Wednesday, May 8, 2024

J-Roots Forums Are Back! An Incredible Russian Empire Resource

I've discussed J-Roots several times in the past, as it's a wonderful resource for those who are researching in the former Russian Empire (and somewhat in all of the former USSR).  This Ukraine-based service was set to read-only shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  A group of volunteers has been bringing it back up, starting with its forum feature.  So what are J-Roots' Forums and how can you use them?

Screenshot from J-Roots Forum Page

J-Roots is a Russian language Jewish genealogy site.  (Don't let not knowing Russian scare you off--you can use a Chrome browser that will auto-translate content or rely on Google Translate.)  Since this is a Russian language site, many of the users are either living in or formerly lived in the areas of interest, so they may have deep knowledge of the local archives and may even been frequent visitors!  So there will be information here not in the English-language resources that many of my readers may use.

Until 2022 there were other parts of J-Roots (such as its database, a favorite of mine!), but at this point only the forums are live.  The other features will hopefully be added in the near future.

I've posted two separate articles in the past about ways to leverage J-Roots' Forums:

  • A guest post from Dmitry Pruss about how to use J-Roots, particularly the forums.  Follow his steps to get posting.  (His article does discuss some of the other features that are not yet functional as well.)
  • I also wrote how to use Google in conjunction with J-Roots to potentially find mention of your relatives, towns, or other items of interest to your research on J-Roots' forums, as the former posts are full of useful information.

As the main link to J-Roots still has issues, you can go straight to the forums at this link


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