I've often been asked how I find so many documents from various parts of Eastern Europe--many of which have appeared in blog posts. This is the second in what will be a series of posts describing how to find Eastern European records for your own ancestors; the first (covering LDS microfilms) is here. While these posts will generally concentrate on how to find Jewish records in Eastern Europe, many of the strategies will also be applicable to records for other religions. (Note that in the Russian Empire, most record sets were recorded separately by religion.) The entire series can be seen here.
This post will discuss some of what's available on JewishGen; other components will be incorporated into future posts.
Town LocatorsA critical component to finding family records in Eastern Europe is having identified a particular town of origin. JewishGen's Communities Database allows searching using the misspelled or phonetically written versions of a town name which are often passed down orally or found in documentation and discovering the current spelling of that town name. The results will also show the political situation of that town (noting the country, province and district) during various time periods, reflecting changing governments under which many towns found themselves.
|JewishGen's Community Database is easily searchable from its homepage|