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Eastern European: Introduction to Research for North Americans
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A vast number of immigrants came to North America from various areas in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Unfortunately, in the past, those with Eastern European roots have been reticent to begin research on their immigrant ancestors due to perceived barriers of language, geography, and difficulty with accessing and understanding the records.

The purpose of this course is to begin the teaching of genealogical concepts pertinent to Eastern European research. It introduces the basic concepts needed to succeed in Eastern European research, and begins to dispel the notion that Eastern European research is difficult. Actually, from a research perspective, it is much easier than it used to be thanks to a surge in interest, the Internet, and greater accessibility to archival records and other resources.


Course Content

Module 1
Eastern European Research & Sources
Note about Web Addresses
Websites
Introduction
 
Identifying the Immigrant(s)
• US Census
• Canadian Census
 
Minimum Identification
• What was immigrant’s original (foreign) name?
• Key Life Events
• Geographic Clues
• Additional Identification
 
Immigration Information
• Other Family Members (Relating to the Immigrant)
• Religion
• Friends & Neighbors
 
Summary
• Hints & Tips
 

Module 2
Historical Overview
Websites
 
Eastern Europe
• Definition of Eastern Europe
• Sources for Eastern European History
• Geographical Distinctions & Political Considerations
• Timelines
• Key Events in Eastern European History
 
Eastern Europeans in North America
• Immigration Timeline
• United States
• Canada
• Identity Crisis? Are you Austrian, Bohemian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Rusyn, Slovak, Ukrainian or other? How to Know?
 
Summary
• Hints & Tips
 
Recommended Reading & Resources
 

Module 3
Developing A Solid Research Strategy
Websites
Strategy
Key Elements of Eastern European Research
Geography and Place Names
 
Sources for Genealogical Research
• Eastern European Vital Records
 
Language and Handwriting
Family History Library
 
Availability of Records - Family History Library & Beyond
• Albania
• Bulgaria
• Czech Republic
• Hungary
• Slovakia
• Russia
• Belarus
• Baltic States
• Moldova
• Ukraine
• Poland
• Romania
• Former Yugoslavia
 
Published Sources
Accessing Records
 
Advanced Sources and Techniques
Sources for Study and Information
 
Summary
• Hints & Tips
 
Recommended Reading & Resources
 

Module 4
Culture & Society
Websites
 
Cultural Aspects of Eastern European Research
• Religious Denominations
• Some Information about the Greek Catholic Church
• Family Practices
 
Surnames
First Names, Name Days & Naming Patterns
Occupations, Education, and Social Status
Language
Customs and Traditions
 
Summary
• Hints & Tips
 
Recommended Reading & Resources
 

Module 5
Major Databases for Researching Eastern European Records
Websites
Suggested Reading
 
Genealogy Company Collections
• Ancestry.com Resources
• How to Find Specific Collections on Ancestry.com
• FamilySearch Online Resources
• FamilySearch Online Collections by Country
• MyHeritage
 
Archive and Repository Websites
Genealogical Societies and Other Interest Groups
 
Summary
• Hints & Tips
 
Recommended Reading & Resources
 

Module 6
Research Challenges & Solutions
Websites
 
Myths about Eastern European Research
• Myth #1
• Myth #2
• Myth #3
• Myth #4
• Myth #5
• Myth #6
• Myth #7
• Myth #8
• Myth #9
• Myth #10
 
Genetic Genealogy
• DNA: The Very Basics
• Types of DNA Tests
 
“Immersion Genealogy”
 
Summary
• Hints & Tips
 
Recommended Reading & Resources
• Linguistic Aids
• Genealogical Societies
• Other Websites
 
Appendix
Abbreviations & Acronyms
 
Recommended Reading & Resources
• Websites
• General Genealogy Websites
• Map Collections
• Newspapers
• Surnames
 
Ancestor Data Sheet
Article: Immersion Genealogy
 
 

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