My grandfather Zuk/Zukowsky immigrated in 1905. Born 1887, his younger brother Nikita about 4 years younger. . .one older brother Phillip. Russian Orthodox. Passenger list for Nikita indicate birth in Laska/Leski in Grodno, now part of Belarus. Can you tell me how to find such records?

1 Answer 1


Some general advice on starting work in a new locality can be found in my asnwer to Determining what records are available in a particular locale?.

Use gazeeteers, maps, and research guides for Belarus to determine what records exist and who holds the records. Using the FamilySearch Research Wiki, search for the name you want plus the keyword genealogy in the main search box. For example: Belarus Genealogy.

Things to look for on a main FamilySearch Wiki page include:

  • links in the right hand sidebar to sub-articles on various record types including Church Records
  • The blue button for Belarus Online Genealogy Records
  • The research advice under the Getting Started section and under Research Tools
  • Other sections in the right-hand sidebar including Belarus Background and Local Research Resources

The article Belarus Online Genealogy Records includes multiple websites, not just those online at FamilySearch.

When using FamilySearch Historical Records, search the catalog by place. Remember to:

  • take into account the historical names of places (gazetteers can help)
  • search all jurisdictions
  • read the corresponding Family Search Research Wiki article for any record collection you discover (usually by clicking the Learn More on the individual collection's catalog page under the description of the record set)
  • watch out of indexes to the records that might be in the record book itself

As new records are digitized and added to FamilySearch, before the catalog entry is ready, browsable records can be discovered via the new page Explore Historical Images. Search by place (remembering once again to search all jurisdictions that might apply), not by the name of your person.

Keep a record of where you searched, and how you searched, and any findings, whether positive or negative. If you can't find the archive which holds the records and order a record directly from them, you will have to repeat your search as more records come online. Having a good record of what you already did allows you to vary search technique as your search skills improve.

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