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

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Welcome to the Russia Page!

FamilySearch Wiki is a community website dedicated to helping people throughout the world learn how to find their ancestors.

The Russia portal page has many helpful articles that can help you learn how to find, use, and analyze Russian records of genealogical value. There are also sections on the page that can help simplify the research process.

Getting Started with Russian Research

  • NEW! Want to learn more about how to do research in Russia? Take a look at the "How to" Guides!


Imperial Russia (Russian Empire) before 1917 was divided into 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.

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.


  • Amur (Blagoveshchensk)
  • Arkhangel'sk
  • Astrakhan'
  • Belgorod
  • Bryansk
  • Chelyabinsk
  • Irkutsk
  • Ivanovo
  • Kaliningrad
  • Kaluga
  • Kemerovo
  • Kirov
  • Kostroma
  • Kurgan
  • Kursk
  • Leningrad
  • Lipetsk
  • Magadan
  • Moscow
  • Murmansk
  • Nizhniy Novgorod
  • Novgorod
  • Novosibirsk
  • Omsk
  • Orenburg
  • Orel
  • Penza
  • Pskov
  • Rostov
  • Ryazan'
  • Sakhalin (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk)
  • Samara
  • Saratov
  • Smolensk
  • Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg)
  • Tambov
  • Tomsk
  • Tula
  • Tver'
  • Tyumen'
  • Ul'yanovsk
  • Vladimir
  • Volgograd
  • Vologda
  • Voronezh
  • Yaroslavl'


  • 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:

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


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

Federal Cities:

Autonomous Oblast:

  • Yevrey [Jewish] (Birobidzhan)

Note: Administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

Research Tools

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  • This page was last modified on 30 December 2015, at 17:34.
  • This page has been accessed 76,062 times.