Tracing Ukrainian Ancestors
Once-closed doors to genealogical research in
Ukraine are now opening wide. We’ll guide you through
them to explore your roots in this proud country.
Just two decades ago, if you were trying to trace your Ukrainian roots, you probably got used to having a lot of doors slammed in your face (both figuratively and literally). After all, the long-ruling Soviet regime wasn’t particularly cooperative: The government had a monopoly over information, and restricted who could access it. Even the most innocent query about your great-great-grandfather would likely be met with suspicion. Add to the mix a complex history and a limited availability of resources in North America, and genealogy research could feel like an exercise in futility.

But Ukraine eventually gained its independence. Many of those officially closed doors started to open. And in recent years, microfilmed records and online resources have begun to offer alternatives to expensive and obstacle-ridden long-distance research for the almost 1 million Americans of Ukrainian descent. Follow our guide to help you sort through the ups and downs unique to Ukrainian genealogy.