Sunday, the 20th -- Steve Morse to Speak
- Next Sunday, February 20, 2011, 10 a.m.
Steve Morse – One-Step Web Pages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools
Steve Morse is the internationally recognized genealogist who’s developed the major one-step finding aid for locating passengers in the Ellis Island database. He subsequently expanded his one-step website to help search the 1930 census.
Today Steve’s efforts include about 200 web-based tools in 16 different categories, from genealogy searches to astronomical calculations to last-minute bidding on eBay. He’s back in Sacramento with a presentation describing the range of tools available to help in genealogical research and more.
The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Albert Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento.
Sobibor Speaker in Vacaville -- Sunday, March 6
Phillip Bialowitz, one of eight living survivors of the Sobibor death camp, will speak at the Hampton Inn in Vacaville next month. More than 250,000 people died at the camp between 1942 and 1943. Mr. Bialowitz joined the rebellion that liberated the camp’s 600 slave laborers.
You can make reservations online at www.jewishsolano.com . The cost is $18 in advance.
From the newsletter of the JGS of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County :
YAD VASHEM LIST REACHES 4 MILLION
Yad Vashem has now identified two-thirds of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Of the 4 million names currently known, some 2.2 million come from Pages of Testimony and the remainder from various archival sources and postwar commemoration projects. In the past decade, Yad Vashem has successfully concentrated its efforts in names recovery in areas where most of the unnamed victims lived, including Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Greece. For more information go to http://tinyurl.com/5r4f5ny
From the February 6 Avotaynu e-newsletter:
Online Yahrzeit Plaques
With more and more cemeteries going online, it’s becoming easier to locate the final resting place of relatives. Now one synagogue has placed their yahrzeit (anniversary of death) plaques online. Yahrzeit plaques are memorials to relatives, usually parents or siblings, placed within a memorial board on the walls of synagogues. On the anniversary of the person’s death (yahrzeit), the plaque is illuminated by two small lights on either side of the plaque. The name is read to the congregation at the Sabbath service before the yahrzeit (reckoned by the Hebrew calendar).
These plaques are of genealogical value because they usually include the name of the deceased, date of death reckoned by both the secular and Jewish calendars and the person’s religious name, which includes the name of the person’s father.
Now the Carnegie Shul (that’s the name of the synagogue) of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, has placed images of all their yahrzeit plaques online at http://thecarnegieshul.org/yahrzeit_plaques. The site has been indexed by Google, therefore, names can be found by Googling the person’s name plus the word “yahrzeit.” Hopefully, this is the first of many synagogues placing their yahrzeit plaques online.
March 26 Who Do You Think You Are? to Feature Gwyneth Paltrow
The last installment for the second season of Who Do You Think You Are? -- Friday, March 26 -- will feature Gwyneth Paltrow. It appears Paltrow will be the Jewish theme for this season. Paltrow's paternal great-grandfather, whose surname was Paltrowicz, was a rabbi in Nowogrod, Poland, according to Wikipedia.
Based on the sequence of people provided on the initial program, the following celebrities will appear in the order shown: Vanessa Williams, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell (next Friday, Feb. 18), Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Ashley Judd, Lionel Ritchie and Gwyneth Paltrow. The show airs on NBC on Fridays at 8 p.m.
Handbook of Ashkenazic Given Names and Their Variants
One of the fascinating aspects of Ashkenazic Jewish history is its given names. According to A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names by Alexander Beider, all the thousands of these names derive from only 735 root names. I (Gary Mokotoff) would never have thought that my mother’s Jewish name, Tserl, is a variant of Sarah.
Last year, AVOTAYNU editor Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus was struggling with the weight of the book and realized that only a portion of the book is necessary for genealogists to evaluate given names, so she suggested to Dr. Beider that a “handbook” be created.
This is the origin of the book Handbook of Ashkenazic Given Names and Their Variants. The Handbook consists of the indexes to the identified 15,000 given names presented in three sections: names as they appeared in the Latin alphabet, Cyrillic alphabet and Hebrew alphabet. The Handbook provides a description of each of the 735 root names plus a tree-like structure of all the name variants showing exactly how they were derived from the root name.
See you Sunday the 20th, 10 a.m.