Russia, Tatarstan Confession Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Russia, Tatarstan Confession Lists, 1775-1932 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Tatastan, Russia
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Flag of Russian Empire and Russian Federation
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Location of Tatastan, Russia
Record Description
Record Type: Confession Lists
Collection years: 1775-1932
Languages: Russian
Title in the Languages: Россия, Татарстанские исповедные ведомости
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Russian Society of Historians and Archivists

What is in the Collection?

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.

These records are written 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.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. These images can be viewed online by members of the supporting organization(s), at a Family History Center near you, or the Family History Library.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

Collection Contents

These records may 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 Do I Search the Collection?

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

To search by image:

⇒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.

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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the age in the citizen to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have moved, been recruited or lived nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify. Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This compiled list can help you identify possible relations that can be further verified by researching vital records indexes in the country.
  • When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, either Civil Registration records or Church Records may be more useful.
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of local genealogical societies.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image

Collection citation:

“Russia, Tatarstan Confession Lists, 1775-1932.” Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing Russian Society of Historians and Archivists, Moscow.

Image citation:

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

How You Can Contribute

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