometimes very difficult to track. After the 1917 revolution crossings have become more frequent since the Civil War forced many people to leave their homes because of hunger, devastation or political persecution.

All the abovementioned applies to research in the archives which collections of documents cover the pre-revolutionary period. Access to these funds is open to researchers. But if you want to find information relating to the period of time after 1917, then you need to send your inquiries to registry offices.

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One Response to “Difficulties of genealogical research in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union”

  1. Alice says:

    How to find other Russian archives?

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