Tobolsk Gubernia Census

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The 1897 Census[edit | edit source]

The 1897 Russian Imperial Census was the first and only census carried out in the Russian Empire. The census enumerated the entire population of the Empire (excluding Finland) and was designed to gather population and statistical data. The census was conducted on January 28, 1897 as winter was the time when the population was least mobile. On the appointed day, 150,000 census takers completed over thirty million sheets of returns.

There were three forms: (Form А (A), Б (B) or В (V). Form A (A) enumerated peasants residing on farms; Form Б (B) listed landed estates and form В (V) was for city dwellers, military, clergy, etc.

The first page of each form notes state (gubernia), county (uyezd), district (volost), village, name of head of household, number of dwellings, number of souls found on day census was taken (divided by sex), number living there permanently, how many people are there who are not peasants, those who live there but are not official residents, and signature of person who compiled the form.

The second page includes the census return form which contains a wealth of information - both genealogical and personal details! The census recorded:

  • name (given name, patronymic, and surname)
  • note if blind, deaf, mute, or insane
  • relationship to head of household
  • age
  • marital status
  • social rank
  • birthplace
  • where registered
  • residence
  • note if person is absent at the time of the census
  • native tongue
  • literacy
  • place of study (past or current)
  • main profession
  • additional profession
  • military status

A copy was made locally and both copies forwarded to the provincial census commission. One of these was kept by that commission and the other sent to the Central Census Bureau in St. Petersburg. After statistical data from the census was gathered, many of the census returns were destroyed. The St. Petersburg copy is no longer extant but the local copy has survived in some regional archives. 1897 Census records for the Tobolsk Gubernia have survived and are available online.

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Indexed Records of 1897 Census Records through the Tyumen Oblast Archive[edit | edit source]

The 1897 Census for Tobolsk Gubernia has been partially indexed and can be searched through the Tyumen Oblast Archive. Use the information from the indexes on the archive site to help you locate free, digital images of the records through FamilySearch.

Website Translation Assistance[edit | edit source]

The Electronic Archive of Tyumen is available only in Russian; however, for non-Russian speakers, you can use Google Translate to help you navigate the site.

  • If you use the Google Chrome browser, simply right click anywhere on the page and select the option Translate to English.
  • If you prefer to use another browser, just go to https://translate.google.com/, and change the language settings to translate from English to Russian. Copy and paste the URL of the website you want translated into the English box and click on the link that appears in the Russian box. This will take you to a translated version of the site.
Accessing Indexes[edit | edit source]

1. Go to the Tyumen Electronic Archive site.

2. Register (Регистрация) for an account. It's free but requires a valid email address and it could take a few days for your account to be verified. You can also use the Guest Access (Гостевой вход).

3. To the right of the large search box at the top of the screen, click on Advanced Search (Расширенный поиск).

4. Checkmark the last box, Thematic Cards (Тематические карточки).

5. In the boxes that appear underneath Thematic Cards (Тематические карточки), type in the surname (in Russian characters) into the Content (Cодержание) box.

6. Under Thematic Databases (Тематические БД), select the option Census of the Population, State Archive in Tobolsk (Перепись населения Госархив в г. Тобольске).

7. Hit Search (Найти).

8. If no results appear, be sure that in the box next to Всего, 1 is selected.

9. If still no results appear, try logging out of your account and accessing Guest mode. If there are still no results, it's likely there isn't a census index for your ancestor yet, as the census collection has only been partially indexed. If you know where your ancestor lived though, you will still be able to locate digital browseable copies through FamilySearch. See the next section for more information.

10. In the Заголовок column, you'll find the name of the person who appeared in the census. If a particular entry is of interest to you, click on the pencil and paper icon in the Действие column. Take note of the fond, opis, and delo number as well as the location as this will help you locate free, digital images of the records through FamilySearch.

Digital Copies of 1897 Census Records through FamilySearch[edit | edit source]

Digital images of the 1897 Census for eight uyezdi in the Tobolsk Gubernia are available online. To access these records, follow the instructions below:

1. Click on the uyezd your ancestor lived in:


2. Scroll down to the Film/Digital Notes section on the Catalog entry page.

3. Each film is titled with a fond, opis, and delo number (ф., о., д.) and then includes the names of the villages contained on that film. You can use the control-find feature to find the town you are looking for, or look for the fond, opis, and delo number from the indexes on the Tyumen archive site. To use control-find, press Ctrl (or Command if you are a Mac user) and the F key on your keyboard at the same time. This will bring up a search box, where you can type the information you are looking for (village name or fond, opis, and delo number), and it will locate it for you on the page. Use Russian Typeit for an easy online Russian keyboard. Keep in mind that you may need to navigate to additional pages of records using the box above the heading Film/Digital Notes.

4. To view a record set, be sure you are first signed into FamilySearch. Click here to create a free account.

5. Before clicking on the digital camera icon in the final column, you'll need to take note of a few things that will help you locate the relevant record on the film.

  • Under the Film column take note of the item number(s).
  • If there are multiple item numbers on the film, look at the Film/Digital Notes section, take note of which order your town falls in the list of villages on the film notes. This number will correspond to the item number on the film.

6. Next, click on the digital camera icon in the last Format column. Using the thumb nail view, locate the item number you need. Item number slides are typically darker than normal pages and have a large number in the lower right hand corner.

7. To locate your family, scan the form/cover page. The first page of each form states the location, as well as the name of the head of household. Double check you are in the right village, and then look at the first page of each form to help you quickly scan through documents. If you are unable to find your family by scanning the surnames found on the first pages, you may need to read through each page as they may have been living in someone else's household.

Reading Records[edit | edit source]

Census records for the Tobolsk Gubernia were written in Russian. For help reading your ancestor's 1897 census return, please see the Reading the 1897 Census "How" To Guide.

For free translation help, consider the FamilySearch Community - a place where you can get research and translation assistance. Be sure to place your translation request in the Russian Empire Genealogy Research Group.

Additional Research Assistance[edit | edit source]

Need additional research assistance with the 1897 Census? Get help through Virtual Genealogy Consultations, a free service provided by the Family History Library, or via the FamilySearch Community.

  • To meet with a research specialist who can provide you with research assistance and next steps, schedule a free 20-minute consultation. To sign up for a consultation, see Virtual Genealogy Consultations.
  • To ask a question via the FamilySearch Community, an online forum where you can get free research assistance from the broader genealogical community, click here. Be sure to join the Russian Empire Genealogy Research Group!