Sunday, March 17, 2024

Soviet Records Via JDoc (Some Declassified!)

When I shared a recent post on Facebook, I was asked why there aren't more Soviet-era records available online on JewishGen and similar sites.  I believe much of the reason is that pre-Russian Revolution, records were kept by religion, so JewishGen has been able to concentrate on acquiring and indexing records that will be all (or predominantly) Jewish.  However, post-Revolution, all religions were kept together, so it's a much larger task to extract Jewish records, and it means searching entire towns, not just the Jews of an entire town.  But there are resources for Soviet-era records online (including many found via Архів and directly on local archive branch sites).  And there are also records on sites that are more specialized or obscure.  I recently found one such site with information on some of my relatives, so I'll share what I found and how you can see if there are records about your relatives or ancestral towns available there as well.

A page from an investigation into Alexander Lefand, suspected of Zionist activities; 1925-1926

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Getting a GRIP on Ashkenazic Jewish Genealogy - Week-long Class

hereThis summer, I'm co-teaching a week-long intensive course on Ashkenazic Jewish Genealogy, along with Emily Garber and Janette Silverman at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.  This is your chance to spend a week learning how to further your Jewish genealogical research at a prestigious institute, being taught by three genealogists who have done significant amounts of in-depth personal and client research.  It won't be a relaxing week, but you'll be sure to learn a ton.
There are still seats remaining, so if you're interested, please register soon!  The course will be in-person in Pittsburgh from July 14-19, 2024.  And no, it will not be recorded.
So what would you learn in this course?

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Tolchinskys in 1920 Soviet Census--And How I Have It

My Tolchinsky great-great grandparents and their children had emigrated to America before the Russian Revolution.  But my great-great grandfather's siblings remained behind in what was then the Russian Empire, along with their families.  I've found bits and pieces of what happened to them later, but I'm always on the lookout for more.  This past week, I got some additional insight, using a strategy that I've mentioned before, but which is always worth a reminder.

1920 Soviet Census; Tolchinsky Family; Losinovka, Chernigov Guberniya