Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 14, Number 31 | August 11, 2013
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.
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Boston Conference Great Success
More than 1,250 people attended this past week the 33rd annual IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and hosted by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston. Nearly 500 were attending an IAJGS conference for the first time. All those persons who volunteered to make it a great success should be congratulated.
The IAJGS conferences have become more of an extravaganza than a conference with lectures starting at 8:15 a.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. For early risers, the first lectures are preceded by Breakfast with Experts sessions that start at 7 a.m. There were as many as 10 concurrent sessions in addition to computer workshops, films and tours of the Boston area. The Gala Banquet on Thursday night featured a 20-person choir with musical instrument accompaniment.
I heard a report that more than 250 signed up for the LIVE streaming option, a first for IAJGS conferences. It permitted people to listen from another venue such as their home some 50 lectures for only $139. Sessions are available for playback for three months after the conference. Given that it was announced at the last minute, it can be anticipated that this option will attract many more people in 2014.
Locations of Next Three IAJGS Conferences Announced
The 2014 IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held in Salt Lake City from July 27 to August 1. The 2015 conference will be in Jerusalem from July 6–10. The 2016 conference will be in Seattle, Washington. Dates have not been announced.
IAJGS Award Winners Announced at Conference
Recipients of the annual IAJGS Achievement Awards for 2013 are:
IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Neville Y. Lamdan
Outstanding Contribution to Jewish Genealogy via the Internet, Print or Electronic Product – JewishGen KehilaLinks
Outstanding Programming or Project That Advances the Objectives of Jewish Genealogy – Gesher Galicia, for its Cadastral Map & Landowner Records Project and the Gesher Galicia Map Room
Outstanding Publication by a Member Organization of IAJGS – Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto, for its book, “Tracing Our Roots, Telling Our Stories”
Neville Lamdan was honored for his pioneering work in establishing the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy and Paul Jacobi Center in Jerusalem (http://www.iijg.org/). The award stated that his vision and dedication as its director from 2006 to 2012 shaped the IIJG into a driving force working to gain recognition of Jewish genealogy as an academic discipline. As a result of Dr. Lamdan’s skilled leadership, the IIJG has developed syllabi and guidelines for university-level courses in Jewish genealogy, has sponsored scholarly research on Jewish genealogy, and has been a presence at international Jewish Studies conferences. An innovator and bridge-builder, Dr. Lamdan has given Jewish genealogists new insights and tools and has underscored to the academic community the crucial role genealogical research has to play in the study of Jewish history and identity.
KehilaLinks (http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/) has encouraged and assisted the creation of over 600 web pages commemorating the places where Jews have lived. The pages provide valuable information for each community, including maps, photographs, historical accounts, databases, links to other resources, and more.
The Gesher Galicia Cadastral Map and Landowner Records Project
(http://www.geshergalicia.org/projects/cadastral-map-and-landowner-records/) has provided groundbreaking content for genealogical researchers. Through the funding of Gesher Galicia and individual contributors, 19th-century Austrian land maps and landowner records are copied at archives in Eastern Europe. These extraordinary maps, which show such details as market squares, houses, synagogues, cemeteries, roads, and rivers, enable family historians to visualize where and how their ancestors lived, and the landowner records too capture details of everyday lives not found in traditional sources.
Tracing Our Roots, Telling Our Stories, published by the JGS of Toronto (http://www.jgstoronto.ca/) in celebration of its 25th anniversary, shares family stories, first-person narratives, and accounts of research and discovery written by 44 of the Society’s members. This 248-page anthology spans two centuries and diverse locations to explore such themes as immigration, the Holocaust, and life in Eastern Europe and in new homelands.
Browse 1921 Census of Canada at Ancestry.ca
You can now browse the 1921 census of Canada at Ancestry.ca. It requires an Ancestry.com subscription that allows access to Canadian records or there is a limited time free offer. The census is located at http://www.ancestry.ca/census. Since the collection is the actual census records without an index, it is necessary to know the street address where the person lived. An index is expected later this year.
Ancestry (UK) Allowing Free Access to 1911 Census Until October 14
Ancestry.co.uk is providing access to the 1911 census of England and Wales at no charge until October 14. The site is at http://www.ancestry.co.uk/1911census. If you do not have a paid subscription that allows access to the collection, you must register first.
U.S. Library of Congress “Chronicling America” Site Updated
More than 600,000 historic newspaper pages have been added to the U.S. Library of Congress site titled “Chronicling America.” It includes first-time contributions from Iowa, Michigan and West Virginia. Other new additions include content from Hawaii, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The site now provides access to more than 6.6 million searchable newspaper pages from more than 1,100 newspaper titles, published in 30 states and the District of Columbia between 1836 and 1922. It is located at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
News from the SIGs
SIGs are Special Interest Groups primarily focusing on geographic areas of ancestry. You can subscribe to their Discussion Groups at http://lyris.jewishgen.org/ListManager. A login is required. You can link to the SIG home pages from http://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen/sigs.htm. There are also more than 80 Jewish Genealogical Societies throughout the world. A list of societies can be found at http://www.iajgs.org/members/members.html.
Bucovina/Moldavia/Bessarabia. Bucovina and Moldavia Region Vital Records databases of ROM-SIG as well as an update to the Bessarabia Vital Records database are now online at the JewishGen Romania Database at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Romania. The Bucovina region database contains more than 6,400 Jewish birth records from the towns of: Kimpolung (Campulung Moldovensec), Gurahumora (Gura Humorului), Radautz (Radauti) and Suczawa (Suceava). The Moldavia databases contain in excess of 9,600 births, 2,600 marriages and 1,400 deaths for a total of 13,700 records. The Bessarabia databases now have added more than 4,600 births and 1,400 marriages. These databases now contain more than 160,000 records.
Sub-Carpathia. The Sub-Carpathia SIG website at http://www.jewishgen.org/Sub-Carpathia/ has been updated to include a photo for each of 194 cemeteries in the region. Its photo gallery section now includes an image for each of 258 villages and towns. Subcarpathia is a region of Europe that comprises portions of Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. The name derives from the region's location near the Carpathian Mountains.
FamilySearch Additions for the Week
Recent additions in the past two weeks to FamilySearch, both indexes and browseable images, can be found at three sites: https://www.familysearch.org/node/2292, https://www.familysearch.org/node/2293 and https://www.familysearch.org/node/2307. Each site provides direct links to the individual collections. The first site includes records from Belgium, Indonesia, Mexico, Spain, and Washington State. The second has records for Belgium, Nicaragua, Spain and the states of Iowa and North Carolina. The final site has records from BillionGraves, Italy, Massachusetts and U.S. collections from WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War.
Note that at the website announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. Also, note that counts shown in the announcement are the number added, not the total number available in the collection.
Launch Survey on Difficulty in Accessing Holocaust-Related Records
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (formerly the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research) is seeking information via an online survey on the difficulties people have encountered in accessing Holocaust-related archival materials. The project's objective is to identify problems and find ways to address them in the future. The survey is available in English, German, French, and Russian and should only take a few minutes to complete. IHRA asks that respondents give as detailed answers as possible. Links to the survey can be found at http://www.holocaustremembrance.com/focus/archives.
How-To Web Pages at UK National Archives Site
The UK National Archives has web pages that discuss how to locate records of passengers to and from the UK (http://tinyurl.com/UKNAPassengers) and looking for records of immigrants (http://tinyurl.com/UKNAImmigrants).
IIJG Sponsors Genealogy Session at World Union of Jewish Studies
The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy sponsored a session on “Dimensions of Jewish Genealogy” on the opening day of the 16th Congress of the World Union of Jewish Studies, July 28. Four papers were presented by scholars closely associated with the Institute:
Prof. Aaron Demsky on “The Names ‘Sara’ and ‘Israel’ from the Holocaust”
Dr. Louise Hecht on “Jewish Families and the Tobacco Monopoly in the Habsburg Monarchy”
Dr. Judith Kalik on “Village Jews in the 19th Century Minsk Gubernya”
Dr. Erzsébet Mislovics on “Family Models of the Munk and Goldzieher Families in Hungary”
After the formal session, an open discussion chaired by IIJG Academic Director, Prof. Michael Silber, was held on “Research Directions for Jewish Genealogy”. The lead speaker was Prof. Israel Bartal, Chair of the Historical Society of Israel.
MyHeritage Assisting in Locating People Eligible for Reparations
Gilad Japhet, CEO and founder of Israel-based MyHeritage, is using his company’s resources to locate descendants of Jews who are entitled to reparations for seized assets. Japhet matched some names on the list of people who had assets confiscated during the Holocaust with the MyHeritage database of millions of names that users had posted at his company’s site. He got some hits and then assigned five employees to write a computer program that automatically matches the names on the Claims Conference’s list with those on the family trees. To date, MyHeritage has been able to match about 150 names. They expect to continue working on this project for several more months.
The complete report is at http://bigstory.ap.org/article/social-media-help-track-property-lost-holocaust.
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