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Important Note

The information on this page has been compiled by Ukraine SIG long time ago.
As JewishGen and the Ukraine SIG evolved, the contents of the page became redundant with other areas of
JewishGen (specially the KehilaLinks) and the new SIG website.

This page will be temporarily hosted by the Ukraine SIG site until this contents is transferred to the corresponding
KehilaLink and/or indexed into the Ukraine Database. Then it will be removed.

Professional Researchers in the Volhynia area

Please remember that these organizations or people work for a fee. Neither the Ukraine SIG or JewishGen endorse or recommend anyone. It is up you to evaluate and select researchers. You are solely responsible for your selection and the results you receive.
You can write to the researchers and ask them to give you a list of references. The Ukraine discussion group cannot be used to discuss the merits or faults of these people.

If you are aware of other researchers or translators who should be added to this page, or have information that is more up-to-date, please contact the SIG webmaster. These should be restricted to Volhynia related researchers.

If you are having trouble locating and contacting the archives of the places where your family originated, if you can't travel to Eastern Europe yourself, or if you don't speak all the numerous languages of the region, a professional researcher may be the only way to obtain priceless genealogical information.

On this page we list professional researchers who do research in or near Volhynia.  They may work elsewhere as well. Not all researchers, however, are equally skilled, not all are equally reliable, and their fees may vary considerably. For each researcher listed, we've included a link to a webpage with more details about the service (if available).

Please note that we make no particular endorsement of these researchers, and cannot guarantee your results should you commission them to work on your behalf. Should you work with one of the researchers listed here, or if you work with or hear of another, please let us know

Routes to Roots - Miriam Weiner
RAGAS - Russian-American Genealogical Archival Service
FAST Genealogy Service - Boris Feldblyum
The Jewish Preservation Committee of Ukraine (JPCU)
International Center of Genealogical Research (ICGR)
Alexander Dunai
Alexander Beider
Alexander Denisenko

To read what other have said about some of the listed researchers, click here.

Other Lists of Researchers

Here are some other webpages that list researchers that work in or around the area of Volhynia:

FEEFHS Database of Professional Genealogists specializing in East European Genealogy.

JewishGen Eastern European FAQ


Researchers Details

The Jewish Preservation Committee of Ukraine

The Jewish Preservation Committee of Ukraine can fulfill the genealogical investigations for you in any municipal or state archive all over Ukraine. We require the minimal fee to cover expenses for people doing searches and trips to other Ukrainian cities if necessary.

This is the general information about JPCU and our activities: Jewish Preservation Committee of Ukraine (JPCU) was founded in 1993 by initiative of chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine, Yaakov Dov Bleich, under the Union of Jewish Religion Organizations of Ukraine for 3 purposes. The main of them is the collecting of information on former Jewish property all over Ukraine. For the present moment a lot of information about Jewish objects such as synagogues, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, mass burial sites and so on have been collected totally around 2000 objects.

The next two programs were founded on the base of the information gathered before: One of them is genealogical archive researches all over Ukraine. During the last 2 years we have carried out about 50 investigations, most of them successfully. We are only working with professional historians and archivists whom are very experienced in their work in all big Ukrainian archives.

The second is special aimed Jewish tours in Ukraine (group tours as well as individual ones). This program was began by the support of TACIS International organization that provides the consultative help to revival of business in East Europeans countries. We can propose you programs of some tours round the Jewish places of Ukraine: Galitzia Shtetlahs (Lvovskaya and Chernovitskaya oblast) Sholom - Aleykhem (Kievskaya, Vinnitskaya and Khmelnitskaya oblast) Yegupetz (Kiev and Kievskaya oblast) By your wish we can worked out the individual tours for the people, who like to visit the places, their ancestors came from, or make researches in Ukrainian archives by themselves. We are in able to provide transportation, guide-translators, hotel booking and so on. If you become interested in any of our activities please respond us. We will be glad to answer all your questions.

There are the general information about JPCU's genealogical program and our conditions as well as the questionnaire for search. We will be glad to answer all the questions you have. JPCU has made the solid contacts with municipal and state archives enabling to carry out genealogical researches. We require some fee for these searches to compensate expenses of payment to people doing searches in archives, traveling to other Ukrainian cities and copying the archive's materials. We have to note that the most of Ukrainian archives especially in small towns and villages do not have any facilities to help searching such as computers, ordered catalogues of records and copying equipment. Typically this fee is about $50 plus $4-6 per hour archive searching for Kiev and about $80-100 plus $6 per hour for another cities. The fee for copying documents is not included in this amount and should be paid separately in every concrete case because these expenses are very different from one archive to another. Of course, the cost varies depending of search difficulty.

It is necessary condition to transfer approximately the half of expected value to Rabbi Bleich account as the payment in advance which will allow JPC to make preliminary work for searching. This preliminary work takes two working days in archive (16 hours) usually if the trip to other cities do not required and allows us to define if the search has good chances for success. After this first stage you will receive our full report as well as after after all future stages of investigations. If our conditions are suit to you please fill down and send to us the following form. Then we will estimate the cost of search and indicate to you the value to transfer, bank account details and approximative time needed.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We hope that will be helpful for you. Please answer the following questions about person to search as complete as you can:

1. Name
2. Family name
3. Father's name of individual
4. Date of birth
5. Date of death
6. Place of birth
7. Other places (town, guberniya or region). If the person lived in more than one place please enumerate them
8. Profession (tradesman, physician, lawyer, pharmaceutist, hairdresser, musician, etc.)
9. Estate (merchant, peasant, etc.)
10. Education (which educational institution he attended or graduated from and in what place)
11. Had he served in the army, if yes, then please indicate where and when
12. Was his family owners of real estate (houses, factories, others, where and when)
13. Any other data that can be helpful to the searchers
14. The year of emigration

Best Regards, Yulia Zeveleva, Chairman 
Dmitry Surovtsev, Coordinator
Yulia Zeveleva, Dmitry Surovtsev
Jewish Preservation Committee of Ukraine
box 391-1, Kiev, 252034, Ukraine

Phone/fax: +380 44 416 19 24
e-mail: jul@jpcu.freenet.kiev.ua

International Center of Genealogical Research

The following information was submitted by Marjorie Rosenfeld:

Jerry Braunthal, who has been the world's most devoted person in sending me information about Brody holdings in archives, recently let me know about the following:

International Center of Genealogical Research (ICGR)
Angela Semakova -Genealogist, director of the International Center of Genealogical Research.
Active genealogical researches and genealogical tours of the entire Ukraine.

The information on this research service appeared in the October 1999 (Volume 10, Number 2) issue of Biuletyn Korzenie (Newsletter of the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts), in a submission by John Skibiski.

Mr. Skibicki writes: "Request for research assistance Sept. 6th to the Lviv Archive brought back an email response in English from Diana Pelts stating that lack of government funds has caused a situation whereby they could not assist me. However, she said they had a great partner, The International Center of Genealogical Research with whom they closely cooperated with [sic]. This Center has branches and representatives in most regions of Ukraine, and has all necessary facilities and can render professional genealogist and translator services.

She wrote that it was registered in accordance with Ukraine law and had obtained a license to practice in this field. "Angela Semakova at the International Center wrote in English that depending on the volume of the order, the charge was $10-25 /hour including costs of photocopies and overhead expenses. Dead time for first searching is one week. Prepayment is requested of $100-$500 wired to their bank or a bank check payable to The International Center of Genealogical Research. She said she expects that they will have a bank account in New York City within a month. Prepayment is non-refundable and does not depend on the results of the search.

If there is a positive result, the client is provided with the full calculation. In both cases, the client is sent a financial report, with documents translated, legalized and has everything organized in accordance with the client's requirements."

Mailing Address Ukraine 04080 Kiev, Frunz 24-B, Apt 9
Tel.                38044 462 5911     
Cell        38050 514 5344
Fax.                38044   416 5325        
E-mail lawivaha@carrier.kiev.ua

Alexander Dunai


Alexander Dunai is based in L'viv, Ukraine.

E-mail address: dunai@iname.com
Postal address: O. Stepanivny Street 17/2 L'viv 290016 Ukraine

Alexander Beider

Alexander Beider, the well-known author of books such as "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire," is based in Paris, France. Although not a genealogical researcher, per se, Mr. Beider has many contacts in Russia and possibly in other countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union.

E-mail address: N/A

Postal address:
Alexander Beider
c/o Gary Mokotoff
Avotaynu Inc.
115 N.Washington Ave
Bergenfield NJ 07621

Paris address:
Alexandre BEIDER S.N.C.F.
Direction de la Recherche 45, rue de Londres
75379 PARIS Cedex 08

Alexander Denisenko

Based in L'viv, Ukraine
E-mail address: tuag@cscd.lviv.ua

The following is the information provided by Mr. Denisenko:
Company in Ukraine (located in Lviv, aka Lvov, Lemberg) provides geneological information, shtettls visits and reserches. Information about the Jewish settlements in Central Europe, search of the interested documents. Comprehensive information about the places where generations of your ancestors lived.

Contact Alexander Denisenko
phone in Lviv: +380 322 721347
eFax in US: (503) 217-8406
e-mail: tuag@cscd.lviv.ua

Submittede by Alexander Kott; 1999

Comments on Researchers


Efim Melamed comments

Sheila Kendis Sello; hsello@aol.com; 28 Nov 1998

I hired Mr. Melamed in June of this year to conduct research in conjunction with my family roots in Zhitomir. He has found numerous records for many of my ancestors as well as many other, previously unknown, family members over the past months. Communication with Mr. Melamed has been no problem, as he speaks English and is in touch via email on a regular basis. I am very pleased with his efforts and genuine interest in helping to locate my Russian ancestors. I find his research fees to be quite reasonable, and payment is conveniently made to his American bank account. He continues to work on my behalf to hopefully find records of other ancestors. I recommend Mr. Melamed very highly to anyone seeking genealogical research.


Gordon Cohn Gdalya@aol.com 15 Jun 1998

After several months of working with Mr. Efim Melamed, genealogist of Zhitomir, Ukraine, I recently visited that city in search of family roots. Mr. Melamed spent four days with me, walking my ancestors' streets and sharing with me an incredible moment in which I found the graves of family in a cemetery I was told was too inpenetrable to find anything. Mr. Melamed is a soft, kind, gentle man, committed to his work. I am determined to bring him (and his English teacher wife) to California so that others may benefit in person from his knowledge and help.


Danny Dunn Dandy1025@aol.com Dec 22 1997

I am working with Efim Melamed, who lives in Zhitomir. He is fluent in English and communicates via Email. He has a US bank account, so clients are able to work with him, despite the long distances. He is able to work on all aspects of genealogy, including individual records, or entire trees. Clients will need to contact him at his email address to find out his fees: efim@melamed.zhitomir.ua.


Dec 18 1997

I hired a professional researcher in Zhitomir. For less than 1 year I got more than 40 items. I got mostly metrical information from Zhitomir, Miropol, Mezhrichie and Korostychev. I think that he is very knowledgeable specialist with access to lot of archives in this region. I strongly recommend his service for research there. His name Efim Melamed and his e-mail efim@melamed.zhitomir.ua You can e-mail him and ask for additional information about his services. Arkady Brazin arkady@shani.net Researchng: BRAZHIN in Korostychev, Zhitomir MAISLISH in Miropol, Mezhrechie, Zhitomir GLIKSHTEIN in Mezhrechie and Zhitomir


Jim Borman jborman@pop.iquest.net Indiana Dec 17 1997

I've worked with Efim Melamed regarding relatives from Zhitomir. I think he might have raised his prices since I worked with him. He was very responsive but didn't find anything unfortunately.


JPCU comments


Jeffrey S. Entin; theentins@home.com; Sep 1999

I have used the services of the JPCU, specifically a gentleman named Dmitry, for the past year. He and his staff were very responsive and professional. They discovered my extended family in Pereyaslav (Kiev) and Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine and provided me with two complete reports and answered several of my letters posing questions. Their monetary rates per hour or day were very reasonable. I recommend them to anyone interested in finding their roots in Ukraine.


Ellen Shindelman; Arlington, VA; Jan 1998

I traveled to my shtetls in Volhynia of Lyubar and Polonnoye as well as the cities of Zhitomir and Berditchev this summer. The JPCU organized my driver, minivan, bilingual guide and hotel accommodations. I was very satisfied with the trip. I have also used the JPCU for genealogical research. With specific instructions, they are thorough and fairly priced. They include translations of documents and can correspond via. e-mail in English.


Toni Abel; tauna@aol.com; Dec 1997

Our trip in Ukraine was organized by the Jewish Preservation Committee of Ukraine. Yulia Zeveleva heads the group. You might want to consider adding her name to your research list.


Alexander Beider comments

Arthur Nitikman Dec 18 1997

In his book 'A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames in the Russian Empire' Alexander Beider identified the name "Nytykman' as being associated with the city of Starokonstantinov. Although the spelling is different from my surname, it is phonetically identical. I contacted Alexander to see if he had any more information on that record. Although he is not a genealogist, he offered to have a contact in Moscow look it up for me. In return, he asked that I send him a check for $US21, made out to Avotaynu.

I received the following message from him a short while later: "This week I've finally received the info from Moscow. The only Nytykman mentioned in the voter lists of the Starokonstantinov district of Volhynia (1907) was: Shoel Yosevich (Saul, the son of Joseph) from the town of Kupel. Sincerely, Alexander Beider"

We have on one branch of our family tree a Shoyl Nitekman who lived in Kupel, Volhynia Gubernia, at that time and was old enough to be an eligible voter. His father, Joseph, was previously unknown to us, but it is significant that Shoyl named his son Joseph, obviously after the child's grandfather.

Beider can be reached at the following address: Alexandre BEIDER S.N.C.F. Direction de la Recherche 45, rue de Londres 75379 PARIS Cedex 08


Alexander Denisenko comments

I myself did *not* use the services of this researcher, but I exchanged several e-mails with him, and formed a positive impression of Mr. Denisenko's operation. His communications were prompt, thoughtful, considerate and realistic. He appears to be knowledgeable, and his requested remuneration was reasonable. His English is very fluent, and he has excellent electronic communications - something that is not readily available in the FSU. Again, I must emphasize that I eventually decided against using his services (because the city I was interested in is far from his home base - Lviv, and I found an alternative aproach), and therefore cannot provide a decisive recommendation. You should do your own due diligence - ask for references, etc.


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