Russia Genealogy

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Guide to Russia ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

Russia Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Russia Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with Russia Research

Links to articles on getting started with Russia research.

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Russia Research Tools

Links to articles and websites that assist in Russia research.

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Country Information[edit | edit source]

Russia is a country in Eurasia bordered by NorwayFinlandEstoniaLatviaLithuaniaPolandBelarusUkraineGeorgiaAzerbaijanKazakhstanChinaMongolia, and North Korea. It was known as the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1991. The official language is Russian.[1]

Russia Map[edit | edit source]

Russian Regions-EN.png

Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

Imperial Russia (Russian Empire) before 1917 was divided into governorates (gubernias or provinces). These were sub-divided into several uyezds or districts. Russia and Ukraine and other former Soviet republics were, and are still, divided into oblasts/provinces which were and are divided into raions/districts. Peripheral areas like the Caucasus sometimes use krai instead of raion for district. It is generally good to know both the old and the new jurisdictions in which a smaller place is located, because currently the FamilySearch Catalog uses the new jurisdictions for Ukraine, but the old ones for Russia. Archives all over the former Soviet Union concentrate their holdings according to oblast borders. Old documents refer to the old jurisdictions, and most of our Russian and Ukrainian microfilms are from the old Imperial time.

List of the governorates created in 1708:[2]

Current administrative division consist of 46 oblasts (oblastey, singular - oblast), 21 republics (respublik, singular - respublika), 4 autonomous okrugs (avtonomnykh okrugov, singular - avtonomnyy okrug), 9 krays (krayev, singular - kray), 2 federal cities (goroda, singular - gorod), and 1 autonomous oblast (avtonomnaya oblast') as follows.Although retaining a lot of similarities, administrative-territorial division and regions boundaries undergo substantial changes during the 20th century, affecting the records storage sites.

Oblasts[edit | edit source]

Republics[edit | edit source]

  • Adygeya (Maykop)
  • Altay (Gorno-Altaysk)
  • Bashkortostan (Ufa)
  • Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude)
  • Chechnya (Groznyy)
  • Chuvashiya (Cheboksary)
  • Dagestan (Makhachkala)
  • Ingushetiya (Magas)
  • Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal'chik)
  • Kalmykiya (Elista)
  • Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk)
  • Kareliya (Petrozavodsk)
  • Khakasiya (Abakan)
  • Komi (Syktyvkar)
  • Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola)
  • Mordoviya (Saransk)
  • North Ossetia (Vladikavkaz)
  • Sakha [Yakutiya] (Yakutsk)
  • Tatarstan (Kazan')
  • Tyva (Kyzyl)
  • Udmurtiya (Izhevsk)

Autonomous Okrugs[edit | edit source]

  • Chukotka (Anadyr')
  • Khanty-Mansi (Khanty-Mansiysk)
  • Nenets (Nar'yan-Mar)
  • Yamalo-Nenets (Salekhard)

Krays[edit | edit source]

  • Altay (Barnaul)
  • Kamchatka (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy)
  • Khabarovsk
  • Krasnodar
  • Krasnoyarsk
  • Perm'
  • Primorsk (Vladivostok)
  • Stavropol'
  • Zabaykal'skiy (Chita)

Federal Cities[edit | edit source]

Autonomous Oblast[edit | edit source]

  • Yevrey [Jewish] (Birobidzhan) Note: Administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

    More Russia Research Strategies[edit | edit source]

    Research strategies give guidance on how to research or what records to search for first. Below are additional research strategy Wiki articles for Russia.

    More Russia Research Tools[edit | edit source]

    Research tools can include resources that assist in locating correct records to search and determining the correct locality to search in. Below are links and Wiki articles to research tools in Russia.

    Language Tools[edit | edit source]

    Russian Transliteration Tools[edit | edit source]

    FamilySearch Resources[edit | edit source]

    Below are FamilySearch resources that can assist you in researching your family.

    Research Tutorials[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

    1. Wikipedia contributors, "Russia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 28 March 2016.
    2. Wikipedia contributors, "Administration divisions of Russia in 1708-1710," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 29 April 2016.