RNA GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH
- The Russian Nobility Association in America is pleased to provide anyone interested in his or her Russian ancestry – Genealogical Research.
- The request is forwarded to the historical researchers, genealogists, librarians, and archivists in Russia, so that a “First-Pass” brief summary can be prepared on the subject at an initial cost of $100 per inquiry. This summary provides preliminary genealogical information from various relevant archives and our suggestions for a future search.
- For more in-depth Detailed Ancestry Research, we will be able to quote an estimated price for additional information if so desired. Such a research would go step by step according to the client’s preferences – either just receiving some specific information, or undertaking a vast genealogy studies on many branches and generations of his or her family tree.
GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH DETAILS
Over the years, the RNA in New York has received many inquiries from people whose ancestors were from the various provinces which were formerly part of the Russian Empire prior to 1917.
The RNA has established cooperation with historical researchers, genealogists, librarians, and archivists in Russia who can provide some preliminary information, a so-called “First-Pass” summary, for legitimate inquiries at an initial cost of $100 per inquiry. In the course of this step they would check various relevant directories, and archival finding aids. As a result we provide the client with all information related to his or her family which may be found in the general directories, and our suggestions for a future search. This step also helps us verify and complete the initial information provided by the client.
For more in-depth studies, we will be able to quote an estimated price for additional information if so desired.
We have access to the Russian Archives and various sources published before 1917 in Russia:
1. Russian State Historical Archive
Documents provided for confirming nobility are in the files of the Stock #1343 of this Archive – a collection of documents of the Heraldry Department of Governmental Senate. This Stock consists of 197,487 files listed in 62 inventories.
2. Local Archives
In cases when a family (or its branch) is missing in the Stock of the Heraldry Department, it is possible to look for them in a local Historic Archive of the same province where the family nobility was registered. The success of such a research depends on preservation of a particular provincial Archive – many such archives have been lost, or were destroyed during the revolution and WWII, while in some Archives the documents of the Provincial Noble Assembly have been rather well preserved.
3. Lists of Nobility
The Noble Assemblies of almost each Russian province published their own lists of families entered into the Noble Registers. These Noble Registers consisted of six parts:
- Granted Nobility;
- Military Nobility (acquired according to ranks for military service);
- Nobility acquired according to ranks for civil service or awards;
- Foreign Noble Families;
- Titled Families;
- Ancient Noble Families.
4. Service records
In case a person was engaged in State service (civil, military, navy), it is also possible to look for his service record in the corresponding Archive. Such documents included column for information about origin (from a noble family or not); in case when a person was granted a nobility title for his own merits, an entry about this (provided with the date and number of a decree) had to be made in such a document.
Many genealogy works were published before the revolution of 1917. Over the last few years, many articles and monographs compiled by actual genealogists have appeared in Russia. As a standard rule, they are supplied with references to sources which may be checked if necessary.
In addition, there are good publications (mostly in Polish) concerning the Polish nobility – not depending on the fact if this status was officially confirmed in Russia or not.
We have listed above just some sources for information about family nobility. In fact, it is possible to find more possibilities convenient for a specific case. The estimate for further work depends on the goal. It can be as basic as confirmation of the fact of family nobility, or much more complicated – for example, detailed genealogy supplied with biographies of the members of family, which requires extensive research in various Archives, step by step, up to completing research or up to the moment when the client stops the search being satisfied with the results.
In some cases it may turn out that we do not find information about the client’s family in the sources convenient to his initial information. According to our experience, it may be caused with inaccurate initial data.
In such a case, we try to understand why they are not listed in these sources, explain what it may mean in connection with the family legends and suggest other ways to look for information about such a family.
We estimate next steps of our work in hours of work of the researcher; the hourly rate is $25. It may be the work with some specific published materials or/and with the archival documents. The scope of work depends on the client’s decision based on our suggestions. Such a research would go step by step according to the client’s preferences – either just receiving some specific information, or undertaking a vast genealogy research on many branches and generations of his or her family tree. The client may continue or stop the research at any time. After we find the requested information, we can make a detailed report; translations; copies (the cost of copies depends on the price charged by the specific Archive or Library which maintains the records).
All genealogy research studies are subject to prepayment:
- $100 for a “First-Pass” brief Summary (on one family);
- $25/hour by pre-agreement for a “Detailed Ancestry Research” program.
- Payments to be made by certified check, money order or credit card charge in favor of “Russian Nobility Association in America, Inc.”, a 501(c)(3) US nonprofit charity corporation.
We hope this new service will help our members and friends discover many interesting details of their family ancestry. Please contact RNA@russiannobility.org and put GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH in the Subject heading.