Index of Russian Nationality, Religion & Class Terms

In order to find and use specific types of Russian records, researchers need to be able to identify and understand some key terms in the Russian language. The following index contains terms relating to nationality, religion and class in Imperial Russia transliterated from Russian (left column) and their English translations (right column). The terms included here are those that you are likely to find in Russian genealogical sources. If the term you are looking for is not on this list, please consult a Russian-English dictionary. Compiled by Jonathan J. Kalmakoff.

Index — Nationality – Religion – Class – Other Terms


Anglichanin / Anglichanka

English (m/f)

Armyanin / Armyanka

Armenian (m/f)

Azerbaidzhanets / Azerbaidzhanka

Azerbaijani (m/f)

Bashkir / Bashkirka

Bashkir (m/f)

Belorus / Beloruska

Belorussian (m/f)

Bolgarin / Bolgarka

Bulgarian (m/f)

Chuvash / Chuvashka

Chuvash (m/f)

Estonets / Estonka

Estonian (m/f)

Gruzin / Gruzinka

Georgian (m/f)

Grek / Grechanka

Greek (m/f)

Kazak / Kazashka

Kazakh (m/f)

Khokhol / Khokholka

(vulgar) Ukrainian (m/f)

Kirgiz / Kirgizka

Kirghiz (m/f)

Latviets / Latviika

Latvian (m/f)

Litovets / Litovka

Lithuanian (m/f)

Maloross / Malorosska

(archaic) Little Russian; Ukrainian (m/f)

Moldavanin / Moldavanka

Moldavian (m/f)

Mongol / Mongolka

Mongol (m/f)

Mordvin / Mordvinka

Mordvin (m/f)

Nemets / Nemka

German (m/f)

Polyak / Pol’ka

Pole (m/f)

Rumyn / Rumynka

Romanian (m/f)

Russkii / Russkaya

Russian (m/f)

Shved / Shvedka

Swede (m/f)

Tatarin / Tatarka

Tatar (m/f)

Tsygan / Tsyganka

Gypsy (m/f)

Turkmen / Turkmenka

Turkmen (m/f)

Turok / Turchanka

Turk (m/f)

Ukrainets / Ukrainka

Ukrainian (m/f)

Uzbek / Uzbechka

Uzbek (m/f)

Vengerets / Vengerka

Hungarian (m/f)


Baptist / Baptistka

Baptist (m/f)

Besermenin / Besermenka

Moslem (m/f)


Buddhist (m/f)

Dukhoborets / Dukhoborka

Doukhobor (m/f)

Edinoverets / Edinoverka

Religious dissenter (m/f)

Evrei / Evreika

Jew (m/f)

Inoverets / Inoverka

dissenter; non-Christian (m/f)

Iudei / Iudeika

Judaic (m/f)

Katolik / Katolichka

Catholic (m/f)


Khlyst; Flagellant (m/f)

Khristianin / Khristianka

Christian (m/f)

Lyuteranin / Lyuteranka

Lutheran (m/f)

Menonit / Menonitka

Mennonite (m/f)

Molokan / Molokanka

Molokan (m/f)

Musul’manin / Musul’manka

Moslem (m/f)

Pravoslavnii / Pravoslavnaya

Russian Orthodox (m/f)

Protestant / Protestantka

Protestant (m/f)

Raskol’nik / Raskol’nitsa

Schismatic / Old Believer (m/f)

Sektant / Sektantka

Sectarian (m/f)

Shtundist / Shtundistka

Stundist (m/f)

Staroobryadets / Staroobryadka

Old Ritualist / Old Believer (m/f)

Starover / Staroverka

Old Believer (m/f)

Subbotnik / Subbotnitsa

Sabbatarian (m/f)

Uniat / Uniatka

Uniate (m/f)

Zhid / Zhidovka

(vulgar) Jew (m/f)


Dvoryanin / Dvoryanka

member of the nobility (dvoryanstvo) in Imperial Russia (m/f); persons of this class were entitled, through inheritance or earned through state service noble status, either inherited or earned through state service, entitled the holder to own land and serfs, enter civil service, freedom from military service and other privileges


member of the clergy (dukhovenstvo) in Imperial Russia

Kupets / Kupchikha

member of the merchant class (kupechestvo) in Imperial Russia (m/f); persons of this class were divided into three guilds by wealth and status

Meshchanin / Meshchanka

member of the citizen class (meshchane) in Imperial Russia (m/f); urban dweller of lower social status; petty bourgeois townsman

Krest’yanin / Krest’yanka

member of the peasant class (krest’yane) in Imperial Russia (m/f); persons of this class possessed their own household and held a small plot of land (owned by themselves or others) with appurtenances and owed an obligation to perform military service and pay taxes; persons of this class were divided into numerous sub-classes of free and bonded peasants

Odnodvorets / Odnodvorka

one-homesteader (m/f); persons of the one-homesteader (odnodvortsy) class descended from military servitors settled on the southern and eastern frontiers of the Empire and had the right to own their own lands and serfs and the obligation to perform military service and pay taxes; this class, which stood between the nobility and peasantry, eventually was transferred to the state peasant class

Kazak / Kazachka

Cossack (m/f); the Cossack class (kazaki) were an elite military force in Imperial Russia made up of free-spirited adventurers, employed by the Tsars as an auxiliary to its regular troops in the more remote southern areas of the Empire; a person of this category owed an obligation to perform military service but not to pay taxes

Inorodets / Inorodka

native tribesman (m/f); members of native tribes and ethnic groups (inorodtsy) in Siberia and the Far East held special legal status and privileges

Other Russian Terms


  • Dal, V.I. Tolkovyi Slovar Zhivogo Velikorusskago Iazyka. (Moscow, 1999).

  • Kroutikhin, Mikhail I. Correspondence to the author re: Russian genealogical terms. September, 2006.

  • Mueller, V.K. English-Russian Dictionary. 24th Ed. (Moscow, 1995).

  • Pushkarev, Sergei G. Dictionary of Russian Historical Terms from the Eleventh Century to 1917 (Yale, 1970).