October Genealogy Notes
Jewish Genealogical Society
Sunday, November 9, 10 a.m. Steve Morse on the Ellis Island Web Site
Sunday, December 14, 10 a.m. Treasures From Our Attics
Notes from October 12, 2008 Meeting
President Mort Rumberg called the meeting to order and mentioned upcoming seminars, including one hosted by the Family History Center in Sacramento on Saturday, November 1, from 8 a.m to 3:30 p.m. For more details, go to www.familyhistorycenter.info
Mort noted that the 2nd annual Chico conference sponsored by the LDS will be held next Saturday, October 18, and the Belle Cooledge Library in Sacramento will host a genealogy program on October 15.
Mort noted that every year we make a donation of some kind to the Einstein Center as a Chanukah gift, to thank them for letting us meet and maintain our library at the Center. Past donations have included a screen and monetary gifts. This year, learning that they were interested in having a Wii for their residents, we purchased a Wii Sports. It was presented to Einstein activities director Kelly Duncan.
In photo below, left to right, JGSS members Bob Wascou, President Mort Rumberg and Art Yates, with Kelly Duncan of the Einstein Center.
Bob Wascou noted that one of the benefits of JGSS membership is the ability to check books out of our ever-expanding library, now computerized.
Mort noted that next month, November 9, our speaker will be Steve Morse, who will discuss the Ellis Island Web site and the various forms he’s created on his Web site (www.stevemorse.org) to aid in searching the database.
Our program for October focused on Unbricking the Brick Walls. Taking advantage of the collective wisdom of our members, several people brought up problems they have run into in searching for relatives.
Translating Marriage Certificate:
Julie Lavine has a friend who is trying to find someone to translate a marriage certificate that apparently is written in Russian but using the Polish alphabet. Some suggestions: it may be cursive Cyrillic (rather than Polish); contact language experts at Sac State, UC Davis, UOP; contact the School of Religion at UC Berkeley; contact Eastern Orthodox churches to find a priest who might be helpful. First, do a high resolution scan of the document, if possible, so it can be e-mailed to people. Post on JewishGen, Viewmate (http://data.jewishgen.org/viewmate/)), see if there’s an Einstein resident who might be helpful. Someone mentioned that Polish towns were required to use Russian at some point, and that might be the reason for the language used on the document.
Locating Relative Who May Still Be Alive:
Art Yates has been seeking the whereabouts of his wife’s relative, Lawrence Rosenblum, who acted under the stage name of Alan Carter. Rosenblum’s parents were uncle and niece ( a marriage legal in Rhode Island but not elsewhere), and he was present at a family event in 1966.. Art showed a 1944 news article he found on the Internet mentioning Rosenblum but has been unable to dig up anything else. Art has tried various actor’s unions (SAG, Actors Equity), white pages listings, Social Security Death Index and more.
Some suggestions for Art: military records (ancestry.com). Did he join a union? Gay and lesbian groups. The Library for Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in New York. Some high school yearbooks are online. Post something on genealogy bulletin board sites.
Gary Sandler is seeking information on his wife’s great-grandmother’s early days and where she was from. At age 15, she married an Italian Catholic and her family disowned her. Gary found her in the 1910 census (listed with both families) and the 1920 census with her husband and children --she died in 1921. He knows where she is buried.
Some suggestions: Check Catholic records, records of conversion; could be named after ancestor; try to find school records, application to Social Security; if naturalized after 1906, duplicate records are in Washington, D.C. CIS, Form G-639, photos of applicants on some.
Where Was Grandfather Actually From:
Mort Rumberg said his grandfather on his mother’s side said he was from Vilnius in Lithuania and on his father’s side, from Galicia. But he knows they were likely from smaller towns in the area... how to proceed?
Some suggestions: Join the Litvak SIG (Special Interest Group). There are researchers and coordinators for specific areas who translate records and check databases (need to provide a contribution). Also Belarus SIG, to cover the bases. Tax records, voter records.
How to Plan a Family Reunion
Bob Wascou asked if anyone had planned a family reunion (no one present had); he is putting one together for next August after the conference, being held in 2009 in Philadelphia. He wants to have copies of all the ship manifests -- will use Steve Morse’s site, Family Tree Maker, Ancestry. Suggests people play around with spelling of names, since a name he was looking for was spelled differently on each of three sites.
From Avotaynu's October 14 e-zine:
Google Translate Now Includes Hebrew
Google Translate, located at http://translate.google.com, now includes the ability to translate Hebrew. Like most online translators, the results are only fair. The Google dictionary does not include the word for “genealogy” and it was transliterated into English as “ganelogy.” Interestingl y, if you translate “genealogy” into Hebrew, the result is “yichus” which more accurately means “pedigree.”
Hebrew is a language written without showing vowels, creating numerous ambiguities that are usually resolved contextually. “I gave my wife a melon” written in Hebrew translated into English using Google Translate as “I gave my wife a hotel.”
The languages Google claims it translates are Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.
Back Issues of Stammbaum Online
Back issues of Stammbaum, the “Newsletter of German-Jewish Genealogical Research,” are available at http://www.lbi.org/Stammbaum.html. The first issue was published in 1992. These were 31 issues; the last in 2007. An index is available in alphabetical order by author.
Annual Trip to Lithuania
Howard Margol and Peggy Freedman are organizing their 16th annual group trip to Lithuania, June 30 to July 10, 2009. If you’re interested in tracing your roots in Lithuania, Latvia, Eastern Poland close to Lithuania, or Belarus, now is the time to sign up. This year the group will be limited to 25 persons. The trip includes stops at various archives, synagogues, ghettos, Holocaust sites, meetings with Jewish leaders, sightseeing, guide/interpreters, and two days to visit your shtetls of interest. Margol and Freedman are very familiar with the archives, are on a first-name basis with the archivists, and know all the main places of Jewish interest.
The trip is sponsored by the American Fund For Lithuanian-Latvian Jews, a non-profit organization, and is not a commercial venture. Any profit made will go to support the Jewish community in Vilnius. For details and a full itinerary, contact litvaktrip@...
Favourite genealogy websites -- Roots to the Past (a Canadian perspective)
Published Tuesday October 14th, 2008
by Diana Lynn Tibert, New Brunswick, Canada
Each week, I spend hours visiting genealogy-related websites. Many are visited only once, but I've worn an electronic path to the front door of many others. Below are my top 10 favourite places on the Internet.
Like many genealogists, my research takes me all over Atlantic Canada, so some websites contain information for specific provinces while others cover the entire country.
1. Library and Archives of Canada (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html) which also includes the Soldiers of the First World War database (www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/cef) with digital images of attestation papers, and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial (www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem) containing details on Commonwealth soldiers killed in action in past wars.
2. Archives: A vast amount of information can be found on each provincial archives website. Often, data overlaps provincial boundaries, so regardless of which province you are researching, take a look at the archives in the nearby provinces: a. Provincial Archives of NB (including Daniel F. Johnson's NB Newspaper Vital Statistics database): http://archives.gnb.ca/Archives/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA.;b. NS Archives and Records Management (including the NS Historical Vital Statistics): www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm.;c. The Rooms, NL: www.therooms.ca.;d. Public Archives and Records Office of PEI: www.edu.pe.ca/paro.
3. Canada GenWeb site (www.canadagenweb.org): Contains genealogy information on Canada, as well as, links to each province and territory.
4. Automatic Genealogy (www.automatedgenealogy.com/index.html): Contains free access to transcribed census pages and digital images of the original forms for the 1911, 1906 (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba), 1901 and 1851 (Upper and Lower Canada) Canada Censuses.
5. Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild (http://immigrantships.net): The best website I found for finding ships' lists. Literally thousands of passenger lists have been transcribed and posted.
6. Newfoundland's Grand Banks Genealogy Site (http://ngb.chebucto.org): Contains extensive genealogy information for Newfoundland and Labrador and is a must visit for anyone researching family connected to this province.
7. Lost at Sea: Fishing? It Was a Way of Life (http://web.archive.org/web/20011125174009/www.lostatsea.ca): Contains information on the many who went to sea, but did not return home. This includes information on seaman and ships of various industries from locations all along the Eastern Seaboard.
8. Cyndi's List (www.cyndislist.com): If it's on the Internet and genealogy related, you'll probably find it on this massive website.
9. The Perpetual Calendar (www.wiskit.com/calendar.html) is handy when looking for a particular day. For example, if an obituary published Oct. 5, 1879, states the person died last Friday, the calendar will tell you it was Oct. 3. Herb's Calendar Wizard page does calendar calculations for you, taking into consideration the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar.
10. Google.ca (www.google.ca) is the first search engine I use when trying to locate any information I can't find on my book-marked websites.
All these websites and many others can be found on my Family Attic website: www.thefamilyattic.info/Roots.html.
Producer Burnett reincarnates "This Is Your Life"
Thu Oct 9, 2008 8:31pm EDT
By James Hibberd
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett is developing a remake of the classic TV show "This Is Your Life."
The show, which surprises celebrity guests with people from their past, launched as a radio program in 1948. It aired as a TV series on NBC from 1952-61, and then had a brief revival in 1972.
NBC and Fox also are developing genealogy reality shows, where researchers discover secrets about participants' ancestral history.
See you Sunday, November 9!