When to write to the archive

We collected information that was in your home, interviewed relatives, reviewed all kinds of sites and archives on the Internet, exhausted all our efforts in the primary data collection and came to the point that you need to contact the archives. Well how to do it? Let’s try to figure it out.

A request to the archive about relatives can be divided into three blocks, where the appeal is sent, its essence and by whom it is sent.

Before making a request to the archive about ancestors, go to the institution’s website or check by phone whether employees are engaged in their implementation in principle. And if you are working with citizens regarding the search for information about relatives, find out in what way it will be more convenient for the archive to accept the application – by e-mail or traditional letter. When requests are processed only on physical media (in writing), it will not be superfluous to complete the parcel with a second envelope. Alas, according to archivists, sometimes due to the lack of their own means of transfer, requests for relatives can be ignored (the smaller the archive, the more modest the budget for communication about family ancestors).

As for the content of the document, you need to know the following nuances.

The archive where the request for the ancestors of the family is sent, and the sender are located in a visually single space – in the upper left corner. In this case, the application should be sent to the director. This part of the request for information about relatives looks like this: “To the director of the state archive of such and such an entity (oblast, republic, territory, etc.), his last name, first name, patronymic (from a new line)”. Next, indicate in the form the applicant, his address of actual residence (where you can receive correspondence), as well as contact information (phone number or email, or better both options). Anonymous requests to the archive about family relatives and appeals without indicating feedback means for obvious reasons are not accepted for execution by employees.

How to write a statement to increase the chances of a positive outcome

The more clearly and concisely the task is formulated, the more chances there are to get from the archive a solution to the question posed and consideration of the request for relatives in a short time. Indicate only the exact facts: the place with the date of birth, settlement, relative’s name, degree of relationship, and also the type of record. You can write sample data, but this will increase the cost and time of the execution of the genealogical request to the archive about the ancestors, and in some cases will make the search for information about relatives impossible. At the end of the archive request, note that the interest is in restoring the pedigree, and you agree to pay for the work. Try to fit the essence in 3-4 lines.

A competent reference to the archive with a request to restore the history of the ancestors looks something like this: “Please find in the metric book a record of the birth (or death) of my great-grandfather of such and such (his last name, first name, middle name) for the X year in a village (village, city) N. If there are no metrics, I would be grateful if you inform me about the safety of audit tales, confession statements and other genealogical sources for the indicated period. When you successfully search for a relative, I would like to issue an archive certificate (to make an extract, photocopying or photograph of the pages). Ready to pay for services”. When you are interested in the marriage ceremony of your ancestors, simply replace the phrase about birth with the appropriate text about marriage. Archival staff does not welcome vague wordings and large-scale requests for relatives in the form of “conduct genealogical research of the genus” or “I want to know the genealogy of your family name”. The solution to such problems is rather difficult, and the archive is unlikely to be taken up by them, since the genealogy of the family is not a core line of its activity.

Put a date at the bottom of the form and sign it. That is, you need to print the document, sign and scan it (if it is about sending by e-mail).

Good luck in finding.