Monday, November 28, 2022

JewishGen's Newly-Indexed Ukraine Records--Strategies to Increase Found Family

JewishGen's Ukraine Research Division just announced the spectacular news that they have added over 200,000 newly-indexed records to JewishGen's databases, with a promise of more to come.  For those of us with Ukrainian ancestry, this is huge!  The newly-indexed records are wonderful and will make these records more accessible to researchers--but there are some quirks I've seen that could inhibit searchers from finding records that have been indexed.  I'm going to talk about some of these and give you  strategies to find records impacted by these quirks--assuming they've been indexed, of course!

Note that you can search for these records via either JewishGen's Ukraine database or the Unified Search.  Records from this newly-released index appear in the "Ukraine Revision Lists, Group 2" record set.

Now onto some ways for you to better ensure that you find relatives hiding in this data set.  I'll explain various issues that cause you to miss records--and then tell you how to try to compensate for each (in bold).

  1. Sometimes suffixes are added to towns by the indexers, and if you search for a specific town, JewishGen's search engine will miss those records, even though they are there.  As an example, I saw an intriguing Tulchinsky family (which it turns out isn't related to mine, but I did go down that rabbit hole including manually finding them in the not-yet-indexed 1834 revision). The family's entry in the 1858 revision list was indexed, and in the new dataset, the town is recorded as Olshanskiy.  Well, they're actually from Olshana (Olshanskiy just means "from Olshana" in Russian).  But if I search for records from the town of Olshana, this record--and the many others from this town in that 1858 revision--doesn't appear in the results.  So people who are searching for records from Olshana will not see their relatives in 1858, even if they appeared in the revision.  I noticed that Shpola, a town with a large Jewish population, has the same issue--the 1858 revision records the town's name as Shpolyanskiy, and they aren't found when you search for records from Shpola. Solution: Use a "Starts with" search for town names--with the fewest number of characters necessary to get back a reasonable number of results.  By searching for "Town Starts-With Olshan," I'd find this Tolchinsky family.  Searching for "Town Starts-With Shpol" would find Shpola records.  Think about different spellings for town names to ensure that your search won't miss some potential spellings.

  2. Sometimes suffixes added to surnames because of how Russian surnames work.  The typical English speaking JewishGen researcher doesn't think of searching with these suffixes, but when just searching for a surname, JewishGen's search engine may not find a record that it should.  Let's say you are searching for the surname LISKLER.  You get no results.  But now search for the surname LISKLEROVA.  You get results--and OVA is just a suffix put at the end of women's names.  For many/most entries, this isn't an issue because there is almost always a male with the same surname in the entry, so JewishGen would find the record.  But it'll miss houses with no male with the surname. Solution: In addition to searching phonetically for a surname, also try a "Starts-With" strategy here as well.

  3. You can click on links to see the original records (which is wonderful and I encourage everyone to do that--there's often additional information on the original record that isn't indexed).  But in some cases, lists of family members start on one page and continue on the next.  Only the first page is linked to from the search results.  Solution: If you're missing a second page, just fix the URL (page address).  For example, if the first image is at, then just go to

Hopefully these simple--but powerful--strategies will help you to find even more relatives.  And remember--always look at the original (linked!!) record for more information, and to validate the actual indexing.

Happy researching!

You can like my page on Facebook:

or on Twitter.


  1. Lara, Thanks SO much for these tips. Even those more experienced in searches might at times make the simple errors you mentioned, so your examples & reminders are very pertinent. I for one really appreciate it. Those suffixes added to women's names has tripped me up more than once, even though I am aware of that. Happy searching for your "still hidden" Ukrainian ancestors!

  2. Lara, Thank you so much for these great tips. Your generosity in sharing your knowledge and your clarity of writing helps those of us who are neophytes in Jewish and Eastern European genealogy invaluably!!!