East European Records Online
—by Joe Everett
Joe Everett is a genealogy librarian at FamilySearch, managing patron services in international family history centers. Joe was previously the head of International Reference at the Family History Library and a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. He also spent several years as content manager at Ancestry.com. Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been active in library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles Central & East European research.
Listed below are some of the many websites that offer genealogical data for East European countries. This summary accompanies the article published in the February 2016 issue of Relatively Speaking (Vol. 44, Issue 1). Weblinks updated 15Dec2022
Significant Websites by Country
Archives of Belarus — Portal page for the national and regional archives of Belarus. Includes good English-language resource listings for genealogists. No online record collections so far.
See also some of the resources for Latvia, Poland, and Russia.
Czech Online Databases — Million images of church records are available online on various Czech archive web sites. Use this page on the FamilySearch Wiki for a list of available sites. Format, navigation, and image browsing capabilities vary by site.
Estonian Historical Archives - SAAGA — Includes digital images of church records, Jewish records, censuses (revision lists), and many other types of records of Estonia dating back to the Russian Empire period. Some pages available in English, otherwise Estonian. Records are mostly in Russian or German. Free registration is required.
Lativian State Historical Archive - Raduraksti — Over 5 million images (no indexes) in its Raduraksti (lineage) database, including church records, Jewish records, and censuses. Free registration is required. (Also includes some records from Belarus.) Site is also in English. Records are mostly in Russian, German, or Latvian.
Virtual Electronic Heritage System - ePaveldas — Includes Roman Catholic church records from the 1500s-1900s as well as other manuscript collections, digital books, newspapers, etc. Part of site is in English, but to get to the collections, you need to switch to Lithuanian. Records may be in Russian, Polish, German, Belarusian or Lithuanian. (Also includes some records for Belarus.)
Szukaj w Archiwach — The Poland State Archives has published 2.3 million images so far from hundreds of parishes in 40 archives. A list of what has been published is at: http://nac.gov.pl/files/D'ASC1_02_2013v.3.pdf. (Also includes records from former Polish areas now in Belarus, Lithuania, and Ukraine).
Polish Indexes: Geneteka — A service of the Polish Genealogical Society, this site is includes index data for parishes throughout Poland, including areas that were formerly part of Poland prior to World War II. (Also includes records from former Polish areas now in Belarus, Lithuania, and Ukraine).
Jewish Records Indexing-Poland — JRI-Poland has indexed over 4 million Jewish vital records from 500+ Polish towns using FamilySearch microfilms and original records in Poland. Search on Jewishgen.org, some also on Ancestry.com.
Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) — Active society with a web site, publications, educational events, and other resources to help Polish-Americans find their roots.
Russia Archive Portal — Portal site for all Russian archives. Includes contact info and links to individual archive sites, information about holdings, and some finding aids. No online record collections so far. All in Russian.
Pokoleniia Permskovo Kraya (Generations of the Perm Region) — 1.7 million+ records (images and index) from Orthodox parishes in the Perm region, provided by the government of the Perm Region. Site is in Russian only site. Click Поиск to start a search.
All Russia Family Tree — Russian language online tree, message boards, and other resources for Russian research. Includes and English description and explanation of how to search the site.http://www.vgd.ru/
Memorial - WII Casualty Records — Index and digital images of records for millions of Russian soldiers who died or went missing in World War II. (Also includes Belarus, Ukraine, and other former Soviet countries.) Site is in Russian.
Podvig Naroda (Achievement of the People) – WWII Awards — Index and digital images for over 12 million people in the former Soviet Union who received a medal or other award during WWII. (Also includes Belarus, Ukraine, and other former Soviet countries.) Site is in Russian.
Victims of Political Terror in the USSR — Database of more than 2.6million victims of political terror in the Soviet Union.
Odessa : A German-Russian: Genealogical Library — A collaborative digital library with 1000s of indexes documenting Germans who immigrated to Russia in the 1800s and their descendants worldwide. No images are available. Index data compiled from a variety of original, print, & microfilm sources. Includes a global search or browse to individual indexes. (Also includes former Russian areas now in Ukraine.)
Archives of Ukraine — Official web-portal of the state archival service of Ukraine. Includes links to specific archives and information about holdings. Non online collections of genealogical interest yet. Much of the site is available in English.
See also several of the resources for Poland and Russia.
FamilySearch — As discussed in the other class, includes millions of online records from Eastern Europe as well as other research helps. The FamilySearch Wiki also includes links to these and other key resources under “East European Online Genealogy Records.” If you know of resources for a given country not listed here, you can add them. The Wiki is open to the community to edit.
Ancestry.com — As discussed in the other class, includes online records for tracing North American immigrant origins and a growing collection of East European records.
JewishGen — Major web site for Jewish research. Includes hundreds of index databases extracted from East European records as well as many other research helps.
East European Genealogical Society — East European interest group with resources on how to do East European Research. Holds an annual seminar and monthly events.
Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) — Another East European interest group with informative articles, maps, and other resources. Holds a workshop each summer in Salt Lake City.
Repositories of Primary Sources — A global portal to archive websites, including Eastern Europe. In English. Use it to look up the web sites for specific national, state, and local archives.