The Belarusian archives hold a big number of documents which are used in genealogical research and can be of interest to those who search their family history (parish registers, census records, records of institutions, religious communities, nationalities, and various types of vital records).
For periods roughly before 1920 these records are kept at the National Historical Archives of Belarus in Minsk (the former Minsk, Mogilev and Vitebsk provinces of the Russian Empire and a part of the Grodno and Vilno provinces) and the National Historical Archives of Belarus in Grodno (the former Grodno and Vilno provinces).
At present our website gives information on the following types of genealogical documents:
For convenience of our users being interested in genealogy, we offer reference information on the administrative-territorial division of Belarus.
Those who want to search their family history or obtain copies of vital records (data on births, marriages or deaths), should consult the Contact List of Belarusian Archives, select the individual archive (or several archives) according to the area and dates in question, and apply directly to the archive's director. The application should have the following data: full name of the applicant, citizenship, email and fax numbers, place of permanent residence (postal address), inquiry data, and payment guarantees.
To maximize your chance for a successful search, you should specify all members of the family in question, record their exact or approximate dates of birth and death, religion (Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, etc.), place of residence, with indication of modern or historical administrative-territorial division if possible (gubernia/province/region, uezd /district, village etc.), their estate or occupation if known (noble, town-dweller, peasant, merchant, etc.), maximum information possible.
Related Internet Resources
A town-by-town inventory of archival documents on Jewish genealogy is available in a searchable database on the internet (at no cost to inquirer) on the Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots, Inc. website at www.rtrfoundation.org. This website includes extensive information about Jewish genealogical sources in Belarus, several chapters written by Belarusian archivists, maps and map resources for Belarus and other valuable information. The website consists of two parts: (1) a 350-page book and (2) a searchable database of archive inventories for towns in Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova and Lithuania. After you locate documents for the town that interests you, you can then click on "archive name" which will take you to a page where you can find the archive addresses and other contact information.