This File Last Updated: 2002/01/26

Genealogy & Ethnic Issues Related to Belarus

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    Note:   For any and all commercial links on this Web site, see a caveat. . . ..

Please note that throughout this A Belarus Miscellany Web site, the term "Belarusian" is used in the most inclusive meaning possible. This Web site exists to provide information about and celebrate what is Belarus. (I leave it to others to make finer distinctions--and find value in them.)

When discussing genealogy related to Belarus, one should keep at least several facts in mind.

  • Throughout history, the area within the current borders of the Republic of Belarus has had inhabitants representing many ethnic groups.

  • The current borders of Belarus are within a larger historical area where at least some of the current inhabitants identify themselves ethnically as Belarusian. (This especially includes the Bialystok, Poland; Vilnius, Lithuania; Smolensk, Russia; and northwestern Ukraine areas.)

  • Throughout history, military, political, and religious conquest of Belarus has sought to destroy Belarusian cultural identity. This not only occurred during the Soviet and now the Lukashenka eras, but includes the Russian czarist, Polish, and earlier eras. Throughout all of history, an unbelievable amount of destruction has taken place in this region, including the destruction of civil and religious records, making genealogical research even more difficult. (As just one example from the 18th century, Czar Peter I led his troops in looting Orthodox churches within Belarus. As czar, Peter was the nominal head of the Orthodox church!)

    This "destruction" includes the massacre of more than 2 million Belarusians at the hands of the Soviets between 1937 and 1941. Another 2 and one-half million people perished during World War II.

  • During the Soviet era (which further intensified and systematized the destruction and brutality of the czarist era), a concentrated and often brutal effort to destroy ethnic, religious, and national identity was very successful. These destructive efforts included the domination of the Russian language, and this policy is still in effect today (often imposed brutally).
See also the section related to the Belarusian Diaspora.

Web Sites

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  • Researching Russian Roots: Belarus and Ukraine   (Title is misleading--at least to me. An extensive collection of genealogy links related to what is now Belarus. Ethnicities are diverse but most links seem to relate to Jewish information.)

  • JewishGen's Belarus SIG

    "Purpose: The purpose of the Belarus SIG is to combine our resources of time, expertise, and money to aid Jewish genealogy researchers with an interest in the gubernii (provinces) of Minsk, Mogilev, and Vitebsk. Join our discussions by clicking on Membership and subscribing to our discussion group, or search our past discussions by going to the JewishGen SIG Lists Archive."

    "We welcome anyone who is researching Jewish ancestry in Belarus."

  • Jewish Communities of the World: Belarus   Out of a total GP 10,163,000, ~ JP 60,000

      "The Jewish community in Belarus is the third largest in the former Soviet Union (following Russia and Ukraine). The largest community is in Mensk, home to some 28,000 Jews. There are several thousand Jews living in many of the country's smaller cities and towns including Bobruysk (7,500), Gomel (7,500), Mogilev (7,000) and Viciebsk (6,000), and about 1,000 each in Baranowicz, Borisov, Brest, Hrodna, Orsha, Pinsk, and Polotosk."

  • Web Sites Related to Grodno [Hrodna] & Jewish Genealogy

Discussion (E-Mail) Lists

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Usenet Newsgroups

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There are various genealogy-related usenet newsgroups on the internet, as well as similar bulletin-board type groups on the commercial internet content providers. Some examples from usenet follow:






The latest version of the soc.genealogy.* Meta-FAQ (which is not a FAQ but points you to the FAQ's and other information to get started) is available from the following locations:

The soc.culture.* newsgroups may also be helpful (e.g., soc.culture.belarus, soc.culture.polish, soc.culture.baltics, etc.).

Organizations in Belarus

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  • Association of Belarusian Gentry
      Post Office Box 212 (in Belarusian: a/ya 212)
      Republic of Belarus 220102, g. Mensk

      Tel: 375 (17) 220-8951       254-5800


      Chairperson: Anatoly Gritskevich

  • Association of the Belarusian Nobility   Zhurtavannie Bialaruskaj Shliachty
      Post Office Box 124 (in Belarusian: a/ya 124)
      Republic of Belarus 220074, g. Mensk 74

      Tel: refer to their Web page


      E-Mail: refer to their Web page

      Grand Marshal: Anatol Hryckievich, Ph.D., professor

      Contact Person in USA: refer to their Web page

      Note: Follow link to article about Vladimir Lipsky on the genealogy of the Belarusian noble family, the Lipskys.

  • Belarus Union of Jewish Organizations and Communities
      Skorina Prospekt 137-6

      TEL: 375 (17) 264 30 83

  • Belarusian Genealogical Society
      ul. Kolletornaya, 10-201
      Mensk 220000

      TEL: 375 (17) 220-8760; 375 (17) 220-8830     FAX: 375 (17) 220-5120

      President: Vyatcheslav Nosevich

      Note: Follow link to article about Vladimir Lipsky on the genealogy of the Belarusian noble family, the Lipskys.

  • The Community of Belarusian Chuvashes

      A Community of Belarusian Chuvashes has been established in Hrodna (Grodno) by 17 ethnic Chuvashes who permanently reside in Belarus.

  • The All-Belarusian Union of Cossacks (AUC)

      Deputy Supreme Chieftain of The All-Belarusian Union of Cossacks (AUC): Nikolai Fomichev

  • The Belarusian Association of Ethnic Greeks Peloponnesus

      Leader of Greek Association, Peloponnesus: Rafael Delyanov

        Follow link to article about The Belarusian Association of Ethnic Greeks.

  • The Belarusian Association of Muslim Tatars Al Kitab

  • The Roma Association of Belarusian Gypsies

      The Roma Association of Belarusian Gypsies was founded on January 14, 1998, and has about 1,500 members. From 50,000 to 60,000 Gypsies currently live in Belarus, mostly in the provinces of Homel (Gomel) and Mahilau (Mogilyov), and especially in the towns and cities of Bobruisk, Zhlobin, Gomel, Kalinkovichi, Zhitkovichi, Mogilyov, Vitebsk, Minsk, and Turov. In 1999, The Roma Association of Belarusian Gypsies was admitted to the Internationale Romani Union representing Gypsies' associations in Europe and Australia.

      Advisor for National Issues: Aleksandr Bosyatsky

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Original content and overall form ©1996-2004 by Peter Kasaty : All Rights Reserved. Last Updated:  2002/01/26
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