One of my Mother-in-laws lines goes back to Russia in the early 1900s, and it is the hardest family to research. Without a doubt, it trumps my Irish Research. In all my years of research I have only been able to add one name to that portion of the tree. I have followed the family in the United States, I have ship, census, naturalization and some vital records. All from the US. The only thing I have been able to find overseas is a Lithuania directory record, so no real information for me to continue to research with.
I am sure you could imagine my excitement at the prospect of sitting in and gaining a bit of insight on Russian research.
The lecture focused on researching in the six countries of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Maldovia (Maldova). I was hoping that the lecture would cover Russia as a whole, but the fact that it would cover the Ukraine still gave me a sliver of hope that I might learn something to help unravel the mystery of the Porai-Koshetz family.
What I learned is this; like any other heritage we research, never give up. Never give up on the hope that more records will come to light. Never give up hope that we will learn something new and never give up on your research!
To move forward on this line, I will start writing letters and / or emails to the archives in the places that my family members lived in. I will continue to hope for answers that might lead me to a new clue that will help unlock that brick wall I try to continuously hurdle over.
I hope that you too will continue to move forward with your research, even on the toughest of brick walls.