Sanda Yordanova Genova was born in Braila in 1911. 

Yordan Genov
Date of birth: 06/02/1907
Place of birth: Cerna
Name of spouse: Maria Todorova Ilieva

Nikola Todorov Bonchev
Date of birth: 10/09/1902
Place of birth: Cerna
Name of spouse: Stanka Andreeva Dimova/ She was born in Nalban, Romania

All of them are Bulgarian and moved to Romania because Bulgaria was under Ottoman rule at the time. But in 1940, according to the stipulations of the Treaty of Craiova, the Bulgarian population from Cerna was resettled to Southern Dobruja. They moved back to Bulgaria, but I am sure that some of the family members have stayed there. I have two problems:

  1. I am pretty sure that the names will be different in Romanian which may reduce my chances to find information. How can I find possible Romanian variants of these names?
  2. I could go to Romania, but I do not speak the Romanian

How do I begin researching Romanian ancestors? What places could hold useful records?

  • genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/2277/… has some general suggestions.
    – user104
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 17:26
  • Welcome to Genealogy and Family History.SE! I've edited your question for clarity as to what you are looking for. If you feel I've changed too much, feel free to edit the question again.
    – Luke_0
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 18:16

3 Answers 3


One place to start might be the Family Search Research Wiki. Their article for Romanian research is: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Romania

The article is not very extensive, but note the heading "Research Tools" with links to:

  • Beginning Romanian Research
  • Letter Writing Guide
  • Research Outline for Romania by BYU
  • Romanian Genealogical Research
  • Websites

There are language materials in some of these research guides which might be some help.

I don't see any collections available to browse online on FamilySearch.org at this time, but you can explore the catalog https://familysearch.org/catalog-search to see what materials might be available at Family History Centers or by loan.

As with 20th century research in general, privacy concerns may restrict what information you can find, but I hope these links will give you somewhere to start.


I have unsuccessfully tried Facebook to search for people with the same last name e.g. "franciuc", living in Suceava.

I have googled Romanian phone books and taken names from there to send out letters/package - that's my next step.

I used Google Earth but did not see any hydro poles out in the countryside so you will only find people in the cities and major towns. However, I did see quite a few communication towers, so cell phones and TV isn't a problem.

  • I am confused by your term "hydro poles" - what were you hoping to see using Google Earth? Your other approaches seem reasonable but that one seems odd (at least to me).
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 22:42

If you know the exact name of the locality from Southern Dobrogea, where they were resettled, you can ask at the local city hall. You can also go to National Archives in Timis county (where Cerna is) to check for more births or marriages, or just to confirm the births from 1907 and 1902. Please also keep in mind that Cerna and Dobrogea are located in opposite parts of the country.

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