Russia Gazetteers

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Russia Gotoarrow.png Gazetteers

Russia Wiki Topics
Russian flag.jpg
Beginning Research
Record Types
Russia Background
Local Research Resources

A gazetteer is a dictionary of place-names. It describes towns and villages; townships and counties; provinces; sizes of population; and rivers, mountains, and other geographical features. Gazetteers usually include only the names of places that existed at the time the gazetteer was published. The place-names are listed in alphabetical order, similar to a dictionary.

Use a gazetteer to find the places where your family lived and to determine the civil jurisdictions over those places.

The definition of the term gazetteer, when used in a geographical sense, is a "geographical index or dictionary." When used in atlases or map indexes, gazetteers are simply assemblages of alphabetically-ordered listings of places or physical/cultural features. More extensive gazetteers include brief descriptions along with the listings. The comprehensive gazetteer, however, is an encyclopedia of geographical places and features. The Columbia Gazetteer of the World is such an encyclopedia.

Russian Empire Gazeteers

Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltics were previously in the Russian Empire. In 1797 each county (uezd) was divided into districts (volost) and villages (derevnya or selo; a selo normally had a church). A city (gorod) was independent of the county/district hierarchy. This organization remained stable throughout the 19th century, the number of provinces increasing to 50 in European Russian (excluding Finland and Poland). The Soviets used the term oblast for the highest jurisdictional level and created more of them. Records of modern states may be found in the archive of another state that was an imperial capital. They also instituted the region (raion) to replace both the county and district levels.

Spiski naselennykh Mest Rossiiskoi Imperii (Списки населенных мест Российской Имперіи)

(Lists of Populated Places in Imperial Russia)

The basic gazetteer for the Russian Empire is Spiski Naselennykh Mest Rossiiskoi Imperii [Lists of Populated Places in Imperial Russia]. S. Peterburg: Tsentralnyi Statisticheskii Komitet Ministerstvo Vnutrennikh Del, 1861-1885.62 vols. (Fiche 6,002,224 /420 microfiches).  The gazeteer is organized by locality, first by Gubernia (province), then by Uyezd (county), and finally by Gorod (city) or  Derevniye (village).

These locality directories identify location and religious congregations. They are available on microfiche from the Family History Library.  Copies of a few individual volumes can be found occasionally in major research libraries. Some of them are also available online.  The text is in Russian. Each volume contains a locality index.  Go to the catalog entry (or click here) for this gazetteer to determine which micorfiche you will need for each gubernia.

These details include only the set of gazetteers that are available at the FHL in microfiche form, in all there are 97 gazetteers included in the Spiski naselennykh Mest Rossiiskoi Imperii from the 1850-1870’s during the Russian Empire Period.

Most of these, and more areas can be found online from the list below by clicking the cyrillic form of the name:

Online Availability

I. Европейская Россия (European Russia)

Архангельская г. (Arkhangel'sk)
Астраханская г. (Astrakhan) 
Бессарабская г.  (Bessarabia)
Виленская г.

Витебская г. [1]

Владимирская г. (Vladimir)
Вологодская г. (Vologda)
Волынская г. 

Воронежская г.  (Voronezh)
Вятская г. (Vyatka)
Гродненская г. (Grodno)

Земля Донского войска (Zemlya Voyska Donskago)
Екатеринославская г.  (Yekaterinslav)
Казанская г.  (Kazan)
Калужская г.  (Kaluga)
Киевская г. (Kiev)

Ковенская г.
Костромская г. (Kostroma)
Курляндская г.
Курская г.  (Kursk)
Лифляндская г.
Минская г. (Minsk)

Могилевская г. (Mogilev)

Московская г. (Moskow)
Нижегородская г. (Nizhniy Novgorod)
Новгородская г.  (Novgorod)
Олонецкая г.  (Olonets)
Оренбургская г.  (Orenburg)
Орловская г. (Orel)
Пензенская г. (Penza)
Пермская г. (Perm)
Подольская г. (Podolsk)

Полтавская г.  (Poltava)
Псковская г.  (Pskov)
Рязанская г.  (Ryazan)
Самарская г.  (Samara)
Санктпетербургская г.  (St. Petersburg)
Саратовская г.  (Saratov)
Симбирская г.  (Simbirsk)
Смоленская г.  (Smolensk)
Таврическая г. (Tavrida)
Таврическая г. (Tavrida)

Тамбовская г.  (Tambov)
Тверская г.  (Tver)
Тульская г. (Tula)
Уфимская г.  (Ufa)
Харьковская г. (Khar'kov)
Херсонская г.  (Kherson)
Черниговская г.  (Chernigov)
Эстляндская г.
Ярославская г.  (Yaroslav)

II. Царство Польскаго (Kingdom of Poland)

Варшавская г.
Калишская г.
Келецкая г.
Ломжинская г
Люблинская г.
Петроковская г.
Плоцкая г.
Радомская г.
Сувалкская г.
Седлецкая г.

III. Великое княжество Финляндия (Grand Duchy of Finland)

Або-Бьернеборгская г.
Вазаская г.
Выборгская г.
Куопиосская г.
Нюландская г.
С.-Михельская г.
Тавастгусская г.
Улеаборгская г.

IV. Кавказ (Caucusus)

Бакинская г.
Yesгестанская обл.
Елисаветпольская г.
Карская обл.
Кубанская обл. (Kubansk)]

Кутаисская г.
Ставропольская г.
Терская обл.
Тифлисская г.
Черноморская г.
Эриванская г.

V. Сибирь (Siberia)

Амурская обл.
Енисейская г.
Забайкальская обл.
Иркутская г.
Приморская обл.
О. Сахалин
Тобольская г.
Томская г. (Tomsk)
Якутская г.

VI. Средняя Азия (Central Asia)

Акмолинская обл.
Закаспийская обл.
Самаркандская обл.
Семипалатинская обл.
Семиреченская обл.
Сыр. Yesрьинская обл.
Тургайская обл.
Уральская обл.
Ферганская обл.

Russisches Geographisches Namenbuch

The best comprehensive gazetteer of all localities in Imperial Russia is by Vasmer, Max. Russisches Geographisches Namenbuch [Russian Geographical Namebook]. Wiesbaden: Harassowitz, 1964-1981. Nachtrag (Supplement), 1988. 11 vols. (FHL INTL Book 947 E5r). Spiski naselennykh Mest Rossiiski Imperii were the primary source for much of the data. This set of books is referred to as the RGN and includes eleven volumes plus the Kartenband (maps).

Localities are listed in the Cyrillic alphabet but the gazetteer is still usable to non-Russian readers because the descriptions are in German. The pre-1917 administrative units of guberniya (G.) and uyezd (Kr.) are given. The German word for uyezd is Kreis. If there are several localities in the same guberniya, the guberniya is indicated only after the first locality in the guberniya. It is not repeated for each subsequent locality listed.

RGN Gazetteer .jpg

Soviet Union Gazetteers

Official Standard Names for U.S.S.R.

United States Board on Geographic Names. Official Standard Names for U.S.S.R. FHL INTL Book 947 E5u. 1959, 1970. Film 0928609,0928610 (Item 1-2),087455,087456, Fiche 6053504. These seven volumes list the localities for the entire Soviet Union, in English, giving a brief description of the kind of locality, the coordinates, and showing the administrative regions. The administrative region is represented by number. These numbers are explained in the beginning of each book.

OSN for USSR Gazetteer.jpg