Jewish Genealogical Society
Our Upcoming Meetings:
January -- Sunday, January 21, 10 a.m.
Allan Bonderoff -- "From Shtetl to Hester Street"
February -- Sunday, February 11, 10 a.m.
Members Show-and-Tell, "Treasures from the Attic"
March -- Sunday, March 18, 10 a.m.
Steve Morse -- "De-Mystifying the Jewish Calendar"
Meeting Notes -- December 10, 2006
President Burt Hecht called the meeting to order. He mentioned that members have been sent notices for dues for the 2007 calendar year and encouraged people to send in their checks to Allan Bonderoff. Allan gave the Treasurer's report -- we have $870.57 in our account. Allan mentioned that we usually provide the Einstein Center with a $100 check; it was then approved that for the Center's 25th anniversary, we donate $200. Member Allan Dolgow generously volunteered $100 of that amount.
Art Yates reminded us that Ancestry.com is free through the end of the year (normal membership can range up to $300 annually). There are many valuable databases. Burt Hecht mentioned that for $35, a subscription to the Godfrey Memorial Library is a very good investment (http://www.godfrey.org/).
Teven Laxer brought in the CD he is donating to the library, the complete presentations and syllabus from this year's New York conference. He is also donating the New York National Archives learning standards CD. Teven said he is beta testing Steve Morse's new Gold Form on the Ellis Island Web site, and has found a few bugs he is working with Steve to correct. Steve will be our speaker in March.
Burt attended the November 20 meeting of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, where Valery Bazarov spoke. Mr. Bazarov works for the HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society). He said the organization is now focusing on post -1920 immigration and currently is involved in rescuing Jews from Iraq. Over the years, HIAS has been instrumental in bringing about four million into the U.S.
Vice-President Mort Rumberg gave a brief update on future speakers -- Allan Bonderoff will give a presentation, "From Shtetl to Hester Street" on January 21. On Sunday, February 11, we'll hold another of the popular "Treasures from the Attic," a chance for members to show and tell about family memorabilia. Start thinking now about what you might bring,
Sunday, March 19, Steve Morse will disuss "De-Mystifying the Jewish Calendar."
Reva Camiel: A Video for My Grandchildren
Member Reva Camiel presented the program for the meeting, a 43-minute video about her family members, past and present. She hired someone to help put it together.
Reva passed on some questions to consider before you begin putting a family video together, a production which can take at least a year.
First, who is your audience? (Grandkids, adult family, friends, etc.) How long do you want the video? Do you want to be interviewed in it? Who do you want to interview you?
Do you want to read the text with your voice, or someone else's? Do you want a professional to put it together? If so, how much are you willing to pay? Do you have the photos, audiocassettes, video clips, music, etc. that you want in the video?
Once you've answered these questions, Reva says it's time to "call a professional/nerd or a talented grandchild." Talk to that person about your goal and find out if they think they can do, and are interested in the project. You decide if you want to work with them.
Reva says make sure you have a written contract of what they will do for you and an exact charge. She ended up spending about $2000 on her video and devoted about six hours once a week for seven weeks.
When organizing your material, develop a system to gather all your photos, videos, etc. so you can easily return them to their original albums and locations. Reva pulled material from 60 photo albums for her video and noted how much of it was able to be accommodated on one DVD. "I know I won't have room for 60 albums when I end up living here at the Einstein Center, but I can take a DVD, "
Reva's video included photos and film from her Roosevelt High School days in Los Angeles, to her initial college days at UC Berkeley, to her children, grandchildren, trips to India and 20 different countries. Captions helped pinpoint the people and places in her photos. Her narration includes comments about the Japanese internment during World War II, her wish for a peaceful world, and much more.
"It's wonderful having you enjoy my family," she said after the video concluded.
In the discussion which followed, member Victoria Reed mentioned that a friend of hers, Minette Siegal, produces videos, is inexpensive, and great to work with, even for those with a small budget. She can be e-mailed at minettesiegel@...; people can also check out her Web site at http://www.ino-sieg.com/home.shtml
Our next meeting is Sunday, January 21, when Allen Bonderoff will present "From Shtetl to Hester Street' about immigrations paths to this country.
Internet Translator Site -- thanks Allan Dolgow:
Limitation is 1000 characters at a time. Seems to be a reasonably good translator and it is free.
From Avotaynu's Nu? What's New, E-zine e-mailed newsletter -- (free if you're not already a subscriber): http://www.avotaynu.com/nuwhatsnew.htm.
Nu? What's New? Survey Provides Interesting Results
The first Nu? What's New? survey completed. More than 3,200—47% of the 7,200 subscribers—participated. Some stereotypes of a Jewish genealogist were confirmed and others were not. Here are some observations based on the results:
- Most Jewish genealogists are relatively new to the hobby—more than half have been researching their family history for less than 10 years.
- Jewish genealogists rely on the volunteer efforts of others—68.8% of the respondents claim they do not volunteer for genealogy projects.
- We are a computer-oriented, high-speed Internet-oriented group, but this appears to be true of all genealogists.
- Jewish genealogists are well educated—47.7% have advanced (masters/doctorate) degrees.
- Are we "little old ladies in tennis sneakers"? Unfortunately, an important question was accidentally left out of the survey—What is your gender (male/female)? But the survey did ask age and, remarkably, the typical Jewish genealogist is nearly seven years older (61.2 years) than the non-Jewish genealogist (54.6).
Many Wikipedias for Genealogy
Jean-Pierre Stroweis, past president of the Israel Genealogy Society, notes that there are now three Wikipedias for genealogy; one each for English, French and Hebrew. They are located at:
English: 4,757 articles at http://genealogy.wikia.com
French: 44,688 articles at http://www.geneawiki.com
Shoah Victims' Names Database Grows and Grows
Since the Shoah Victims' Names Database went online in November 2004, Yad Vashem has added more than 500,000 additional records and has plans to add one million more in 2007. Yad Vashem is using a variety of sources such as yizkor books, which account for half of the names added since 2004.
The Archives director says that during the past few months, Yad Vashem has begun to systematically enter data from its archival collections (as opposed to Pages of Testimony or list projects done by others). Each personal record contains information about the individual and also about the document in which it is found, the file, and the collection. The first group of entries is the reports of the Soviet Extraordinary Commission; the first 150,000 or so of these records should go online soon.
A book of interest:
Member Marilyn Amir would like to bring to the attention of the JGSS a newly-published book which tells about Jewish history during the Holocaust relating to the Sephardim in North Africa as well as Middle Eastern Jews. It’s “Among the Righteous” by Robert Satloff. She notes that as we're aware, Askenazim were not the only ones affected by the Holocaust.
Reaching Youth About Genealogy-- Summer Program:
(From Kimberly Powell, About Genealogy):
Many of us are concerned about how to convey the importance of genealogy to young people. The Center for Jewish History in New York has an excellent summer genealogy program for students in grades 9-12.
The Samberg Family History Program, co-sponsored by the American Jewish Historical Society, is seeking outstanding high school students to receive attendance fellowships, with full scholarships, for this academic summer program to run July 2-27.
No previous genealogical experience is required. Among featured benefits for participants is learning while having fun, standing out on college applications, embarking on a personal journey from past to future, visiting the city's historic institutions, creating personal family trees and learning about Jewish history. For more information, e-mail samberg@....
Genealogy Logic Puzzle
Take a break from those perplexing ancestors and try your hand at this logic puzzle -- it is a fun diversion from your genealogy brick walls.
On June 1st, five couples who live in Trumbull will celebrate their wedding anniversaries. Their surnames are Johnstone, Parker, Watson, Graves and Shearer. The husbands' given names are Russell, Douglas, Charles, Peter and Everett. The wives' given names are Elaine, Joyce, Marcia, Elizabeth and Mildred. Keep in mind that no two couples have been married the same number of years. From the clues, determine the husband and wife that make up each couple and the number of years they have been married.
- Joyce has not been married as long as Charles or the Parkers, but longer than Douglas or the Johnstones.
- Elizabeth has been married twice as long as the Watsons, but only half as long as Russell.
- The Shearers have been married 10 years longer than Peter and 10 years less than Marcia.
- Douglas and Mildred have been married for 25 years less than the Graves who, having been married for 30 years, are the couple who have been married the longest.
- Neither Elaine or the Johnstones have been married the shortest amount of time.
- Everett has been married for 25 years
You can view the entire puzzle plus a Logic Grid to help you solve it at www.genealogyworldwide.com.
Sacramento Spring Genealogy Seminar
The Spring Seminar 2007 is set for Saturday, March 31, 2007 at the Fair Oaks
Presbyterian Church. Paula Stuart-Warren, who has written numerous genealogy books, will host the daylong conference. More information will follow. (Editor's note: I went last year when John Philip Colletta was the featured speaker. )
Ukraine Synagogues and Sites
Allan Dolgow reports receiving a copy of JEWISH CEMETERIES, SYNAGOGUES, AND MASS GRAVE SITES IN UKRAINE. "It's worth sending away for, not only for the information it contains but the photographs." To get a copy send an e-mail to uscommission@...
- 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)