Doukhobor Cemetery Transcription Project

Welcome to the Doukhobor Cemetery Transcription Project!  Learn about the project to transcribe all Doukhobor cemeteries and burial sites in Canada, the current status of the project, and how you can volunteer to participate.

What is the Doukhobor Cemetery Transcription Project?

The Doukhobor Cemetery Project is an ambitious plan to transcribe all Doukhobor cemeteries and burial sites in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.  The first phase (already completed) involved the survey and establishment of a Canada-wide inventory of Doukhobor cemeteries – the first of its kind to be compiled.  The second phase involves the transcription of burials in each cemetery.  When completed, each cemetery will be posted on the Doukhobor Genealogy Website with information about its location, history, usage, physical layout, driving directions, photographs and, of course, detailed transcriptions of burials.  It will also tell you whom to contact for more information. 

Why is this Project so important?

Cemeteries are a critical source of information as we document our Doukhobor family history.  To date, few Doukhobor cemeteries have been transcribed for the purpose of documenting and preserving the information they contain.  Moreover, these cemeteries are dispersed across Western Canada, often in remote locations, making them difficult to physically access.  The unfortunate result is that most of this valuable cemetery information never makes it into the hands of the researchers who are looking for it – either because they don’t know it exists or, if they do, they don’t know how to locate it.  The purpose of the Doukhobor Cemetery Transcription Project is to provide greater access to this data by creating a centralized inventory accessible online by researchers all over the world!

When will the Project be completed?

With a project this size, it’s best to break it down into smaller goals.  The first goal is to have all of the 106 cemeteries in Western Canada adopted by a volunteer – by Fall 2005.  The second goal is to have at least 35 cemeteries transcribed each year for three years – by Fall of 2005, 2006 and 2007.  By Fall 2008, transcriptions for all cemeteries will (hopefully) be complete and the information will be accessible online through the Doukhobor Genealogy Website.  It is anticipated that the project will be completed over a three-year period.

What is the current status of the Project?

To date, of the 108 private Doukhobor cemeteries in Western Canada:

  • 101 are complete and available online
  • 7 cemetery transcriptions are in progress
  • no cemeteries require adoption by volunteers for transcription at this time

For a list of specific cemeteries which have been transcribed, see the Doukhobor Cemetery Index.

Where do I sign up?

If you are interested in contributing to this worthwhile project, we’d love to have you!  Our volunteers [15 at present] come from across Western Canada.  You don’t need to live in the area you are transcribing (but it does help!).  Each volunteer receives detailed instructions, data templates and ongoing technical and Russian translation support.  In addition, an electronic mailing list will be established to allow volunteers to compare notes and share best practices.  If you can help, know someone who can, or have any other questions about the Doukhobor Cemetery Transcription Project, please contact the project coordinator: Jonathan Kalmakoff.