Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Genealogy Update

Expand Messages
  • SusanneLevitsky@aol.com
    Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento www.jgss.org November 26, 2011 Upcoming Meetings: Sunday, December 18, 10 a.m. – Genealogy Jeopardy with Mark
    Message 1 of 44 , Nov 26, 2011
    • 1 Attachment
    • 39 KB

    Jewish Genealogical Society
    of Sacramento
    November 26, 2011
    Upcoming Meetings:
    Sunday, December 18, 10 a.m. – Genealogy Jeopardy with Mark Heckman
    Sunday, January 15, 10 a.m. -- Lorenzo Cuesta, “Using Facebook and Twitter in Genealogy.”
    Sunday, February 19, 10 a.m. -- Steve Morse, “Getting Ready for the 1940 Census: Searching without a Name Index.”
    Sad News
    Gefter, JudithWe were saddened to learn of the passing of one of our members, Judith Gefter, on November 20, at age 89.  According to her obituary in the Davis Enterprise, Judith worked as a photographer for numerous national magazines, including Time and Life, and her subjects included heads of state such as  President Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin as well as artists, actors and performers.
    Pursuing her interests in genealogy, Judith traveled extensively in Lithuania seeking records for her family research.  She also photographed ancestral towns.
    Services have been held; we extend our deepest sympathy to Judith’s family and friends.
    November 20, 2011 Meeting
    Dues are due: President Victoria Fisch called the meeting to order and welcomed members and guests.  She noted that our dues are paid on a calendar-year basis, and it’s time to renew your membership for 2012.  The cost is $25 – checks may be given to Bob Wascou at the next meeting (December 18), or mailed to the JGSS, c/o the Albert Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street, # 230 [our box], Sacramento, CA 95825.
    Victoria and Bay Area JGS President Jeremy Frankel attended the recent Ancestry Day in San Francisco.  Victoria passed around the syllabus and brought back extra handouts.
    Sacramento’s Central Library continues its genealogy classes – Barbara Leak will talk about Naturalization Rules and Records on January 8; Steve Morse will be speaking January 15 on the 1940 census; January 22 will feature a presentation on Common Surname Search Strategies.  For details go to www.saclibrary.org.
    Sue Miller noted that Gerry Ross says hello to everyone and hopes to be back at her Einstein home within a few days.  Marvin Freedman is also at home and currently not able to attend meetings, but would welcome calls.
    Mort Rumberg passed around an article from last week’s Sacramento Bee, describing how a Holocaust database reunited two family members many years after they were separated.
    November Presentation – Jim Rader on One-Name Vs. Surname Research
    (Handouts have been sent to you separately.)
    Jim Rader, longtime area genealogist and genealogy teacher, returned to share the benefits of his research for the Rader name (with variations including Roder, Rotter, Roeder, Roetter and Rather).  His surname study is at www.rader.org.  He notes that he has more  information on Raders than you can find in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
    “I’ve discovered after collecting all the people named Rader (and related spellings) that when there’s one couple, there’s more than one couple.  How comfortable are you that you have the right one?  How do you make sure?”
    Jim talked about the British Guild of One name studies, and a book called “The Surname Detective” by Colin Rogers, showing how to do a one-name study.
    Jim says the focus is on statistical methods to see where people appear with a particular surname.  How many people are there with a particular surname in a particular town?
    The surname study emphasizes collecting families and trying to link them together, whereas the one-name study focuses on collecting individuals and determining places of concentration.
    Surname studies focus on relationships and use census records, obituaries, etc.  One-name studies look at birth, marriage and death records at a place in time, with no relationship necessary.  Jim provided a hand-out with a checklist for a one-name study.
    There is an International Genealogy Index, or IGI.
    Family Tree  Wiki approach – the LDS believes if you open it up to everyone to come in and make changes, over time it will become more accurate.
    Jim said he would be attending the February 1-4  Roots Tech conference in Salt Lake City, the second one that’s been held.   “They’re getting tech people and genealogy people meeting together.”  He said there are lectures for programmers, for database people, for genealogists.  They had an attendance of some 3,000 last year, and the next conference is expected to be even bigger.  For more details: www.rootstech.org.
    Jim also talked about DNA testing, and is trying to collect DNA from people with the same surname. 
    He says testing prices have come down, and for $119 you can get a 37-marker Y chromosome DNA test.    "Find a male relative who has a surname you want to research," he says.
    Jim passed out his surname-study handout.  "Collect all the people with your surname in the world," he says.  Then merge them together in one file, see the places where they live, and have them do DNA tests if you can.
    "You don't have all the family Bibles," he says -- they generally go to the daughter, and five generations later, you don't know that daughter's last name.
    Jim says the methods he's used for the past 35 years have been supplanted by new tools.  "Break your old habits and find new ways of collecting and processing data."   That's one reason he's going to the RootsTech conference in February.
    Jim takes research done by someone else, no matter how accurate it is, and takes it as hints, not facts.  "I collect everything to do further research.  I try to go on both sides of the brick wall."
    He suggests going to Googlebooks and typing in the word "heraldry," for coats of arms, but you can also type in your surname and see what comes up.
    By making your information public, that may help people get in touch with you.  "By putting your stuff out where someone can find you, you can start talking to them about taking DNA tests -- you want to become best friends with that young man."
    And Jim asked if people were comfortable with the fact that your name has more than one spelling -- "otherwise you're only looking at 10 percent of the records.  Let go of the concept of how you spell your name."
    "I have everything I've got every place I am, in hopes that my cousin I don't know about will find me."  Jim says he received a few calls from people in the stacks at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, holding his book.
    To print a book about your family, Jim recommends www.lulu.com. For a full-color book, the cost is about $96.65; for black and white, $32.50.  They will take something in PDF form and in less than a week, put a printed book in your hand for less than $10.  You pay nothing until you print it, searchable on the Internet, and another place your cousins can find you.
    Jim says he has 95,000 people in his database, all the people in the U.S. with his name.
    "Ignore what they tell you about needing to know the village -- start by gathering people of the same surname, " he says.
    Legacy Family Tree has a family mapper, mapping where surnames show up.  Jim also mentioned https://familysearch.org  (records, trees, catalogs, books) and www.findyourfamilytree.com.
    Jim can be reached at jim@....
    Woman claims ‘Adam’ is her ancestor
    By Adam Voge  adam.voge@... lacrossetribune.com | Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2011
    Donna Portner of Galesville started researching her genealogy nearly 50 years ago, and has now traced her roots back to Adam in a family tree she’s detailed on a 24-foot scroll she began keeping in 1967.
    GALESVILLE — Donna Portner feels insignificant. On a 24-foot scroll containing names, locations and birthdates of her ancestors, her name takes up only inches.
    The unusual scroll details the complicated lineage of Portner’s ancestors, from Underground Railroad activists and American pioneers to royalty. As she looks over names like Henry Hudson, Charlemagne the Great,  and Adam — yes, that Adam — and she’s filled with pride.
    “I’m a sum total of all my ancestors,” she said. “There are seeds of greatness in me that I didn’t know I had.”
    Portner began researching her family line nearly 50 years ago as a way of discovering herself and finding a link to the past. In 1963, while living in Illinois, she started by talking to relatives and combing through family artifacts, Bibles and census records. She traveled to Madison, Indiana and Salt Lake City to search genealogical archives
    Four years later, she got on her hands and knees and began drawing the family tree on the scroll.
    At first, names came slowly — it took Portner five years to trace the first few generations. But one breakthrough led to another, and eventually Portner traced her family line back to her earliest American kin. Just when new leads appeared to dry up, the Internet opened a new world, allowing Portner to trace her family across the oceans. She connected her lineage to King Robert III of France, then moved into Asia.
    The tree eventually  narrowed into one long, thin branch that reached into Biblical records — and ended, she says, with Adam in the Garden of Eden.
    Portner knows the root of her record sounds farfetched. But she doesn’t let the doubts faze her.
    “All I can do is write down what I’ve discovered and researched,” she said. “If people choose to question it, they can.”
    After a near half-century of research that’s led Portner to start telling people she has “Heinz 57” for blood, Portner has learned a lot about herself. And learning about her early relatives has further inspired her: She’s now writing her own life history, which she plans to pass down to each of her children, along with a copy of her scroll.
    But tracing her lineage back to the original man doesn’t mean her work is over. Portner has entire branches to trace back to the root, new people to discover, and new stories to tell.
    “That’s the thing about genealogy,” she said. “It’s never done.”
     See you Sunday, December 18!

  • SusanneLevitsky@...
    April 22, 2015 Upcoming Meetings Sunday, April 26, 10 a.m. -- JGSS Board Meeting, Card Room, 2nd Floor. All are welcome to attend. Sunday, May 10, 10 a.m. --
    Message 44 of 44 , Apr 22
    • 0 Attachment

      April 22, 2015
      Upcoming Meetings
      Sunday, 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 Long
      April 19 Meeting Notes
      The 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 research
      All 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 history
      Geneology with Janice
      Genealogy with Janice
      These 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
      Actor Ben Affleck Photo: Bloomberg
      By Nick Allen, Los Angeles  10:27PM BST 17 Apr 2015
      Ben 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 largest
      2015/04/19 22:50:40
      Taipei, 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)

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.