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Genealogy Update

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  • SusanneLevitsky@aol.com
    December 23, 2012 Upcoming Meetings -- all meetings will be on Sunday mornings in 2013 Sunday, January 20, 10 a.m. -- Janice Sellers, Reconstructing Family
    Message 1 of 44 , Dec 23, 2012
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      December 23, 2012
      Upcoming Meetings -- all meetings will be on Sunday mornings in 2013 
      Sunday, January 20, 10 a.m. -- Janice Sellers, "Reconstructing Family Information From Almost Nothing"
      (Sunday, February 3, (afternoon)  Davis, Bet Haverim -- Beginning Genealogy Research)
      Sunday, February 17, 2013, 10 a.m. --  Victoria Fisch and Jeremy Frankel, "Doings in the Cemetery"
      Sunday, March 17, 2013, 10 a.m. -- Shlomo Rosenfeld, "Discovering a Live Family Branch That Survived the Holocaust"
      Notes from December 16, 2012
      President Victoria Fisch called the meeting to order and welcomed members and guests.
      Dave Reingold noted that the Center for Sacramento History does accept some family genealogies.  Teven Laxer noted that he's compiling a list of Jewish archive repositories that also may be of interest.
      Upcoming meetings, see above.  Victoria noted that all meetings in 2013 will be held on Sundays.  In addition, there will be meetings held at Bet Haverim in Davis, and Victoria would welcome volunteers who would like to assist.
      Bob Wascou said he is collecting $25 checks for 2013 membership dues.  They can also be sent to the JGSS care of the Einstein Center, Room 220, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento, CA 95825.
      December Speaker -- Lynn Brown   
      The "New" Immigration Process-- USCIS
      The new federal agency overseeing customs and immigration is now called the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service.  Also created was a genealogy department within the agency.  The previous Immigration and Naturalization Service ended after 9/ll, and the new agency is part of the Homeland Security Dept.
      Lynn Brown discussed the new agency, and information you can order.  Bottom line:  You'll want to order the "package," not just a single document. 
      Lynn said many records were not available to us until USCIS took over.  There were records but mainly limited to passenger manifests, ship records.
      Now, there are more records available and an online ordering process.
      Lynn's Part 1)_ Naturalization in the United States
      Only about 1/3 of people who who came were naturalized-- did not need to be a citizen, but can't vote or run for office.   There may be religious, cultural or other reasons why they didn't become naturalized.
      Lynn says we now have access to residential records with the new agency.
      "Declaration of Intention," also called "First Papers" -- to become a U.S. citizen.
      In those after 1903, you get the name, country of origin and date of application.  This form was required until 1952.
      Certificate of Arrival -- needed to prove how you got here.  It shows the port and date of arrival, shp's name (or car, plane, other mode of transportation).
      "You might want to look for this document," Lynn said.
      Naturalization Petition -- Final Papers
      Before 1906, Lynn said these did not provide much information. Post-1906, there is much genealogical data, incuded members of the family of the person being naturalized.
      1922-- Petition included photos; women could apply without husband's consent.
      Certificate of Naturalization
      Actual naturalization card immigrants carried with them, important to them.  It was issued after they took the oath of allegiance.   Many states used the term "oath of allegiance."
      Derivative Citizenship
      Before 1922, it was granted to the wife and children of a naturalized male.  After 1922, the wife could do it independently.
      Lynn cited the case of Austrian-born Maria Von Trapp ("who did not go over the Alps") -- she was arrested and had detention papers, if you want to search the National Archives and find them.  "Her husband, the  Captain, was never naturalized and stayed Austrian."
      If a U.S. born woman married an immigrant male, she lost her citizenship.  (Got back after 1922).
      Military Service
      1862-- Could petition for naturalization without a declaration of intent if one-year resident. in 1894 -- extended to 5-year veterans of the Navy and Marine Corps.  Still in use today.
      Lynn's Part 2)  Alien Records
      Lynn says these weren't available for use before.  This includes the Permanent Resident Card  or "green card," which is not green.  Most people carry it with them.
      For immigrants who did not want naturalization:
      -- Visas, begun in 1924, to enter the U.S.
      -- Certificate of Registry, for proof of entry, if arrived before July 1924 and no original arrival record could be located.
      After 1924, had to apply for it.
      Alien Registrations
      First begun in 1789, against France.
      "Enemy alien registration" -- came up in August 1940, only during times of conflict  (WWI, II)
      To fingerprint and create a record of every non-citizen.  In June 1940, it was all non-citizens, 14 years or older.
      For non-enemy alien registrations , everybody else: started in World War I, now run by the states.  Some use forms, some use court minutes, some have photos, some not.
      After World War I, Congress told the states  to destroy the records of enemy alien registrations.  Some did destroy them, some didn't.  After World War II, Congress never told the states to destroy the records, so they are now permanent records.
      Locating WW I Alien Registration Records -- while most were destoryed, Kansas, Phoenix, AZ, St. Paul, MN, Allen County, Indiana do have records, indexed by the National Archives ARC database, with a keyword seardh.
      WW II Alien Registration Records -- USCIS 1940-44-- on microfilm and available upon request.
      Naturalization and Alien Records Research Tools:
      1) NARA ARC-- Archival Rseearch Catalogue 
      .keyword search
      2)  Family History Library Catalogue, with keyword search
      3) State Archives Records Search
      Lynn's Part 3) USCIS   www.uscis.gov
      Genealogy research -- USCIS's genealogy program was created in 2008
      In May 2009, it went online as a "fee for service" operation which includes online e-ordering.
      Lynn advises using this short url:  www.uscis.gov/genealogy
      Some of the records you can get:
      -- those naturalized between Sept. 1906 and March 1956
      -- those who immigrated between July 1924 and May 1951
      -- pre-1906 records that have been updated, changed or corrected
      -- those who were alive and registered under the 1940 Alien Registration Act
      -- Naturalization Certificate Files (C Files)
      -- Registry Files, 1929-44
      -- Visa Files, 1924-1944
      Probably up til 1946 now, since 75 years of privacy on files
      USCIS does NOT have:
      -- records stored at NARA and regional offices
      -- state archive records
      -- those locally held
      Lynn's Part 4 -- Two Types of USCIS Services
      1) Index search -- $20 online  (G-1041)
      2) Record copy requst with valid record citations (USCIS file numbers)
            $20/35   (G-1041A)

      "I recommend your print the forms first then go back and fill them out online," Lynn said.  "I highly recommend that you use the request form for the index search."  Your fee is nonrefundable.
      They don't blackline redacted material, but delete it.
      A single immigrant may have several USCIS records.  File an index search!
      They will want a death certificate on a person you're requesting, 100 years of privacy from date of birth.  They will ask you to upload a death certificate.
      Art Yates noted they will also accept obituary notices.
      Archival Research Catalogue -- ARC -- use keywords to isolate and refine your search.
      What else is at NARA? Records of passports and concentration camps.
      Archives -- Sacramento has California records, San Francisco has all other states.
      Art suggested checking with the county firest -- he has found some records online, such as Westchester County, New York.
      Lynn Brown can be reached at lgbrown@...
      From the (free) Genealogy in Time Magazine Newsletter:
      Spain – The Spanish website Routes of Sefarad has created an excellent mapping system allowing people to explore their Jewish ancestry in Spain. Basically, the website provides an interactive multimedia experience to trace your Sephardic heritage. The website is in English and it is definitely worth exploring. [Jewish Ancestry in Spain]
      Philadelphia Passenger Lists –FamilySearch.org has indexed some 454,000 records of Philadelphia passenger lists, for passengers who entered the port of Philadelphia from 1800 to 1882. Access is free. [Historic Philadelphia Passenger Lists]
      Don's List
      Burt Hecht passes on a valuable genealogy website that includes information for Pittsburg, for example, and many others links to U.S. research and beyond.
      See you Sunday, January 20, 2013
    • 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 7:28 AM
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        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)

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