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# Friday, April 04, 2014
Genealogy News Corral, March 31-April 4
Posted by Diane

  • Genealogy website MyHeritage has added the Jewish Chronicle, the world's oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper, to its SuperSearch subscription collections. MyHeritage has more than 200,000 digitized pages of the London-based newspaper, dating back to 1841.
Additional Jewish records now being added include the Israel Genealogy Research Association databases (1860-1890) and Avelim (Israel death notices). Read more about these additions on the MyHeritage blog.
  • The Statue of Liberty—Ellis Island Foundation (SOL-EIF) said in a fundraising email that it will expand its collection of free ships' passenger lists on the EllisIsland.org website, with help from FamilySearch. The site will add records from 1925 to 1957 to its current collection, which spans 1892 to 1924. Ellis Island was open from 1892 until 1954, but immigration plummeted in 1924 due to the National Origins Act. The site now holds 25 million names; about 11 million are immigrants and others are ships' crew members and Americans returning from abroad.
  • If I could go back to my youth, I would totally beg my parents to let me do this: The National Archives building in Washington, DC, will host summer and fall sleepovers for children ages 8 to 12. Kids will have fun learning about historical records, then spend the night in the National Archives Rotunda.  Registration opens in mid-May. Learn more here.


immigration records | Jewish roots | MyHeritage | NARA
Friday, April 04, 2014 11:40:23 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, February 03, 2014
Tips for Tracing Russian Roots
Posted by Diane

This morning's news had me excited about the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics this week in Sochi, Russia.

Sochi is in Western Russia, on the Black Sea. Western Russia, including areas that are now independent countries, was the source of significant immigration to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Tracing Russian roots isn't easy, but it's also less of an Olympian task than it used to be. These Russian genealogy tips are from our guide to tracing Russian roots in the January/February 2014 Family Tree Magazine (you can get just the Russian guide as a digital download from ShopFamilyTree.com). Or if you're also researching genealogy elsewhere in Europe, you might want the collection of guides in The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe.
  • “Russian roots” encompasses more than the present-day country. "Russian" is often used  for heritage in places once part of the Russian Empire or the USSR, such as Ukraine and Belarus.
  • The largest influx of Russian immigrants came during the “great migration” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. More than 2.3 million immigrants from czarist Russia entered the United States between 1871 and 1910, most from western areas of the empire (outside Russia's current borders) including nearly 750,000 Jews from the "Pale of Settlement."
  • Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians transliterated their names from the Cyrillic to the Roman alphabet, resulting in numerous variants. This website gives the example of the common surname Муравьёв, which has more than 15 English variants including Muravyov, Muravev, Muravjev and Mouravief. Immigrants might have further Americanized their transliterated names.

  • Here's a list of terms for administrative divisions (province, district, village, etc.) in Russia and areas once part of it. You'll find other key terms for Russian genealogy here.


International Genealogy | Jewish roots | Research Tips
Monday, February 03, 2014 10:52:27 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 02, 2013
The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe: Genealogy How-to for 13 Countries and Regions
Posted by Diane

As you might guess, I enjoy asking people I've just met where their ancestors are from. Here in Cincinnati, the answer often involves Germany, so then I ask about their surnames to see if we have anyone in common. (Then I wrap it up before people start thinking I'm weird.)

Every once in awhile, someone will answer my ancestor inquiry with, "Oh, I'm a mutt" and rattle off a bunch of ancestral homelands.

Well, this is for all you genealogy mutts: The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe: Your Essential Guide to Trace Your Genealogy in Europe.



It collects genealogy research guides to 13 countries or regions of Europe, plus European Jewish ancestors. You'll learn
  • what records are available and where they're kept
  • which records you can get from here in the US using the web, microfilm, books and other sources
  • how to get records from overseas
  • how to deal with language barriers and boundary changes
  • what websites, books, organizations and archives can help in your research
It's a good way to get expert instructions for researching ancestors across Europe in one economical package. The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe is available now in ShopFamilyTree.com (where you'll see the list of countries covered).

You also can get The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe as an ebook.


Genealogy books | German roots | International Genealogy | Italian roots | Jewish roots | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, October 02, 2013 2:43:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, July 26, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, July 22-26
Posted by Diane

  • Royal genealogy has been a hot topic on the interwebs since the birth of Prince George of Cambridge Monday bumped his Uncle Prince Harry out of the No. 3 spot in the line of successtion to the British throne. MyHeritage has the Royal Family Tree here. I found the Modern View easier to use; you can use the tabs at the bottom of the page to toggle between this and the Classic View. Click on a person to see details about him or her on the left.
  • Ancestry.com has updated its free Shoebox Mobile App (for Android and iPhone), acquired along with 1000memories in 2012. The photo "scanning" app lets you take high-quality photos of your family photos and documents, map their location, and edit, date, and tag them. If you have an Ancestry Member Tree, you can then upload the images to the profile of someone in your tree. Learn more about the app here.


Ancestry.com | Celebrity Roots | findmypast | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Jewish roots | MyHeritage | Photos
Friday, July 26, 2013 11:10:33 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, May 23, 2013
May Genealogy Value Packs Are Going ... Going ...
Posted by Diane

Before we call it a day on this month, I wanted to make sure you know about our May genealogy value collections. They're full of helpful how-to tools such as books, CDs, video classes and articles, and they're available at special prices only this month. Check them out today!
  • Jewish Genealogy Value Pack, with video classes on Jewish names and finding Eastern European origins, Jewish and Eastern European research guides, and the must-have Finding Our Fathers guidebook
  • Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection, with video classes on Irish censuses and genealogy websites, our guide to Griffith's Valuation, a genealogical atlas and our Family Tree University Independent Study course on researching in Irish records
  • Photo Detective Collection, with photo-research guides from Family Tree Magazine's Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor—including her new Family Photo Detective eBook and an autographed copy of Preserving Your Family Photographs


Jewish roots | Photos | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:42:11 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, January 02, 2013
What's in a Name?
Posted by Beth

Bonne année, Gutes Neues Jahr, Xin nian yu kuai, Feliz Año Nuevo and Kali hronia … Whether you say it in French, German, Mandarin, Spanish or Greek, they all translate to "Happy New Year!" Hope yours is off to a great start!

Speaking of languages, genealogists understand and appreciate the value of names and all the family history information that they can provide. Naming patterns and traditions; spellings; pronunciations; and meanings can impact your search for ancestors from a given locale.

To provide added insight to your ancestral search, we've created 15 PDF downloadable reference guides featuring first names from around the world. Each comprehensive guide is presented in dictionary-style format, making it easy to search for names, spellings and their meanings. For example, A Genealogist's Guide to British Names reveals that the name Harry means "ruler of an estate." Rather prophetic for Prince Harry!

Get more information from your genealogical research this year with a better understanding of your ancestral names!

A Genealogist's Guide to Ethnic Given Names
A Genealogist's Guide to African Names
A Genealogist's Guide to British Names
A Genealogist's Guide  to Chinese Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Eastern European Names
A Genealogist's Guide  to French Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Gaelic Names
A Genealogist's Guide to German Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Greek Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Hawaiian Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Indian Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Irish Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Italian Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Japanese Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Jewish Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Native American Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Russian Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Scandinavian Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Spanish Names


African-American roots | American Indian roots | Asian roots | Celebrating your heritage | French Canadian roots | German roots | Hispanic Roots | Italian roots | Jewish roots | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 12:04:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, April 20, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, April 16-20
Posted by Diane

  • Military records subscription site Fold3 has added records relating to the Sultana disaster. That's the steamboat whose boilers exploded April 27, 1865, killing 1,700 (mostly Civil War Union soldiers recently released from Confederate POW camps). The ship was carrying 2,200 passengers—far more than the 376 she was built for. Records include lists of former prisoners who survived and those who died. The records are free to search, at least for the time being.

  • The Center for Jewish History (CJH) has announced a partnership with Jewish genealogy expert Miriam Weiner's Routes to Roots Foundation (RTRF). CJH will incorporate RTRF’s Eastern European Archival Database and Image Database into its online catalog, expanding access to genealogy resources from Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine. Weiner will serve as senior advisor for genealogy services at CJH's Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute.

  • Besides adding 1940 census records and coordinatng the 1940 Census Community Project, FamilySearch has continued adding other records to the free FamilySearch.org. The new resources include seignorial records from the Czech Republic; city records from Nördlingen, Bavaria, Germany; church records from Estonia, Portugal and Slovakia; and marriages from New Jersey. See the updated colelctions and click through to them here.

  • Remember to watch "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr." this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on PBS, which will feature actors Robert Downey Jr. and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The European-immigrant stories in both stars' pasts are common to many Americans.

  • NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" tonight will repeat the popular Reba McEntire episode. Next Friday will be an all-new episode featuring actor Rob Lowe.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Civil War | FamilySearch | Fold3 | Jewish roots
Friday, April 20, 2012 12:41:19 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Thursday, November 03, 2011
Search 30,000 Names From Holocaust Musuem Records—Free
Posted by Diane

Material from four museum collections containing information on more than 30,000 victims of Nazi persecution is now searchable online for free at Ancestry.com.

The database is the first searchable collection resulting from the World Memory Project, a partnership of Ancestry.com and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The records contain information on thousands of individuals including displaced Jewish orphans; Czech Jews deported to the Terezin concentration camp and camps in occupied Poland; and French victims of Nazi persecution.

World Memory Project contributors use software from Ancestry.com to index museum records. The indexes are free to search on Ancestry.com. The museum retains the original records and provides free copies of them upon request. To date, more than 2,100 contributors from around the world have indexed almost 650,000 records.


Ancestry.com | Free Databases | Jewish roots | Museums
Thursday, November 03, 2011 9:06:11 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Friday, August 05, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, August 1-5
Posted by Diane

  • Genealogist Michael Hait has started the Ancestry Errors Wiki to keep track of the site’s “errors in imaging, programming or organization.” For example, one contributor noted that on Ancestry.com, “In the 1840 U. S. federal census, the city of Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, is incorrectly listed in Edmonson County, Ky.”

You can search the wiki or use a drop-down menu to find errors by state. Have you discovered such an error? Click here for instructions on adding a page to the wiki.

  • Ancestry.ca now includes UK Railway Employment Records, 1833 – 1963, a collection containing the employment-related records of British railway workers dating back to the early 19th century. These records from the British national archives give employee names, home station, date of birth, information on their career progression, salary increases, rewards, conduct, and notes from superiors. Search the database here
But less than 1 percent of Egypt’s modern-day residents belong to this haplogroup, according to iGENEA, and it’s unknown how King Tut’s ancestors got to Egypt. The company is hoping its search for King Tut’s closest living male relatives will lead to an answer. If you order a test from iGENEA and match King Tut on 16 markers, the site promises your money back and a free upgrade. 
  • The 31st annual International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) conference starts next Sunday, Aug. 14, in Washington, DC. Online registration is closed, but you can register on-site. Click here for more information

Ancestry.com | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | Genetic Genealogy | Jewish roots
Friday, August 05, 2011 1:06:05 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Ancestry.com and Holocaust Museum to Create Free Index to Holocaust Records
Posted by Diane

Subscription website Ancestry.com and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are launching the World Memory Project to recruit volunteers to build an online resource for information on Holocaust victims.

Volunteers will build an index to the museum’s archives, which hold information on more than 17 million people targeted by the Nazis, including Jews, Poles, Roma, Ukrainians, political prisoners and others.

Ancestry.com will donate the indexing software and project management, and will host the completed indexes, which will be free to search. Holocaust survivors and their families can contact the museum to obtain copies of original documents at no cost.

Since launching the project in beta in February, Ancestry.com contributors have already indexed over 30,000 of the museum’s archival documents, which will soon be searchable free on Ancestry.com.

People from anywhere in the world can help index the remaining records by visiting www.WorldMemoryProject.org and registering to become a contributor.


Ancestry.com | Jewish roots | Museums
Tuesday, May 03, 2011 10:15:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 14, 2010
JewishGen, MyHeritage Collaborate on Jewish Family Trees Project
Posted by Diane

Genealogy sites JewishGen and and MyHeritage are collaborating to build the Family Tree of the Jewish People (FTJP) project on JewishGen.

FTJP offers a central resource for storing and finding Jewish family trees as GEDCOM files.

If you build your family tree with a special version of MyHeritage.com’s free, downloadable family tree software, your tree will be automatically transferred to the FTJP—with your consent.

You can set privacy controls using tools on MyHeritage. Trees of existing MyHeritage users won’t be transferred.

For help using MyHeritage in your genealogy search, see Family Tree Magazine's MyHeritage web guide, available as a digital download from ShopFamilyTreecom.

You'll find guidance on researching Jewish ancestors in our Jewish research guide, also available from ShopFamilyTree.com.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | Jewish roots
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 3:23:50 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Award-Winning Article Helps Jewish Roots Researchers
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to Tracing the Tribe blogger and Jewish genealogy expert Schelly Talalay Dardashti, who received a National Genealogical Society (NGS) Award of Excellence for her September 2009 Family Tree Magazine article "Ties That Bind."

The article provides guidance on researching your Jewish roots. Dardashti was honored in the Genealogical Methods and Sources category.

“The award is presented to an individual or nonprofit organization for a specific, significant single contribution ... that discusses genealogical methods and sources and serves to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advances or promotes excellence in genealogy,” according to the NGS announcement.

Need help researching Jewish ancestors? Dardashti’s award-winning "Ties That Bind" article is available in several forms:


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Industry | Jewish roots
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 1:18:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, February 26, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: February 22-26
Posted by Diane

Here are some of this week's genealogy news bits:
  • Ancestry.com is holding an Ultimate Family History Journey Sweepstakes to help launch “Who Do You Think You Are?” The grand prize is $20,000 in travel money (!), expert help with your genealogy research, and Ancestry.com subscriptions. Twenty first prize winenrs get a World Deluxe Subscription. Enter at Ancestry.com (scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on the sweepstakes promo) before April 30, 2010, at 11:59 pm ET.
  • British subscription and pay-per-view site Findmypast has launched a London Collection with baptism, marriage and burial records dating as far back as 1538. It also has London and West Kent Probate Indexes from 1750 to 1858, and names of participants in the Matchworkers' Strike of 1888. (Many of these records are also in Ancestry.com’s London Parish Records collection, launched last year.)

Ancestry.com | Jewish roots | UK and Irish roots | "Who Do You Think You Are?"
Friday, February 26, 2010 3:10:04 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, December 10, 2009
Hanukkah History
Posted by Diane

The eight days of Hanukkah begin this Friday at sundown, when Jews light the first candle on a special nine-branch menorah.

The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees defeated the Seleucid Empire in the second century BC. There was enough oil to burn for only one day, but the light miraculously burned for eight days.

Use these links to learn more about Hanukkah history and traditions:
If you’re researching Jewish ancestors, make sure you check out the free JewishGen collection on Ancestry.com and Footnote's Holocaust records collection (free through the end of December).

Here are some how-to helps from FamilyTreeMagazine.com:


Genealogy Web Sites | Jewish roots
Thursday, December 10, 2009 9:03:57 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, December 07, 2009
Footnote's WWII Records Free Through December
Posted by Diane

In honor of Pearl Harbor Day today, subscription site Footnote is making its WWII records collection—with more than 10 million records, documents and photos from the National Archives—free to the public for the rest of December. Included are
  • Missing Air Crew Reports, more than 16,605 case files and related records of the US Army Air Forces
  • Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls listing all personnel assigned to ships based at Pearl Harbor between 1939 and 1947
  • Army and Navy Judge Advocate General case files.
  • Submarine Patrol Reports, 1941 to 1945,
  • Naval press clippings collected from 1942 to 1960 by the Public Information Department of the 13th Naval District, headquartered in Seattle
  • Holocaust records (Footnote had already made this collection free through the end of the year)
Access the records from Footnote's WWII landing page.

Helpful resources from FamilyTreeMagazine.com:
Addition: If you’re looking for a WWII veteran's military service records, the National Archives and Records Administration restricts access to these for privacy reasons. Veterans and next-of kin (surviving widows/widowers who haven’t remarried, children, siblings and parents) can request them from NARA’s National Personnel Records Center through the eVetRecs online system or by mail or fax.

If you’re not next of kin, you may be able to get limited information from WWII service records. See NARA’s website for information.


Footnote | Jewish roots | Military records
Monday, December 07, 2009 9:21:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 12, 2009
Foonote Extends Free Holocaust Records Access
Posted by Diane

Due to its overwhelming popularity, Footnote’s Holocaust Collection—which was to remain free for the month of October—will now be free to access for the rest of the year.

On January 1, 2010, these records will become part of the $79.95-per-year paid subscription to Footnote. (You’ll still be able to get them free, though, if you visit a National Archives and Records Administration facility and use an on-site computer.)

You can access Footnote's Holocaust Collection here.

More Resources

FamilyTreeMagazine.com Jewish genealogy articles

Family Tree Magazine Jewish Genealogy Guide in ShopFamilyTree.com


Footnote | Free Databases | Jewish roots
Thursday, November 12, 2009 2:18:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Footnote's New Holocaust Collection Free Through October
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) just released the Interactive Holocaust Collection of a million Holocaust-related records.

The records are online for the first time—and they’re free through October.

The records, which contain millions of names and 26,000 photos, include:
  • Concentration camp registers and documents from Dachau, Mauthausen, Auschwitz and Flossenburg.

  • The Ardelia Hall Collection of records related to Nazi looting of Jewish possessions.

  • Captured German records including deportation and death lists from concentration camps.

  • Nuremberg War Crimes Trial proceedings.  
The Interactive Holocaust Collection also has 600 personal accounts, provided by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, of those who survived or perished in the Holocaust. They’ll feature social networking tools that let you search for names and add photos, comments and stories, and create Footnote pages. These will remain free.

You can search the collection from Footnote's regular site or through a special Holocaust site with stories of victims and survivors, tools for setting up Footnote Pages to memorialize Holocaust ancestors, information on concentration camps, and descriptions of the original records at NARA.

Note the pages may load slowly at first due to high traffic. 

After October, the collection will be accessible with a Footnote subscription ($79.95 a year). As stated, the personal accounts will stay free. 


Footnote | Free Databases | Jewish roots
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 9:11:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, August 07, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: August 3-7
Posted by Diane

Got a few updates for this week’s news roundup:
Read a report on the event and watch a video on the Lansing State Journal Web site.
  • The Family History Expo in Sandy, Utah, is right around the corner, Aug. 28 and 29. Hone your genealogy skills in classes on everything from Google to formulating a research strategy, and browse dozens of exhibitors (say hi to Family Tree Magazine editor Allison Stacy in booth 202!). Get more details and register at FamilyHistoryExpos.com.


Genealogy Events | Jewish roots | Libraries and Archives
Friday, August 07, 2009 12:43:17 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, August 03, 2009
Ancestry.com Expands Jewish Records Collection
Posted by Diane

Subscription Web site Ancestry.com is adding to its Jewish records collection thanks to new partnerships with two Jewish heritage organizations.

Ancestry.com’s partnership arrangements keep most of its Jewish Family History Collection free. You can see a list of gratis databases using the Free Collections link on the Jewish records landing page.

Additions from the American Jewish Historical Society include:
  • Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records (1878 to 1934): admission applications and discharge ledgers

  • Selected Naturalization Records, New York City (1816 to 1845): declarations of intention for New York County

  • New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records (1860 to 1934): admission applications and discharge ledgers

  • Industrial Removal Office Records (1899 to 1922): records of Jews who were assisted in relocating from various countries for safety

  • Selected Insolvent Debtor’s Cases (1787 to 1861): about 2,000 cases

  • Selected Mayor’s Court Cases, New York (1674 to 1860): 6,000 briefs that include summons, complaints, affidavits and jury lists
The Eastern European Archival Database comes from professional genealogist Miriam Weiner’s Routes to Roots Foundation (RTR), a firm specializing in Jewish research in Eastern Europe. Learn more about this database, which has references to records from Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine, on RTR’s Web site (which also has the same searchable database).

Other additions come from JewishGen, a partner that helped launch Ancestry.com’s Jewish collection last year. Those include an 1848 Jewish census from Hungary and the HaMagid Hebrew newspaper’s list of donors to Persian Famine victims in 1871 and 1872.


Ancestry.com | Jewish roots
Monday, August 03, 2009 9:39:49 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, July 24, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: July 20-24
Posted by Diane

This week sure flew by, didn’t it? Here’s our news news roundup:
  • New records this week on the free FamilySearch Record Search Pilot  include an index to Cheshire, England, Non-conformist records (1671 to 1900), and index to the 1895 Minnesota state census, and images for the 1905 New York state census (the index is still in progress).
New indexing projects are underway for Italy, New Zealand, Perú and the United States; volunteers who can help with foreign language projects are needed. Go to the FamilySearch Indexing site for more information.
  • The International Association of Jewish Genealogists conference is coming right up Aug. 2-7 in Philadelphia. Besides genealogy classes and an exhibit hall, you can use a Resource Room stocked with research materials and computers. Extracurriculars include walking tours, bus tours and cemetery research trips. Visit the conference Web site for registration information.
  • Ancestry.com has upgraded its “hinting engine” for FamilyTreeMaker. Now a faster, higher-capacity engine will automatically search Ancestry.com and display a leaf next to a name in FamilyTreeMaker's pedigree and detail views if there's a potential match. The new engine also searches Ancestry Member Trees instead of One World Tree data.


Ancestry.com | Canadian roots | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | International Genealogy | Jewish roots
Friday, July 24, 2009 2:25:54 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, May 21, 2009
Money-Saving Deals on IAJGS and FGS Genealogy Conferences
Posted by Diane

Two upcoming genealogy conferences are offering ways to save on registration fees, plus some opportunities for extra edification and fun:
Among the IAJGS' special workshops are a document- and photo-preservation session ($10) and the delicious-sounding Tasting World Jewish Cuisines: Turkish, Syrian, and Ashkenazi-Italkeni Recipes, with cookbook authors Sheilah Kaufman and Aliza Green ($20). Click here to register.
Bonus for early arrivals in Little Rock: A free Ice Cream Social Tuesday, Sept. 1, 3-5 pm for registered conference-goers.
The Federation of Genealogical Societies is an umbrella organization for genealogical societies. Its conference, planned in conjunction with the Arkansas Genealogical Society, features classes, an exhibit hall, genealogy field trips and banquets.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Jewish roots
Thursday, May 21, 2009 5:33:42 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, April 30, 2009
Happy Jewish-American Heritage Month!
Posted by Diane

Jewish American Heritage Month, which starts with the first day of May (that's tomorrow), brings you opportunities to learn about Jewish history.

President Bush announced the first monthlong commemoration of American Jewish roots in 2006. May was chosen to mark successful celebration of the 350th anniversary of American Jewish history in May 2004.
Check with your library, synagogue and Jewish community center to find events near you. You can learn more about Jewish-American Heritage Month and see online exhibits by clicking here, through this site's events calendar still lists 2008 celebrations.

For tips and resources on researching Jewish roots, see our research toolkit and look for Schelly Talalay Dardashti’s seven search strategies in the September 2009 Family Tree Magazine (which mails to subscribers mid-June and goes on sale July 7).


Celebrating your heritage | Genealogy Events | Jewish roots
Thursday, April 30, 2009 10:32:39 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Jewish Group Says Mormons Are Still Baptizing Holocaust Victims
Posted by Diane

The controversy over Mormons’ practice of posthumously baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims is in the news again.

The Associated Press reported on yesterday’s American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors (AGHS) press conference. The organization claims the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hasn’t enforced a 1995 agreement to permit its members to submit for posthumous baptism by proxy (often described as “temple work”) names of only those Holocaust victims who are direct relatives.

Posthumous baptisms by proxy are central to Mormons' faith because the practice allows families to be reunited in the afterlife. They see the baptisms as an offer that the deceased individual can refuse; many Jews view the practice as disrespectful to those who were killed for their religious beliefs.

A researcher the AGHS hired reported finding several thousand names in the LDS church’s genealogy databases, some submitted as recently as July.

The church removed Jews’ names after the 1995 agreement, but told the Associated Press that since then a few well-meaning members have “acted outside of policy.”

In a written response to the press conference, the LDS church claims AGHS refuses to provide the names of the Holocaust survivors found in the database or respond to LDS proposals stemming from a Nov. 3 meeting of both organizations.

New FamilySearch, the online family tree tracking program slowly being released to church members (it'll eventually be publicly available), should help resolve the problem by discouraging mass submissions, and separating names intended for baptism from those submitted for genealogical purposes.

Read the full article on CNN.

Here's the LDS church's response.

AGHS also has links to news coverage of the press conference.


FamilySearch | Jewish roots
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 8:46:26 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [7]
# Wednesday, October 29, 2008
26 Million Jewish Records Free on Ancestry.com
Posted by Diane

Today we’re seeing the first fruits of subscription database site Ancestry.com’s partnership with JewishGen, announced this summer.

Ancestry.com just released 26 million records from JewishGen and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an international humanitarian organization. The records in today's release will be available free on Ancestry.com.

JDC records, online for the first time, include
  • Jewish Transmigration Bureau Deposit Cards (1939-1954) showing money American Jewish citizens paid to support the emigration of friends and relatives from European countries during and after WWII.
  • Munich, Vienna and Barcelona Jewish Displaced Persons and Refugee Cards (1943-1959), records of Jews who received food, medical care, clothing and emigration assistance from the JDC.
In addition, the 300-plus databases previously on JewishGen will now be on Ancestry.com, including
  • Worldwide Burial Registry of more than 1 million names from nearly 2,000 Jewish cemeteries around the world.
  • Yizkor Book Necrologies, a list of the names of those murdered in the Holocaust (users are directed to the Yizkor Books, which memorialize town devastated in the Holocaust).
  • Given Names Database, where you can learn European, Hebrew and Yiddish translations of an ancestor’s given name.
  • Holocaust Database of 2 million names, including those of 1,980 inmates in Oscar Schindler's factories.
Under the agreement, Ancestry.com eventually will receive access to 10 million-plus records, some of which date back to the 1700s, as well as JewishGen’s user base of 250,000. Ancestry.com also will provide technical support to JewishGen's Web site.


Ancestry.com | Free Databases | Jewish roots
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:31:45 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 17, 2008
101 Best Web Sites: Canadian Census and Jewish Resources
Posted by Diane

Here's a look at two of our 101 Best Web Sites picks for 2008:
  • Automated Genealogy: Those with Canadian roots will appreciate this free, volunteer site with transcriptions and indexes of Canadian censuses.
Transcribed and in various stages of proofreading are the 1901, 1906 (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) and 1911 enumerations. The 1851-1852 census is underway, with an ambitious effort to link to other online records about each individual.
  • Avotaynu: Use this site’s Consolidated Jewish Surname Index to run a Soundex search of information about 699,084 surnames, mostly Jewish, in 42 databases totaling more than 7.3 million records. You also can subscribe to Avotaynu’s free e-mail newsletter on Jewish genealogy.
See the rest of the 101 best at FamilyTreeMagazine.com.


Canadian roots | Genealogy Web Sites | Jewish roots
Friday, October 17, 2008 1:12:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, August 21, 2008
Ancestry.com, JewishGen Team Up
Posted by Diane

The subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com and the Jewish roots site JewishGen have formed an alliance that’ll make JewishGen historical record databases available free on Ancestry.com.

Those databases include names of Holocaust victims, yizkor (memorial) books about Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust, the Given Names Database, and a ShtetlSeeker (helps you locate towns in Eastern and Central Europe).

You can search each database now on JewishGen, but by the end of this year, you'll be able to go to Ancestry.com and search all the databases at once with a more-sophisticated search engine.

The JewishGen Web site also will be hosted in Ancestry.com’s data center.


Ancestry.com | Jewish roots
Thursday, August 21, 2008 9:05:41 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Jewish Roots in The Caribbean
Posted by Diane

In a neat article on CNN this morning, reporter Steve Kastenbaum writes about exploring his Jewish roots on a trip to the Caribbean.

His grandfather moved there from Germany during the 1920s; his relatives were among the more than 15,000 Jews living in Cuba during the 1940s and 1950s.

Kastenbaum—and you—can use these sites to learn more about tracing Jewish roots in the Caribbean:


International Genealogy | Jewish roots
Thursday, August 21, 2008 8:53:04 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]