Disclaimer: The Genealogical Publishing Company (Genealogical.com) has been sending me a lot of goodies in the form of complimentary copies of some of their materials, so that I might review them. To be clear, this doesn't prevent me from giving my honest and uninfluenced opinion, and I will do just that. No worries.
Like many, I've been struggling with current events in Ukraine. Besides the most important, the human side of things in which I fear for the safety of Ukrainians, as a genealogist, I also feel compelled to discuss the effects this war has on genealogical records.
Reclaim the Records, a non-profit that is renown as a sort of Robin Hood in the genealogy world, recently shared a rumor that the Chernihiv SBU (Ukrainian internal security agency), which holds many Soviet-era persecution files and that aren't yet digitized, may have been targeted by Russian saboteurs and burned to the ground (please note this is currently just a rumor). Even so, this is a stark reminder that the future of genealogical records that may be crucial in linking families and allowing people to trace their histories are currently in jeopardy. If you have Ukrainian ancestry or are just interested in learning about Ukrainian genealogy, now is the time to kickstart that research (added bonus: ordering records supports Ukrainians!).
Genealogy at a Glance: Ukrainian Genealogy Research by Vera Ivanova Miller is a necessary resource in your toolkit. In just four pages, Miller packs in information about Ukrainian facts and important dates, emigration, surnames, religion, understanding the culture, finding Ukrainian ancestral homelands, maps, pertinent records and repositories, the Ukrainian alphabet, other online resources, and more. As someone who personally has Jewish ancestry from Ukraine, I value this resource for providing a comprehensive summary and strategy for how to optimize my research and tell my family's story.
This guide really is a terrific overview to get you started in your Ukrainian genealogical research, and I highly recommend it. For obvious reasons, if you're sending messages to Ukrainian archives right now, you may not receive a response for awhile, and some databases based in Ukraine may also be offline. Still, this resource will let you know next steps to honor your Ukrainian roots.
Check it out at https://genealogical.com/store/genealogy-at-a-glance-ukrainian-genealogy-research/. The laminated version is $10.95, and the eBook version is $6.95.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interesting in exploring your family history. Free initial consultations.
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