Since my grandmother was born in Estonia I have been “forced” to dig into Estonian genealogy. I don’t know Estonian which of course makes it harder. Everytime I see that an page is available in English I am happy since it makes it all so much easier for me to understand.
Looking into Estonian records it also helps if you have knowledge in German and Russian language since you might find documents in those languages as well. The top three sites I use when looking for information on my Estonian relatives are:
It is a free site to use but to see the records you need to register and the account is free. At Saaga I mainly look at the church records and something called Lists of resisents of Tallinn. You will find some helpful text at Saaga, like translations of typical record titles, for example Abielumeetrika means Parish register of marriages. One nice feature is that you can add bookmarks with links to records. I use that a lot. Easy to use, add, remove and add information about the bookmark.
|Part of my list of bookmarks at Saaga|
Here is an example from a birth book. Bottom right is the birth of my great grandfathers sister, Ida Seck.
|Ida Seck birth|
|Ida Seck birth closeup.|
Also at Saaga, an easy tool to copy a link to the record, to find the record of Ida Seck birth go to http://www.ra.ee/dgs/_purl.php?shc=EAA.1296.1.354:27
|Easy to get a link to the online record at Saaga|
At Estonian Biographical Index it is possible to do searches for example a surname. You will see the result in a list and to look at the record it refers to you might need to pay with points that you buy. For example, 50 points will cost you 5 Euro. For me, it has been worth it. Even if the hit you get when you do a search is in an on-line free database I might not have found it otherwise.
|Pricelist points as of January 19 2014|
Here is an example where I did a search on the surname Verno. You will get some information in the list and then how many points it will cost you to see it. As you can see, at some places it says “all bought”, that is were I have paid with points. Once I have bought it, I will be able to look at it again. With the information of fathers name and other information I am often able to know if the record is relevant to me or not.
|Part of search results for last name Verno|
|Link to the record about Voldemar Verno|
Estonian Biographical Index have an ongoing crowdsourcing project indexing records where you can sign up as an volunteer. You can receive points as a reward to use in your own genealogy research. If you don’t want points, since you did it for free it will also be free for others to look at it. To read more about this indexing project have a look at http://nimed.ee/ühisloome/sisesta
As I have written about befere, when I was in Estonia in August 2013, I visited three cemeteries to look for headstones of relatives. Without this site it wouldn’t have been possible. They have an easy to search database and if you find what you are looking for you will find a detailed map where to find the headstone.
If I use my great grandaunt Voldemar as an example again, doing a search I find out that he is buried at the Metsakalmistu cemetery in Tallinn, exactly at “vana osa, TK, 23/1”.
Clicking at the Map button will give a detailed map where Voldemar was buried. I noticed that since I was there, there seems to be GPS-coordinates added.
You will also find other relevant information about cemeteries, like history, address, contact information and open hours.