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Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy
by Gary Mokotoff

More than 3,000 copies sold. It is not a beginner’s guide. A beginner’s guide to Jewish genealogy would undoubtedly take many more pages and cost much more. Instead it is a getting started guide meant to convince the reader that tracing one’s Jewish ancestry can be done.

The resources described are primarily Internet resources. The Internet has revolutionized family history research. What used to take days or weeks now takes minutes or hours because of the wealth of resources on the Internet.

It describes in detail such resources as JewishGen, Morse One-Step site, FamilySearch, Ancestry.com and many more sites. It alerts the readers to what types of documents of their ancestors will aid in their research—such records as birth, marriage, death, Immigration, census and naturalization records.

Special focus is given to two problems often uttered by neophyte Jewish genealogists: (1) My name was changed at Ellis Island and (2) I do not know the town my family came from.

7" x 10" 96 pp. softcover $14.50 
 


Contents

INTRODUCTION vii
IF I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU 1
Four Myths of Jewish Genealogy 3
GET STARTED BY INTERVIEWING PEOPLE 4
Ask for Documents 4
Ask for Photos 4
RECORDS OF YOUR ANCESTORS 8
Vital Records 8
Federal Census Records 10
Non-Federal Censuses 13
Naturalization Records 13
Passenger Lists 14
Other Resources 15
JEWISHGEN: THE INTERNET HOME OF JEWISH GENEALOGY 18
Searching JewishGen Databases 19
STEPHEN P. MORSE ONE-STEP SITE 25
A Strategy for Using the Morse Site to Search the Ellis Island Database 26
SOME OTHER ONLINE GENEALOGY SITES 30
FamilySearch and the Family History Library System 30
Routes to Roots Foundation 32
Jewish Records Indexing-Poland 33
SephardicGen.com 34
Museum of Family History 34
FamilyTreeDNA.com 35
FindaGrave.com and Billion Graves.com 35
Cyndi's List
35
Association of Professional Genealogists 36
COMMERCIAL ONLINE GENEALOGY SITES 37
Ancestry.com 37
Findmypast.com 38
Fold3.com 38
WorldVitalRecords.com 39
JewishData.com 39
IMPORTANT NON-INTERNET RESOURCES 40
Jewish Genealogical Societies and Annual Conference 40
Avotaynu 41
HOLOCAUST RESEARCH 44
Shoah Victims’ Names Database 45
International Tracing Service (ITS) 46
Yizkor Books 47
Other Resources 47
SPECIAL PROBLEM: MY NAME WAS CHANGED AT ELLIS ISLAND 48
SPECIAL PROBLEM: FINDING YOUR ANCESTRAL TOWN 51
GETTING STARTED PROPERLY 54
Genealogy Software 54
Cite Your Sources 56
Standards 56
Maintain a Research Log 56
GLOSSARY 57
APPENDIX A: HOW TO SEARCH ONLINE DATABASES 59
APPENDIX A: DAITCH-MOKOTOFF SOUNDEX SYSTEM 62
APPENDIX B: CASE STUDY– THE PATERNAL HISTORY OF BERNARD MADOFF 66
ILLUSTRATIONS 75
Birth Record 76
Marriage Record 77
Death Record 78
Death Index: 79
Russian Census 80
Passenger Arrival Record 81
Census Record 82
Petition for Naturalization 83
Tombstone Inscription 84
Page of Testimony (Holocaust) 85
Holocaust Document: 86
JewishGen Discussion Group 87
JewishGen Family Finder 88
Consolidated Jewish Surname Index 89
Social Security Death Index 90

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