WorldGenWeb project .. Ukraine .. Odessa
This page provides some material to assist family history / genealogical research in the local area
Odessa Oblast is an administrative subdivision of Ukraine that takes in the Black Sea coastline from the mouth of the Danube to Tiligal Liman, and includes the port city of Odesa and the surrounding countryside. It covers parts of the former Tsarist (ie. pre-1917) Russian provinces (Guberniya) of Odessa, Kherson and Bessarabia.
The bulk of "readily" available genealogical information dates back to the early 1800s, when the area experienced major economic expansion and in-migration. Records research prior to 1800 is non-trivial. The 1917 revolution and World War II brought major upheavals, and with it dispersal of records and record-keeping agencies (such as churches) and fragmentation of families. Going through the links on this page will help you get a better picture of what's available.
Genealogical research is not straightforward here, and definately a long term proposition! Having said that, some groups, particularly those researching a particular ethnic or religious group, have built networks of volunteers who acquire, translate and publish vital records and operate mailing lists. Some groups are more active than others, so the amount of information available is proportional to groups' enthusiasm rather than to any population demographic.
By and large, it is the group efforts that have yielded the greatest results over the last decade in sourcing, acquiring and indexing the dispersed records. If you'd like to go it alone, or are searching for contemporary records, then public access to official records is an option, though also not quite straightforward. You are likely to have more success if you (or someone on your behalf) make a personal visit, or write in Ukrainian or Russian. If you are looking for relatives currently living in a particular town you can try writing to the local Raion administration and they will attempt to put you in contact. If all else fails, there are various individuals in Ukraine and Russia who will undertake records searches on a fee-for-service basis, but the costs are significant.
On Genweb pages:
History and information of Odessa city and Ukraine (Ukraine Genweb)
Odessa Oblast is divided into 26 municipalities, called Rayons. Each is named after the town where the Rayon administration is based: Ananiv, Artsyz, Balta, Berezivka, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Bilyaivka, Bolhrad, Frunzivka, Ivanivka, Izmail, Kiliya, Kodyma, Kominternivske, Kotovsk, Krasni Okny, Lubashivka, Mykolaivka, Ovidiopol, Reni, Rozdilna, Sarata, Savran, Shyryaeve, Tarutyne, Tatarbunary, Velika Mykhailivka.
Seven cities have their own adminsitrations: Odesa, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Izmail, Illichivsk, Kotovsk, Teplodar and Iuzhne.
Odesa city comprises 8 suburbs (Rayon Mista): Zhovtneviy, Illichivskiy, Kyivskiy, Leninskiy, Malinovskiy, Primorskiy, Suvorovskiy and Tsentralniy.
Historically (ie. pre-1917 Tsarist) the administrative subdivisions were Guberniya (equivalent to current Oblast) and Uyezd (equivalent to current Raion). The town that formed the administrative centre of each Uyezd was called the Uyezda Gorod. Guberniya and Oblast roughly translate into English as "Province" or American as "county", and Raion and Uyezd roughly translate as "District", "Municipality" or "Shire".
LDS microfilms: 1 - Overview. 2 - Books and literature. 3 - Births, marriages, deaths, mostly Orthodox church with text in Old Slavonic. Many catholic and protestant churches were destroyed and vital registers dispersed after 1917, during the 1930s and during WW2. Refer to the links below under Associations, Organizations & Societies to find information on record retrieval efforts by different groups.