Jewish Genealogical Society
July 4, 2010
Upcoming Meeting – Monday, July 19, 7 p.m.
“Beginning German Genealogy”
At the July meeting, Shirley Reimer will focus on the first steps needed for an understanding of the cultural, historical and genealogical facts for German ancestral research. This includes a look at the Second German Empire as related to German research as well as an overview of German civil and church records.
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 .
Notes from June Meeting
President Mort Rumberg called the meeting to order. He gave an overview of upcoming meetings, including Shirley Reimer on Beginning German Genealogy (Monday, July 19, 7 p.m.) and Erwin Joos on the Red Star shipping line (Sunday, August 8). Sunday, October 17, Dale Friedman will give an Introduction to Jewish Genealogy, and Sunday, November 21, Glenda Lloyd will discuss Maiden Names.
Mort passed around a thank-you card for our recent donation of an easel to the Einstein Center. He also noted that a donation had been made in memory of our late treasurer, Allan Bonderoff.
The Sacramento Regional Family History Center continues to hold Wednesday evening classes, but you do need to register.
October 9 will be Family History Day at the State Archives in Sacramento. We plan to have a table and do Ellis Island lookups for attendees. There will also be a number of beginning genealogy classes that day.
Mort Rumberg has served two terms as president, the total permitted under our bylaws. After some discussion, Burt Hecht volunteered to serve once again as president. Victoria Fisch and Sue Miller will serve as vice-presidents/program chairs; Susanne Levitsky as secretary; and Julie Lavine as treasurer.
Marilyn Ulbricht, the current president of RootCellar, the Sacramento Genealogical Society, spoke to us about “Digging It – Using Archeology to Locate Your Ancestors.”
“It’s not Indiana Jones running around and finding these great things,” Marilyn says, “but with archeology, you can literally touch your ancestors.”
She talked about artifacts – items made or modified by human beings. “The diversity of artifacts increases geometrically as you get closer to the present.”
Dating artifacts –
There is “relative dating,” which includes statigraphy, the lowest layers must have been formed first. (The law of superposition.)
And there is seriation, sequence dating – the idea that an artifact can change over time (think of the fins of a car).
Marilyn talked about various artifact dating methods, including thermoliminescence, radio-carbon dating, and dendochronology (as in tree rings).
Sources of artifacts – sometimes they are in or next to a casket. Trash dumps and other domestic settings are also sources.
Salvage archeology – Most used for American archeology, usually because of pressure (they’re going to put in a highway or build a dam).
Some work is better than none.
Can determine, for example, where a road used to be by using metal detectors – find bullets, horseshoes, metal from oxen harnesses, etc.
Midden – this is the term for a mound of domestic refuse/trash dump.
Marilyn described to us in detail a study of Kadema. A large mound near Fair Oaks and Watt in Sacramento was once home to the Nisenan Indians, considered a branch of the Southern Maidu. The area is now covered with housings, but prior to building, a historical cemetery was excavated for reinterment.
Marilyn talked about some of the people buried there, including a Kadema chief who had been a brickmaker for John Sutter. The area was also used as a camping ground during hop-picking. There were a number of burials that ensued due to malara epidemics. Marilyn also talked about some of the Kadema men and women and their families, including a few who ended up in California prisons.
In conclusion, Marilyn encourages us to read archeological notes and books and check out more than just genealogy books.
YIVO Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe Online (From Avotaynu)
It has only been available in print for two years at a price of $400, but YIVO Institute has decided to place its YIVO Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe online. Judging from the quality of the site, it was planned all along. It is located at http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org.
A number of negative postings to the JewishGen Discussion Group complained that people keyed in ancestral towns and got no results. The purpose of the book was not to be an encyclopedia of Jewish towns. That is the purpose of Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust which originally sold for $395 and is now available from Avotaynu at $99. It has information about 6,500 towns. (A list of towns is available at the Avotaynu site. See http://www.avotaynu.com/books/encyclopedia.htm.)
The YIVO Encyclopedia is an encyclopedia of the history of the Jews of Eastern Europe. Consequently, it has articles on selected cities, persons, events and locations. It has some interesting maps—60 in all—that include the Kovno, Lodz and Warsaw ghettoes. These maps identify specific sites within the ghetto, and sliding a mouse over a site provides a description. There are three maps of “Poland” from 1795, 1900 and 1930. On a more global scale there are maps of Eastern Europe in 1600, 1740, 1814, 1923, 1945 and today. I accidentally discovered that if you scroll the mouse wheel, it zooms in on the map.
The best way to determine its content is to click Browse on the home page. It provides an alphabetical listing of topics. There are also links to the maps, images/audio/video (1,382 in all) and 192 original documents.
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See you on Monday, July 19, 7 p.m.
- April 22, 2015Upcoming MeetingsSunday, April 26, 10 a.m. -- JGSS Board Meeting, Card Room, 2nd Floor. All are welcome to attend.Sunday, May 10, 10 a.m. -- "Using Genetic Genealogy to Break Through Brick Walls in Your Family Tree," -- Jonathan LongApril 19 Meeting NotesThe meeting was called to order by Librarian Teven Laxer. Teven handed out information on the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree and its webinars. On Sunday, June 7, there will be five speakers focusing on "Researching Jewish, Russian and Eastern European Roots."The jamboree is being held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Hotel. There is an early bird discount for the jamboree until April 30. For details, go to www.genealogyjamboree.com.Teven noted that a Yom HaShoah commemoration will be held at B'nai Israel this evening at 7 p.m.Our next meeting will be held on May 10 (also Mother's Day), with Jonathan Long providing a different take on DNA researchAll are welcome to attend next Sunday's JGSS board meeting upstairs in the card room, at 10 a.m. on April 26.The meeting's program was a showing of "There Was Once," a fascinating and poignant documentary about a small town in Hungary with no current Jewish population. However, a Catholic teacher took it upon herself to track down former residents or their descendants, to learn about life before World War II and the fate of the Jewish residents. Viewers watch her efforts unfold through the film.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~GENEALOGY WITH JANICE: What’s in your closet? Old documents tell your family’s historyInsideToronto.comGenealogy with JanicePhoto/JANICE NICKERSONThese documents were found in my grandmother's closet - in a shoebox!Genealogists spend a lot of time searching for old documents in libraries, archives and online databases. But in the excitement of finding new resources, we forget that some of the richest resources are hidden away in our own closets.Every once in a while, on visits to my parents’ home, I wander down into the storage room and bring up a box of “old stuff”. Often it contains items I’ve seen before, but sometimes I get a surprise. And I always learn something new, because I open it with my mother or father (and sometimes other relatives) and new stories come to light.One of these boxes contains my father’s old school report cards. The oldest describes his adjustment to kindergarten and progress in learning how to share, line up quietly and print his name. It amuses my school-age nephews to read his teachers’ comments about his tardiness and lack of “attention to his studies”.Another box is filled with scrapbooks my mother created when she was young. It seems that she kept every birthday card she received since she was four years old! These “old-fashioned” cards are fun to look at, and reading the notes inside them gives me an extra-special perspective on the relatives who sent them, including my great-grandmothers, whom I never got to meet.Visiting with my grandparents, I found other treasures: A family Bible from the 1880s contained lists of family births, marriages and deaths; a box of sympathy cards sent to my grandparents when my uncle died 50 years ago provided the names and addresses of many distant cousins; and a yellowed envelope contained a hand-written poem written by my great-grandfather describing his bicycle treks through the countryside to visit his sweetheart (my great-grandmother).Letters to other relatives asking about their “old documents” turned up still more exciting finds including a box of letters written by my great-grandmother to her son while was working in a logging camp in 1918. These letters are full of day-to-day family news including the antics of his younger siblings, births of new babies in the family, the progress of the farm and social events happening in town.So when was the last time you looked in your closet? Have you asked your parents, siblings, cousins and other relatives about their own old treasures? I hope I’ve given you the inspiration to revisit this precious resource.---Author of ‘Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada: A Researcher’s Guide’ and ‘York’s Sacrifice: Militia Casualties of the War of 1812, Janice Nickerson lives and breathes genealogy. She believes that we all have interesting ancestors, we just need to learn their secrets. Find her online at UpperCanadaGenealogy.com and facebook.com/JaniceCNickerson
Ben Affleck's slave-owning ancestor 'censored' from genealogy show
Hacked Sony emails raise questions over a decision to omit part of star's family history from PBS programme, but makers say there were "more compelling" Affleck forebears to talk about.Actor Ben Affleck Photo: BloombergBen Affleck asked that a slave owning ancestor not be included when he appeared on a genealogy programme in the United States, according to leaked Sony emails.The star of upcoming movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice explored his family history on Finding Your Roots, which is broadcast by PBS.According to the emails he was one of a number of high-profile guests who turned out to have slave owning forebears, but the only one to want it edited out.Affleck was not named in the email exchange between the show's host Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr and top Sony executive Michael Lynton in July last year. He was referred to as Batman and a "megastar".Professor Gates wrote: "For the first time one of our guests has asked us to edit out something about one of his ancestors - the fact that he owned slaves."Now, four or five of our guests this season descend from slave owners. We've never had anyone ever try to censor or edit what we found. He's a megastar. What do we do?"The professor said he believed the star was "getting very bad advice" and it would be a "violation of PBS rules, actually, even for Batman" to edit out the footage.But when the show was broadcast in October last year it focused instead on other ancestors of the actor including one who served under George Washington, an occult enthusiast, and his mother who was active in the Civil Rights era.Professor Gates issued a statement today saying he had editorial control of the series and it had "never shied away from chapters of a family’s past that might be unpleasant".He added: "In the case of Mr Affleck we focused on what we felt were the most interesting aspects of his ancestry."In a statement PBS said: "It is clear from the (email) exchange how seriously Professor Gates takes editorial integrity."He has told us that after reviewing approximately ten hours of footage for the episode, he and his producers made an independent editorial judgment to choose the most compelling narrative."From Gary Mokotoff's April 19 E-Zine:JewishGen Creates Educational Videos
Phyllis Kramer, Vice President–Education of JewishGen, has created a series of five-minute videos about various aspects of JewishGen and genealogical
research. They are:
• Prepare For Your Search (for USA researchers)
• Navigate JewishGen
• Find Your Ancestral Town (for USA researchers)
• Communicate with Other Researchers via:
–JGFF: JewishGen Family Finder
–FTJP: Family Tree of the Jewish People
–JewishGen Discussion Groups
• Jewish Records Indexing - Poland
• Jewish Genealogy Websites & Organizations:
–Jewish Genealogy Websites - Part I (JewishGen and IAJGS/JGS)
–Jewish Genealogy Websites - Part II
Go to http://www.jewishgen.org/education to view them.Confucius' family tree sets record for world's largest2015/04/19 22:50:40Taipei, April 19 (CNA) The Confucius genealogical line has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest family tree in history, containing the names of more than 2 million descendants, according to the latest edition of the Confucius genealogy book published in 2009.
The 2 million figure is thrice that included in the previous edition of the genealogy book for descendants from Confucius -- the famous Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher -- who lived 551–479 BC.
The first Confucius Genealogy was published in 1080 and has undergone a major revision every 60 years and a small revision every 30 years. The fourth edition, printed in 1937, contained 600,000 names.
With a history of over 2,500 years covering more than 80 generations, the latest and the fifth edition of the Confucius Genealogy was printed in 80 volumes in 2009.
This fifth edition is the first edition to include women, ethnic minorities and descendants living outside China.
Confucius has 2 million known, registered descendants, with some estimated 3 million in all. Tens of thousands live outside of China.
In the 14th century, a Kong descendant went to Korea, where some 34,000 descendants of Confucius now live. One main branch fled from Qufu, the Kong ancestral home, during the 1940s Chinese Civil War and settled in Taiwan.
Kong Weiqian (孔維倩), a 78th generation descendant of Confucius, traveled all the way from mainland China to Taiwan last year and now studies at the National Chung Cheng University in Chiayi, southern Taiwan.
Kong was a junior and marketing major at Jiangxi Normal University in China. She is now an exchange student at the National Chung Cheng University, a sister school of Jiangxi Normal University.
Kong's middle name "Wei" is universally adopted among those in the 78th generation of Confucius and the middle name "De" is used among those in the 77th generation, according to Kong Weiqian.
Based on family tradition, women usually are not listed in the Confucius' genealogy book. However, with the rise of gender equality, and the insistence of her father, her name is now in the family book as well, Kong Weiqian added.
The family-run Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee (CGCC) was registered in Hong Kong in 1998 and began collecting data, according to Kong Xing (孔祥祺), a 75th generation descendant of Confucius, who was then in Taiwan to look for the descendants of the family.
The latest project to revise and update the Confucius family tree began in 1998 and was completed 10 years later.
Notably, in South Korea, the descendants of Confucius have made outstanding achievements in various sectors, while the government attaches great importance to an annual grand worship ceremony held to commemorate him.
In addition, South Korea's Sungkyunkwan University has been the center for studying and promotion of Confucianism as well as the cradle of distinguished scholars and statesmen starting from the Chosun Kingdom period for over 500 years to the present.
(By Chiang Yuan-chen and Evelyn Kao)