Deciphering Russian records without surnames #russia

Joseph Walder

This topic has no doubt been covered elsewhere but I cannot locate where. I'm looking at some Russian-language records from about 1800 CE for Tarashcha uyezd, Kiev gubernia. I do not actually read Russian but I have taught myself how to transliterate the language and also how to recognize cursive script, so commonly I can pick out surnames of interest and then get translation help. But with records (revision lists and male-only censuses) from 1804 and earlier, there are (at least) two very big challenges: (1) No surnames. Patronymics only. (2) The handwriting style is pretty much indecipherable for me.

Are there guidelines for how to work with records when there are no surnames?

Is there any sort of guide to the archaic writing style?

Suggestions gratefully accepted.

Joseph Walder
Portland, Oregon


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