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Genealogy Update

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  • SusanneLevitsky@aol.com
    Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento www.jgss.org October 5, 2006 Family History Day Saturday, October 14 It s time for the annual Family History Day at
    Message 1 of 46 , Oct 5, 2006
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      Jewish Genealogical Society

      of Sacramento




      October 5, 2006




      Family History Day Saturday, October 14


      It's time for the annual Family History Day at the State Archives, downtown at 1020 O Street.  We'll have a booth along with other genealogy groups, and need a few more volunteers to spare an hour or two.  The event lasts from 8:30 to 4 p.m. -- contact Gerry Ross at 381-3213 if you can help out.  Those who've participated in the past have greatly enjoyed it.


      For more details on the day's activities, check out: the State Archives' Web site: www.ss.ca.gov/archives/level3_famhistday.html



      Upcoming Meeting Dates -- Mark Your Calendar!





      Monday, October 16, 7 p.m.

      Mark Heckman  -- Travels in Ukraine -- the 2006 Czernowitz Reunion


      Sunday, November 19, 10 a.m.

      Ron Arons -- The Internet Beyond JewishGen and Steve Morse's Web Site


      Sunday, December 10, 10 a.m.

      Reva Camiel -- Family Videotaping Production



       A few items shared from Avotaynu's e-newsletter:

      WeRelate.org: The www.werelate.org Web site claims to be an Internet search engine that only finds genealogy-related sites.  Avotaynu editor Gary Mokotoff  tried it and found it works fairly well. Searching for information about his ancestral town of Warka, Poland, using Google resulted in only three genealogically relevant sites on the first page. Others included hotels and weather reports. Using WeRelate.org he said all could be considered relevant. The first was the Wikipedia entry for the town giving its history; the second was a description of the voivodship (county/province) that included Warka. The third was a Warka entry from the catalog of the Family History Library.

      WeRelate.org is a general search engine. It can be used to search for people, surnames or places. Mokotoff used "ice cream" as keywords, and the first few hits were a genealogy site with the heading "Italians, Ice Cream and Settlement;" a second page from the same site; a page about the history of ice cream; a RootsWeb site that included the words.

      1837online.com: 1837online.com claims 400 million British records, including complete birth, marriage and death records from 1837–2004; census records, 1861–1891, with an all-name index; living relatives indexes; and military records. Future plans call for passenger emigration lists, 1890–1960, with an all-name index. It is expected to be available in mid-2007.

      For birth, marriage and death records, provided are images of pages from the government index. The 1837online.com index only captures the first and last name on each page. This means you must know the year of the event to find the entry in the government index. Otherwise, you must browse year by year until the entry is found.

      Military records include a National Roll of the Great War 1914–1918; soldiers who died in the Great War; Army Roll of Honor 1939–1945; and Armed Forces births, marriages and deaths.

      You can search for records free of charge but retrieving the information is fee based. The cost is £5 for 50 units; £10 provides 110 units. Many records cost more than one unit. Alternately, there are annual subscriptions for unlimited use of certain offerings.



      New Book: A Field Guide to Visiting a Jewish Cemetery
      A Field Guide to Visiting a Jewish Cemetery, by Rabbi Joshua L. Sega offers a good book on understanding the ways of Jewish cemeteries and how to interpret the Hebrew inscriptions on tombstones.

      Hebrew tombstone inscriptions can be a challenge to some researchers. But the material presented in this book is simple enough that it can be understood by those with the most limited exposure to Hebrew, yet comprehensive enough to be a valuable resource to the most sophisticated readers.

      There is a dictionary of Hebrew words and common expressions that appear on tombstones. Since the carving of a tombstone can be expensive, sometimes Hebrew expressions are represented in abbreviated form. An appendix shows commonly used abbreviations.

      The book is 220 pages, softcover, and lists for $19.95. Avotaynu is currently offering it for $18 plus shipping. Additional information, including the Table of Contents and a sample chapter can be found at http://www.avotaynu.com/books/cemeteryfield.htm.

      Google Provides Online Index to Old Newspapers
      Google's latest is an index to old periodicals, located at http://news.google.com/archivesearch/. The Google site appears to be a merging of many fee-for-service indexing services plus a few that are available for no charge. The sources are worldwide. Avotaynu's Gary Mokotoff found references to Polish sources when searching for "Mokotow."

      The first line of every hit states the source and date. When there's a fee to retrieve the item, the price is shown on this line. If there are a substantial number of hits, the system allows the user to narrow the list by time period or source.

      Fifth Cemetery in New York City Area Goes Online
      Mt. Ararat Cemetery, located in Lindenhurst, New York, has placed its 45,000 burials online. This is the fifth New York-area Jewish cemetery to make their burials available on the Internet. It is located at http://www.mountararatcemetery.com. Previous listings are
      Mt. Carmel Cemetery (Queens, New York) at http://www.mountcarmelcemetery.com;
      Mt. Hebron Cemetery (Queens, New York) at http://www.mounthebroncemetery.com;
      Mt. Moriah Cemetery (Fairview, New Jersey) at http://www.mountmoriahcemeteryofnewjersey.org; and Mt. Zion Cemetery (Queens, New York) at http://www.mountzioncemetery.com.



      New Blog: http://tracingthetribe.blogspot.com

      Schelly Talalay Dardashti is a freelance journalist specializing in Jewish genealogy, travel and food. A New Yorker who has lived in several countries, she began her research in 1989, as the researcher for her husband's family and her own. Anyone bearing either of the rare names is sure to be related. With origins in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Spain and Iran, each extensive tree dates to about 1740.  Her articles have appeared in a host of Jewish press and genealogy publications and journals.


      Old BT phone books now available online

      News from Britain: People researching their ancestry have been given an online boost after telecommunications company BT launched more than 100 years' of phone books on the Web. The company hopes to tap into the nation's huge interest in genealogy by providing millions of names, addresses and phone numbers covering the period 1880 to 1984.

      At one stage, BT allowed brief job descriptions. The author of Dracula, Bram Stoker, of Victoria 1436, was listed as a barrister, while Houdini could be found under 'handcuff king'. BT has linked up with genealogy site Ancestry.co.uk to host the phone books.   The project's partners have started with Greater London, which contains 72 million names and covers the areas of Surrey, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent and Middlesex. The goal is to complete all 250 million names by the end of next year.

      Family history enthusiasts will be able to search by name, year and county, helping them fill in any gaps in their ancestor and house histories.

      September 18, 2006 Meeting


      Business Items:

      President Burt Hecht called the meeting to order and announced that Allan Bonderoff's presentation, "From Shtetl to Hester Street," would be given in January, to allow sufficient time for a review of the New York conference.


      Burt noted that Bob Wascou had received a special mention from the Romanian SIG (Special Interest Group) for his work with the Kishinev/Moldova databases.  Bob has devoted many hours to coordinating and encouraging volunteers and research, with more than 290,000 names added to the database.  Congratulations, Bob!


      Bob made a plug for more volunteers -- "we can always use people who can translate Hebrew, Yiddish or Romanian."


      Allan Bonderoff gave the treasurer's report, requesting a moment of silence for the current balance.  With the recent purchase of a laptop computer, our account now has $905.91.


      Mark Heckman gave an update on our library, which will have a full CD set of the New York conference.  We now have a completely indexed library with information scanned into a database.  Mark said we'll soon have a bar code for every person and every book.  To find out what's in our library, go to our Web site, http://jgss.org


      Bob gave an update on the cemetery project  -- he's trying to get data into the right format for JewishGen.  "We also have two things to update -- information on the headstones, which we didn't have, and photos of the headstones."


      Family History Day, October 14: Members are being sought to staff our table at the annual Family History Day at the State Archives, 1020 O Street.  The day runs from 8:30 to 4 p.m.; contact Gerry Ross at 381-3213 if you can help out for an hour or two.  Those who've participated in the past have had a great time.



      Sept. 18 Program: The New York Conference


      Art Yates and Teven Laxer reported on attending the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies conference last month in New York City.


      ART: Art began the presentation.  He said he's attended about seven conferences and this one was the most gratifying in terms of doing personal research.


      He gave a day-by-day description of his experience.  On Sunday, he went to the talk by Ada Green on cemetery research. The speaker said she got death certificates on every one she was researching, something Art noted is much harder to do in California.


      "Don't believe anything you see on a tombstone," the speaker said.  She said someone's name may be on a tombstone but the person may be buried in Florida.   She talked about how couples often would have both their names put on a tombstone in advance of their deaths, with the surviving spouse often moving away.


      Green said she also looks for burial permits for additional or confirming information.  "Unless the cemetery has the date of death, you don't know if the person's buried there -- it may be only a nice headstone."


      Some other concerns -- no middle names on most headstones, so if it's a common name, should verify; the translation of lettering can vary, sometimes the parent and sibling are named on the same tombstone; with changing borders, the cemetery may be in a different town.


      The following day, Art had signed up for a tour of Ellis Island.  He had wanted to go since his father had come through there and Art had had great success on the Ellis Island database, finding the street address where his father had lived.  In addition, Art's children had put their grandfather's name on the wall at Ellis Island.  


      He found the guide from Big Onion Tours very knowledgeable, sharing information such as they had immigrants climb the stairs so they could be observed for physical disabilities, hair lice, etc.


      After Ellis Island, Art visited the National Archives for the New York region where he found indexes for birth, death and marriage licenses (although not the certificates themselves).  "But don't believe what your family tells you -- my mother-in-law and father-in-law weren't married in St. Louis but in Albany, New York -- I found the documents."


      On Tuesday Art attended the Hungarian luncheon where he enjoyed the exchange of ideas with his fellow attendees.  He later attended a three-hour meeting which skirted the controversy of the Mormon baptisms of Jews.  "The attitude of those in charge was that this is not something we're going to discuss." That was until Gary Mokotoff spoke up and was able to recount the six days he spent in Salt Lake City focusing on the issue.  Gary was able to convince those in attendance that the church is closely looking at the baptisms and revoking the privileges of those who cross the line.  A planned vote on a letter about the issue drew a motion but no second.  "After Gary's synopsis, there was no need to go further."


      Art said they are looking for sites for future conferences -- 2008 will be in Chicago and 2013 in Warsaw.


      On Thursday, Art focused on personal research, including, which famous New York deli has the best sandwich -- Katz', Carnegie or the Stage .  "The Carnegie has by far the best pastrami sandwich," Art declared.


      Next on his agenda was a visit to the White Plains, New York cemetery to see the graves of his aunt and uncle.  It was also a chance to visit the city of his birth.


      TEVEN: Teven Laxer then shared his impressions of the conference, which went beyond the seminars.  His first night there he and his mother enjoyed klezmer music followed by a discussion of Yiddish theater and what it meant to immigrants.  Teven said his great uncle was a star of Yiddish theater and he was pleased and surprised to see two slides of him in the Powerpoint presentation made to the group.


      A 2006 Jewish Genealogy Yearbook was distributed, with pages on the various societies, including our own.  Teven shared copies of our page.


      Teven said he went to quite a few seminars; there were many, with 2,000 to 3,000 people attending the conference.  Along with the seminars, there were labs, movies, impromptu discussions and "birds of a feather" interest groups that announced meetings.   "It was hard to figure out where to go."  He went to 6-7 workshops a day, lasting an hour and a half to two hours.  "Some days I don't remember if I had lunch."  There is one lunch, however, he does remember.


      One of the benefits of the conference, Teven said, was meeting people he knew only through e-mail.  "My wife is a descendant of a 17th century German rabbi, and there's a guy in Baltimore who's researched with me hundreds of people in the family.  We got together for lunch and met for the first time; I found out he was 92.  We're having sandwiches in an open area of the hotel talking about our research, when people on either side of us overhear us and chime in about researching the same family -- and one was from London and the other Tel Aviv."


      Teven said it was an amazing experience that happened to him several times during the conference. 


      Teven said many of the speakers we've had here in Sacramento over the years spoke at the conference, including Gary Mokotoff, Steve Morse, Ron Arons and Stanley Diamond, who we've tried to get.  Diamond gave an update on the JRI (Jewish Records Indexing) Poland efforts.


      Teven went to a workshop on hometown societies and at the end, as he was about to leave, a woman said she had a program from one of the societies.  It just happened to be a 1930 program for the Geller society, "and on page 6, my grandmother and grandfather were listed as officers."  


      "There were maybe 100 people in the workshop and someone happened to have a booklet with my grandparents' names," he said.


      Teven brought back several books for the library, including a copy of Judith Frazin's "Translation Guide to 19th Century Polish Documents," and "The Galitzianers, 1772-1918."  He also snagged one of the books being given away in a Miriam Weiner workshop, a guide to Kishinev in English and Russian.


      Teven put in a plug for a book expected to be out in bookstores this week -- Daniel Mendelsohn's "Lost -- A Search for Six of Six Million."  The author's describes his quest in Ukraine and beyond to find out exactly what happened to his relatives.


      While in New York, Teven had the opportunity to visit a 90-year-old cousin in a nursing home.  "She had no short-term memory but incredible long-term memory," he said.  Teven urged that even if someone's in a nursing home, make the effort to talk to them.


      ART:  Art wrapped up the program discussing his visit to a county records office and a Jewish cemetery in Troy, New York.  He observed that the cemeteries in Troy, New York had almost no perpetual care of tombstones; others disagreed.  But he was able to find tombstones of his wife's relatives, despite the overgrowth of vegetation.  "Pam Dallas would be proud of me," he said.  (Pam had told us about finding family tombstones nearly hidden at the edge of a cornfield.)

      - - - - - - - - - -



      An article that may be of interest...


      The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

      A revolution in Jewish genealogy

      Adinah Greene, The Jerusalem Post

      Oct. 3, 2006

      They are coming from all over the world to claim their royal heritage.


      First, on October 19, they will meet in

    • SusanneLevitsky@...
      June 29, 2015 Upcoming Meetings: July – No meeting Sunday, August 2 (note date change) – Valerie Jordan, Uncovering Family Secrets Through Genealogy
      Message 46 of 46 , Jun 29
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        June 29, 2015
        Upcoming Meetings:
                   July – No meeting
        Sunday, 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, 2105
        President 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 Fisch 
                    Vice-Presidents in charge of programming – Sheri Venezia, Dave Reingold
                    Secretary – Susanne Levitsky
                    Treasurer – 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 heirlooms
        Conservators 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 Mokotoff
        BBC 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 GuardianDaily 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
        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!
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