In Their Words: Eastern European Research

Today’s post is from Amy Wachs, J.D., course coordinator of “Tracing Your Roots in Eastern Europe.” With registration for the six June 25-30 courses opening on Wednesday, February 22 at Noon Eastern, you won’t want to miss out on this brand-new course that will have you immersed in the records and culture of your heritage.

Eastern European research can be confusing with boundary changes and record shortages but Amy Wachs, J.D. of Cleveland, Ohio, and the experienced instructors she has assembled, can give you guidance. Amy has taught law in Latvia as a Fulbright Scholar, and later returned to Eastern Europe to teach law in Moldova as a Fulbright Senior Specialist. She has visited state archives in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Moldova, and other countries. Amy plans an interactive course in which students will be free to ask questions which arise during the presentations and activities. Amy says:

Working together on a project in the classroom

Working together on a project in the classroom

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced researcher, researching Eastern European ancestry can be challenging.    Do you know where your ancestors lived in the “Old Country”?  Have you struggled to locate your ancestral village in Eastern Europe?   Are you sure about your ancestors’ names?   Where is the best place to look for records?   What kind of records can be found?  How to make sense of the records you’ve found?    What if you haven’t been able to find anything at all?

This summer, GRIP is offering a new course dedicated to genealogical research in Eastern Europe!  All of the sessions will focus specifically on aspects of Eastern Europe research.   Our experienced teaching team includes Carl Kotlarchik, Karen Melis, Rhoda Miller, Allison Ryall, and Course Coordinator Amy Wachs.  Our instructors have all been to Eastern Europe and they have extensive experience working with Eastern European records.

While we will not be providing translation services, the course will offer guidance on locating and understanding Eastern European records.   We’ll be covering the region that was historically part of Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire.   Through a combination of lectures, discussions, case studies, and exercises, we’ll  explore the types of records and tools that you can use to trace your Eastern European roots.    We hope you’ll  join us for this informative course!”

Consider how this in-depth, hands-on course will advance your family history knowledge by taking it at GRIP, held at La Roche College in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For details of the 18 sessions see the course description at

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