Genealogy in Romania - It's Tough but Possible
Romania is located on a major migration route between Europe, Asia and Africa. This position along with political and other factors has produced a country of unusual diversity. While the majority of its people identify themselves ethnically as Romanian, there are at least 20 other ethnic groups in the country including: Hungarians, Gypsies, Germans, Jews, Ukrainians, Serbs, and Croats. Parts of present-day Romania have been included at various times in the USSR, Moldavia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Wallachia, and Transylvania. Emigration from Romania has created demand for genealogy research in Romania, particularly from groups located in the United States, Canada, and Germany who are looking for family connections. Demand for information about Jewish people just before, during and after World War II is particularly high.
Genealogy Research Issues: The diversity of ethnicities in Romania is reflected in the public records available for genealogy research. Records are variously stored locally and nationally written in Romanian, Hungarian, Hebrew, German and other languages depending on the location and time of the events described. Very little of the information is available electronically. Most of the information is not indexed even if you are able to go to the archive in person. In addition, place names are different depending on the time period you are researching and many place names are used for multiple places. For example, Brasov is the name of a county in Romania, a town in the county of Brasov, and a town in the county of Transylvania.
Research Suggestions: How do you break through this multi-dimensional maze of changing borders, politics, and time?
Get the best information possible about your ancestor’s name, location, and time when they were there. Depending on their ethnicity you may be okay searching for the normal alternative spellings of that name. If you don’t know the ethnicity or if you are not sure, you may want to search for spellings in other languages as well. Search the most specific location possible right down to the village level if you know that.
· If you travel to Romania, consider hiring a local to help you with the different languages and locations. Many areas of Romania are distressed economically and people there are willing to provide services at a lower cost than in other European countries. Of course, you should check references and make sure that you can get quality and fairly priced help with your search. If you want to meet relatives while you are there, you should ask your local provider to do some research in advance and help you with introductions when you get there. Major collections of genealogy data are held at various district archives in Romania including . . .
Bdul Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej 29
Sector 5 R-70602
Primaria Municipiului Alba Iulia
Plata Iuliu Maniu 1 R-2500
Alba Iulie România
Tel = 058-813 380
Primaria Municipiului Arad
Bd. Revolutiei 75 R-2900
Tel = 057-219 652
Fax = 057 253 842
Primaria Municipiului Oradea
Plata Victoriei 1 R-3700
Tel = 059-137 000, 130 753
Primaria Municipiului Bistrita
Piata Petru Rares 1 R-4400
Tel = 063-223 923, 224 706
Primaria Municipiului Brasov
Bd. Eroilor 8 R-2200
Tel = 068-116 550, 114 369
Fax = 068 152 628
Primaria Municipiului Cluj-Napoca
Bd. Eroilor 2 R-3400
Tel = 064-111 743, 112 551
Primaria Municipiului Miercurea-Cluc
Bd. Timisoarei 11 R-4100
Miercurea Ciuc România
Tel = 066-111 819, 111 464
Primaria Municipiului Baia Mare
Str. Gheorghe Sincai 37 R-4800
Baia Mare RomâniaTel = 062-417 034
Primaria Municipiului Tg. Mures
Piata Primariei 3 R-4300
Tel = 065-132 463, 133 211
Primaria Municipiului Satu Mare
Str. 1 Decembrie 1918 Nr. 13 R-3900
Satu Mare România
Tel = 061 713 550, 713 551
Primaria Municipiului Sibiu
Bd. Victoriei 1-3 R-2400
Tel = 069-210 449, 217 711
Fax = 069 216 033
Primaria Municipiului Timisoara
Bd. C-Tin Diaconovici Loga 1-3 R-1900
Tel = 056-190363, 193623
Fax = 056-190 635
If you are not able to travel to Romania, you may want to hire a professional genealogist to speed up the process. Prices are reasonable compared to other places in the world and well worth the cost. There are some excellent online resources where you can search for professionals who specialize in the type of research that you want. One of the best is the Association of Professional Genealogists that you can search from http://www.apgen.org/directory/index.php.
There are a few Internet sites that have good information about unraveling the genealogy of Romania including JewishGen.org which has a searchable database of people in Romania and Moldova located at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Romania/. The authors of this article are working on several projects located in Romania including the recently announced publication of records from Jewish cemetery at Oradea, Bihor, Romania. All persons included in the cemetery index are compared to all searches entered into FamilyTrackers.com. There is also a good list of Romanian Web sites located at http://www.genealogylinks.net/europe/romania/.
Gene Hall is a genealogist with almost 30 years of experience and the CEO of FamilyTrackers, Inc., a world-wide genealogy exchange dedicated to serving the needs of genealogists, genealogical societies, professional genealogists, and transcribers all over the world.
Marcel Mindrescu is a professional genealogist located in Romania and has access to all available records in Romania, Hungary, the Ukraine and Moldova. Marcel is a professional genealogist with years of experience researching records in these countries. Lookups and large projects are being published on FamilyTrackers. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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