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August Genealogy Notes

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  • SusanneLevitsky@aol.com
    Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento _www.jgss.org_ (http://www.jgss.org) August 23, 2009 Mark Your Calendar – Upcoming Meetings Monday, Sept. 14, 7
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 2009


      Jewish Genealogical Society

      of Sacramento



      August 23, 2009


      Mark Your Calendar – Upcoming Meetings

      Monday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m. – Using the Internet for Genealogy – Jerry Unruh

      Sunday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. – The South African Jewish Community – Roy Ogus

      Sunday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. – My Grandmother’s Suitcase – Jim Van Buskirk


      Notes from August 17, 2009 Meeting

      President Mort Rumberg called the meeting to order and shared several announcements. The annual Family History Day at the Archives is set for Saturday, October 10.  All the area genealogical societies are represented, and we will have a table.  We hope to have computers available for Ellis Island look-ups as were done at the Jewish Heritage Festival.

      The Nevada County Genealogical Society is hosting “Digging for Your Roots” this Saturday (August 22) in Nevada City, across from the High School.

      A Jewish genealogy research trip is being organized to Salt Lake City October 22-29 by Gary Mokotoff and Eileen Polakoff.

      Bob Wascou reported on his attendance at the August conference in Philadelphia .  Bob, who is active in RomSig, the Romanian Special Interest Group, linked up with Dorin Dobrincu, the archivist of Romania .  Mark Heckman also attended the conference and coordinated the computer set-up for the participants.  Our library will have the syllabus and research guide developed for the conference.

      Dave Reingold handed out information on Sacramento History Day and is looking for resource people who might want work with students doing primary and secondary research, including oral histories.  Topics could include the Holocaust  and other historical events about which you might have first-hand knowledge.)

      Treasurer’s Report:  Allan Bonderoff reports a balance of $1,230.36 in our account.  We greatly appreciate your dues -- they go to pay honorariums for our speakers, purchase books for our library and fund photocopying and other expenses.


      August Speaker

      Ron Young -- Converting 35mm Slides to Electronic Format

      Ron Young, an active member of the Nevada County Genealogical Society, presented a program on converting slides to digital format.

      Ron said you can put 500-1000 slides on a CD, and they won’t fade any more.  “Maybe every fifth year, copy on to a new CD, to counteract CD aging.”

      In his handout and presentation, Ron provided a glossary of terms, from 35 mm film to dpi and JPEG to megapixels and Tif.  JPEGs should be the last format you arrive at in the conversion process.

      Why should you convert your slides?

      -- Slides fade with age, turning red or losing contrast.

      -- Prints can be made from slides, but don’t last as long as the slides.

      -- Slides copied by camera or scanner are best for high resolution storage.  “But every five years or so, convert them to the next format.”

      -- Electronic storage never changes color and you can make copies of CDs to send to others.

      Ron outlined four basic methods of conversion:

      1) A digital camera with adapter.

      2) A flatbed scanner, with illumination in the lid.

      3) Specialized slide and negative scanners.

      4)  A USB slide converter.


      Digital camera with adapter:

      You need a camera with at least 3 megapixels of resolution or better.

      Ron showed a flower graphic which signifies your camera has a macro lens.  You also need filter mounting threads and a front lens element that doesn’t move when you focus.

      To find a slide adapter, Ron advises going to amazon.com, and you should be able to find one for $75-80.  “Ask for a ‘slide copier.’” he said.  There are several pages for different cameras.

      Ron said you’ll also need a light source, such as daylight -- don’t use fluorescent lighting, or it will distort the color balance.

      Ron recommends a static brush to sweep particles off the slides.

      And Ron drew groans from the group when he said, “If you use a camera to copy slides, you really should read the camera manual.”

      The camera with adapter should allow you to copy about 10 slides a minute.


      For color corrections of slides, Ron recommends using Picasa from Google, which can be downloaded free.


      To make a CD from Picasa, you can click on “Gift CD” and choose what slides you want on the CD.  It will play on a DVD player onto your TV.


      Flatbed scanner

      Ron says you need one that has a backlight in the cover.

      This scanner takes a bit longer (about 2 slides per minute) but does well with slides that may be warped or crinkled -- good depth of field in copying.

      The file size is big, about 10 MB JPEGs.


      What Ron Recommends: The Wolverine Slide Copier.

      Ron showed off the small Wolverine F2D Slide Copier, which is available at Costco (or Wolverinedata.com) for around $100.  A self-contained unit requiring only a USB connection, it copies a single slide at a time to a memory card, and will hold about 100 different shots. It will also copy color and black-and-white negatives.


      Treasurer’s Report:  Allan Bonderoff reports a balance of $1,230.36 in our account.  We greatly appreciate your dues -- they go to pay honorariums for our speakers, purchase books for our library and fund photocopying and other expenses.


      From the August 16 Avotaynu E-Zine by Gary Mokotoff

      New Location for IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project
      The IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project site has moved from JewishGen to the IAJGS site at http://iajgs.org/cemetery. The project’s goal is to provide information about every Jewish burial place and currently contains thousands of listings from all over the world. Some locations include additional information, such as a history of the Jewish presence in the town, name/addresses of synagogues, geographic information and other facts.

      Videos of Polish Jewish Cemeteries on YouTube
      There are a number of videos of Jewish cemeteries on YouTube, perhaps as many as 246. To locate a particular video, search using the Polish words for “Jewish cemetery”—cmentarz zydowski—and the name of a particular town.

      Search for Descendants of Red Star Line Passengers
      Between 1873 and 1935 the Red Star Line shipping company transported almost three million people from
      Antwerp to the United States and Canada. The City of Antwerp has created a Red Star Memorial site at http://www.redstarlinememorial.be/smartsite.dws?id=MHE_LANDING&ch=MHE with plans to open a museum in Antwerp.

      The project is looking for individual stories about the immigration experience of using the shipping line including photographs. If you are/know a person or descendant of a person who took a ship from Antwerp to settle in North America, contact redstarline@.... The names of the different Red Star ships are listed.


      Google Maps Now Includes More Ukrainian Towns
      The JewishGen Ukraine Discussion Group reports Google now has most, if not all, of the towns of
      Ukraine at http://maps.google.com. Use the current spelling of the town and add “Ukraine” as a keyword of the search. Searching for the major Ukrainian city of Kamenets Podolskiy (Russian spelling transliterated) produced no results. Adding the keyword “Ukraine” only added a Sponsored Link (advertisement) for trips to the city. Then searching the web using Google for Kamenets Podolskiy identified the current spelling transliterated from Ukrainian as Kamianets-Podilskyï. It was unnecessary to then search Google Maps with the correct Ukrainian spelling. Merely clicking the link to “Maps” produced a map of the area of Ukraine that includes the city.

      JewishGen Wants More KahaLinks Pages
      One popular component of JewishGen is their ShtetLinks site where individual family historians have created web pages for their ancestral shtetl (town) in Central and
      Eastern Europe. The equivalent for towns in the Sephardic area of influence is called KahaLinks; “kahal” being the Hebrew word for “Jewish community.” Persons wishing to create a KahaLink site on JewishGen should contact Jeffrey Malka at JeffMalka@...

      Online Language Translators
       Whether visiting a web site or sending/receiving e-mail in another language, an online language translator can be a useful tool. For many years I have used AltaVista’s Babel, now http://babelfish.yahoo.com/, with limited success. (Note from Susanne: Not too swift in French) It does not handle more esoteric languages such as Polish. For Polish, I used poltran.com which gives poor translations.  

      Google’s translator at http://translate.google.com seems to do an excellent job of translating 42 languages.

      Next Year in Los Angeles, July 11-16, 2010

      At the Philadelphia International JGS Conference this year, there were 275 sessions including lectures, computer workshops, a film festival, and working breakfasts and luncheons. Almost all lectures were given as PowerPoint presentations, the standard for a number of years ing coordinators participated in the program The six hour-and-a-quarter time slots during the day had eight concurrent sessions plus the computer workshops and the film festival The resource room had about 30 laptops with Internet access, free of charge, to most major fee-for-service genealogical databases The US Holocaust Memorial Museum allowed online access to databases normally available only at the museum. The Exhibit Hall included nearly 20 vendors. At the Avotaynu booth, Google Your Family Tree was the best seller

      More and more, the Jewish conferences are including experts beyond the genealogical community. Two European archivists, the head archivist of
      Romania and the deputy archivist of Ukraine, gave lectures At least five speakers were university professors.

      In 2010, the 30th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held July 11–16 at the new Marriott Los Angeles at LA LIVE which opens in February 2010 The hotel is located in the heart of the city.


      Our next meeting: Monday evening, September 14.

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