Russian Genealogical Project does the historical research in different parts of the former Russian Empire and other places with the high number of Russian residents – now or decades ago.

During the last year, we visited Odessa, Zhitomir, Kiev, Chernigov, Moscow, St Petersbourg,  Ryazan, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Omsk, Shanghai, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Washington D.C.  As a result, we published two books and working on more.

We are happy to help, are interested in challenging questions, research assignements, and pure infotainment.

We are growing in numbers but still work very personally to find you those small gems you are interested in.

Please look here if you need probate research or heir tracing.


Dennis O'Neill
I am interested in access to World War 1 Russian archives containing details of German (not Austro-Hungarian) PoW's - my grandfather was captured circa 1915 and repatriated 1917/18. Interested in details, if available, of where he was captured, where imprisoned, etc. Anyone interested in an assignment to look at this? Reply to <[email protected]> with details re methodology, cost structure, timing, etc.
We did a research on WWII German POWs in Russia a couple of years ago. It turned out to be reasonably uncomplicated. Will see what we can do on World War I. Will drop you a note within a week, after archives open after the winter holidays.
Andrew Huzar
My great-grandparents emigrated from Ukraine in 1907. My great-grandfather Andrus (Americanized to Andrew) Huzar was born in Domamorych, but I do not know where in Ukraine his wife Mary was born. The region she came from was apparently under the Austria-Hungarian Empire until after WWI according to US Census records. Mary's maiden name is listed as Myzchscyzn, but I am not sure that spelling is correct. Is there anyway that I could find more information about them through Ukrainian records? My email address is [email protected].
Barbara Ferber-McCarthy
My paternal grandfather, his parents and his siblings emigrated from Kiev to the United States between 1890-1893. According to Naturalization papers for my great uncle Jacob, he left Bremen, Germany and arrived at New York, USA in February of 1890. The papers also stated that Jacob was unable to recall the name of the ship he arrived on. They did not all come as one group. The family story is that they stayed in Germany after their tickets were bought back by a Steamship company that went out of business. They were paid back only a tiny percentage of what they actually paid for the tickets, so most had to stay behind in Germany, while others came to the United States and sent money back to bring more of the family over. According to what my father told me, the family changed their surname to FERBER while waiting in Germany so as to blend in and not be discovered. I am not sure if this is true or not. I have no knowledge of what the name might have been in Kiev- if the name was changed at all. I believe the family were farmers, possibly raised chickens. These are the names I have: My grandfather and his siblings- Jeanette FERBER (born ?), Jacob FERBER (born 1879), Charles FERBER (born 1884) - all reportedly born in Kiev. The 4th child, Pearl, was born in New York in Dec of 1895- our first American-born ancestor. Their parents (my g-grandparents) were: Samuel Aaron FERBER and Nettie ABELOVSKY/ABELEWSKI, also from Kiev, my 2nd g-grandparents were Isaac FERBER and Jennie COHEN. I know that Sam and Nettie came to the United States and lived and died here. I am not sure if Isaac or Jennie emigrated or not. Do you think there is any way to find info on my family in the German archives or in Kiev?? Any help/advice would be so very much appreciated! Barbara Ferber-McCarthy
Dear Andrew -- I suppose the records for the village of Domamorych should be located at the Ternopol regional archive. The problem is that the records are not digitized and exist in the form of old books only. This makes the searchng over the internet or other remote forms of search infeasible. There are several options -- you can write the archive directly (and they will likely to require the payment in the local currency for the genealogical research), you can locate the local researcher who can visit the archive for you (you need to have at least rudimentary knowledge of Russian/Ukrainian language to communicate), or you can think of hiring us to do this for you. As of your great-grandmother Myzchscyzn, I see two problems -- (1) non-digitized records could be searched only if you know the location of events. Sifting through hundreds meters of shelfs of old handwriting isn't something which is reasomable to bring you any results. You should find at least some pieces of evidence in your posession indicating where she was born. (2) Another problems seems to me that the spelling isn't quite right, but this could easily be solved with the help of our Hungarian and Ukrainian language expert. After figuring out answers to questions (1) and (2) you can find out which archive to search and then apply here yourself, or hire a researcher to do the search for you. Although nothing can be guaranteed in advance, we feel can help in this research for a modest fee. Please let me know what you think --Kirill Chashchin
Dear Barbara -- It is unfortunate to tell but usually the word "Kiev" in those US immigration records means not the city of Kiev proper (which was quite a big one) but rather a Kiev Guberniya (see the Wikipedia article for the definition: ), which with 1+mln inhabitants at that time was the Russian Empire's largest administrative division. Records of births, marriages and deaths for Kiev guberniya are mostly concentrated in the State archives in Kiev. They are scarcely indexed and not very much digitized, unfortunately. It is quite unlikely to able to find any definite source for the records without knowing exact location where the family resided. If you have more detailed information on the birth/marriage location (this could be some strange-spelt or unreadable place name, postal envelopes of 1930s or 1960s, old family foto or other memorabilia) -- let me know, ot, better e-mail scanned copies to me at kir @ rusgenproject (dot) com -- then we will see what could be helped in this case.
Barbara Ferber-McCarthy
Thank you for your reply. At this point I have no information on location other than the Kiev gubernia. I will continue to work on this and would like to contact you again when I have more information. Barbara Ferber-McCarthy
You are always welcome here with your questions. We love to help. When we can :)
Jaimie McEvoy
Hello my friend, from Canada. My ancestors came from the old Russian province of Bessarabia. One of them, Philip Littke (or Luettke) was, I believe, a veteran of the last Russo-Turkish War in 1877-1878. Do you know if there are any records for the men who served in that war? In a letter, he said that he was in the Russian Army but, because he was a pacifist, he worked on the bread wagon. I have always wondered if his military or other records existed in Russia. The family lived in Bessarabia for decades. I have some records, but not very many. Thank you, Jaimie McEvoy, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Please e-mail us records which you have. Our e-mail is info @ The records availability for the military service very much depends on which exactly army regiment the person served, and what was his military rank at that time. There are extensive records on Germans in Bessarabia.
Richard Shawkey
My grandmother Agrafina Kuzminina Suvorova was born in Vyetskaya Guberinia (Spelling?) around 1870-1875. She was born on an estate. How would I go about locating the estate and church records? Also, my grandfather Nikolai Nikiferovich Ozerov was born in St Petersburg around 1880. His father was a Russian Orthodox priest who was murdered in 1918. His four brothers were also priests as were his two brothers-in-law.All are believed to have perished in the Gulags. I believe all his ancestors were also priests. I'd like to learn more about the family.
Dear Richard: 1. Vyatskaya Guberniya (a.k.a. Vyatka Governorate, more at ) was the second largest administrative division of Russian Empire. This usually means that the search without the exact location is not feasible even though a lot of relevant records are survived and available for researchers. This might not be your case, as you say "born on an estate". Does this implies the nobility in your words? If so, there are good chances to find both estate and records. Please clarify. 2. St Petersbourg population was reasonably well documented. As well as those who died in Gulag in 1920s-1950s. Church personnel records are also available. Please e-mail us more details you know (scans of old documents will be very helpful, as well as names and dates and locations known) and we can tell you a bit more about various possibilities.. Please e-mail to [email protected].
Dear Richard: 1. Vyatskaya Guberniya (a.k.a. Vyatka Governorate, more at ) was the second largest administrative division of Russian Empire. This usually means that the search without the exact location is not feasible even though a lot of relevant records are survived and available for researchers. This might not be your case, as you say "born on an estate". Does this implies the nobility in your words? If so, there are good chances to find both estate and records. Please clarify. 2. St Petersbourg population was reasonably well documented. As well as those who died in Gulag in 1920s-1950s. Church personnel records are also available. Please e-mail us more details you know (scans of old documents will be very helpful, as well as names and dates and locations known) and we can tell you a bit more about various possibilities.. Please e-mail to [email protected].
Yvonne Henriksson
Hi, I have found your webpage and would like to ask:Do you think you can help me to find a person who is born in Russia dec. 1919 and then was married and lived in Sweden...? Kind Regards, Yvonne
     Dear Yvonne -- sometimes it is easy, sometimes not. It very much depends on what you know, where they came from, are there any, whatever smal, details survivied. Send us the e-mail with all details which you have and tell us what you would like to find. We will promtply answer you - can this be done or not, how fast, how much, etc... Please e-mail to: info @rusgenproject:disqus
I just found your website and am interested if you can help me locate any further info about my great grandfather Isaac Lichter and my great grandmother Rosa Velnitsky.  All I know is they were both born in Russia. They had a son, my grandfather Max Lichter  born in Kiev in 1882 whose name later became Litter when he came to America and his surname was  misspelled.
     Dear RedMax777: The major key to actually finding the records in Russia is to know *EXACTLY* where person was born/married/died. There are very few indexes available, and even when availavle, they are restricted to particular territory and year. What I would suggest first is to get as much information as you can from US archives. has some references to Max Lichter, and, if I got it right, there should be easily retrievable naturalisation records for him in Connecticut. Getting those documents, along with the ship manifests, could lead to at least the rudimentary knowledge of the location in Russia/Ukraine where family came from. You might do it yourself, and this is an interesting historical challenge, or you can hire us at US$30/hour, 5 hours minimum, so we can get those records to you, analize them and then see if the further research in Russian/Ukrainian archives is feasible. We accept credit cards and paypal.
Nadia's daughter
Kirill and colleagues broke through generations of the unknown. With only small fragments of family stories, he was able to open up a history we never knew about. Spasibo y'all!
I am a genealogist - have done extensive research on my own family in Poland and Lithuania, but this one has me stumped. I need information from the Ukraine - starting in Rokitno. If I can locate a marriage record for this couple - hopefully, it will give information about their parents and where they may have lived. I hope to find something for the children of my brother-in-law, who passed away recently. He had been trying to find out where his family was from and about his family tree. He was a displaced person after World War II - spent the first 7 years of his life in a refugee camp. His father was killed a month before he was born. With the aid of the International Red Cross we were able to find my brother-in-law's birth record and information that was supplied by his mother at the camp. In that record, she indicated she was from Rokitno (approximately 1935) and her first child was born there in 1937. I have his mother's birth date and her parents' names. That's about all I do have. While he was alive, he connected with two people with the same last name, but they could never figure out if they were related. Would this be research that would have to be done in the Ukraine, and if so, can you tell me what the cost is to do such a search. Thank you!
    Dear Sir, there are two distinct places in Ukraine with this name -- (1) Ukrainian: Рокитне. Yiddish: רעקיטנע. Russian: Рокитно / Рокитное. Hebrew: רוקיטנה 27 miles E of Sarny, 62 miles NE of Rivne (Rovno), 68 miles W of Ovruch, 76 miles SE of Pinsk. [Not to be confused with Rokytne, S of Kyyiv.] (2) Ukrainian: Рокитне. Russian: Рокитно / Ракитное. 51 miles S of Kyyiv, 17 miles ESE of Bila Tserkva, 9 miles N of Tarashcha. [Not to be confused with Rokitno in Volhynia]. Research in both of those places is possible, and there are good chances to find further records. Kindly let us know which location you are exactly interested in, and we will be glad to offer you some search suggestions. --Kirill Chashchin
I apologize for the delay - I thought I'd sent a reply but something must have happened because it isn't posted. From the info that I have, this Rokitno is in L'vov, Ukraine. That's where this couple was married. The wife was actually born in Ludwipol, Wolyn, Poland (now Sosnovoye, Ukraine). I wasn't sure which Rokitno that you mentioned was the correct one. My guess is that it is the first one. I can provide details - names and dates - if you think this will not be too costly! Do you have your genealogists in Ukraine that you work with? I would be so happy to find this information and more about the family. Thank you so much.
Raj Sidhu
hi am researching the zuzma family of pinsk,russia the ancestor name Andrew zuzma born 1890 need help find his possible father nickolas zuzma so can anyone help me
George Beally
I have hit a roadblock doing research on my family tree. My roadblock is in finding out the village in Ukraine where my great grandfather was born. The information that I have is very sketchy but the following is what I know: My great grandfather's name is: Michaelo Bilyj He was born on: September 8, 1880 His father's name is: Ilya (Elias) Bilyj His mother's name is: Kateryna (Kate) Chomyn My great grandfather immigrated to Canada in about May 1903 and lived in the province of Saskatchewan. If anyone is still monitoring this website and can help me locate the village that my great grandfather was born in, I would greatly appreciate any verification that you could provide. Thank you in advance.
    Dear Mr Beally, yes, we are still around, although comments are very much spammed and we frequently miss the really valuable questions due to that. You give the names (which are reasonably common) but do not give any other details. It is a complicated task to find the immigrant's village, but without at least some details it is getting closer to impossible. But there still are hopes. Do you have at least some old documents on those persons? Maybe you found them in censuses? Maybe some of their immigration documents could be found? Please let me know what you have, and I will try to help you --Kirill Chashchin Member, Association of Professional Genealogists
Irene Musielak
Hi, I am looking for advice on the best way to approach genealogical research in Bortnica/Dubno in Ukraine. I am located in Australia and have no Polish/Ukraine/Russian language skills. My father was born in Bortnica in 1924. His name was Zygmunt Musielak. His father was Stanislaw/Stanislaus - not sure on mother. To the best of my knowledge he had at least two brothers and one sister. Any advice would be much appreciated. Regards Irene
    Dear Irene, We can help you. We just sent you the e-mail with further details. --Kirill Chashchin, member, Association of Professional Genealogists
Bob de Havillan
What can do tell me about Spirydion Ostaszewski, who lived in Awratyn and his daughter Maria Ostaszewsk, who died in 1905 also in Awratyn, who was famous for her charity? Being unmarried, she brought up many orphans and testified to the poor for her neighborhood. There's a story that she had run away with a horse groom and had a child, a daughter. I have tried twice to contact the Ostoja clan who after an initial response then nothing ( and I am talking "nothing"). It's as if they do not want to talk about it! What has happened to Spirydion's horse-breeding/stud farm in Awratyn?

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