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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Miriam Weiner Eastern European Archival Database [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.
Original data: This data is provided in partnership with The Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots Foundation, Inc. (www.rtrfoundation.org)

About Miriam Weiner Eastern European Archival Database

Most of these documents are in the Russian language (with some Hebrew on the opposite page of Jewish vital records), some documents are Polish (depending upon the time period) and there are some documents from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire (also known as Galicia) with column headings and/or text in German, and some documents from Southern Ukraine are in the Hungarian language. Depending upon the time period, there are also documents in Romanian (for towns currently in Moldova and formerly in Bessarabia).

The default search function for this database uses the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex. You can turn it off by using the Advanced search box (by clicking on "Show Advanced" in the top right corner" of the box).

The Miriam Weiner Eastern European Archival Database includes the combined archival holdings from archives/historical institutions in Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine into a single database, along with some documents from archives/historical institutions in Russia, Israel and Romania. Also are included are documents from civil registration offices in Poland (Urzad Stanu Cwyilnego offices) and civil registration offices in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova (ZAGS Offices); the Jewish Historical Institute (Warsaw, Poland); Pinkassim collection of the V. Vernadskyi Library (Kiev, Ukraine); Regional Museum (Ostrog, Ukraine) and the private collection of Rabbi Moishe Leib Kolesnik (Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine).

Important information to utilize in your research:

In 1869, Russian was declared to be the official language in all provinces of the Russian Empire. Polish language terminology that was used prior to that date was replaced by Russian. Record-keeping reverted back to the Polish language after Poland once again became an independent country after World War I.

Polish provinces of the Russian Empire (before 1869)
Wojewodztwo or Departament = province
Powiat = district
Gmina = smaller district including several villages
Wies = village
Kolonia = colony (a small settlement outside the main village)

Russian Empire
Gubernia = province
Uezd = district
Volost = smaller district including several villages
Gorod = town/city
Selo/Derevnaya = village

Lithuania Today
Apskritis = province
Rajon/Rajonas = district
Miestas = city
Miestelis = town
Kaimas = village

Poland Today
Wojewodztwo = province
Powiat = district
Gmina = smaller district including several villages
Miasto = city/town
Wies = village

Belarus Today
Oblast = province
Raion = district
Gorod = city/town
Selo/derevnaya = village

Ukraine Today
Oblast = province
Raion = district
Misto = city/town
Selo = village

Moldova Today
Raion = district
Gorod = city/town
Selo = village

For more information, see the following information from the RTR Foundation website (a new window will open if you click on a link):

  • Administrative Districts (as shown in the database)
  • Documents Included in Inventories
  • Foreign Alphabets:
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Key to Archive Codes
  • Key to Document Types
  • Key to Repository Codes
  • Key to Russian Terms for Genealogical Research
  • Language: Spelling of Locality Names, Alphabets and Accents, Transliteration
  • Sources for Inventory Data
    • Visit our other sites:

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