- Jewish Genealogical Societyof SacramentoJuly 7, 2012Upcoming Meetings:Monday, July 16, 7 p.m. -- Tamara Noe on "Names: What are You Missing?"Monday, August 20, 7 p.m. -- Ron Arons, "Searching for Living People."Monday, September 10, 7 p.m. "Angel Island Immigration," Maria SakovichSunday, October 21, 10 a.m. Patricia Burrow, "Your Family History Legacy -- What Happens to Your Research After You're Gone?"Condolences to the Family of Reva CamielOur deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Reva Camiel, a longtime JGSS member. Reva will be buried at the Davis Cemetery, 820 Pole Line Road, in Davis, tomorrow, July 8, at 3 p.m, in a short graveside service. A reception will follow starting at 4 p.m. at the Nepenthe Clubhouse at Campus Commons1131 Commons Drive in Sacramento. Reva is survived by two daughters and three grandchildren.June 18, 2012 MeetingPresident Victoria Fisch called the meeting to order and shared information on the upcoming meetings. She noted that Ancestry.com has infomratino on the 1905, 1915 and 1925 New York censuses, but more information is included on the Family Search website, so it's suggested you use both sites.Art Yates gave an overview of the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree conference. It was 2 1/2 days -- "every bit as great as one of our conferences." He went to hear several speakers, including Joel Weintraub, who has done much work on the 1940 census. Art also wen through the vendor room, which he found as good as those at our conferences. He signed up for GenealogyBank, a site which has a large digitized newspaper archives.Bo b Wascou talked about RomSig, the Romanian Special Interest Group. They are starting to index more Romanian records and can use translators who know German, Romanian, Russian Cyrillic script, Hebrew. Contact Bob if you're interested in helping.Bob also noted that the director of the Romanian Archives, whom Bob escorted for the week during the Philadelphia conference a few years ago, was fired last Saturday. Bob said he had been instrumental in opening up the state archives.June Program -- Glenda Lloyd on City DirectoriesGlenda returned to present a program on city directories. Glenda helped to organize RootCellar, the local genealogy group, 32 years ago. The group has published a lot of records and also worked on the 1940 census.Glenda said city directories had as their chief purpose to identify customers and potential customers for businesses. "They're a little more careful with the spelling of names than the census takers," she said.City directoreies are useful in locating people in a particular time or place beyond the years of the nearest census. They can give the exact location of a family between census years and also list the name, address and place of employment for every adult in a household. They typically also list spouse's names, home ownership or rental (so you can look for land records) and marital status.Glenda said different publishers included different information. She said they were printed so they were easier to read than the censusThe earliest city directories were around 1850 (or earlier) for San Francisco, 1813 for Albany, NY and 1786 for New York City. Also included in many were names and addresses for cemeteries, fraternal organizations, hospitals, newspapers, schools, orphanages and more.If you don't find what you're looking for, "Always look at the changes, additions, deletions sections," Glenda advised.City directories are available at the National Archives (Library of Congress), the Sutro Library, the Family History Library (microfilm and actual books), Online at CyndisList, the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana (Polk Directories from 1964 to present as well as earlier versions), and more.Glenda said Cyndi's List has lists of city directory inventories at various libraries.The city directories usually include a classified business section similar to the Yellow Pages, Glenda said.Other types of directories include telephone books, business directories, religious listings, and those for various professions such as law, medicine, military service.Glenda noted that in the 1890 Veterans Schedule, one of two men one each page were thought to be using aliases.The city directories may be more accurate in name spellings. "Be sure to include all the people of your surname," Glenda said. "Families often lived in close proximity.""City directories can fill in for missing census records," she said.Glenda said a good resource book on this topic is Kathleen Hinckley's "Locating Lost Family Members and Friends," published by Betterway Books, 1999. "It's a really good book, an excellent reference."From Avotaynu's E-Zine, June 24Webinars
Legacy Family Tree, publisher of Legacy genealogical software, has developed a large number of webinars with topics of general interest. Registration is free and the event is available at no charge for a number of days after it occurs. Thereafter it costs $9.95.
Some general topics are “Staying Safe with Social Media,” “The Genealogy Cloud: Which Online Storage Program Is Right for You?,” “Use Your Digital Camera to Copy Records,” and “A Closer Look at Google+.” More closely related to genealogical research are “Building a Family from Circumstantial Evidence,” “Beyond the Arrival Date: Extracting More from Passenger Lists,” “The Big 4 U.S. Record Sources,” and “Researching Your German Ancestors.”
The complete list can be found at http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/webinars.asp.
Rebuilding a Wooden Synagogue
A great architectural tragedy of the Holocaust was the destruction of virtually every wooden synagogue in Eastern Europe. Once there were more than 1,000; today the remnants of only six exist in Lithuania.
A group of students from Israel, Poland and the U.S. are rebuilding a portion of the wooden synagogue that once existed in Gwozdziec, Poland, using photographs of the original structure as a guide. For an excellent article about the project, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/15287081/filming-the-replication-of-a-17th-century-wooden-s. Their efforts will be on permanent exhibit at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, scheduled to open in 2013 in Warsaw. There are a large number of project photos at http://www.facebook.com/gwozdziec/photos.
JewishData.com Adds More Records
JewishData.com, a fee-for-service organization, has added the following tombstone images to its site:
• 4,500 images from Beth Olam Cemetery in the Ridgewood section of New York City.
• The site now contains all tombstone images for Mt. Zion Cemetery in Los Angeles; approximately 2,000 images.
• Additional images from Mt. Lebanon Cemetery in the Glendale section of New York City. There are now 46,000 indexed images from this location.
JewishData.com has more 500,000 Jewish genealogy records including images of tombstones, school yearbook pages and citizen declaration documents from various locations. A number of Mokotoff family members are buried in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery; therefore, I was able to get copies of their tombstones.
New Records and Indexes at FamilySearch
With so much focus on the 1940 U.S. census, one would think FamilySearch has temporarily suspended work on other projects. This could not be further from the truth. Millions of new records have been added in recent weeks from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, England, Georgia, Indonesia, Italy, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. Many have potential of being valuable to persons tracing their Jewish family history.
Below highlights some of the items added. Check the complete list at https://familysearch.org/node/1714.
Austria, Vienna, Jewish Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1784–1911. New image collection.
Belgium, Antwerp, Police Immigration, 1840–1930. New image collection.
BillionGraves Index. One million indexed records and images.
Czech Republic, Censuses, 1843–1921. Added images to existing collection.
Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450–1889. Added images to existing collection.
Russia Tver Poll Tax Census (Revision lists), 1744–1874. New image collection.
U.S., Illinois, Probate Records, 1819–1970. Added images to existing collection.
U.S., New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787–1938. Added images to existing collection.
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1899–1924. Added images to existing collection.
U.S., Washington, County Marriages, 1855–2008. Added images to existing collection.
U.S., Washington, County Probate Records, 1853–1929. Added images to existing collection.
Southern California Jamboree WebinarsThe Southern California Genealogical Society announces the return of the popular Jamboree Extension Webinar Series, which provides web-based family history and genealogy educational sessions for genealogists around the world.Jamboree Extension Series webinars are conducted the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. Saturday sessions will be held at 10am Pacific time; Wednesday sessions will be scheduled at 6pm Pacific time.Upcoming sessions for the last half of 2012 include:
Wednesday, July 18 (evening schedule)
Neither Filmed or Scanned: NARA Treasurers Await
This session will discuss examples of original records with great genealogical value in the National Archives that exist only in their original format. Most of these records are rarely used by genealogists and some have never been used for genealogy. The discussion will also provide information about obtaining copies of the records.
George G. Morgan
Saturday, August 4 (morning/afternoon schedule)
The Genealogist as CSI
Modern genealogists are much like the crime scene investigators - CSIs - that we see on television. They must be skilled investigators. They must use all available tools to locate clues and evidence. And they must employ proven methodologies and their critical thinking skills to document and evaluate every type of resource they find. They must be able to communicate their findings. This seminar analogizes genealogists with CSIs and describes the genealogical research and evaluation process. It provides a methodological framework for all types of research.
Wednesday, August 15 (evening schedule)
There's no doubt that tracing female ancestors can be difficult. We make a lot of assumptions about the lives of women, some of which may not be true. In this presentation we will look at the occupations, including volunteer work, women held in 19th century America and what records they left behind. Whether your ancestress was employed or not, the repositories and collections we discuss will help you research your female ancestor.
Saturday, September 1 (morning/afternoon schedule)
Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker. Researching Your Ancestors' Occupations
Labor Day Special: It's likely not all your ancestors were farmers. This session will explore strategies for researching how your ancestors made a living: what they did, where, why, and for whom.
Wednesday, September 19 (evening schedule)
Playground Rules for Genealogy on the Internet
The internet creates an exciting gathering place where we can find distant cousins and fast friends to help us research our family tree. It's never too late to play by the rules and have fun. Be sure to follow these three basic safety rules and you'll have a great time.
Linda Woodward Geiger, CG
Saturday, October 6 (morning/afternoon schedule)
Hark! That Tombstone is Talking to Me!
You CAN get blood from a stone. Learn about wringing the tombstone dry and learning more about your ancestors.
Lisa A. Alzo
Wednesday, October 17 (evening schedule)
Family History Writing Made Easier: Cloud-based Tools Every Genealogist Can UseTelling your family's story just got a whole lot easier thanks to a number of cloud-based note taking and writing tools and apps you can access from home, your netbook or iPad, and even your smartphone. Learn about the latest tech tools and writing apps for bringing your family's story to life!D. Joshua "Josh" Taylor
Saturday, November 3 (morning/afternoon schedule)
Thanksgiving Special: Online Resources for Colonial America
Discover web sites, online databases, university projects, online archives, and other resources for researching your Colonial American ancestors online. Learn how to use Early American Imprints, JSTOR, and other resources.
Saturday, December 1 (morning/afternoon schedule)
Sharing and Preserving Memories in a Digital Era
Today you have a lot of options to store and share all your research material, including text, images, videos, documents or sound. Options start from the capture tools (audio recorders, cameras, cellular and scanners) and extend to sharing physical products (CD's, DVD's, portable disc, electronic photo frames) or the Internet, which is the perfect place to share and preserve all your memories. You have the option to publish your material from a completely private to a completely public way, and all the levels in between. You can ask for collaboration or simply display the information, people can only see or download a copy of your material; you can control every aspect. There are all kind of easy-to-use tools and resources that facilitates the work of setting up websites, blogs, wikis or any other way you decide to publish the information.
Schelly Talalay Dardashti
Wednesday, November 19 (evening schedule)Jewish Genealogy 101
Learn the fundamentals of researching your Jewish ancestors.The live webcast is offered free of charge and open to the public. "We offer these webinars as part of our educational mission," said SCGS president Alice Fairhurst, "but are always grateful for contributions to offset our costs."From Avotaynu's June 17 E-zine:
A Guide to Canadian Jewish Genealogical Research Published
JewishGen has a new InfoFile: A Guide to Canadian Jewish Genealogical Research. It is located at http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/Canada.html. Judging by its length—more than 7,000 words—it is a rigorous description of the resources available to do Canadian (Jewish) family history research. Census Records, Passenger Manifests, Border Crossing Records, Naturalization, Vital Records, Cemetery Records, Newspaper Articles, City Directories are just a few of the topics covered.Website Identifies More Than 3 Million Persons from Russian Empire
The (Russian) Genealogical Research Center has a website located at http://www.rosgenea.ru that lists more then 3.3 million persons from the pre-1918 Russian Empire era with biographical information. The site is in Russian.
A sample entry translated using Goggle Translate is:Tartakovskii Yakim Victor (1860–1923, St. Petersburg., Tihvinsk.kl-School), singer (lyrical and dramatic baritone) and director. The soloist, and later (1894–1923) directed by the chief Mariinsk.teatra in St. Petersburg. Popular of his concert performances, especially the performance of Tchaikovsky's romances. 1920-1923 years. - Professor of the Petrograd Conservatory.
The home page implies that the database has not been updated since 2008 when it had 3,372,820 entries; however, a posting to the Ukraine SIG Discussion Group indicates the current count is closer to six million.
Kaunas Gubernia Vital Records Extracted
Litvak SIG has completed the translation of all known pre-1912 vital records for Kovno (Kaunas) gubernia. They include towns in the present-day districts of Kaunas, Panevezys, Raseiniai, Sauliai, Telsiai, Ukmerge and Zarasai. More recent records come under Lithuanian privacy laws.
Not all are currently searchable in the All-Lithuania Database (ALD) located at http://www.jewishgen.org/Litvak/all.htm. The balance will be available in about 18 months time according to Eden Joachim, Litvak SIG President. Researchers can access spreadsheets for the records not yet in the ALD by contributing to the relevant District Research Group. More information may be found on http://www.litvaksig.org/projects.
Sephardic Heritage Project Joins IAJGS
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies has a new member: Sephardic Heritage Project. The new member was founded in 2004 to identify and preserve the marriage and brit milah records of the Syrian Jewish community. Some of their projects include Aleppo (Syria) circumcisions 1868–1945, Aleppo marriages 1847–1934 with some intervening years missing, and Eulogies covering sporadic entries from 1716–1946. All are available on JewishGen at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/#Syria. Additional information about Sephardic Heritage Project can be found at http://sephardicheritageproject.org/.
JewishGen Adds SubCarpathian Interest Group
JewishGen has added a new Special Interest Group (SIG) named the SubCarpathian SIG. It focuses on parts of the pre-WWI Hungarian megyek (counties) of Bereg, Maramaros, Ugocsa and Ung, today located in Ukraine. The group has a website at http://www.jewishgen.org/Sub-Carpathia/. There is also a Discussion Group which can be subscribed to at http://www.jewishgen.org/ListManager. Marshall Katz is the SIG Coordinator.
New app takes sting out of cemetery searchesBy SHARON TATE MOODY | Special correspondent
Published: June 17, 2012 Updated: June 17, 2012 - 12:00 AMA traditional summertime rite for genealogists means fighting weeds, mosquitoes, snakes and an array of other undesirables.I'm talking about tramping through cemeteries, of course.Immediately behind the critter issue is the frustration of finding the right cemetery only to discover there is no sexton or other office to assist a researcher in finding the desired graves.One good thing about today's technology is that sooner or later someone is going to develop a mobile app for what ails us. In this case, it's the BillionGraves Project.Using a mobile app — this one is free —volunteers can walk through any cemetery and click GPS-tagged photographs of every tombstone there. The next steps include uploading the images to the website and transcribing them so others can search by names.BillionGraves has partnered with FamilySearch, the LDS Church website, which most genealogists use regularly. In the near future when someone conducts a name search on FamilySearch.org, they will get a hit from BillionGraves if a tombstone with that name has been photographed and entered into that system.I treasure the memories of all the old country cemeteries I've explored — never sure I'd find an actual tombstone and feeling exhilarated when I did. Then there were the trips where I wondered why I couldn't find a tombstone a distant cousin told me he found "25 steps from the left rear corner of the main old church building." As BillionGraves says on its website: "No more counting trees, memorizing certain fence posts, or documenting the number of paces to find your loved one."If you find the tombstone on BillionGraves.com you'll find GPS information that you can take to the cemetery. Using the GPS on your smart phone you'll be able to walk right to the tombstone.If you're like me, though, you won't look at the GPS until you've surveyed the cemetery the old-fashioned way and tried your cousin's directions. I don't want to take the fun out of exploring and the sense of adventure.On the other hand, I guess there are enough other mysteries out there for us genealogists to solve.This system isn't a perfect set-up, and time will tell if designers get the bugs out and address concerns users have. Like so many genealogy projects, this one will succeed only if site creators stay on their toes and if volunteers contribute. Before you head out for your summer trips, check it out at Billiongraves.com. You'll see what a powerful tool your smart phone can be and what a contribution you might make to the research world.****36 Hours in Kiev, UkraineJoseph Sywenkyj for The New York TimesClockwise, from top left, the Dormition Cathedral, swimming in the Dnieper River, Arena, a war museum, soccer fans. More Photos »By FINN OLAF-JONESPublished: June 21, 2012 New York TimesAFTER seven decades of Soviet dominance, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, has emerged as one of Europe’s most vibrant 21st-century cities. With a thriving contemporary art scene, a new generation of chefs taking innovative approaches to Ukrainian cuisine, and a delirious dance-til-dawn night life, Kiev — currently a co-host of the 2012 European Soccer Championship — is a weekend magnet for European and Russian fashionistas. But new cuisine and clubs are only the latest cultural attributes of a city that has more than its share of ancient catacombs, churches and monuments. Don’t let Kiev’s reputation as “the birthplace of the Slavs” conjure up stereotypes of Slavic dourness. For starters, the city looks as if it was painted like a Ukrainian Easter egg, with brightly colored buildings and gold domes glittering on the hills above the Dnieper River. And then there are the Kievans themselves — a resilient lot whose hearty sense of humor and a seemingly boundless hunger for fun are reflected in the city’s bustling cafes, thronged beaches and bars that never close.Friday2 p.m.
1. STADIUM SEAT TO HISTORYA glance around stadium-shaped Independence Square, the city’s traditional nerve center, encapsulates much of Kiev’s history. Czarist, Beaux-Arts and Stalinist buildings represent the old, while the glass-enclosed Globus luxury mall (and McDonald’s) assert the new. The Slavic goddess Berehynia stands atop a towering column that replaced a Lenin monument. Grab a mug of the local brew, Obolon, at one of the sidewalk cafes and soak in the atmosphere. Street performers, students, vendors and political demonstrators all gravitate here. This was, after all, the setting for the Orange Revolution that brought democratic change to the country in 2004.3 p.m.
2. NEW CONSTANTINOPLEThe bulbous green and gold domes of St. Sophia (24 Vladimirskaya Street; 380-44-228-2083), on the high ground of the old town, dominate Kiev’s skyline. Dating from the 11th century, the church was built to rival Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and echoes its name. Inside, it feels like a medieval man cave, with incense hanging thickly in the air, dramatic rays of light coming in through tiny windows, and monks, priests and novices scurrying back and forth in black frocks. Stick around long enough and you may hear prayer accompanied by the a cappella choral music for which the Ukrainians are renowned.8 p.m.
3. FEED YOUR INNER PEASANTThough the fake chickens, straw roof and wandering singers might seem over the top, the delicious Slavic dishes at Tsarske Selo (42/1 Ivan Mazepa Street, 380-44-288-9775; tsarske.kiev.ua) are the real deal — as evidenced by the locals who come here for a fancy night out. The restaurant is a celebration of hearty Ukrainian fare including pickled almost-anythings, borscht, the traditional grilled meats called shashlik and yes, if your cardiologist will let you, chicken Kiev. There’s also an extraordinary assortment of gorilka — Ukrainian vodka. A three-course dinner without drinks is 390 hryvnia about $50 at 7.80 hryvnia to the dollar.11 p.m.
4. RAVES, TECHNO, HIP-HOPKiev’s nightclubs attract an international crowd of jet-setters for weekend bacchanals. At Arena (2A Basseynaya Street; 380-44-492-0000; arena-kiev.com), a vast techno spot, rich Russians mingle with local celebrities and trendsetters with cheekbones as high as the drink prices. The hip-hop at Patipa (Muzeyniy Pereulok 10; 380-44-252-0150; patipa.com) draws a younger crowd. At the Hydropark, open-air summer raves run by the likes of UA Beach Club (drive or take the metro to Hydropark Station and walk across the Venetian Bridge; beach-club.at.ua) keep the hordes dancing to house music as the sun rises over the Dnieper.Saturday10 a.m.
5. THEM BONESDress respectfully and start early to beat the weekend crowds to the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra (9 Lavrska Street; 380-44-280-3071; kplavra.kiev.ua), a Unesco World Heritage site. Pilgrims approach this sprawling monastery wearing icons and pictures of saints around their necks. Buy candles (2 hryvnia) at the entrances to the upper and lower catacombs, and follow the twisty subterranean tunnels past ancient glass-encased tombs of monks, many of them Orthodox saints, whose hands and feet occasionally stick out from their richly textured burial clothes. All is dramatically lighted by colorful hanging lanterns. After re-emerging into daylight, check out the elaborately gilded 11th-century Dormition Cathedral, reconstructed after its destruction in World War II.Noon
6. IT’S A SMALL WORLDA full chessboard on the head of a pin, a sand-grain-size working mechanical engine, a flea wearing golden shoes — these are some of the small miracles created by Mykola Syadristy, a self-taught master famed throughout the former Soviet Union. His miniatures are exhibited under microscopes at the Museum of Microminiatures (21 Ivan Mazepa Street; microart.kiev.ua; admission 10 hryvnia) on the monastery grounds next to the cathedral. The dapper Mr. Syadristy is often on hand himself to give tours of his unique museum and to describe how he created these micron-size projects “between heartbeats.”1 p.m.
7. THE WAR AT HOMEFrom the monastery, take a 10-minute stroll on a park path through a grotto decorated with sculptures of muscular World War II fighters, to the base of the 203-foot-tall stainless steel Motherland statue. Designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich, it towers above the National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War (24 Lavrska Street; 380-44-285-9452; warmuseum.kiev.ua). The museum galleries circle the statue’s base, displaying gruesome and heroic relics — gloves and soap made from concentration camp victims, captured weapons and banners — and detailing the epic toll the war took on Ukraine. Recent additions include a Christian cross made from gun parts dramatically juxtaposed against a giant dome decorated with Soviet Communist motifs.2 p.m.
8. FOOD SHRINEThe Ukrainians are the Italians of Eastern Europe when it comes to the love of good food and a passion for the national cuisine. The venerable central food market Besarabsky Rynok (2 Besarabska Ploscha) is the source of ingredients for some of Kiev’s best dishes. The market, built in 1912, resembles a cavernous Victorian train station engulfing stands bursting with local cheeses, red and black caviar, pickles, wild boar and other game, borscht, vodka and other local treats. Vendors proffer enough samples to make a stroll through the market akin to a pass through an all-you-can-eat buffet.Multimedia7 p.m.
9. NIGHT IN THE MUSEUMThe Pinchuk Art Center (1/3-2, Block A, Velyka Vasylkivska; 380-44-590-0858; pinchukartcentre.org; free), a world-class center for contemporary art created by the Ukrainian steel billionaire Victor Pinchuk, stays open until 9 p.m. The collection of art by local and international superstars is astounding, but perhaps the most provocative installation is the fifth-floor bathroom, a neon-lighted funhouse with mirrors and windows providing sly glances between the men’s and women’s rooms. For dinner, head for the all-white, “Clockwork Orange”-like setting of the SkyArtCafe (380-44-561-7841) on the sixth floor, with its views over the city. Dinner without drinks is around 210 hryvnia. When the museum closes, SkyArtCafe become BarSky, a chic nightclub.Sunday11 a.m.
10. SLAVIC-CUBAN BRUNCHIf you’ve overindulged this weekend, Arbequina (4 Grinchenko Street; 380-44-223-9618), a pierogi’s throw from Independence Square, is the antidote. Its Cuban and Ukrainian chefs put a light touch to Slavic brunch with homemade pastries, pancakes made with cottage cheese, baked pumpkin, a mélange of imaginatively mixed fresh juices and, for an effective head-clearer, a miraculous concoction of fresh mint tea with lemon and honey. Take a seat on the terrace if the weather is good. Breakfast is around 95 hryvnia.12:30 p.m.
11. RIO ON THE DNIEPERAbout halfway across the scenic Parkovy pedestrian bridge from downtown to Trukhanov Island, you should begin to pick up the seductive aromas from dozens of barbecues. With its lovely beach and fine views of the city, the island is a favorite Kiev weekend spot. Swimming in the Dnieper has its hazards, given fluctuating levels of pollution. But the verdant island looks like a spot on the Mississippi, and the glamorously skimpy swimwear on some of the well-conditioned locals brings to mind Rio or Miami.IF YOU GOFor over a century the centrally located Premier Palace (5-7/29 T. Shevchenka Boulevard; 380-44-244-1201; premier-palace.com) has been Kiev’s grand hotel. It has recently been immaculately renovated without sacrificing its Art Nouveau charm or its outstanding Russian and Ukrainian art collection. Doubles from $284.A boutique hotel that opened five years ago on a quiet street near the opera, the Opera Hotel (53, B. Khmelnitskogo Street; 380-44-581-7070; opera-hotel.com) has elegant, theatrically themed rooms. Doubles from 2,250 hryvnia ($287).~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~See you at our Monday, July 16th meeting!
- June 29, 2015Upcoming Meetings:July – No meetingSunday, August 2 (note date change) – Valerie Jordan, "Uncovering Family Secrets Through Genealogy"Sunday, Sept. 27 (note date change) -- Glenn Kurtz, "Three Minutes in Poland"Meeting Notes – June 14, 2105President Victoria Fisch called the meeting to order. She said she recently spoke at RootCellar, and, at their initiation of officers, they described what their society was all about.Dave Reingold circulated an article from 1991 describing the three major world religions.Teven touted the book “American Ghost” by Hannah Nordhaus, mentioned on the NPR program “Fresh Air.”Mort Rumberg, in charge of our JGSS nominating committee, proposed the following slate:President -- Victoria FischVice-Presidents in charge of programming – Sheri Venezia, Dave ReingoldSecretary – Susanne LevitskyTreasurer – Judy Persin (our founding JGSS president)No other nominations were presented. Joan Jurancich moved the officer slate be approved. Gerry Ross seconded. The motion carried.Saturday, July 18 is Family History Day, to be held this year at the California Museum downtown (right next to a light rail station). It is free to the public. Mort has responded and requested we have a table.Mort will be attending the International JGS conference held this year in Jerusalem. There was discussion as to whether we should purchase flash drives from the conference, or access to the top 50 lectures available online for several months.June Program – Tony Chakurian“The Magners – A Journey in Recovering Lost Family Heritages”Tony, a member of the JGS, says he joined our group after talking with members at a Family History Day event a few years back.He began his research in 2008. At the time, he believed his background was1/2 Armenian, 3/8 Irish and 1/8 German. He believed the Magner family branch to be Irish Catholic. That was not what he ultimately discovered.Tony’s roots go back to 19th century California, with his great-great grandmother, Rose Underwood, born in the mining town of Copperopolis in Calaveras County in 1866.Rose’s daughter, Hazel Mary Magner, was born in San Francisco in 1895; her father, Emanuel, husband of Rose, was born in Stockton about 1868.Tony showed census records documenting these relatives, including an 1880 census showing Emanuel’s parents as having come from Prussia, not Ireland.Emanuel was buried in Colma, Tony learned from JewishGen and the JewishGen Online Burial Registry, but moved to Holy Cross Cemetery in 1943. So Tony's question -- was Emmanuel born Jewish? He found the death records of his parents, both buried in Colma as well, and confirmed that Emanuel was born Jewish.After doing his research, Tony talked with his grandmother and asked if she knew the Magners were not Irish. He says that's all he said. She replied that "They were were German Jewish, I know."Tony showed a photo of his great-grandmother in her first communion dress, indicating she was raised Catholic.Because Max Magner, Emanuel's father, died in 1903 before the San Francisco earthquake and fire, many of the records Tony sought were lost. He pieced together information fom the 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses, all of which indicated Max had been born in Prussia, not Ireland.Tony said from the Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames, he found the name Magner in the province of Posen, which was part of Prussia in 1860.Rose Underwood, the wife of Emanuel who was born in Copperopolis, was of Chilean descent, and Tony confirmed details through the 1910, 1920 and 1930 censues. He also recounted a family story that Rose's mother, Maria, encountered famed California bandit Joaquin Murietta on horseback while she was a girl in California, giving him a cup of water. This would place Maria in California before the bandit died in 1853.To check what he had learned about his family by another means, Tony took the Ancestry DNA autosomal DNA test. It confirmed both his Jewish (8% European) and Chilean (5% Iberian Peninsula) ancestry. He also tested his mitochondrial DNA ("autosomnal only goes back six generations), using the National Geographic Genome 2.0 test. He found he was in group 2, one of the major Native American haplogroups. The group is very broad, he noted, including both North and South America.In February of this year National Geographic updated their mitochondrial results, refining Tony's haplogroup to B2i2b, which is generally found in central and southern Chile.Tony summarized the results of his research:-- The Magners didn't have Irish ancestry.-- Emanuel Magner was of Jewish ancestry and Maria Muscoc, one of his maternal ancestors, was born in Chile.-- Emanuel's parents were bron in the province of Posen in Prussia and Baden, Germany.-- Autosomal testing confirmed Tony's Chilean and Jewish ancestry-- Mitochondrial DNA indicated the B2i2b haplogroup, which is Native American with original in central and southern Chile.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~From Avotaynu's June 14 E-Zine:Stephen P. Morse Site Unblocked
Recognizing the importance of the Stephen P. Morse site (http://stevemorse.org), its Internet Service Provider, GoDaddy, has unblocked the site a number of days prior to its normal procedure. The site was taken down when GoDaddy received a complaint from a woman who stated that displaying her picture in a yearbook at the Morse site was in violation of her copyright. Morse challenged the complaint asking her to prove she was the copyright owner, and the woman was given two weeks to respond (which has now ended).
Citing Ben Affleck’s ‘Improper Influence,’ PBS Suspends ‘Finding Your Roots’PBS said on Wednesday that it was postponing a future season of “Finding Your Roots” after an investigation revealed that the actor Ben Affleck pressured producers into leaving out details about an ancestor of his who owned slaves.PBS will not run the show’s third season until staffing changes are made, including hiring a fact checker, it said.The show, which is hosted by the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., traces family histories of celebrities and public figures, and has run for two seasons. The concern about Mr. Affleck’s relative surfaced in the WikiLeaks cache of hacked Sony emails after Mr. Gates asked a Sony executive for advice about a “megastar” who wanted to omit a detail about a slave-owning ancestor.“We’ve never had anyone ever try to censor or edit what we found,” Mr. Gates wrote to a Sony executive, Michael Lynton, in July 2014. Mr. Gates added that this would violate PBS rules, and “once we open the door to censorship, we lose control of the brand.”When the episode was broadcast in October, it did not mention the slave-owning ancestor. After the emails were posted to WikiLeaks, Mr. Gates said that producers had discovered more interesting ancestors from Mr. Affleck’s family, including a relative from the Revolutionary War and an occult enthusiast.Mr. Affleck said in April that he was “embarrassed” when he discovered that he was related to a slave owner. “I didn’t want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves,” Mr. Affleck wrote on Facebook.In the investigation, PBS said that producers violated network standards by letting Mr. Affleck have “improper influence” and “by failing to inform PBS or WNET of Mr. Affleck’s efforts to affect program content.”The network said that before the third season of “Finding Your Roots” can broadcast, the show needs to make some staffing changes, including the addition of a fact checker and an “independent genealogist” to review the show’s contents.PBS also said that it had not made a decision about whether to commit to a fourth season of the show.In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Gates said, “I sincerely regret not discussing my editing rationale with our partners at PBS and WNET and I apologize for putting PBS and its member stations in the position of having to defend the integrity of their programming.”Freeze damaged heirloomsConservators and students at the University of Texas have been assisting flood victims salvage their heirlooms and documents following the devastating floods in that area. An article about their activities can be read at http://tinyurl.com/p5canb8, and an important bit of advice is appropriate to repeat here. "Wet papers and photographs, textiles, scrapbooks, books and other sentimental objects should be frozen, if possible, and not thrown out."A phone number and further advice is available at the website.From the June 28 Avotaynu E-Zine by Gary MokotoffBBC Strikes Back at EU “Right to be Forgotten” Rule
As previously reported numerous times, the European Union has declared Google must remove from its site links that provide objectionable information about its citizens. The British Broadcasting Corporation has struck back by placing on its website a list of BBC links Google removed as a result of the “right to be forgotten” decision by the European Court of Justice in May 2014.
The BBC will publish each month links to those pages that have been removed from Google's search engine. BBC stated they are doing this primarily as a contribution to public policy. They think it is important that those with an interest in the “right to be forgotten” can ascertain which articles have been affected by the ruling. They hope it will contribute to the debate about this issue. BBC added that they also believe that the integrity of the BBC's online archive is important and, although the pages concerned remain published on BBC Online, removal from Google searches makes parts of that archive harder to find.
Links to the removed pages can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/ 1d765aa8-600b-4f32-b110-d02fbf7fd379. The most recent removal concerns a 2006 article about a man named Richard Holtby who strangled his girlfriend Suzy Healey the weekend before her 40th birthday. BBC does not indicate whether the request to have the offensive article removed came from the strangler, Holtby, or the family of the victim, Healey. From here in the United States, I Googled “Holtby Healey strangle” and got hits for the The Guardian, Daily Mail, and at least 10 other British newspaper sites. Suzy Healey is even listed in FindAGrave.com.
The bottom line is that the European Union has opened up a can of worms. Google has demonstrated its reach is so vast, it is impossible for a person to be forgotten even if he becomes a monk in the Himalayas. Rest assured that some day, someone will post to the Internet a list of all monks who live in the Himalayas and Google will index the list.
Thank you Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, for making me aware of this development, as well as the hundreds of situations she reports to the genealogical community every year about record access matters that affect family history research.
WDYTYA-US Summer Season Will Include J.K. Rowling
Though not officially announced, this summer season of the American version of Who Do You Think You Are will include Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Other celebrities who will discover their ancestral past are Tom Bergeron, Bryan Cranston, Ginnifer Goodwin and Alfre Woodard. The season premiere is Sunday, July 26 at 9 pm ET on TLC. Additional information is at http://tinyurl.com/WDYTYASummer2015.
Celebrities to appear on summer season of the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are have been announced. The exact dates were not given. Great British Bake off presenter Paul Hollywood, modeling legend Jerry Hall, Last Tango In Halifax stars Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid, andactress Jane Seymour are among those on this year’s series.
Online Collection of Postcards Depict Scenes of U.S. Towns
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter notes that USGenWeb has online a collection of postcards consisting of scenes of U.S. towns. The collection is at http://www.usgwarchives.net/special/ppcs/ppcs.html. They may be useful is dressing up a family history book you plan to publish. The site is interested in growing the collection. If you want to contribute postcards in your possession, click the “Submissions” link at the site for additional information.
New FamilySearch Additions
After a three-week hiatus, FamilySearch has announced it has added 15.6M indexed records and images to its site. he list is substantial, and it is worthwhile to glance through the entire list.Notable collection updates include 5.5M records from the Iowa 1925 State Census, 2M records from the California Death Index (1905–1939) and 1.2M images from Ontario Marriages (1869–1927).
DNA Testers: Be Patient
Israel Pickholtz has written an excellent article in his blog about the frustration people are having when DNA testing does not locate previously unknown relatives. His conclusion is to be patient.
He states, “…the realistic view is that with only five years of autosomal testing in the various companies' databases, we should not think that we are testing to find our relatives. We are testing so that when our relatives test someday, we will be there waiting to be found. In the meantime, we check our new matches every week or two. That ‘someday’ may be this week.”
Reminder: Have You Signed the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights?
With all the talk about privacy rights by other interest and political groups, the genealogical community created its own “Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights” last May. The Declaration of Rights is a statement advocating open access to federal, state, and local public records. The Declaration affirms America’s long history of open public records, which has been threatened the last few years over concerns about identity theft and privacy.Genealogists advocate the right of access to records held by government agencies including but not limited to vital records (births, marriages, deaths, divorces); land conveyances and mortgages; tax assessments; guardianships; probate of estates; criminal proceedings; suits of law and equity; immigration; military service and pensions; and acts of governmental entities. Genealogists further advocate that they need to be allowed access to original records when photocopies, microfilm, digital images, or other formats are insufficient to establish clear text, context or completeness of the record. The rights of genealogists specified in the Declaration object to numerous barriers created to deny them access to records. We cannot have our voice heard in Congress without showing we are a formidable number of voters. Readers can read and sign the Declaration at http://tinyurl.com/GenealgyDoR.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~See you at our next meeting -- August 2!