How to find out the ancestor’s birthplace?

06.07.2022 220

At the initial stage of research, quite often the problem is that the exact place of birth of the ancestor being sought is not known. Below we present a list of options to search for this data, namely:

  • Record of a marriage: This document often indicated the birthplace of the bride and groom, or how many years the bride and groom had lived in the place where the marriage was registered. This search is relevant in cases where the marriage was not earlier than the 1920s, that is, it was already registered in the act books of the civil status registration offices, such data was not listed in the church metrics.
  • Death record: The death record often (but not always) included data from the passport of the deceased – date and place of birth. These data were not listed on the Soviet death certificate, but they are listed in the civil register if the person died sometime in the 1950s or later. Sometimes it is possible to simply request a renewed death certificate for an ancestor on a modern form, which will include birth information.
  • Migration service: In 1974, the USSR was exchanging passports for new ones, respectively, citizens filled out the questionnaires that have survived to this day. If your ancestor was alive in 1974, there may be a possibility that he/she was exchanging a passport. It is worth asking the Migration Service of Ukraine to find passport forms for your relative. It is important to remember that for this organization it is necessary to confirm a family connection with the ancestor, i.e. to attach the appropriate documents to the application.
  • Questionnaires from places of work, study: If your ancestor went to university, held positions in various organizations, it makes sense to try to find questionnaires or personal files from places of study and work. An important nuance is the limited retention period of personnel documents, so it matters the year a person worked in a particular place.
  • Party questionnaires: If your ancestor was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), you can make a request for his/her party questionnaires/cards to the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RSASPH, Moscow). To search you need to know something from this list: date and place of joining the party, party card number, date and place of death, since the party card was “cancelled” after the death of a Communist.

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