- June 10, 2013Upcoming Meetings:Next Sunday, June 16, 10 a.m. "Breaking through Brick Walls"Einstein Center, SacramentoSunday, June 23, 2 p.m. "Next Steps in Jewish Family Research," Victoria FischDavis LibrarySunday, July 21, 10 a.m. "The WPA: Sources for Your Genealogy," GenaPhilibert-OrtegaEinstein Center, SacramentoMay 19 Meeting NotesPresident Victoria Fisch called the meeting to order. She noted that we have a new venue in Davis, the Yolo County library on E. 14th Street. Meetings will be held there every fourth Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.On May 21, there will be a tour of the El Dorado County Archives and Museum in Placerville; admission is free.Victoria presented the JGSS slate of officers for 2013-14:President -- Victoria FischVice Presidents for Programming -- Art Yates and Dave ReingoldTreasurer -- Bob WascouRecording Secretary/Publicity -- Susanne LevitskyThe slate was voted upon and approved.Mort Rumberg was thanked for his many years of finding program speakers -- "It takes two people to replace him," Victoria said.Teven Laxer was welcomed as the new librarian. He noted that there are some 20 books out on loan that should be returned; he will start contacting the borrowers.Teven said we have about 300 volumes in the library that are part of the inventory, with maybe another 100 not yet inventoried.Dave Reingold talked about the upcoming National History Day -- "we're always looking for topics and people to work with students." Those interested can contact Dave at camp_wiseowl@....The Sacramento Public Library continues to offer a free 45-minute session, "book a genealogist."Victoria mentioned that the Western States Jewish History group is putting together a series of online museums-- check out their website for online exhibitions, starting with Los Angeles and San Francisco.The Boston IAJGS conference in August 4-9; Bob Wascou and Teven Laxer are among those planning to go. Victoria Fisch and Jeremy Frankel have decided to not to go, due to one of the speakers included in the program.May Program -- Jim Rader on "The New Super DNA Tests"Jim talked about FamilyTree DNA, which tests different parts of your DNA. Details can be found on FamilyTreeDNA.com. He says this test does all the search work.National Geographic sends its test to Family Tree DNA, he says.Jim says you can search for a surname or can set up a group -- there are more than 6,000 groups out there now.Bennett Greenspan, founder of Family Tree DNA -- "his reason for starting it was to do his Jewish genealogy research," Jim says.Family history and DNA will be the focus of several speakers on June 6 at the upcoming Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, which Jim will be attending. It takes place just two blocks from the Burbank airport.23andme.com -- the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin is involved with this site, which plans to test one million people to establish a large database and track diseases.Some questions to ponder:When does your ancestry have an ethnicity?What date did you become a member of a nationality?Jim says race is a social construct, not a biological one.You have to break that old notion that you're from Germany. But where did those ancestors come from?AncestryDNA -- can go back to your great, great-grandparents.Each company doesn't have rights to other companies' databases.Jim showed what he received from three different companies -- FamilyTree DNA, Ancestry DNA and 23andme -- different results for each.FamilyTree DNA -- showed he had 87% Western Europe ancestry,12.08% European (Scandinavia, Turkey, Finnish)Ancestry DNA -- 67% Central Europe, 38% Scandinavian23andmeDNA -- 100% European"As we get more and more tests, it gets more and more foggy," Jim says.FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder tests 289 markers; Ancestry DNA 100; National Geographic 200.When something is "autosomal" it tests all of your DNA>FamilyTree DNA's Family Finder Feature tells you who has the same actual DNA that you have, Jim says. "It definitely goes back three generations.""The very largest pool is FamilyTree DNA."Common uses for your DNA findings:-- finding adoptee relatives-- find fellow sperm donor siblingsTests 700,000 locations out of three billion. "You can map your whole chromosome now for $1500," Jim says.Before, the DNA focus was on STRs; now the focus is on the SNP -- single base pair substitutions--which account for many of the genetic differences between you and others (appearance, diseases, etc.)Most--no observable differences."With the SNPs, we can figure out where you are in the timeline."Hundreds of video clips on YouTube to check out re DNA,SNPs, etc.Jim says FamilyTree DNA stores your DNA for 20 years -- "none of the others do that." And your test will always be updated with the latest science.www.yhrd.org -- if you want to create a map, you put your results in. Haplotype database.Family Tree DNA does Y-DNA STR testing, has the best set-up for surname projects, and the largest genealogical database.23andme -- does medical risk testing as well, possibly the best for the ethnic admixture.Ancestry DNA -- only does autosomal DNA now, links to trees on Ancestry, US only."There's no commonality in the tests," Jim says.Jim noted that if you want to read up on DNA and genealogy, there are about 30 books on Amazon.com, some on forensic genealogy.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~From Gary Mokotoff's Avotaynu E-Zine: May 26U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are? Returns to TelevisionThe U.S. version of the family-history based show Who Do You Think You Are? is returning to television on July 23 at 9 p.m. It will appear on the TLC network with Ancestry.com remaining as the sponsor. There will be eight one-hour episodes in the new season. The celebrities featured this year include: Christina Applegate, Kelly Clarkson, Cindy Crawford, Chris O’Donnell and Zooey Deschanel.
New “Forced Labor 1939–1945” WebsiteA website “Forced Labor 1939–1945” has interviews with nearly 600 persons from 26 countries who had to perform forced labor during the Nazi period. It is located at https://zwangsarbeit-archiv.de/archiv/en/archive. Some are undoubtedly Jews because 25 of the interviewees live in Israel.
An interactive map shows sites of biographical relevance to the interviewees: place of birth, deportation, camps, companies and prisons, places of residence after 1945. You check off which of nine categories are relevant to your search and then all locations are highlighted on the map. Clicking on a location identifies which interviews include the location. If you are registered, you can listen to the interview. The most comprehensive search is “Mentioned Places” which includes hundreds of locations.
To hear the interviews requires registration which is processed by the site’s creators. You then receive a response in e-mail containing login details if your application to register was successful. I registered but never received a response.
UK National Archives Adds Naturalization Records OnlineThe records of thousands of 19th-century immigrants to Britain are now available to search and download online at http://tinyurl.com/UKNaturalisation. The collection, which covers the period 1801 to 1871, includes records relating to more than 7,000 people who applied to become British citizens under the 1844 Naturalisation Act, as well as a small number of papers relating to denization, a form of British citizenship that conferred some but not all the rights of a British subject.
The records include:
• All naturalization applications to the Secretary of State, 1844–1871
• Some naturalizations by private Act of Parliament, 1801–1868
• Some letters applying for denization, 1801–1940
The announcement can be found at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/840.htm.
JewishGen Offering Intermediate-Level Course in New York ResearchMany Jewish family historians have ancestors or collateral relatives with roots in New York City. Starting June 1, JewishGen is offering an intermediate-level course in New York City research. It will focus on the more esoteric documents generated such as naturalization, probate, landsmanshaftn, voter registration, newspapers, and court cases.
The four-week course has seven text lessons that are downloaded; there are no specific times for the course; students interact with the instructor though a 24/7 forum, in a query and answer format. Phyllis Kramer, JewishGen Vice-president for Education, is the instructor. Tuition is $100 (there are no waivers for this course). Additional information, including a video, is at http://www.JewishGen.org/education.
JOAN GRIFFIS , Commercial NewsThe Commercial-NewsSun May 19, 2013, 01:00 AM CDT May 19, 2013Noted genealogical author Megan Smolenyak has reported in the Huffington Post that after a bit of a lull in genealogical programming, four genealogy series will premiere on U.S. television in the near future. First one was Christopher Guest and Jim Paddock’s mockumentary series, “Family Tree,” on May 12 on HBO.The remaining series that are “under production” are “Who Do You Think You Are?” (TLC) and “Finding Your Roots (PBS) — which both focused on celebrity subjects — and Genealogy Roadshow, “an Irish import … with an emphasis on family history mysteries, historical events, and ‘average Joes.’”Smolenyak’s website, Honoring Our Ancestors, at http://www.honoringourancestors.com, should be bookmarked and visited frequently for helpful advice and other information. For example, a click on the toolbar title “Library” allows one to click on “Internet Research” with links to Smolenyak’s articles from the Huffington Post, Ancestry Daily News, Family Chronicle, and others.“Celebs” on the toolbar, provides links to interesting articles including President Obama’s roots, Michelle Obama’s roots, and Annie Moore’s roots (the little girl who was the first to step on Ellis Island).Smolenyak’s generosity is greatly appreciated by the 600 recipients who've received her no-strings-attached genealogical grants since May 2000. Read the stories of the genealogical projects she's supported. Perhaps a local society could request similar help? (The online application is brief and easy.)Under the toolbar title, “Submit,” one can click on a link to share with Smolenyak information or stories under the topics Orphan Heirlooms (“treasures” that need to be returned to owners/descendants), Lost Loved Ones’ Stories, and Brick Wall/Mystery Stories. She welcomes such new challenges, and although she “can’t tackle all cases,” her expertise might be just what is needed.In her latest book she remarks, “It’s high time for all of us to let our roots show.” Start searching.Avotaynu, May 19 edition:European Holocaust Research Infrastructure Adds New ToolA new tool for researchers is now available on the website of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure. It is called “EHRI National Reports” and provides for 47 countries an historical overview of the Holocaust period and what archives in the country have Holocaust-related material. Finally, there are published works cited that provide information about the Holocaust period. A description of the project is at http://www.ehri-project.eu/drupal/national-reports-on-website.
JewishGen Memorial Plaque Project
JewishGen wants to grow its Memorial Plaque Project. This is a database primarily of plaques placed on a memorial board on synagogue walls. Also known as “yahrzeit plaques,” they exist to memorialize relatives, usually parents or siblings. On the anniversary of the person’s death (yahrzeit), the plaque is illuminated by two small lights on each side. The name is read to the congregation at the Sabbath service before the yahrzeit. 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 (above example: Chaim ben [son of] Meir.).
Information on how to submit data can be found at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Memorial/Submit.htm. The database is at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Memorial.
MyHeritage Introduces “Record Detective”MyHeritage has added a feature to their record search capability called “Record Detective.” When you identify a record of interest in their collection of historical records, Record Detective will provide a summary of additional records about the person, or about people related to that person. For the more advanced researcher, the feature would be a disadvantage, because it will make the person aware of records s/he already knows of. For example, locating a person in the 1940 U.S. census might produce a result showing that the person in the 1930 and 1920 censuses. The reaction of the advanced researcher might be that the records are known, yet it might be new information to the beginner.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~From the newsletter of the JGS of Ventura and the Conejo Valley:First American JewsGeni.com has made available Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern’s book, First American Jewish Families: 600 Genealogies, 1654-1988. It identifies more than 25,000 members of the earliest Jewish immigrants to the U.S. beginning in the colonial days. It's available to be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/bkfr3c7. You may also connect directly to the database by clicking: http://tinyurl.com/acynmo3http://www.jgscv.orgHow The USCIS Helped Break Down a Brick WallBy Jan Meisels AllenThis is a summary of the 5-minute genealogical hint given at the May 5th meeting. USCIS answered the question: What was Aaron Baker’s original name.What I Knew:Aaron Baker was my maternal Aunt Anna’s husband for 57 years—they married in 1922. He was a farmer in Torrington Connecticut, born in Kovno, Lithuania, and according to the 1920 and 1930 censuses he immigrated in 1914 to the United States. He immigrated with his mother Etta. The 1920 census noted his immigration year—1914 and said he had applied for naturalization: PA. At that time he was living in Torrington with his mother Etta.The 1930 census had him married to my aunt and living with their two sons: Allen and Merrill. It stated he immigrated in 1914 and that he was a naturalized citizen. I could not find his ship’s manifest and I had assumed his original name was Beker or Bekerowitz.I was going to Boston in late October for an IAJGS board meeting –I thought I would go a day ahead and do some personal genealogy. Knowing that he was naturalized between 1920 and 1930 from the census records, and that he “probably” immigrated in 1914 I contacted the New England Historic and Genealogy Society asking if they had any records that would either show his naturalization or his name change. They replied they did not and referred me to the National Archives North East Region. They also replied that they had nothing they could find.Superstorm Sandy prevented my original plan to go to Boston a day early—and as neither organization could assist, I contacted Marian Smith at the USCIS and asked if it was worthwhile to make an inquiry to them. Marian let me know that she found his file and it was interesting—the file had 12 documents in it! She also told me his original name was Israel Buruchowitz! I should fill out the USCIS forms and submit the payment to get the records. I went to the JGSCV website http://www.jgscv.org and clicked on “resources”: United States and scrolled down to the USCIS link: http://www.uscis.gov/genealogy and completed the on-line form and payment.When I received the packet, the cover letter explained that they identified 12 documents but were only enclosing 10 documents in their entirety and two partially as under the Freedom of Information Act others were named and they could not provide their confidential information—such as birthdate, Social Security number etc. These would have pertained to my aunt and their eldest child and as I did not need them I did not pursue the appeal which was offered.Of most interest was the New Naturalization Lost or Mutilated Form where Aaron attests that “it was burned up by mistake in burning other papers which I thought were no longer needed”. Aaron started his inquiry for a replacement of his naturalization papers several months after the US entered World War II—he probably needed them to prove he was not an alien during the war.Other documents included in the file and sent to me were: Certificate of Naturalization; Duplicate Naturalization Certificate, a query about different names on the Petition for Naturalization (Israel Buruchowitz) and the Declaration of Intention (Aaron Baker), the name change letter, the new naturalization form when the original is lost or mutilated, and a letter to the Immigration and Naturalization Service dated February 1, 1943 complaining that he had started the reapplication process in February 1942 in their Boston office and followed their suggestions, paid the fee, filled out the forms and told to appear at a local court in April 1942 where he was interviewed and had heard nothing since.Documentary: No Place on EarthA documentary film about Jews who hid in a cave in the Ukraine for more than a year during WWII, No Place On Earth is being released in selected cities across the U.S. To see the trailer go to http://tinyurl.com/blrprhf. To see where and when it's being shown, and to request a screening visit http://tinyurl.com/ag2yw2wWORLD'S OLDEST TORAH SCROLL DISCOVERED IN ITALYAfter conducting carbon dating tests, the University of Bologna in Italy announced this week it has what may be the oldest complete Torah scroll in the world. The scroll had been stored in the university library, but in 1889, was mislabeled by a librarian, who dated it to the 17th century. However, a Hebrew professor recently examined it and realized the script was that of the oriental Babylonian tradition—meaning it was much older than previously thought.Subsequent carbon dating confirmed the scroll may have been written more than 850 years ago.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~See you at our meeting next Sunday, June 16th!
- April 22, 2015Upcoming MeetingsSunday, 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 LongApril 19 Meeting NotesThe 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 researchAll 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 historyInsideToronto.comGenealogy with JanicePhoto/JANICE NICKERSONThese 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 Photo: BloombergBen 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 largest2015/04/19 22:50:40Taipei, 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)