Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 13, Number 26 | June 17, 2012
Every government puts value on preserving its history. That is why we have national archives. Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records, just as historians cannot preserve a nation's history without access to records. It is a greater good than the right to privacy. It is a greater good than the risk of identity theft.
A Guide to Canadian Jewish Genealogical Research Published
JewishGen has a new InfoFile: A Guide to Canadian Jewish Genealogical Research. It is located at http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/Canada.html. Judging by its length—more than 7,000 words—it is a rigorous description of the resources available to do Canadian (Jewish) family history research. Census Records, Passenger Manifests, Border Crossing Records, Naturalization, Vital Records, Cemetery Records, Newspaper Articles, City Directories are just a few of the topics covered. While you are at the JewishGen site, go to http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/ to see a list of the more than 100 other InfoFiles developed by JewishGen volunteers.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers Allows Access to Jewish Newspapers for June
ProQuest Historical Newspapers, in celebration of Anne Frank's diaries 70th anniversary, is offering free access to their American Jewish Historical Newspapers Collection through June 30th. The newspapers include:
• American Hebrew & Jewish Messenger (1857–1922) New York
• American Israelite (1854–2000) Cincinnati
• Jewish Advocate (1905–1990) Boston
• Jewish Exponent (1887–1990) Philadelphia
Normally ProQuest services are available only to institutions, primarily libraries, and not individuals. Contact your local library to determine if they are a ProQuest subscriber. If so, have them order the collection if they do not have it already.
I was able to access the database from my home computer. Go to http://discovermorecorps.com/ and click the “Sign Up” button. Create an account (I noted I was a “researcher”). Then go to http://discovermorecorps.com/page/database-of-the-month and click on the words “free access” in the first sentence of the article. You can then perform searches and save the results.
1940 Census Update
Oklahoma is the 19th state to be totally indexed by FamilySearch. The census can be accessed at https://familysearch.org/1940census/?cid=fsHomeT1940Text_v2. A complete progress report, including the status of other states, is located at https://familysearch.org/blog/1940-census-indexing-progress-reportjune-13-2012/.
Website Identifies More Than 3 Million Persons from Russian Empire
The (Russian) Genealogical Research Center has a website located at http://www.rosgenea.ru that lists more then 3.3 million persons from the pre-1918 Russian Empire era with biographical information. The site is in Russian.
A sample entry translated using Goggle Translate is:
Tartakovskii Yakim Victor (1860–1923, St. Petersburg., Tihvinsk.kl-School), singer (lyrical and dramatic baritone) and director. The soloist, and later (1894–1923) directed by the chief Mariinsk.teatra in St. Petersburg. Popular of his concert performances, especially the performance of Tchaikovsky's romances. 1920-1923 years. - Professor of the Petrograd Conservatory.
The home page implies that the database has not been updated since 2008 when it had 3,372,820 entries; however, a posting to the Ukraine SIG Discussion Group indicates the current count is closer to six million.
MyHeritage.com Now Has One Billion Profiles; Adds Functionality
The number of people identified on MyHeritage.com has now reached one billion. According to the company, they now have 23 million family trees and more than 63 million registered users. Approximately half of the billion profiles are living people, enabling users to connect to relatives, collaborate on family history research and share memories. The other half billion profiles who are deceased help connect the living through shared ancestors. Users from around the world have uploaded 150 million photos and images to illustrate their family history. MyHeritage.com notes that it works in any of 38 languages.
The company is planning to add two services that match historical information with their subscribers’ family trees. SuperSearch will extract names, dates, and places from your genealogy database and then search for likely matches in the database of historical archives. It will usually display “plausible matches,” that is, matches for people of the same (or similar) names who were in the same place in the same years as the individuals in your database. The other service, Record Matching, will allow users to search newspaper archives and yearbook entries for added information. The newspaper records provide a collection of 120 million pages and there are 4 billion records over all. A video about MyHeritage.com can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo82qEvp-e4.
Kaunas Gubernia Vital Records Extracted
Litvak SIG has completed the translation of all known pre-1912 vital records for Kovno (Kaunas) gubernia. They include towns in the present-day districts of Kaunas, Panevezys, Raseiniai, Sauliai, Telsiai, Ukmerge and Zarasai. More recent records come under Lithuanian privacy laws.
Not all are currently searchable in the All-Lithuania Database (ALD) located at http://www.jewishgen.org/Litvak/all.htm. The balance will be available in about 18 months time according to Eden Joachim, Litvak SIG President. Researchers can access spreadsheets for the records not yet in the ALD by contributing to the relevant District Research Group. More information may be found on http://www.litvaksig.org/projects.
Sephardic Heritage Project Joins IAJGS
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies has a new member: Sephardic Heritage Project. The new member was founded in 2004 to identify and preserve the marriage and brit milah records of the Syrian Jewish community. Some of their projects include Aleppo (Syria) circumcisions 1868–1945, Aleppo marriages 1847–1934 with some intervening years missing, and Eulogies covering sporadic entries from 1716–1946. All are available on JewishGen at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/#Syria. Additional information about Sephardic Heritage Project can be found at http://sephardicheritageproject.org/.
IAJGS is the umbrella group of more than 70 Jewish genealogical societies in 14 countries. It provides a common voice for issues of significance to its members, advances genealogy as an avocation, and coordinates items such as the annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. A list of member societies is at http://iajgs.org/members/members.html.
JewishGen Adds SubCarpathian Interest Group
JewishGen has added a new Special Interest Group (SIG) named the SubCarpathian SIG. It focuses on parts of the pre-WWI Hungarian megyek (counties) of Bereg, Maramaros, Ugocsa and Ung, today located in Ukraine. The group has a website at http://www.jewishgen.org/Sub-Carpathia/. There is also a Discussion Group which can be subscribed to at http://www.jewishgen.org/ListManager. Marshall Katz is the SIG Coordinator.
International Conference Less Than a Month Away
It is less than a month before the 32nd International conference on Jewish Genealogy will start on July 15 in Paris. I have already gone through the program located at http://www.paris2012.eu/events and marked a large number of lectures I plan to attend. I usually do not attend many lectures at the conferences because I am familiar with the lecturers and lectures, but the unusual list of speakers this year from the European continent means a new perspective on many standard subjects. Then there is the opportunity to play tourist in Paris and France in general. I know many attendees are using it as an opportunity to continue on to their ancestral countries in Central and Eastern Europe. I am planning to visit friends in Belgium the week before the conference.
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