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Keidan Vital Records

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  • awcassel
    Fellow Keidaners: I ve been asked to post the following message by Olga Zabludoff of Washington, DC. Please email her at oz@intergate.com with any specific
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2 3:19 PM
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      Fellow Keidaners:

      I've been asked to post the following message by Olga Zabludoff of
      Washington, DC. Please email her at oz@... with any
      specific questions. (General comments may be posted here, of

      Be well,

      Andy Cassel

      Good news for all Keidaners!

      Of the hundreds of Litvak shtetlach our ancestors once inhabited,
      vital records have survived from only 101 towns. The shtetl Keidan
      is one of these. It is further distinguished by having among the
      earliest vital records in the entire collection--not surprising
      since Keidan's Jewish community dates back to the late 15th century.

      Keidan's birth records begin in 1822 and continue through 1895
      (though not consecutive); marriage records—1838-1895; divorce
      records—1854-1895; death records—1855-1895. Both the number of
      records and the years they span comprise a goldmine of data for your
      family trees.

      The records are here; the translators are waiting. All we need are
      the funds. The JewishGen Family Finder lists 140 individuals
      researching 250 surnames in Keidan. In addition there are a good
      number of researchers whose ancestors lived in Keidan at one period
      or another even if it wasn't their primary ancestral town.

      We have reason to feel proud of our connections to Keidan. It was
      there in 1727 that the astonishing six-year-old boy from Vilna was
      brought to be educated. That boy became known as the Vilna Gaon, and
      the term "Litvak" was coined to denote his followers. The renowned
      teacher of the Vilna Gaon was David Katzenellenbogen, rabbi of
      Keidan and head of the region. The 18th century doesn't seem so long
      ago when we see on the JGFF
      that Igal Katzenellenbogen, an Israeli descendant of the illustrious
      Keidan rabbi, is one of our fellow researchers.

      If all of us Kedainers support this vital records translation
      effort, we can turn around the project by the end of 2005. We have
      all experienced the agony of waiting long periods for results—
      whether for documents and information from archives, from hired
      researchers abroad, or postings on the ALD. Only through a unified,
      timely response can we achieve the results each one of us craves. As
      the volunteer shtetl coordinator for Keidan, I am launching this
      important drive in the hope that it will spark the project into

      Donations can be made by clicking on
      Fill in KEDAINIAI under Vital Records Indexing Project and the
      amount of your donation. A $100 contribution entitles you to receive
      the translations as soon as they become available. Please e-mail me
      with any questions or comments. I shall also contact all Keidaners
      personally as the project gains momentum.

      Olga Zabludoff
      Washington, DC
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