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From Generation
to Generation

by Arthur Kurzweil
Foreword by Elie Wiesel

Since it was first published in 1980, From Generation to Generation has inspired thousands to pursue the unique challenge and rewards of Jewish genealogy. More than 40,000 copies of previous editions of this book have been sold. Written by a pioneer of Jewish genealogy, this new version is a major rewrite of previous editions. There are now chapters on how Jewish genealogy is different from other genealogy, Internet resources, names, Holocaust research, immigration, research in the Old Country and cemeteries. Kurzweil interviewed some of the specialists in Jewish genealogical research and includes a number of "A Conversation With..." sections.

6" x 9"  392 pages(est)  hardcover  $24.95  Special price $17.00  

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Acknowledgments xv
Foreword xix
Elie Wiesel
Introduction xxi

CHAPTER ONE: Climbing Up My Family Tree: Jewish Genealogy as a Spiritual Pilgrimage 1 CHAPTER TWO: Getting Started: How to Begin Your Research First Steps 38 Gathering Your History: Collecting Stories 44 Family Legends: Are They True? 45 Ten Common Family Myths-or Truths! 47 What Questions Should You Ask? 50 Tips on Interviewing Relatives 53 Observations on People Who Don't Appreciate Genealogy 54 Following Leads Like a Detective 55 Taking Notes 55 Visiting Relatives and Others 56 Family Photographs 57 Writing Letters 58 Final Tips on How to Begin 59 CHAPTER THREE: Are You Ready to Check the Records? 61 Prepare Yourself 61 Telephone Books 62 Vital Records 64 Federal Census Records 65 State Census Records 70 Tips on Dealing with Government Agencies 70 City Directories 71 Synagogue Records 72 The National Archives 73 What If You Were Adopted? 74 Canadian Research 75 A Few Important Canadian Resources 76 Cardinal Rules When Dealing with Libraries, Archives, and Other Institutions 77 Tips on Dealing with Librarians 78 Publishing Your Family History 79 CHAPTER FOUR: How Is Jewish Genealogy Different from All Other Genealogy? 81 Memorial Books (Yizkor Books) 85 Are There Memorial Books for Your Towns? 87 The Yizkor Book Project 96 Other Places to Look for Yizkor Books 97 How to Obtain Copies for Yourself 98 The Yizkor Book Special Interest Group (SIG) 99 Two Traditional Sources: Mohel Books and Ketubot 99 Archives, Libraries, and Organizations 100 American Jewish Archives 100 The Center for Jewish History 100 A Conversation with Robert Friedman 103 YIVO Institute for Jewish Research 107 A Conversation with Zachary Baker 108 The Leo Baeck Institute 111 American Jewish Historical Society 113 Jewish Historical Societies Around the World 114 The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People 120 A Conversation with Sallyann Amdur Sack 121 Jewish Genealogical Societies Around the World 127 The Douglas E. Goldman Jewish Genealogy Center 140 LDS Family History Library 141 Other Valuable Jewish Sources 144 Toledot: The Journal of Jewish Genealogy 144
The Encyclopedia of Jewish Genealogy 145
Encyclopedia Judaica 145
First American Jewish Families 146
My Generations: A Jewish Genealogical Textbook 147
Other Jewish Genealogical Publications 149
Professional Genealogical Assistance 150
A Conversation with Ladislau Gyemant 151
A Conversation with Miriam Weiner 153
Ten Commandments for Jewish Genealogists 161

CHAPTER FIVE: Avotaynu: The Premier Publisher in the World of Jewish Genealogy 162 Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy 162
What Will You Find in Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy? 163
Avotaynu Back Issues on CD-ROM (1985-2002) 165
Books from Avotaynu 166
A Conversation with Gary Mokotoff 170

CHAPTER SIX Jewish Genealogy in Cyberspace 173 A Few Basics 173 A Guide to the Site 174 Learn 175 Research 178 Discussion Groups 186 Projects and Activities 189 Hosted Organizations 191 Contributions and Fundraising 195 A Conversation with Warren Blatt 193 CHAPTER SEVEN: Were Your Ancestors Great Rabbis? 196 Rabbinic Dynasties 200 Rabbinic Sources 201 Rabbinic Texts 204 Hebrew Subscription Lists 204 A Conversation with Neil Rosenstein 205 CHAPTER EIGHT: The Names in Your Family 209 A Brief History of Jewish Surnames 209 The Origins of Modern Surnames 213 Patronymics 214 Place Names 214 Vocational Names 215 Descriptive Names 216 Names from Abbreviations 217 Metronymics 217 Some Jewish Surnames and Their Meanings 218 Personal Names 221 For Whom Were You Named? 223 What If Your Name Was Changed? 224 Names as Clues to Dates 225 Last Names from the Maternal Side 226 Hebrew, Yiddish, and English Names 226 Sources for Determining the Meanings of Names 227 Some Additional Research Suggestions 229 Back Issues of Avotaynu 229 The Consolidated Jewish Surname Index (CJSI) 229 Project for the Study of Jewish Names 232 Information on Jewish Names from Jewish Gen. org 233 Some Final Thoughts About Jewish Names 233 A Conversation with Alexander Beider 234 CHAPTER NINE: Holocaust Research: Changing Numbers into Names 243 Holocaust Research: The Search for Victims and Survivors 249 The International Tracing Service 249 The Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center 254 Yad Vashem 258 An Indispensable Guidebook 256 Memorial Books as Sources for Learning About Holocaust Victims 258 Locating Survivors 2S8 Survivor Lists 259's Holocaust Database 262 How Can These Lists Serve You? 265 The Jewish Agency Search Bureau for Missing Relatives in Israel 266 Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) Location Services 267 The Benjamin and Vladka Meed Registry of Jewish Holocaust Survivors 268 Deportations from France During the Holocaust 268 Mauthausen Death Books 270 Other Death Books 270 Pre-Holocaust European Phone Books 271 CHAPTER TEN: Your Immigrant Ancestors 274 Immigration to the United 5tates 275 1654-1825 275 1825-1880 276 1880-1929 277 1929-1945 278 1945 to the Present 279 Immigration to Canada 279 Aliyah to Israel 280 Your Immigrant Ancestors: Who Were They? 282 Landsmanshaftn 286 Tracing Your Journey 287 How to Find the Ship That Brought Your Ancestors to America 288 How to Find Steamship Passenger Lists with Your Ancestors on Them 290 Passenger Lists Online 291 Avotaynu Articles Concerning Immigration Records 292 Canadian Immigration Records 292 How to Obtain Photographs of Your Ancestors' Steamships 293 Naturalization Records: An Important Genealogical Source 293 The Legitimacy of Sending for Family History Documents 300 "These Are the Generations" 301 CHAPTER ELEVEN: Discovering the Old Country 306 Where Once We Walked 306
JewishGen ShtetlSeeker 307
Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People 307
Encyclopedia Judaica 308
Locating Landsmanshaftn 309
Sources for Landsmanshaft Records 311
Your Shtetl or Town During the Holocaust 312
How to Locate Your Shtetl 313
Soundex Systems 314
Genealogical Sources in the Old Country: How to Do
Long-Distance Research 315
Visiting the Old Country 317
How to Plan Your Trip 322
Advice Before Traveling to Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union 325

CHAPTER TWELVE: Jewish Cemeteries: Your History Chiseled in Stone 329) Cemeteries as Family Bonds 332 A Walk Through a Jewish Cemetery 334 Visiting Jewish Cemeteries 336 Tombstones 336 Cemetery Plots 336 Tombstone Transcribing 337 How to Read a Jewish Tombstone 337 Tombstone Rubbings 340 Photographing Tombstones 340 Locating Cemeteries 342 Death Certificates 342 Wills 343 Obituaries 343 European Jewish Cemeteries 345 Other Valuable Jewish Cemetery Sources 346 APPENDIX Relationship Chart: How Are We Related? 349 The Author 353 Index 355