Genealogy Databases on the Internet
| Jewish roots. Two major events shaped Jewish
life of the past two hundred years: migration and the Holocaust. Few
Jews today live where their ancestors lived a century or two ago. As a
result many Jews believe they cannot trace their family roots because:
These statements are myths. Jewish
genealogy today is highly organized and therefore help is available to
dispel these myths. There are many resources available to help you
trace your Jewish family heritage.
- My family name was changed (at Ellis
- No one in my family knows about the
- No one is left alive to tell me
about my family's past
- All the records were destroyed in
- My town was wiped off the face of
- Databases exist on the Internet to
get you started
- There are more than 80 genealogical
societies throughout the world where you can meet other persons tracing
- There are books on Jewish genealogy;
Avotaynu is the leading supplier of these books
- There is a strong presence of Jewish
genealogy on the Internet
JewishGen Family Finder. The most
valuable database to assist you is the JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF).
It is a list of 100,000 surnames and 18,000 towns being researched by
more than 80,000 Jewish genealogists throughout the world. Go to the JGFF
site and see if any other genealogists are researching your
family name. In most cases, it will give you the person's e-mail
address so you can contact the individual and jump start your research.
If you know the town from which your family came, also use JGFF to see
if others are researching your town. A word of caution before using
JGFF. The same name can be spelled different ways in different
countries, so when you use JGFF leave the SEARCH TYPE as
"Sounds Like" to use the Daitch-Mokotoff
Consolidated Jewish Surname Index. The
next step is to locate reference material that contains information
about your family name. Go to the Consolidated Jewish Surname Index
and key in your family name. It will make you aware of up to 42
different sources of information that contain your family name. When
the information is displayed by CJSI you will only see codes next to
your name. Scroll the screen down to see what these codes represent and
they will link to other places on the Web that will give you a more
detailed description of the source and how to access the source (an
Internet database, a reference book, etc). Be sure to research all
spelling variants of your name that are shown.
Family Tree of the Jewish People. The
final Internet database worth looking at is the Family
Tree of the Jewish People. This is a database of family trees
that have been submitted by Jewish genealogists. It contains more than
2 million individuals. Members of your family may already be on other
researcher's family tree and this database will link you up with the
There are some 80 Jewish genealogical societies in the world. If there
is one in your area, we strongly recommend that you join the society.
At their meetings you will be able to discuss your research with
experts that can point you in the right direction. A complete list of
societies is available at http://iajgs.org/Member-Index.htm.
Books, Journal, Maps,
Avotaynu is the leading supplier of works of interest to Jewish
researchers. We have published books on names, towns, getting started,
and a host of other topics. Browse our web site to see what we offer.
We have made it simple to order our products with a shopping cart
system. Start at the Avotaynu Home Page and browse
our Book, Journal, Maps and CDs web pages. If you are unsure
what to buy, click the Recommendations button to see what we recommend.
We saved the best for last. It is also the one area on the Web where
you can spend hours looking at the wealth of information available.
JewishGen supports the JewishGen Family Finder and Family Tree of the
Jewish People previously mentioned. But there is much, much more.
Subscribe to their Discussion Group and you can post a personal message
that will be read within 24 hours by more than 5,000 Jewish
genealogists throughout the world. Maybe one of them can answer your
query. Go into the Discussion Group archives to see if any questions
have been asked (it goes back to 1993) that may be of interest to you.
The JewishGen environment is too huge to describe here. Just go to the JewishGen
Home Page and browse, and browse and browse.
Good luck in your research!
Please do not contact Avotaynu with questions about your personal
research. We are not geared to handle inquiries of that nature.
Instead, contact your local Jewish
genealogical society or post a message on the JewishGen
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