Russia, Tatarstan Confession Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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Title in the Language of the Record

Россия, Татарстанские исповедные ведомости

Record Description

This is a collection of confession lists for those living within an Orthodox congregation in the Tatarstan Republic (subject of Russia) and will include records from 1775-1932. The lists are a census substitute and contain names of those in the congregation, their ages, and whether or not they attended confession. The lists may also include the names of children at least a year old, as well as their gender and ages.

The records are in Russian; see the section "For Help Reading these Records" for access to translation helps.

Church confession lists were created and kept by priests to record the information related to their parishioner’s confessions. The form of confession lists was established in 1737. It includes the sequential number of the household, surname, given names of all children at least one year old, gender, ages, whether or not the person attended confession, and, if not, why the person did not attend (this is rarely noted).

Confessions were done at the time of Lent, the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Children were taken to confession beginning in their seventh year. Russian Orthodox confession lists were sometimes interfiled with the church records of baptisms, marriages, or deaths.

These were considered an official record and are normally very reliable.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Russia, Tatarstan Confession Lists, 1775-1932.

Record Content

Confession Records usually contain the following information:
  • Place of confession
  • Names and ages of those in the congregation
  • Names and ages of children over the age of one year
  • Whether or not the person attended confession
  • Reasons for not attending confession are sometimes included
  • Number of males and females

How to Use the Record

Much like censuses, you can track your ancestor with these lists. By comparing the years in which your ancestor went to confession, you can determine migration movements within Russia, marital status and marriage date/place, and the birth/death date and place of children as well as their names, genders, and ages. This process can help you narrow down the years and places in which your ancestor was born, married, and passed away. See "Using the Information" section for detailed ideas on using the information in this record.

When searching: As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor's given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence, age, and family relationships.

Search the Collection

To search by image: To search the collection, you will need to follow this series of links:
Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Province" category
⇒Select the appropriate "District"
⇒Select the appropriate "Year and volume" which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Russian. For help reading the records, see the following wiki articles:

Using the Information

Finding Your Ancestor's Parents and Birthplace
If your ancestor is single and living with his/her parents in a certain list, then use his/her age to determine a birth year. Track your ancestor backward in the lists to determine where your ancestor was born. Once you find the list in which your ancestor was at least one year old, then start looking in birth/baptismal records for the 1-2 years prior to that confession list for that place.

Finding Marriage Information
After finding your ancestor on lists for different years, look for his/her marital status. If one year he/she is single and living alone and the next year (or more) he/she is married, then you can discern that he/she married sometime in between those years. Look for marriage records in between those years for that place.

Finding Your Ancestor's Children
In addition, look for your ancestor in the years after his/her marriage to find the children, and the children's birth years and places.

If a child is listed one year and not the next (or later years), then it is probable that he/she died in between those years. Search the death and burial records.

Finding Your Ancestor's Death Information
Trace your ancestor through the lists until you can no longer find him/her. Not being able to find your ancestor in later lists implies different possibilities: he/she moved to a different country (check immigration/emigration records), he/she left the church, or he/she passed away. If you can't find your ancestor in later lists, then start your search for his/her death record from the date on the last confession list he/she was found.

Follow the same procedure for your ancestor's parents and children.

Tips to Keep in Mind

When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Remember that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

Other Searches

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Don't overlook FHL Place Russia, Tatarstan items or FHL Keyword Russia, Tatarstan items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Russia Archives and Libraries.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection citation:

“Russia, Tatarstan Confession Lists, 1775-1932.” Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. Citing Russian Society of Historians and Archivists, Moscow.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Russia, Tatarstan Confession Lists, 1775-1932.


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  • This page was last modified on 1 July 2015, at 01:45.
  • This page has been accessed 1,184 times.