It is important when researching in Ukraine to know the location(s) of the town(s) that your ancestors came from, as well as the surrounding towns and villages. This process of identifying your towns of interest can be complicated by the fact that many towns and villages have disappeared or changed their names, some several times over the years!
With the Family History Center (FHC) breaking their microfilms down by oblast/town, it is very important to know the Oblast your town is in. The knowledge of the Oblast of your interest will pay off for you in many ways. Families in Ukraine tended to stick to certain areas - so once you know the Oblast, you can search the close-by towns for more clues.
This depends on the information you already know. Follow the step-by-step instructions in each section, listed below.
I am not sure about the town name or Oblast. Follow these instructions to find the current town name and location.
I know the town name, but not the Oblast. Follow these instructions to find the oblast your town is in.
I know the town and Oblast and want to see nearby towns. Follow these instructions to find out the names of nearby towns and villages.
Use Mapquest first:
Click on this link to the Mapquest Ukraine Main Map.
Click on this link to the Mapquest Ukraine Main Map in a new browser window. (This way you can switch between these instructions and the mapquest page.)
Below the map, you will see a box to type in the town name you are seeking. Type in the town name and click on the search button. If you are lucky, the town you are looking for exists today (the same way you are spelling it) and mapquest will return a map for you with a red star that shows the location of the town. Print out the map (use the "print map" button), or leave the browser window open; and proceed to step two, identifying the oblast.
Use ROM-SIG's Townfinder Database next:
Mapquest said "town not found", so now what?
Click on this link to the JEWISH-GEN Shetl-Seeker Database.
Click on this link to the JEWISH-GEN Shetl-Seeker Database in a new browser window. (This way you can switch between these instructions and the JEWISH-GEN page.)
This is a database of nearly all towns and villages in Ukraine, (Europe too!). Near the bottom of the page is the search window. Now this part is a little tricky, so pay atttention! You may be doing your search several times to get results.
First search - Enter your full town name in the search box, then select the Ukraine category only in the drop down box, and then click search. This will take a little while, but don't get impatient. This database will key on the "old names" for towns - so you might get a result on the first search. If successful, the search program brings up a list of towns in a table format. First, look for the town that is spelled "exactly" like you wrote it. If it is there, click on the "map" button to get a Mapquest generated map. Be patient, it will take a while! If it is not there, check the towns listed with a similar spelling (the search lists all towns with that sound like your town), so you may get quite a long list. Experiment a little, try out the similar sounding towns - it just may be the one you're looking for!
When complete, check out the Mapquest map with the red star that shows your location. Print out the map (use the "print map" button), or leave the browser window open; and proceed to step two, identifying the oblast.
Second search - Enter only the first few characters of your full town name in the search box, then select the Ukraine category only in the drop down box, and then select the "all towns starting with this precise spelling" option in the "search using drop-down box", then click search. This search will return a bunch of town listings. Browse through the list until you see a town name that sounds a lot like the one you searched for, this may be your town! Click on the "co-ordinates" link to get a Mapquest map with a red star at your town's location . See, when complete, above for the next step.
First, go to Mapquest
and print out a map identifying your town by the red star. Then,
click on this link to our Ukraine Oblast Map. By comparing the map you printed, or the map in the open browser window; with the oblast map, you will see which oblast your town is in. Clicking on your oblast will then bring up a more detailed map of your oblast! Congratulations! You now know the oblast!
If you've come this far, you know that we now have two methods to identify nearby towns in your Oblast.
Method 1- Bring up the detailed Oblast map by clicking on your Oblast on the Ukraine Oblast Map page. Some nearby towns will be listed on the map.
Method 2 - Go to the JEWISH-GEN Shetl-Seeker Database and re-do the search for your town. This time, write down the latitude/longitude co-ordinates. Then hit the "back" button on your browser. Notice right under the "search" button is a "search by distance" link. Click this to go to the distance search method. Here you can search for all towns within 1 to 30 miles of your town. This method is by far the most complete.
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this page last updated 29 November, 2008 18:50You are our 76528- -visitor -- thanks for stopping by!