Genealogy research sites

Electronic mail message from Mary Lynn Axtman, Fargo, North Dakota (

My apologies to you and particularly to any of our foreign country Kutschurgan members for this long post. They are the members who often must pay large overseas long-distance phone access charges to get our postings. If you want to reply to this or any other list email, you might just highlight a few related sentences and use just plain email text in your reply. This really helps reduce the unnecessary length (and their cost) of getting the frequently repeated replies to previous K. postings, especially the lengthy ones, or just the unnecessary chat and/or frequently repeated questions.

Might I suggest some research sites that might help you find and order your family related records & documents. Good family research is the process of documenting your family back from yourself, your parents, grandparents, etc. Since most of the Kutschurgan emigrants from Russia first settled in North Dakota that had available homestead land, some of your research might involve finding available records copies from various ND church, county or state government departments here. Information about still living people is protected by confidentiality laws.

It has been discussed in Ancestry / Rootsweb newsletters that it is not above some family researchers to purposely insert wrong family data (red herring data items) into their shared family data. If their family data is then posted on various websites or published without their permission, the original researcher will know who is just a family data copier, (right or wrong) and not a valid family researcher. No one else can do the verified family research for your particular family that you should be doing for yourself and your descendants.

Perhaps these below sites will help you find some of those actual record's copies to verify the lives of your particular immigrant ancestors.

1] DiscoverND - North Dakota's Official Site for Services offered from State Government:
(naturalization/citizenship papers, death/marriage certificates. State government staffs work with small budgets and cannot do your research and copying for charity.)

2] Bureau Of Land Management - General Land Office Records:
(homestead applications -- can be up to 25+ pages of various application, naturalization and other testimony documents.)

3] Germans from Russia Heritage Society -- Bismarck, ND:
(supporting this society helps them obtain further data from Russia that is found in their various copyrighted publications at a cost barely above the obtained data and printing costs. Paid members get a price discount that non-members do not. Please respect their publication copyrights by not photocopying their publications. This hurts their efforts and ours by reducing the necessary funds to continue their work. Their few (lowly paid) staff and volunteers cannot continue their work without your money and/or time help to preserve our valuable history for our future generations.)

4] German's from Russia Heritage Collection - The NDSU Libraries, Fargo, ND:
(large collection of related G/R links, resources, publications, contact people in North America, Germany, Russia. Some related pages in the German language. University staffs work and get paid with limited budgets also. They cannot do your individual family research for you or publish their books for charity. Order their fine resources to do your own.)

5] North Dakota Biography Index:
(if some of your related families might have submitted family data to a published community history book or WPA project.)

6] American Historical Society of German's from Russia -- Lincoln, NE :
(search for the family genealogy lists obtained from members submitted family data. Seems to include many of our Kutschurgan families, perhaps from shared GRHS submitted family data. Any family data is only as valid as the original submitter's data. Use as a guide to possibly find other valid family data.)

7] Odessa Library Pixel
(new related data is added all the time. Use variations of your family surname spellings in each of the library search categories and you might be surprised at the extent of posted data from various related countries.)

8] NARA -- National Archives and Records Administration
(our US ancestors left a paper trail. Use to order ship manifests, Naturalization/Citizenship papers, Homestead applications, etc.)

9] Social Security Death Index lists:
(you can order a deceased family member's SS application that can have various parent's/death/next-of-kin/death location information.)

10] LDS FamilySearch Site:
(Get to your nearest LDS Family History Library and search for related microfilms: federal & state census lists:1900-1930; submitted family history data, ancestral church records in Germany and now even some Russian related lists.)

11] Catholic Church History and Genealogy Research Guide
(finding the contact information for church or cemetery. Please know that our small churches can have just one parish priest ministering to the spiritual needs of their members in several different related main & mission parishes. Doing related genealogy research in their church records is not their main responsibility and they often are without any clerical staff -- paid or volunteer. Reasonable money donations to cover their time and record copies might help.)

Hope this might help you find and invest something in your actual family researching.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller