Frequently Asked Questions

Our GENEALOGY SERVICES page has a detailed description of the services we provide. We hope that the information below may also help in answering some of your Genealogical questions.

Question: Does Lviv Ecotour provide a full set of genealogical services to clients, including document research in archives?

Answer: Lviv Ecotour can provide assistance to your genealogical research by taking pictures of your ancestors’ family homes, general pictures of the town, cemetery tombstones, etc. In some cases we may assist in general research to research documents within the government archives of Lviv.

Question: My ancestors came from Galicia at the time when it was part of Austria-Hungary. Where can I find records related to my family?

Answer: For individuals with roots in Austrian eastern Galicia prior to 1918, and south-eastern Poland before 1939, vital records may be located at the historical archives of Lviv, Ternopil, or Ivano-Frankivsk. More recent vital records are typically kept at state civil registry offices. Many online resources for genealogical research are available on the Internet. Websites such as JewishGen.org and Ancestry.com may have useful information to help in your research.

Question: Before the War, members of my family lived in the eastern provinces of Poland (Kresy Wschodnie), in what is now Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. They were settlers (osadnicy) and had a farmstead in a Polish settlement (kolonia). What can I expect to find of their settlement there now?

Answer: After the partition of Poland and the forced expulsion of Polish farmers, most of their settlements were transformed into state farms. Polish buildings were taken apart for material, such as bricks, to construct state farms. In some cases, the Soviet authorities assigned residential farm buildings as residence to other people from the area. A few of such houses have survived and can be recognized among other buildings by their distinct brickwork, especially arched brickwork over windows. Some of the original tin roofs have also survived. Polish churches and chapels in the Kresy area have mostly survived although some were badly damaged after decades of being shut down or utilitarian use as warehouses, etc. Most of such temples have been restored in the last two decades and are used either by the local Ukrainian community or few members of the Roman Catholic community. In most cases, however, you will now see empty fields where the Polish settlements used to be.

Question: I am interested in visiting Ukraine to see my ancestral house, which my family had to abandon during the war. Will this make the present owners of the property worried on the grounds that I may  want to reclaim this property in some way?

Answer: On many occasions we have been let in to buildings and apartments without their present owners’ concern for litigation to return the property to its original owners. Local people have been mostly welcoming and unaware of the ownership issue. In reality there does not seem to be a legal mechanism in Ukraine to reclaim property lost during the war, or it is complicated beyond any hope of achieving any positive resolution. For comparison, in Poland, where civil rights are in compliance with the European Law, and years ahead of Ukraine, legal issues surrounding property claims have never been resolved.

Question: How does Lviv Ecotour charge for the genealogical services it provides?

Answer: The rate for most of the services that Lviv Ecotour provides varies depending on each individual case. It depends on the number of hours needed for the research, and a distance to an ancestral town, if a visit is required. Payment can be sent by PayPal or by other means once an agreement has been reached about the services to be delivered and the payment schedule.

Question: When Lviv Ecotour takes images for clients, what are the quality, format and delivery method used?

Answer: Images are taken with a Canon PowerShot A550 digital 7.1 mega pixels camera, or similar. The image format is JPG, 1600×1200 pixels. Images are sent to the client via e-mail.