Genealogy Mtg. Next Sunday
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
- Sunday, November 15, 10 a.m. -- "Ask the Mavens"Victoria, Teven and Mort will field your tough questions. Now's your chance to try to break through that brick wall in your research.Join us Sunday morning at the Einstein Center.From Avotaynu's E-Zine, Nov. 8:Free Ancestry Military RecordsThrough Veterans Day
In honor of Veterans Day, Ancestry is offering at no charge access to their military record collection through November 11. These are the military records for all countries.
Coinciding with Canadian Remembrance weekend, Ancestry is also releasing a new record collection: WWII Service Files of War Dead (1939–1947). It contains more than 29,000 records of Canadian military personnel killed in action during the conflict. There are a total of more than two million images, including a variety of different documents for each soldier. Each service file contains an average of 52 pages of personal information.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Henry Louis Gates Jr. offers reflections on genealogy at UNCAHenry Louis Gates Jr. recently gave the keynote speech for the celebration of the Center for Diversity Education's 20th anniversary. Creative commons photo by Jon IronsHenry Louis Gates Jr. loves genealogy, and that passion is infectious.It started when he was 9, Gates told an audience of about 400 people Thursday night. After the death of his grandfather, Gates’ father showed him and his brother a photo of their great-great grandmother, Jane Gates (1819-1888), a former slave who owned her own home and raised five children. The home is still in the family.Gates, a Harvard professor and host of the PBS series, “Finding Your Roots,” delivered the keynote address at UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena for the celebration of the Center for Diversity Education’s 20th anniversary. The lecture opened with clips from the television series, including a poignant moment when Rep. John Lewis learns his ancestor registered to vote in 1867. The evening also honored the original members of the Asheville Student Committee on Racial Equality, a group of student racial-equality activists that operated here from 1960-1965.The day after his grandfather’s funeral, Gates bought a composition notebook and interviewed his parents, trying to learn all he could about his ancestry from their memories.Years later, he would watch the television series, “Roots” and develop what he calls, “Roots envy,” because he could find nothing of his family roots beyond his great-grandmother. Slaves were not recorded in any U.S. census before 1870, so most African-Americans’ family records stop there.He wanted to be able to trace his roots back to Africa, to learn where his family came from, and in 2000, he learned that mitochondrial DNA could pinpoint the region of his ancestry with a decent degree of accuracy.“I had thought my people came from West Africa, since that’s where the slave trade originated,” he said.But his ancestry is from Sudan; he is Nubian, the people who were leaders of Egypt from 750-650 B.C.Gates spoke about the importance of learning one’s family history at UNC Asheville on Thursday, Nov. 5. Photo by Leslie BoydLater testing would determine half of his ancestry is white, stemming from Ireland. It is likely his great-great grandmother’s children were fathered by a man of Irish descent.Gates discovered he could learn more about African Americans’ ancestry by cross-referencing the 1870 census with records of whites with the same last names from previous census records.When the idea came to Gates that he could do a television show helping people to find their ancestries, he called his friend, Quincy Jones and asked him to help recruit Oprah Winfrey. He knew he needed big names to get the funding he would need to produce a television show.When Oprah called him back, he knew he was going to be able to produce the show even before she said anything.“Rich people don’t call you in-person with bad news,” he said.The show, “African-American Lives,” featured Jones and Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Ben Carson, Chris Rock, Don Cheadle and other prominent African-Americans. More than 8 million viewers tuned in.It was when a woman told him she thought the show was racist that Gates decided to include others.“I was like Noah,” he said. “I had two black people, 2 Jews, two Asians, two white people … and Meryl Streep because she’s Meryl Streep.”Gates dispelled three African-American ancestry myths:1. Igbo Princess2. “We were never slaves”3. “High cheekbones and straight black hair: Have I told you about my Cherokee grandmother?”A number of African-Americans have told him the same story, of being descended from an Igbo princess who was seen by a German baron, who was immediately smitten with her. He paid for her, took her north and married her.“You don’t have an Igbo princess in your tree and your ancestors were slaves,” he said.As for the Cherokees, few slaves encountered Cherokees, and DNA analysis shows African-Americans have an average of less than 1 percent Native American DNA.“Your straight hair came from your white ancestors,” he said.Gates closed by suggesting African-American children who are in struggling schools might benefit from learning about their genealogy, starting with swabbing their own cheeks for tests. In the six weeks it takes for results to come back, they can learn the science behind the tests.“Then you take them down the hall and teach them how to learn more about their own ancestry, starting with interviewing their own parents and grandparents,” he said. “Tell me they won’t be excited about learning this. … Your ancestors died for the right for you to learn.”The third season of “Finding Your Roots” will air on PBS beginning in January.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~See you Sunday morning the 15th, 10 a.m.
Jewish Genealogical Society of SacramentoSunday, October 16, 10 a.m."I Thought He Was My Ancestor" -- James BakerDr. James Baker will be the speaker at the October 16 meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento. His topic? "I Thought He Was My Ancestor."Dr. Baker will discuss case studies and examples of how easy it is to make genealogy mistakes, and how best to avoid them. Among the areas he'll cover: trusting too much in old time-honored data and original records; trusting your family genealogists; connecting the "same name" people when they are actually different; failing the "reasonableness" test; and trusting genealogy snake-oil salesmen.Dr. Baker, of Rocklin, has been an active genealogist for the past 15 years, with a specialty in German genealogy research. He also focuses on Midwest U.S. research and early American research.He has been an officer of the Sacramento German Genealogy Society, published numerous genealogy articles and given more than 200 presentations. He has presented a 10-lecture webinar series for the Sacramento Regional Family History Library.Dr. Baker retired from an aerospace and business management career and has been an adjunct professor of sociology at USC and UCLA. He says his most fun job was being the "piano man" at Shakey's Pizza Parlor.See you Sunday morning at 10 a.m.Pickles