Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 13, Number 41 | October 7, 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.
Index to Jewish Children Deported from Paris Now Online
Serge Klarsfeld, author of Memorial of the Deportation of the Jews of France, which was published this year in a revised and expanded edition, has placed on the Internet the names of more than 6,200 Jewish children arrested in Paris from 1942–1944. It is located at http://sig.tge-adonis.fr/Paris1942.
What is unusual about the site is that it includes a street map of Paris with a dot at the street address where each child lived. The larger the dot, the more children who lived at the location. Information provided about each child is name, age and street address. The database can be searched by name or street address. There also is an alphabetical listing of all children as well as a list of street names. The map is contemporary to the time period. Unfortunately the map does not include street names.
The site is in French. Use Google translate if required. Most of the words necessary to search for names are very basic French including adresse, enfant, index, nom, rue.
FamilySearch Has Free Online Research Courses
FamilySearch now has more than 300 online genealogy research courses available at no charge. Some focus on research in specific countries; others focus on basic tools and techniques for anyone just getting started in family history research, as well as courses for intermediate and advanced researchers. Most courses are 30 minutes in length. The presenters are primarily members of the Family History Library staff. One topic of value to Jewish genealogists is a series of courses on reading handwriting in other languages. These include Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Scandinavian Gothic, and Spanish. For example, there are three courses in reading Russian handwritten records covering (1) the Cyrillic alphabet, (2) names, dates and key words, (3) reading Russian records. A comparable set of three lectures cover the Polish language.
Information is available at https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/home.html
Webinar Celebrates Jewish Genealogy Month
Jewish Genealogy Month, a project of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, this year is from October 17 – November 14. Coinciding with the Jewish month of Cheshvan, its purpose is to honor Jewish ancestors through the pursuit of Jewish family history research.
This year the Israel Genealogy Research Association is planning a number of webinars as part of its activities for International Jewish Genealogy Month. The first, to be given in English, is "The Genealogical Value of Jewish Cemetery Records - JewishGen's JOWBR Project." It will be presented on the Internet on October 17 from 7–8:30pm Israel Standard Time (1–2:30 Eastern Daylight Time).
The lecturer is Nolan Altman, JewishGen Vice President for Data Acquisition. The talk will focus on growing JewishGen’s Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) and Holocaust databases. Nolan is coordinator of the JOWBR project and also works with volunteers from around the world helping to grow both databases.
Additional information about the webinar can be found at http://tinyurl.com/AltmanWebinar.
QR Codes on Tombstones
For a number of years there has been talk about placing a microchip or some other high-tech item on tombstones so that visitors could acquire additional information about the deceased. The latest suggested item is a QR code. QR (it stands for Quick Response) codes are those funny looking squares—see one to the right—that are popping up in newspapers and magazines. It appears that some people feel in this age of high-speed everything, some people visiting a cemetery would want a quick response to locate memorial pages, obituaries and online photo albums about who is buried at a particular gravesite. Find additional information at http://tinyurl.com/QRCodesTombstones.
Easier Access to Freedom of Information Act Documents
While the U.S. Congress is focusing on ways of limiting access to government records such as the Social Security Death Index, the National Archives and Records Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Commerce have partnered to develop an online system aimed at expanding public access to information requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
They have developed a site, http://FOIAonline.Regulations.gov, that offers the public one place to submit FOIA requests, track their progress, communicate with the processing agency, search other requests, access previously released responsive documents and file appeals with participating agencies.
It benefits government agencies too by providing a secure website to receive and store requests, assign and process requests, post responses, generate metrics, manage records electronically, create management reports and electronically generate the annual report required from each agency by FOIA.
Additional information is at http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2013/nr13-01.html
Information about the Yad Vashem Photo Archives
A posting to JewishGen notes that Yad Vashem has a collection of 297 color photos of the Lodz Ghetto that can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/LodzGhettoPhotos. The total photo collection at Yad Vashem now exceeds 93,000 images and can be searched at http://collections.yadvashem.org/photosarchive/en-us.
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