Genealogy Mtg. Next Sunday
Polish Ancestral Records
Sunday, May 18, 10 a.m.
Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento
Judy Baston of San Francisco is a longtime Polish researcher and a member of the
Executive Committee of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland. She will discuss a variety of
ways to locate hard-to-find Polish ancestral towns and how to determine what records
have survived for a particular town. She'll also show how to make the most of the
JRI-Poland database and Web site, as well as some other resources to help enhance your
Please join us for Judy's presentation Sunday morning, May 18 meeting at the Albert Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright St., Sacramento. And before and after the meeting, take advantage of our growing library.
Wondering what's for Dinner Tonight? Get new twists on family favorites at AOL Food.
Jewish Genealogy Society of Sacramento
Sunday, March 21, 2010, 10 a.m.
Connections Small and Grand -- Holocaust Survivor Liz Igra
Liz Igra is a Holocaust survivor born in Krakow , Poland . After she and her mother escaped from the Czorkow ghetto in October 1942, they hid on false papers, crossed the Carpathian Mountains on foot, spent some time in a Budapest jail and were released, only to go into hiding when Germany took complete control of Hungary. Liz and her mother were liberated in 1945 and returned to Poland to find only one other member of their family alive.
After time in Poland and France, she and her mother immigrated to Australia in 1949. Liz was married there in 1956 and came with her family to the U.S. in 1968. Liz has been an elementary and high school teacher, administrator, workshop presenter, and helped start Shalom School in Sacramento. In the last twenty years she has been a guest speaker in many classrooms and teacher conferences. Many teachers confirmed her personal observations, that even the best seminars do not equip teachers to meet the challenges of teaching about the Holocaust. So Liz founded the Central Valley Holocaust Educators' Network.
Liz hopes her story will lead to a better understanding of the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned.
The March 21 meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Albert Einstein Residence Center , 1935 Wright St. , Sacramento .
Another Holocaust-related speaker:
Schindler’s List Survivor to Speak in Vacaville Thursday
By Ian Thompson
March 5th, 2010 McNaughton Newspapers
Leon Leyson, the youngest survivor of Schindler's List, will speak in Vacaville about his escape from the Nazi death camps and life in the fragile sanctuary of Oskar Schindler's factory.
Leyson, 80, now a member of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education Advisory Board at Chapman University, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 18, at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theater, 1010 Ulatis Drive.
Leyson, then known as Leib Lejzon, was the youngest of five children whose parents lived in a town 150 miles northeast of Warsaw.
After the invasion of Poland in 1939, Leyson's family members were herded into the Krakow Ghetto. By 1941, his oldest brother had been killed, but his father and another brother were working in Schindler's factory near the ghetto.
Schindler's efforts to bribe and use his connections with Nazi officials to save as many Jews as possible from the death camps reunited the Leyson family.
In 1949, Leyson came to the United States, joined the U.S. Army to fight in the Korean War and then taught high school industrial arts for 39 years until he retired.
Leyson now talks to school groups, universities and community organizations about the Holocaust.
Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. To reserve a seat, call the theater at (707) 469-4013 or visit http://www.vpat.net. . For more information, call (707) 592-5300 or visit http://JewishSolano.com
From the March 7 Avotaynu E-Zine by Gary Mokotoff
While reading the article about the planned speakers for the annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy which will be held this July in Los Angeles, I was amazed at how the conference planners now reach out beyond the Jewish genealogical community for lecturers. The list is an array of stars that includes:
Linda G. Levi, of the American Joint Distribution Committee, who will explain how the Joint’s archives is organized and describe how to conduct research there.
Renowned geneticist, Dr. Harry Ostrer, who will speak on “The Jewish HapMap: What Genetics Has Given to Jews and What Jews Have Given to Genetics” and other topics
Lisa Yavnai, Director of the Registry of Holocaust Survivors at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), will discuss the registry with a view towards the future. Megan Lewis and Jo-Ellyn Decker, also from USHMM, will discuss “Improving Your Research Experience at the USHMM.” They will also discuss how to use the records of the International Tracing Service at the museum.
Professor Vincent Cannato of the University of Massachusetts will talk about his book, American Passage: The History of Ellis Island, the first full history of America’s landmark port of entry.
Zvi Bernhardt, Deputy Director of the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem, will speak on “Using the Yad Vashem Database (of Shoah Victims’ Names) for Beginners.”
More country-specific lectures will be given by:
Wolf-Erich Eckstein, director of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde of Vienna; Julius Muller, director of Toledot, the Jewish Family History Center in Prague; Dr. Egle Bendikaite, associate professor at the Vilnius Institute in Lithuania; and Yale Reisner of the Jewish Genealogy and Family Heritage Learning Center at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.
The keynote speaker, Daniel Mendelsohn, is author of The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million. Arthur Kurzweil is Scholar in Residence.
The program has not been posted yet but it is anticipated that about 150 lectures will be presented over the six-day period.
Oh yes, my (Gary Mokotoff’s) contribution to the lectures is “The Paternal History of Bernie Madoff.” About a year ago, as an intellectual exercise, I traced the notorious Madoff’s family history back to 1807 using the Internet. I then realized it is an excellent example of how to use census, naturalization and immigration records to trace one’s American ancestors, so it is now part of my regular lecture repertoire.
The conference is being held at the Marriott LIVE Hotel in Los Angeles from July 11–16, 2010. Additional information can be found at http://www.jgsla2010.com. To keep up to date about conference information, subscribe to the newsletter at http://www.jgsla2010.com/about/sign-up-for-the-announcements-newsletter/.
1930 U.S. Census Available Free of Charge on the Internet
Portions of the 1930 U.S. census are on the Internet free of charge at http://www.archive.org/details/1930_census. The records are unindexed and organized by enumeration district (ED) within state. To determine the correct enumeration district use the Stephen P. Morse “1900-1940 Census ED Finder” located at http://stevemorse.org/census/index.html. This requires that you know the street address where the person lived. The Morse site also requires the cross streets of the block where the person lived. Determine the cross streets using any online map site such as mapquest.com. The result is usually two EDs because often the opposite sides of a street are in separate EDs. Then browse through the ED pages to find the street address.
New Internet Sites and Updates:
More Canadian Newspapers Digitized by Google. Google News Archives now includes archived editions of the Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen and the YMHA Beacon. The News Archives is located at http://news.google.com/archivesearch/advanced_search. It appears to include only newspapers from the U.S. and Canada for the period 1880 to about 2005.
1939 “Census” of England and Wales Available. In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, there was a National Registration of all persons living in England and Wales. The National Health Service Information Center is now making available this information for £42 per search. Data will only be released for those individuals who are deceased. Information about members of a household includes names, sex, age, occupation, profession, residence, marriage status, membership in the military or civil defense. Additional information about the project can be found at http://www.ic.nhs.uk/news-and-events/news/nhs-ic-launches-the-1939-register-service.
Ohio Obituary Index Online. More than 1.5 million Ohio obituaries, death and marriage notices are now online at http://www.rbhayes.org/hayes/index/. The time period is from 1810 to the present. It is only for selected counties and does not include the counties in which Cleveland and Cincinnati are located. The source of the data is newspaper notices.
Aerial Photographs of Lithuanian Cities. A link to aerial photographs of a large number of Lithuanian cities can be found at http://www.lithuania-photo.com/all-cities/. On the toolbar, click the rightmost icon to get a full-screen view of the photograph.
TV shows pique Americans' interest in genealogy
March 8th, 2010 By John Daley
SALT LAKE CITY -- An American pastime with deep roots in Utah is seeing an explosion in public interest. Two nationally televised programs are giving genealogy research the kind of profile not seen since the TV series "Roots."
For many people, the allure is irresistible. NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" takes famous Americans on a genealogical journey. For example, Sarah Jessica Parker's search led to ancestors at the Gold Rush and the Salem witch trials.
Likewise, the PBS show "Faces of America" chronicles scholar Henry Louis Gates following similar surprising treks through history.
Thanks to all the national attention, local organizations and companies say interest in genealogy is now at an all-time high.
Those shows have turned to Utah for research and access to vast genealogical records assembled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Family History Library, which is seeing a sharp uptick in visits, calls and hits on its website.
"Everything across the board is just rising, and we're seeing a huge surge in interest now that people can do more and more in their own homes," says David Rencher, chief genealogical officer for FamilySearch.
In the ‘70s, the TV series "Roots" created a national sensation. Since then, technology and science have utterly changed genealogy, providing spectacular amounts of information available on the Internet and new genetic tests not even possible a few years ago.
Utah companies and organizations, which helped lead the way, are now reaping the benefits. For instance, in the past week, Genetree.com has seen a 400 percent increase in contacts from potential customers.
"It's created new jobs, new opportunities for people who couldn't connect before. [They] can connect now," says Scott Woodward, chief scientific officer for GeneTree.com.
Ancestry.com, which helped NBC research "Who Do You Think You Are?", says the popularity of genealogy is being driven by the enhanced ability to find out details about your ancestors.
"That's one of the great things about doing your family history: It's like a puzzle. It's a mystery. You never know what you're going to find," says Mike Ward, spokesman for Ancestry.com.
You could call it a genealogy revolution. It's global, it's digital, and best of all it's personal.
"Who Do You Think You Are?" airs Fridays on KSL Channel 5 at 7 p.m. This week the program will follow a genealogical journey to surprising places for football legend Emmitt Smith.
Meantime, the National Genealogical Conference is coming to Salt Lake City in April. CLICK HERE for details.
Correction regarding recent notes on Victoria Fisch’s talk on Jews of the Gold Rush
It was P.C. Cohn’s father, Charles, not P.C. himself, who started a mercantile store in Sacramento. P.C. was left behind in Alabama, made his way to Mississippi, and then in 1872 finally got out here to be re-united with his sister and father.
In 1904 P.C. was a California delegate to the Democratic convention and elected senator from Sacramento from 1913-16.
See you next Sunday!
Next Sunday, April 18th, 10 a.m.
Facial Recognition Technology for Genealogy
The April speaker will be Daniel Horowitz, an Israeli resident and Web master for the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. He will discuss facial recognition technology, which is used worldwide to catch terrorists in airports. The technology can also help you identify people in old family photos, discover other people related to you and recover lost family connections.
Horowitz was born and raised in Caracas , Venezuela and is a founder and lecturer for the Jewish Genealogy Society of Venezuela. He will be making this presentation to several JGS societies during his trip, including Denver and several on the west coast.
The program is set for 10 a.m., Sunday, April 18 at the Albert Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento.
NBC renews three shows
April 5, 2010 USA TODAY
Just in: NBC has given second seasons to three modestly-rated reality shows, two produced by former network stars Jerry Seinfeld and Lisa Kudrow (Friends), reports USA TODAY's Gary Levin.
Seinfeld's The Marriage Ref, Kudrow's genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? and Minute to Win It, a game show hosted by Food Network star Guy Fieri, will be back next season with 8 to 10 new episodes. The shows are averaging about 6 to 7 million viewers.
Kudrow, for one, appreciates the vote of confidence: "It's very gratifying to tell compelling stories that personalize history while investigating someone's ancestry, and even more gratifying that American audiences are saying, 'Yes, we want to see that,'" she said in a statement.
See you next Sunday!
Jewish Genealogical Society
August 2, 2010
Next Sunday, August 8, 10 a.m. (date/time change) – Edwin Joos, “ One Foot in America -- Jewish Emigrants of the Red Star Line”
Monday, September 20, 7 p.m. – Sandra Harris, “When Was This Picture Taken?”
Sunday, October 17, 10 .am . – Dale Friedman, “Introduction to Jewish Genealogy”
We’ll be meeting earlier this month, and on a Sunday – next Sunday-- to hear Edwin Joos talk about “The Jewish Emigrants of the Red Star Line” Edwin is from Antwerp, Belgium. He’ll focus on the Red Star shipping line that transported 2.7 million Eastern European emigrants up until 1935. Many would arrive in Antwerp after traveling for weeks. But as one writer described it, being in Antwerp was like having one foot in America already. The journey to New York would take seven to 14 days, and for steerage passengers, rarely a pleasant trip. But after experiencing pogroms, poverty and unemployment, for many it was not a difficult decision.
According to Mr. Joos, Antwerp, with its concentration today of Hasidic Jews, is sometimes regarded as the last shtetl of modern Europe. Mr. Joos is the full-time curator of the Eugeen Van Mieghem Museum in Antwerp. He lectures widely and has organized 15 major exhibitions in Belgium. He’ll have DVDs and books related to his talk available; cash purchases only.
July 19, 2010 Meeting Notes
(With special thanks to Mort Rumberg for assistance with the notes)
President Burt Hecht called the meeting to order and made several announcements. Family History Day at the State Archives is set for Saturday, October 9. We’ll have a table and hope to provide Ellis Island look-ups for attendees.
Burt announced the upcoming meetings (see top of page), including the August meeting, set for a Sunday morning, August 8, to accommodate the travel itinerary of Erwin Joos.
Treasurer Julie Lavine said that accountant Gil Levander is assisting her in establishing databases and accounting procedures. A new account has been established with a debit card, and banking can take place online.
Burt then asked the members and guests about their special projects or genealogical interests. They included:
-- Building family trees and gaining access to new databases and records
-- Going back 17 generations with Finnish-Jewish records
-- Cemetery projects at the Home of Peace. The cemetery board has agreed to
make their old records available.
-- The Romanian-Moldavian Special Interest Group is getting more records and
is looking for volunteers to help with them.
-- Lester Smith says he’s coming out of retirement and restarting his genealogy research. He mentioned there were 1,061 attendees at the recent IAJGS conference.
-- Art Yates reviewed how he became involved with the Sacramento JGS.
-- Sue Miller said the IAJGS conference renewed her interest in genealogy.
-- Building German family history.
-- Researching German family towns.
-- Researching family from Vilnius.
-- Transcribing data from vital statistics records to the L’viv database.
Mort Rumberg passed around the IAJGS conference guide and program, and Family Finder, which all conference attendees received. Conference presentations are available for ordering on CDs and DVDs. We had a good representation at the conference – in all, there were 500 attendees from California.
Getting together at the Los Angeles conference – in our JGSS “We Dig Our Ancestors” T-shirts, are, back row, left to right: Art Yates, Mort Rumberg, Lester Smith, Carl Miller, Teven Laxer, Susanne Levitsky and Bob Wascou. Front row: Mark Heckman, Sue Miller, Victoria Fisch. Not shown is JGSS member Ann Kanter, who also attended.
Note: Burt Hecht notified the JGSS board following the meeting that he has found his schedule for the upcoming months will make it difficult to remain as president. He would like to serve instead as vice president for programming. Board members subsequently indicated their support for Mort Rumberg returning to the office, and he has agreed to serve once again.
July Speaker -- Beginning German Genealogy
Burt Hecht introduced our speaker, Shirley Reimer, for her presentation. She mentioned she had actually been a guest at the JGSS 17 or 18 years ago. Shirley taught high school English for ten years, then worked in communications for 22 years. After she retired, she published The German Research Companion in 1997 and co-authored a second book in 2001. For the last 18 years, she has published Der Blumenbaum, the quarterly journal of the Sacramento German Genealogy Society. For the last nine years she has also published the quarterly newsletter, Mitteilungen, for the Sacramento Turn Verein German-American Cultural Center – Library.
This August, Shirley will make her 41st visit to Germany .
Shirley passed out very useful handouts designed to get a researcher started. Her presentation included maps of changing German borders since the 1700s, and statistics on German immigration. There was a spike in German immigration in the 1880s when people heard about “free land.” “These were the two most magical words,” Shirley says, “as land in Germany was very scarce, and divided up among sons.”
Most Germans came to the east coast, with Milwaukee/St. Louis/Cincinnati considered the German triangle.
Church records were recorded in kirchenbucher (church books) and Jewish records were often recorded there, as well as in the “standesamt,” the civil registry offices. The records go back to about 1524.
Shirley said Napoleon wasn’t interested in church records. By 1874 all of Prussia had to have civil records and by 1876 all of the German empire.
Shirley presented a review of German words related to family and registration. All birth, marriage and deaths had to be recorded in civil authority records.
There are many handwriting problems. In addition, Shirley provided a review of spelling of surnames: a word like Byrne could be spelled several different ways. Lesson: Spelling doesn't count. You have to check all variations. “I’ll probably say this six times tonight,” she said.
Shirley noted there are abbreviations of German given names, and alos provided samples of German given names with their English equivalents. Parish registers were reviewed. Different information is available within each parish, so you need to check carefully. Along with parish records, check into the civil registration since the religious and civil records had different requirements.
“Another nightmare for genealogists is that town names changed their spelling often,” Shirley said.
Civil Registration records are better than religious/church records since they contain more information and go back further. Civil records were reviewed.
Pronunciation of words applying to civil registry may be erroneous. Check carefully. She provided examples of records in German showing the difficulty of understanding what is on the record. A German – English dictionary is a must.
She recommended the book “Germans to America,” by Glazier and Filby, available at the Sacramento Public Library. It contains lists of passengers arriving at U.S. ports.
Other sources of information on German genealogy:
Meyers Locality and Commercial Gazetteer.
Wiki.familysearch.org (under “Search,” type in “Germany.”
Palatinate place name indexes.
You can reach Shirley Reimer at: Lorelei@...
From the JGS of the Conejo Valley:
TENEMENT MUSEUM PHOTOGRAPHS
New York’s Tenement Museum has made its photograph collection available online. Pictures of immigrants, street scenes and more may be viewed or downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/2bswrjl. If you click on an image in your search results, you can enlarge it or save it to your favorites (which requires a free account).
A DIRECTORY FOR LOCATING DIRECTORIES
Google’s online Historical Directories Web site has organized directories from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland and Thailand in one place. It is a work in progress but already includes some directories dating back to the 1600s. The U.S. link allows you
to search by state although not all states are available: http://tinyurl.com/njmnvx
NEW STEVE MORSE ONE-STEP FEATURE
There is a new feature in Steve Morse’s ‘One-Step’ Web site that will make it easier to find New York City records. If you go to http://stevemorse.org and hover over the “Vital Records” heading at the upper left, you will see several tools for New York vital records. Now, when using the birth, marriage and death indexes as prepared by the Italian Genealogical Group, the results will include the Family History Library roll number where you may find the actual record eliminating the old ‘back and forth’ process previously necessary.
See you next Sunday morning.
Next Sunday …
Hungarian Family Research
Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento
Sunday, December 19, 2010, 10 a.m.
Vivian Kahn will provide an overview of the history of Hungary's Jewish community; she’ll also discuss resources for researching roots from the current and former territory of Hungary, including archival records in Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, and Hungary and sources such as burial and military records.
Vivian will describe and provide tips for searching JewishGen's All-Hungary Database, now one of JewishGen's largest all-country databases with close to a million records referring to individuals living in areas that are in present-day Hungary as well as Slovakia, Croatia, northern Serbia, northwestern Romania, and subcarpathian Ukraine. She’ll also talk about other online resources for researching Hungarian Jewish roots.
Vivian Kahn, from Oakland, is coordinator of JewishGen's Hungarian Special Interest Group (H-SIG). Vivian's 18 years of researching her roots in pre-Trianon Hungary has taken her to Hungary, Slovakia, Israel and Salt Lake City.
Dues are due for 2011 …
If you haven’t yet paid your dues for the 2011 calendar year, bring a $25 check with you to the meeting next Sunday. Your dues allow us to pay a small honorarium for speakers, buy books and do business throughout the year. Can’t make it to the meeting? Send the check to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento, c/o the Albert Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento, CA 95825.
A little genealogy humor ….
Rhymes With Orange 12/7/10