Preparing for 2018 Research in Eastern Europe

In less than a month, I’ll be taking off with an amazing team of researchers to immerse ourselves in research in five countries and countless archival repositories for 27 days. We will be starting out in Warsaw with the IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies) conference, which will be an adventure in itself and we will spend some time in various repositories there.

I was thinking of how different this trip will be from my last research trip. This time I’ll be traveling with people who have experience researching in many of these archives, and who speak the various languages. My last research trip to Eastern Europe was an experiment – I took with me someone fluent in English, Ukrainian and Russian, but who had never done any genealogical research and who had never been in an archive of any sort. Why, you might ask did I do it this way? I am of the generation that insisted “mother I’d rather do it myself” and I wanted to understand the research experience in the places I’d be visiting. I’m really glad that I did it that way, and of course, unlike this trip, that research was intended to accomplish something different. That trip was purely for my own family’s research and efficiency of time was not an issue. I did, at that time, accomplish exactly what I set out to do, and spent a month sightseeing, visiting family and exploring three archival repositories and countless cemeteries.

On this trip, our sightseeing will be incidental – we will be driving over 60 hours during that month (I console myself with the thought that if I divide the driving time over the length of the trip, it works out to just 2 hours a day). The research for clients will be our main focus, and as the trip approaches, the excitement is building.

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