Ukraine SIG #Ukraine Searching the Khmelnitsky State Archives #ukraine

Jorge Sexer <jas2608@...>

Last October I spent two weeks in Western Ukraine, in Lviv and in Podolia.

Podolia's archives are, since some years ago, centralized in Khmelnitsky, the regional capital, formerly called Proskurov. The Kamenetz files have been largely destroyed by a fire in 2003, but not everything disappeared. What is left, is now in Khmelnitsky.

I visited the archives, explained what I was looking for, and was ushered to a woman, probably the director.

I have to say my Russian is very basic and my Ukrainian non-existant. But I am able to read Russian, even in handwriting.

The archives director summoned another woman, the one in charge of the Reading Room. She took me to that room, where there were another 5-6 persons already, also doing research, not necessarily about Jewish ancestors. I had to fill some forms, show my passport, then she gave me access to the archives, in digitized form, through a computer terminal. Everything seems to be digitized there, the images have very high definition.

I spent several hours there, browsing the births, deaths and wedding records >from the Kamenetz region. I looked at several years around 1849, when my great grandfather was probably born. But I found no record with my family name .

I wanted to continue next day, as I realized I had overlooked the Lanskorun (Zarichanka) files, which are separate >from other Kamenetz records. But the reading room was closed that day, a Friday. As I wondered if an exception could be made in my case, as I was leaving Khmelnitsky next day, the lady in charge of the Reading Room showed clear signs of impatience. Of course, I imagine her job is not easy, as the archives are said to be chronically understaffed.

On the other hand, she told me that they could do themselves such searches, if asked to, at a very reasonable price. I am not sure if that is right, but I will give it a try.

Jorge Sexer

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