September Genealogy Update
Jewish Genealogical Society
September 24, 2010
President Mort Rumberg called the September 20 meeting to order and welcomed members and guests. He gave an overview of upcoming meetings:
Sunday, October 17, 10 a.m., Dale Friedman, "Intro. to Jewish Genealogy"
Sunday, November 21, 10 a.m. -- Glenda Lloyd, “Maiden Names”
Sunday, December 19, 10 a.m. -- Vivian Kahn, “Hungarian Research”
Mort talked about the upcoming Family History Day at the State Archives, which will take place from 8:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 9 at the State Archives downtown. Mort will be there all day but is looking for volunteers to help staff our table for an hour or two. We’ll share space with people from the Bay Area JGS and hope to offer looks-ups from the Ellis Island database.
The Sacramento Regional Family History Center on Eastern Avenue is offering Wednesday afternoon and evening classes. The Sacramento Central Library is also offering classes, September 26 and October 3. Topics include the U.S. Census and German Research. Steve Morse will be speaking there January 30, 2011 on Understanding the Jewish Calendar.
Dave Reingold showed a book on Angel Island, which was a point of immigration not only for thousands of Chinese, but also some Jews. Some came from the port of Vladivostok to San Francisco, others from Shanghai.
Upcoming event -- Sunday, Sept. 26, Beth Shalom will hold its annual Jewish Food Faire.
Bob Wascou says he’s looking for copies of memorial books from synagogues in the area -- they are useful in cemetery research (he has a few already from local synagogues). They usually have the Hebrew date of death which can be added to current databases.
Marilyn Amir is part of several Holocaust remembrance committees and is looking for people with relatives who survived the Holocaust.
Treasurer’s Report: From Julie Lavine/Gil Levander: We have a balance of $1,007.09 in our checking account and $394.07 in our savings account.
For guests, Mort talked about the value of the Sacramento group and opportunity to help your research and get past brick walls. He shared the success he had in recent years in locating 14 new first cousins.
September Speaker -- Sandra Harris
Longtime Sacramento photographer Sandra Harris talked about “What Year Was It -- Some Clues for Dating Photographs.”
Sandra said often people would wear their best clothing for the photo, which could be something 10 years old; sometimes they borrowed something from the photography studio.
She said if you use a magnifying glass on your photos, you can often discover more clues. Clothes, hairstyles, hats, props, the studio name all help in determining when a photo could have been taken.
The earliest photo known to be taken in America was 1839.
1840s -- During this time period, Sandra said, women wore bell-shaped skirts and the hairstyles featured hair parted in the center, often with curls on the sides.
1847 -- girls’ portraits included off-the-shoulder dresses; boys often wore sailor suits.
Sandra showed several examples of post-mortem photos with dead children or adults, allowing people to have some remembrance of the person. Some photo studios even had cold rooms to maintain the bodies.
1850s -- Men wore top hats and bow ties. Full material in women’s skirts gave a connotation of wealth.
Men’s ties -- assymetrical, intentionally at an angle. Men usually clean-shaven.
Little girls -- if the dresses had the same pattern, likely sisters, with the dresses cut from the same bolt of cloth.
1860s -- Men often just buttoned the top button on the suits.
Plinths (columns/pedestals) began appearing as a prop in photos, something to lean on.
1869-70 --Dolly Varden dress-- oversized skirt bunched up over a separate underskirt, often pleated.
1870s -- Clothes look heavy like furniture -- often saw half or 3/4 view.
Photos often show women standing next to seated men; showed off dress better.
1875- 1890, bust portraits were popular, lockets popular
1880 -- saw women with long hair, influence of Sutherhand Sisters (singing group with long-haired sisters)
The shelf-bustle made an appearance, skirts had pleated edges. Outdoor scenic backgrounds were used.
Collars buttoned to the neck. Children’s portraits -- note the pleated skirts. From about 1886-1900, boys often dressed as Little Lord Fauntleroy.
Name of photography studio -- check city directories to identify time period in business. Sandra said the California Room at the State Library has city directories for all the California counties.
Some photographers during this time period began to photograph circus side show people.
1890s -- Big full sleeves, mutton sleeves. Men wore their hair slicked back.
Mourning clothes for women -- period of morning was 2 1/2 years-- black crape (that was the spelling). The last six months, began to wear lighter clothing with black trim.
Women going into the workforce, more tailor-made clothes.
1893-- Boys’ ties are large, boys part hari on side.
1895-- big bicycles , often used as props
1900 -- men appear in military uniforms, women’s sleeves full and draping.
Military museums can help you date uniforms
It became common to photograph working people.
1910 -- Brownie cameras in use, large hats became the rage.
1920s -- Bobbed hair, short dresses, sleevelsess dresses
1908 had been the beginning of the Marcel wave
Convex portraits, special form – couldn’t use other frames, glass.
Traveling photographers often took the photos outside because not enough light inside.
Ancestry.com to Acquire iArchives (Footnote.com)
iArchives digitizes and delivers high-quality images of American historical
records of individuals involved in the Revolutionary War, Continental
Congress, Civil War, and other historical events to Footnote.com
subscribers interested in early American roots. iArchives has digitized more
than 65 million original source documents to date through its proprietary
digitization process for paper, microfilm and microfiche collections.
Upon completion of the transaction, iArchives will become a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Ancestry.com
From the JGS of Ventura/Conejo Valley newsletter:
A LIBRARY OF JEWISH MUSIC ONLINE
Florida Atlantic University has compiled a large and meaningful list of Jewish music, songs and chants. You may listen at http://tinyurl.com/348jdzd
However, please note the music may not be copied,reproduced or sold.
FREE FAMILY SEARCH ONLINE CLASSES
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City isoffering free online classes with an emphasis onmethods and key resources for starting your family history research. The following classes are offered at this time:
• England Beginning Research
• Germany Research
• Ireland Research
• Italy Research
• New Zealand Research
• Poland Research
• Principios básicos para la investigación
genealógica en Hispanoamérica (México)
• Reading Handwritten Records Series
• Research Principles and Tools
• Russia Research
• U.S. Research
Go to http://tinyurl.com/684hcr and click on ‘free
ALIEN FILES NOW AVAILABLE AT NATIONAL ARCHIVES
For the first time, more than 300,000 case files on alien residents of the United States who were born 1909 and prior are now open to the public at the National Archives at Kansas City. These files, known as “Alien Files” (commonly referred to as “AFiles”)
were transferred to the National Archives from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and are only a small part of the millions of case files that will eventually be transferred and opened to the public.
“The A-files are a key to unlocking the fascinating stories of millions of people who traveled to the United States in search of opportunity, including my own grandfather” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “They include information such as
photographs, personal correspondence, birth certificates, health records, interview transcripts, visas, applications and other information on all nonnaturalized alien residents, both legal and illegal. The snapshot of American life that develops from each file can, in some cases, serve as a one-stop-shopping for researchers.”
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the predecessor agency of USCIS, began issuing aliens Alien Registration numbers in 1940, and on April 1, 1944, began using this number to create the A-Files. A.
A-Files are eligible for transfer to the National Archives when 100 years have passed since the birth date of the subject of a file. These transfers to the National Archives ensure that these records will be saved and made available to the public. The National
Archives at Kansas City will maintain A-Files from all USCIS district offices except San Francisco, Honolulu, Reno, and Guam. These files will be housed at the National Archives at San Francisco because of the significant research use of related immigration files there. Files to be housed at the National Archives at San Francisco are currently being prepared for transfer. A-Files may be viewed in person by appointment at the National Archives at Kansas City or copies of files may be ordered for a fee.