Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Leveraging Ukrainian Archives' Online Presence

Historically, archive branches in Ukrainian had put few records online.  However, that's slowly starting to change, at least for some of the branches.  I follow the Volhynia State Archives on Facebook, and last week they announced that they had put newly-digitized records for a Jewish gymnasium (high school) from Lutsk on their website.  My father's parents grew up in the Lutsk area, and I knew my grandfather had spent some time in a yeshiva in Lutsk.  I knew he wouldn't be in these records (as they are from the 1922-1923 school year when he was an infant), but I figured I could see if any relatives attended this school.

These records are nice for native English speakers because they're in Polish rather than Russian or Ukrainian, so it's really easy to browse through for names of interest; it took me under 20 minutes to review all records, and I did find one of potential interest.

Rejzia Dimant's School Report, 1922-1923 School Year

I don't know how--or if--Rejzia Dimant is connected to my family, at least at this point.  I'll file her school record away for the future (translation below--and it includes her father's name, which could help connect her at some point), but this drives home a lesson.

Keep up with newly available records that archives are digitizing or discussing.  Follow archive branches' social media.  Check their websites periodically.  For Ukrainian archives, search Facebook and Google for державний архів, meaning "State archives" to find archive branches in the vicinity of your ancestral towns.  Some are more active than others, but it's worth liking their pages or joining archive-specific Facebook groups to find out about records sets that might be of interest to you.  Facebook will allow you to translate individual posts, so do not worry if you do not read Ukrainian.  This lesson will be true for archives in other countries as well.  See if they have a webpage &/or social media presence, and follow them.  You never know when they may digitize something that helps you learn more about your family.

As for Rejzia's record, what information does this have?  Thanks for the Facebook Group Genealogical Translations, and volunteer translators Dorothy Woloszczuk and Eva Sitek, I have a translation of this record, with my own highlights of particularly interesting information.

Left side
Diment Rejzia
Date of birth - 26th May 1911
Born in Łuck, County- Łuck, Province - Wołyn (Łuck is the Polish name for Lutsk)
 Nationality- Polish, Faith - Jewish,Ethnicity - Jewish
Father - Nachman Diment, Status- tenant, Apartment- Poznańska 6
Middle - Tuition Fees, First half of school year - Marks 77,000
Right - Reason for acceptance: Based on graduating from the previous grade at the local Gymnasium.
Grades: (Rejzia doesn't seem to have been the strongest student)
bardzo dobry- very good
dostateczny - adequate
niedostateczny - inadequate
dobry- good
For this particular record set, students came from all over the region--and across Eastern Europe.  There was even a student who had been born in America.  So even if you don't have ancestors who lived in Lutsk specifically, it's still worth reviewing the students to see if any of them is your relative.
Happy hunting!
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