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319Genealogy Update

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  • SusanneLevitsky@...
    Jul 6, 2013
      July 6, 2013
      Upcoming Meetings:
      Sunday, July 21, 10 a.m., -- The WPA: Sources for Your Genealogy
                         Gena Philibert-Ortega, Einstein Center, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento
      Sunday, July 28, 2 p.m. -- Secrets to Searching with Ancestry
                          Victoria Fisch,  Davis Library, 315 E. 14th Street, Davis
      Sunday, August 18, 10 a.m. - - Citations Made Simple
                          Gary Sandler, Einstein Center, Sacramento
      June 16 Meeting Notes
      Mort Rumberg called the meeting to order and welcomed members and guests.  He noted that meetings are being held at the Davis Library, 315 E. 14th Street, from 2 to 4 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month.  You can attend both meetings, if you'd like.
      He mentioned that our annual dues are just $25, "plus you get our company, and that's worth a lot more than $25."
      Dave Reingold brought in articles from 1976 and a Los Angeles tribute to Jews, in conjunction with the U.S. Bicentennial.
      Art Yates talked about the two conferences he attended -- the National Genealogical Society Conference in Las Vegas and the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree, held in Burbank.  he ordered CDs for two lectures, including one on the New York census and city directories.
      He also learned that the World War I draft registration cards are color-coded, and many have pencil notations.  You can get good copies, he said, by sending a check for $5 to the National Archives regional office in Georgia.  The only way to see the color coding, however, is the physical go to the Georgia office.
      Art plans to attend the August IAJGS conference in Boston as well.  He attended his first IAJGS conference while our JGSS president and estimates he's been to about a dozen ever since.
      Victoria Fisch mentioned a biography of Allan Sherman by Mark Cohen of Berkeley; also a book on the Jews of Macedonia, in our library.
      Victoria and Jeremy Frankel recently attended the consecration of the first Jewish section of a cemetery in Napa County, Ner Tamid in St. Helena.
      Victoria highlighted our new website, with a calendar format for upcoming meetings.
      Librarian Teven talked about his work on our library holdings.  Shelves are now labeled, and  "I found some interesting things," he said, including reprints of Warsaw city directories from 1869 and 1870.  Teven said we have about 360 separate volumes and 20 books that are "checked out."  Should you have one of these volumes, please let us know or have them returned to the library.
      June Program -- Next Steps in Jewish Family Research
      Victoria Fisch gave a presentation that started with a checklist she suggested you use for your family members.  It included checking out whether you have birth, marriage and death certificates for each, and the U.S. census records during their lifetimes.  If they lived in New York, the New York state censuses for 1905, 1915 and 1925 might apply.  If your relative served in the military, civil war records, or World War I or II registration records could apply.
      Immigration records include ship manifests and passport applications.  Once in this country, the various naturalization records (Declaration of Intent, Petition for Naturalization and Naturalization Certificate) can be obtained.
      Other information to consider gathering: death notices and obituaries, cemetery and mortuary records (some cemeteries have online sites), headstone inscriptions, and city directory listings (look for relatives living at the same address).
      Victoria also offered some reminders -- to check census pages and ship manifests for relatives; check all photographs for inscriptions; check all certificates for other names; contact known relatives; and track down descendants.
      Victoria also suggested you develop an organized system for storing your research, whether it be manila folders, binders, a file cabinet, etc.  Data storage may be on flash drives, and there are archival materials available to protect your documents.  She mentioned several companies providing archival storage products -- gaylord.com,  hollingermetaledge.com and universityproducts.com.
      Family charts -- Victoria says to first draw your charts in pencil and "make some conjectures."  ("I will plug in a suspected brother, for example.") You may also see naming patterns, typical for Ashkenazi Jews.
      Then you can enter your data in an online computer program, such as Ancestry or My Heritage Geni.
      Create a Chronology  -- Start with the head of a family, use online data and knowledge based on family stories.  You can create an additional chronology for each child.  Through your chronology, you may see what's missing, connections you can make, or when something doesn't seem right.
      Write a Narrative -- "This tends to put flesh on the bones of your story," Victoria says.  And you need to understand why the family moved from Brooklyn to the Bronx.
      "Doing genealogy is a creative endeavor.  You need to stretch your brain beyond the data in front of you," Victoria says.
      "If you're aren't a subscriber to Ancestry.com, you're missing a tremendous opportunity for family research," Victoria says.  Through Ancestry pages, you can create a chronology.  If you don't have a subscription, you can go to the library or the LDS Family History Center, where you can download material to a flash drive.  "I suggest you down load things, not just print them out. This gives you the capability of enlarging the document."
      Victoria noted that Ancestry will not pull up files from all databases, however, such as the naturalization documents database, where you can find the Declaration of Intent, Petition and Naturalization Certificate.  "The Petition is the real jewel," Victoria says. "Children's names are listed, dates of birth, where they were born, and witnesses are often neighbors or relatives."
      ItalianGen  (www.italiangen.org ) is a great database and a good source of information, regardless of whether you are of Italian origin.  They've been indexing many valuable documents in the New York area, including naturalization documents.  "The vital records search is the one I use the most," Victoria says.  They have groom and bride indexes.  You can get a certificate number and then write away to New York to get a copy of the document.
      Teven Laxer noted that Steve Morse's site (www.stevemorse.org) has an interface with ItalianGen.
      Regarding military records, the World War I registration cards lists the town and province where someone was born in Russia.  And anyone under the age of 46 (born after 1872) filled out the form.
      Familysearch.org has a hidden California death index, also the 1905 New York State census.
      Passenger manifests -- after July 1906, there is a 2nd page in the manifest.
      asks -- "Where are you going to in the United States?"
      Teven says there are often "comments" that can provide information as well.
      Want to start tracking relatives in the U.S.?
           Look in the census for the region/city, closest to the date of arrival.
          City directories may also help.
      www.stevemorse.org is also a great resource, has portals to the Ellis Island     database, Hebrew calendar conversion.
      Victoria says you have to have everything in this country, in terms of documentation, "before you cross the pond."   You need to trace as far back as the point of immigration before you can go search overseas.
      Have you contacted members of your family, descendants overseas?  There are special interest groups, or SIGs, for many towns.  Check out the JewishGen Family Finder, Google family names, and check Yad Vashem for possible family members.
      If you can't find relatives, perhaps the person's first and last names have been transposed. Maybe the wife's name was used as a surname.  Look at alternative names -- in Hebrew, Yiddish, nicknames,
      Following Victoria's presentation, Teven Laxer, a member of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, handed out information on pending Public Records Act legislation.
      Here's an article from the San Francisco Jewish Newspaper, J Weekly, on Janice Sellers, who spoke to us in January:
      Genealogist loves helping people climb their family tree
      by emma silvers, j. staff
      Trying to figure out what your grandmother's last name was before her father changed it at Ellis Island? Need to know about your family’s medical history? Or simply trying to figure out where your curly red hair comes from, when everyone in your immediate family is a brunette?
      Janice Sellers can probably help.
      A genealogist with more than 35 years of experience, Sellers is the publicity director for the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, and edits the organization’s newsletter, ZichronNote, in addition to two other industry periodicals.
      From 1964, Janice Sellers (left) with her mother, Myra, and siblings
      From 1964, Janice Sellers (left) with her mother, Myra, and siblings
      She’s also on staff at the FamilySearch Library in Oakland. With high-speed Internet access to many subscription websites, trained volunteers, workshops and a large collection of records, it’s one of the largest centers for genealogical research in California.
      “I grew up hearing stories about my family all the time,” says Sellers, the descendant of Eastern European Jewish immigrants. “My mother and my grandmother talked about our family constantly, so I always knew everybody’s birthdays and wedding anniversaries, and I liked learning about our history.”
      Sellers, an Oakland resident, says there’s a lot of interest in genealogy among Jews for a number of reasons.
      “It’s partly because of [records and stories that were] lost during the Holocaust, partly for medical reasons,” she says. “But also … I grew up being told all this information, and part of what I was told is, ‘That’s how we do things. We tell stories to remember our family.’ ”
      Sometimes, when Jewish clients seek her out, it’s because they’ve heard family rumors about a rabbinical lineage.
      Janice Sellers“It’s sort of the way chasing royalty works in the U.K.,” Sellers explains. “With Jews, it’s, ‘I hear I’m related to this big famous rabbi.’ Celebrity chasing of a different sort.”
      Among both Jews and non-Jews, there’s been a huge uptick in interest around genealogy over the past decade, thanks in part to websites like ancestry.com and the documentary-style TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?”
      Janice Sellers
      What that program doesn’t get quite right is the hours, days, and weeks of research most genealogists do to put together a family history.
      “They certainly don’t tell the story of doing the research, so the show grossly distorted what the average person is going to go through,” Sellers says. For one, “only about 10 percent of the records that genealogists need to do research are online.”
      For those interested in getting started on their family tree, Sellers recommends first gathering up all the records — birth, death and wedding certificates, immigration papers, etc. — that are floating around the family. Ancestry’s website is a good first stop after that, she says.
      Then look up an expert to help you by region or specialty, and/or visit a family search center, such as the one where Sellers works, which is located on the grounds of the landmark Mormon Temple in the Oakland Hills. “I don’t work for the temple,” Sellers stresses. “I am not LDS [Latter-day Saints]. But it is a great view!”
      The nonprofit San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society (http://www.sfbajgs.org) offers many workshops and can help, as can many other organizations, such as Jewish Gen  (http://www.jewishgen.org) and the Association of Professional Genealogists (http://www.apgen.org). Sellers, whose own site is http://www.ancestraldiscoveries.com and can be reached at janicemsj@...
      says different families and different areas of the world require very different levels of expertise.
      The work can be hard, but sometimes it can lead to some real surprises. For example, long after her paternal grandparents had passed away, Sellers discovered that they technically had never been married.
      “My father didn’t have a problem with it, so that was fine,” Sellers says with a laugh. “It’s a wonderfully interesting hobby because of unexpected surprises like that. But if there’s anything in your family you’re afraid of, it’s probably not a good hobby to go into.”

      Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic at the AUTRY MUSEUM
      By Helene Rosen and Jan Meisels Allen, from newsletter of the JGS of Ventura and the Conejo Valley
      In early June JGSCV board member Helene Rosen and I visited the Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic exhibit at the Autry National Center. We also attended a lecture by Ann Kirchner, author of Lady at the OK Corral. Lady at the OK Corral is a new book about Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp, the Jewish, almost 50-year common law wife of Wyatt Earp.
      Wyatt Earp was not Jewish but he is buried with Marcus Earp’s family at the synagogue-affiliated Hills of Eternity Cemetery near San Francisco. Josephine was born in New York in 1860. She was the daughter of Sophia Lewis and Hyman Marcus, Prussian-Jewish immigrants from Posen. The family moved to San Francisco soon after Josephine was born where she led a ‘Jewish’ life but was not religious.
      At 18, Josephine Marcus fled San Francisco with a touring theater group performing H.M.S. Pinafore.
      Two years later she met Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, Arizona. By then, Earp was the only survivor of the famous gunfight at the OK Corral. When Josephine arrived in Tombstone Wyatt’s common law wife was Mattie and Josephine’s partner was Johnny Bedan. Bedan was clear that he was not interested in marrying Josephine. Wyatt and Behan were rivals in several ways not just for Josephine’s affection.
      While this is not a review of Kirchner’s book, the program, was engaging, focusing on a spirited woman with ambition and adventure who spent almost 50 years with one of America’s folk heroes. The book talks about frontier boomtowns and mining camps from Arizona to Colorado to California to Alaska to Hollywood and more! Kirschner’s research on Josephine is very enlightening and the path a genealogist would follow to find out details of the life of someone in their family tree. 
      Sitting near Helene and me was Harriet Rochlin, the author of Pioneer Jews in West (a copy of which is in our library). Across the aisle were JGSCV members, Sara and Anita Hyman. Sara Hyman will be our docent for an exclusive JGSCV members-only tour of the Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic later this fall.

      Small cemetery gets big gift from genealogy group

      Beth Aaron Cemetery

      Al Page from the Congregation Beth Aaron visits with P.J. Smith, center, and Judy Cohen in Beth Aaron Cemetery.
      2013-07-05T00:15:00Z Small cemetery gets big gift from genealogy groupStory By ED KEMMICK Photos by james woodcock ekemmick@... The Billings Gazette
      8 hours ago  •  By Ed Kemmick  ekemmick@...
      People are invited to attend monthly meetings of the Yellowstone Genealogy Forum. It meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month (except December) at the LDS Family History Center, 1711 Sixth St. W.
      And because there are gaps in local archives, anyone who comes across funeral home records is asked to share them with the forum.
      You can drop them off at the reference desk on the second floor of the Billings Public Library. The forum maintains a Genealogy Room in the library.
      Among those buried in the Beth Aaron Cemetery in Billings are the two wives of Alexander Madenberg.
      His first wife, Mary, whom he had married in Poland, died during the flu epidemic in 1918. Madenberg returned to Poland and brought back Mary’s sister Helen, whom he also married. She died in 1928.
      Then there was Arthur Miller, who was driving from California to Massachusetts in 1928 with his wife. They didn’t have much money, so they would stop occasionally and work to earn enough to continue their journey.
      During their stay in Billings, Arthur Miller got sick and died. Because he was Jewish and died a pauper, the local Jewish community paid for his interment in Beth Aaron Cemetery, at 17th Street West and Broadwater Avenue.
      Those are just two of the many stories about the cemetery that have been compiled by the Yellowstone Genealogy Forum. Members of the forum recently presented Congregation Beth Aaron with a thick loose-leaf binder containing everything they could find out about the 121 people buried at Beth Aaron Cemetery.
      “It was an unbelievable amount of work,” said Al Page, the treasurer at Congregation Beth Aaron.
      Page, who is also a member of the Yellowstone Genealogy Forum but did not work on this project, said he has done a lot of graves registry work for Civil War veterans, which involves documenting whatever information is found on the headstones of people who served in the Civil War.
      But for the Beth Aaron project, members of the genealogy forum also searched for and transcribed newspaper obituaries and consulted immigration, funeral, marriage and census records, many of them kept in other states.
      “And I spent a lot of time down at the courthouse, quizzing them on these people and getting death records,” said Judy Cohen, the forum member who led the effort.
      P.J. Smith, president of the forum, said their most indefatigable researcher was Cohen, who is not Jewish but whose late husband Harry was.
      “When we got down to those few that didn’t have obits, Judy was the bulldog who kept after it,” she said.
      There is one gap in the report. Cohen said they could find nothing on a man named Morris Lieberman. Someone put a plaque on his previously unmarked grave in 1980, but the plaque listed only the man’s name and the year he died, 1928.
      Smith said the forum decided to compile a detailed report on the Beth Aaron Cemetery in 2010, when members were considering a Find A Grave project. Find A Grave is a national database containing millions of cemetery records.
      They liked the idea of completely researching one small cemetery rather than a portion of a larger one.
      “The Beth Aaron was small, so we figured it was something we could do,” Smith said.
      Volunteers met with representatives of Congregation Beth Aaron in August 2010 to learn about the cemetery and Jewish burial customs. Then they went to work.
      One interesting bit of history they discovered was that the cemetery was named by Louis Harron, who won naming rights in a fundraising poker game. Cohen said he named it Beth Aaron, or House of Aaron, because his last name was a form of Aaron.
      Dr. Brian Schnitzer, president of Congregation Beth Aaron, said the cemetery was founded in 1918 during the worldwide flu epidemic. Before then, local Jews used to be sent for burial to Butte, where there was a much larger Jewish community.
      Schnitzer said that in the early days of Billings, “They didn’t come out here to be Jewish. They came out to make a living.”
      At first, the local Jews merely socialized. The need to form a religious community in order to establish the cemetery was the first step in creating a formal organization. Even then, a synagogue was not built until 1940, and it was named after the cemetery.
      The Yellowstone Genealogy Forum presented Page with the binder full of biographies and other information at a recent meeting, and the forum made one copy for its own archives. Page then presented it to other members of Congregation Beth Aaron. The binder was accompanied by a detailed map of the cemetery.
      Schnitzer, who has already read through the report twice, said he was “surprised and very pleased. It provided something none of us could have done.”
      “It was really nice what they’ve done,” he said.

      From Avotaynu's E-Zine, June 23:   U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are? Announces This Year's Celebrities

      http://avotaynu.com/Gifs/NWN/Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are.jpgThe U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are? will appear on TLC this year starting Tuesday, July 23 at 9 pm. Celebrities to appear are: Christina Applegate, Kelly Clarkson, Cindy Crawford, Zooey Deschanel, Chelsea Handler, Chris O'Donnell, Jim Parsons and Trisha Yearwood. Details may be found at TLC's website at http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-

      The program traces the family history of the individual celebrity.
      Lo Tishkach European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative Partners with VAAD of Ukraine

      Beginning in early June, the VAAD (Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities) of Ukraine will start surveying Jewish cemeteries in the regions of L’viv and Poltava oblast. Data and thousands of photographs from these surveys of more than 300 sites undertaken by Lo Tishkach European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (LT) in Ukraine will be processed and uploaded to the LT database, and published by the end of 2013 in both English and Russian. Details at http://www.lo-tishkach.org/en/index.php?categoryid=28&p2_articleid=200.

      Since 2009, the Centre for Jewish Education in Ukraine has surveyed Kiev, Cherkasy and Zakarpattia oblasts as well as acting as a research and training resource for similar LT projects in Chernihiv, Dniepropetrovsk, Kharkov and Odessa oblasts and in the Baltic States.

      LT has now identified more than 11,000 European cemeteries and mass graves in its database located at http://www.lo-tishkach.org/en/index.php?categoryid=31.

      June 16, 2013
      JOAN GRIFFIS Commercial-News The Commercial-News Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:00 AM CDT
      A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) has been replacing standard UPC barcodes on products and advertisements because of its ability to provide more information. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background and its encoded information can be any type of data. According to Dick Eastman in a recent Online Genealogy Newsletter (May 28, 2013), “Genealogists have recently been finding QR Codes on tombstones.”
      He explains, “To use a QR Code, use a smartphone (typically an Apple iPhone or an Android phone) with appropriate software installed to take a close-up picture of the QR Code. The software reads the QR Code and then opens a web browser that displays the web page address that is embedded within the dots of the QR Code …. The QR Code attached to the tombstone points to a web page maintained by the family of the deceased. The web page might contain a biography of the person or it can point to an address where other people can text messages to the family.”
      There are several companies that now create QR Codes for tombstones and many articles have been written on this subject. Read about them by clicking on the links at http://goo.gl/W3yLv.
      Will future researchers be able to translate such data? I personally see a strong resemblance to our long-sought translation of hieroglyphs created by the Egyptians on their structures from 3200 BC to AD 400. How long will smartphones or iPhones be around to interpret the QR Code data?
      On a not-so-related note, a Google search (http://www.google.com) for the word hieroglyphics produces some interesting articles, including a website that has a typewriter to translate and print any name (or word) to “ancient Egyptian script” (at http://www.discoveringegypt.com/hieroglyphic-typewriter.html).
      Jewish archives online
      The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee continues to expand its collections of Early Remembrance Lists from the World War I period. They can be searched at http://archives.jdc.org/researchers/searchable-lists.html. The Transmission Department of the JDC was established in 1915 to deliver personal remittances to Europe and Palestine.
      “Relatives from the West were able to deposit small amounts of money (typically $5 or $10, up to $100) for JDC to remit to their relatives overseas. The remittance lists include both names and addresses of remitters and beneficiaries, prime genealogical material that cannot be found elsewhere. In the 1917-1920 period, these remittances exceeded $6,966,195. The JDC Archives has indexed remittance lists from Poland (including the ‘Occupied Territory’), Rumania, Palestine, and Russia.”
      These lists are PDF versions of the original typed lists of who sent funds (the remitter — primarily from the U.S., often from New York) and who received funds (the payee). Access to this website is free.
      Lists from World War II have also been added, including CARE packages to Displaced Persons Camps, 1946-1948, Jewish refugees in Latin America receiving JDC assistance in 1948, and Jewish orphans from Buchenwld brought to France by JDC in 1945.
      Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing JBGriffis@...
      Jewish Records Indexing–Poland plans to have images of all Jewish vital records located at the Lublin regional archives linked to the JRI-Poland online index by the end of this year. The actual schedule is 48 towns (Annopol to Lubartow) by the end of June; October, 36 towns (Lukow to Zolkiewka); and December, Lublin itself. The group estimates there are a total of 300,000 images. When the project is completed, it will be possible for researchers to click on the image icon associated with a record found and immediately view the actual record.

      Towns are Annopol, Baranow, Belzyce, Biala Podlaska, Bilgoraj, Biskupice, Bobrowniki, Bychawa, Chelm, Chodel, Czemierniki, Dubienka, Firlej, Frampol, Glusk, Goraj, Gorzkow, Grabowiec, Horodlo, Hrubieszow, Irena, Izbica, Janow Podlaski, Janowiec, Jarczow, Jeziorzany, Jozefow, Jozefow nad Wislą, Kamionka, Kazimierz Dolny, Kock, Koden, Komarow-Osada, Konskowola, Konstantynow, Krasniczyn, Krasnik, Krasnobrod, Krasnystaw, Krylow, Krzeszow, Kurow, Laszczow, Leczna, Lomazy, Losice, Lubartow, Lublin, Lukow, Markuszow, Michow, Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Opole Lubelskie, Parczew, Piaski, Piszczac, Pulawy, Radzyn Podlaski, Rejowiec, Ryki, Sarnaki, Sawin, Siedliszcze, Slawatycze, Swierze, Szczebrzeszyn, Tarnogora, Tarnogrod, Terespol, Tomaszow Lubelski, Turobin, Tyszowce, Uchanie, Wąwolnica, Wieniawa, Wisznice, Wlodawa, Wohyn, Wojslawice, Wysokie, Zaklikow, Zakrzowek, Zamosc and Zolkiewka.

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