Are there any Russian websites similar to ancestry.com and familysearch.org?
Unfortunately, not. You have to write to archives in Russia to get more information. There are some databases published on internet in Russian for certain historical events but they are not complete. Jewishgen.org (is a must to research website for those with Russian Jewish heritage) has a great collection of records which are being updated on ongoing basis.
What if I do not know where in Russia my ancestors were from?
This is a very common question and until you break this, you will not be able to search on Russian side as there are no vital records databases available on internet and the search in archives will be impossible.
If your ancestor immigrated to America, Canada or UK, I recommend to use ancestry.com and familysearch.org to look for immigration records (ellisisland.org or similar), censuses, World War I and II draft registration forms for men (these have section on birth place).
Also try to obtain marriage, divorce and death certificates from relevant authorities and Naturalization records.
If you struggle with finding any information on these websites, let me help you. Many times over I was able to locate the records as a result of misspelled or incorrectly written transcriptions of names. Do not forget that records were written phonetically back then.
I have received an invoice from Russian archive. How can I pay it?
Russian archives only accept payments in Russian rubles and the payments should be made from the countries of former Soviet Union. At present Ukrainian archives only accept the payments made in Ukraine.
There are two options available :
- Direct payment to the archive from Russia. For this I have a facility to make a bank payment of the invoice issued by the archive.
- Some archives accept Western Union payments. Please remember that this in unsafe option.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions in relation to payment.