Russian archives – a treasure trove of records

Dear all

What a year it was!  Russian archives as always opened its treasure trove and provided many family researchers with the documents and photographs of their ancestors.  Many surprises expected us this year.

The most popular archive was in Khabarovsk with the collection of files on Russians from China in its BREM database.  At a fixed price of 2462 rubles you can receive something that you have never seen before.

Navy archive in St Petersburg does not have an electronic database where you can do a search for your ancestor.  But a simple request to the archive provided us with the file of a young soldier who served in Navy during the World War 1.  He later became an engineer at the Far East University and was killed during Stalin Purges ( see further information on Victims of political terror database) .

St Petersburg Historical archive was as always a pleasure to work with.  It’s electronic database provides a quick glimpse into Russian ancestry.  After you find your ancestor, it is relatively easy to get the files.  The archive has a fascinating collection of files on Smolny Institute female students, students of N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory and Imperial St Petersburg university.

Unfortunately the Military Historical archive in Moscow is missing on a surname based electronic database. A researcher in Moscow is doing a great work finding files on ancestors in archive’s vast catalogue of cards.  We had many successes and breakthroughs this year thanks to this archive’s collection.

The files on Russians in Czechoslovakia in early 1920s are readily available at State Archive of Russian Federation (GARF)-Fund number (In Russian) Р5764 -“Zemgor registration cards”.

During the last few years new databases were created on-line which are a great resource:

Reading list during 2015 was as impressive as the files of ancestors we have received during the year.

My fascination with Russians in Australia took me on a journey.  I have visited the Library of NSW many times, went to the Powerhouse Museum and read number of books.  Trove library gave me an insight into life of Russians in 1910, the inspirational story of Ivan Ivanovich Suhomlin, Varvara Kossovskaia , Nicholas Korsakoff and his family, Doctor Michael Emmanuilovich Klyachko and his adventures and Russian princess from Australia.

I got to learn about architects from Russia such as Aaron Bolot(insky) and his design of Randwick Ritz cinema and Anatol Kagan with a project of Sydney Opera House.

It was a pleasure to read a book written by the descendants about Evlampia Holtze – probably the first female Russian in Australia and investigate the life of Lydia Klyagina.  I have read about her in a book by Anne Summers and decided to take the research further by getting the files from RGALI archive.

Many surprises waited for me this year: I have been contacted by descendants of Russian Australians who I have researched  – Waldemar Franz von Kroeber and John Alexander Seeck and wrote an article about Russian wharf in Launceston after the family holiday in Tasmania early January.

My first attempts to record  resting place of Russians who migrated after the Revolution of 1917 at Eastern suburbs memorial cemetery in Sydney are recorded on this site as well.

The handwriting of your ancestors, photographs, memoirs- every little bit of information is important in your research.  So if you need a help in your research or do not know where to start, write to me.  There is always next year -2016 year.

Happy New Year everyone!!  and Happy Searching!!

2 thoughts on “Russian archives – a treasure trove of records

  1. alan sivkoff Reply

    HI, MY FATHER, UNCLE & GRANDPARENTS LEFT IRKUTSK & MIGRATED TO aUSTRALIA IN THE EARLY YEARS OF WW1. APART FROM SOME ORAL HISTORY I DON’T HAVE MUCH ELSE TO GO ON. CAN YOU SUGGEST WHERE I COULD START MY ENQUIRIES. rEGARDS aLAN sIVKOFF

    • Tana Post authorReply

      Hi Alan

      The first point of reference in your case is the National archives of Australia. There are about 4-5 files on your ancestors. Even so the family came from Irkutsk it was from Vyatka. The surname Sivkoff is closely linked with Vyatka and dates back to 17th century.

      Trove library has 121 hits/articles with your surname.

      Contact Queensland Registry to get the death certificates. These will state additional information.

      Try to get as many documents here in Australia first. Once you are happy with documents, only then it is time to write to the archives. Vyatka records are in Archive of Kirovsk region.

      Regards Tana

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.