Starting Ukrainian Genealogy From Scratch
Three apps and two books to get "Ukraine in the membrane".
Passed and Future is about searching for my ancestors—most who are of Ukrainian descent—and doing their temple ordinances so they can be saved. It’s about uncovering their stories, with some help from the other side.
I’m Jason Comely, the scribbler of this journal. Here’s my Lnk.Bio page if you want to learn more about your humble host.
Family history in Ukraine is notoriously complicated. The geography of that country has changed many times, and the languages spoken there have changed too. Ukrainians have borne more hardship and tragedy than probably any other people. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have the charge to do my genealogy and take my ancestor’s names to the temple. It’s part of an important work we saints call the Gathering of Israel.
First Steps of a Long Journey
When pondering how to go about working on my family history, I came across this passage in the Book of Mormon:
And it came to pass that [King Benjamin] had three sons; and he called their names Mosiah, and Helorum, and Helaman. And he caused that they should be taught in all the language of his fathers, that thereby they might become men of understanding; and that they might know concerning the prophecies which had been spoken by the mouths of their fathers, which were delivered them by the hand of the Lord. (Mosiah 1:2)
The timing and relevance of this passage, and the fact I cracked open the BoM to a random page and this was what stared back at me, made this seem like a divine decree to start learning Ukrainian. And it makes sense. Knowing some Ukrainian would enable me to read documents in the native language and rely less on translations.
So yeah, mission enthusiastically accepted!
The tools I’m using to learn Ukrainian are Duolingo (free), Pimsleur (their entire Level 1 Ukrainian course is also free as of recently (a savings of $120 USD), and flashcards I purchased from Ukrainian Lessons.
I also subscribed to a year of Drops because I find it kind of trance-inducing. Frictionless learning ftw.
And in case you’re wondering
I’m not fluent in any language except English. No gift of tongues here. Learning Ukrainian with its mind-bending alphabet will be a steep climb for me. With that disclaimer out of the way, I promise to keep you posted on my progress and hit you up with any language-learning lifehacks I find.
One more thing I’ve got on the go: I obtained a copy of Ukrainian Genealogy: A Beginner’s Guide and the author recommends reading at least one book on the history of Ukraine. The book I’ve chosen is the much lauded The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy (currently several chapters into the audiobook version).
Lots of homework to do, so it’s time to end this first issue of hopefully many. Thanks for reading. If you want to keep in touch, please subscribe to this newsletter and follow @passedandfuture on Twitter.
In the meantime, slava Ukraini!
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