Update: Yizkor Book Project

Posted by Lance Ackerfeld

A lot went on in October in the Yizkor Book Project and, for instance, I was excited to see that for several projects, we are getting closer and closer to seeing the translation of whole books online. Clearly, such a feat doesn't come about overnight and without a dedicated team effort which usually takes months and even years but, believe me, it is definitely worth the effort providing the researchers of today and tomorrow, a wealth of information on our communities which were destroyed in the Holocaust. To give you an idea of how of the number of communities involved, at this stage in time, the Yizkor Book Project now contains information on around 1500 communities and 650 books and we continue to press on to cover communities, yet to be reached.

I must point out that our html team is integrally behind this month's extraordinary achievement and so, my heartfelt thanks go out to Osnat Ramaty, Max Heffler and Jason Hallgarten for their continued efforts, never saying no and for maintaining such high standards of work.

Please note that the translations that are online can be reached by clicking on blue links in the indexes and tables of contents, so that if you find that the article you're looking for has no link, it means that it hasn't been translated yet. If this is the case, I suggest you contact the coordinator of the particular book you're interested in or if there is no coordinator, please contact me and I'll see what can be done to facilitate the translation.

Note that a very positive way of helping to see translations placed online is by supporting one of the many Translation Funds which have been set up to bring about the professional translation of the Yizkor Books.  If you feel able to support this effort, please go to the Yizkor Book JewishGen-erosity
to learn about the Translation Funds currently underway.

And further about translations; in recent times, I have received messages from Hebrew speakers who would like to read the Yizkor Books but are unable to read Yiddish sections and are not fluent enough in English to read our online translations. For this reason, we have begun to add in Hebrew translations - for instance, for Staszow, Poland and I would be pleased to hear from volunteers who are able to translate from Yiddish to Hebrew, or from the English into Hebrew to help make progress on this initiative for other Yizkor books.

All of this month's additions and updates have been flagged at http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/translations.html to make it easy to find them. 

Announcement: JGS of New York

Posted by Edith Ewenstein

Next Meeting
November 20, 2011
2:00 p.m.

Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY

"Odessa:Genius and Death in a City of Dreams"

Charles King
Odessa, the greatest port on the Black Sea was home to one of the most progressive and creative Jewish communities in Europe.  Odessa grew as a trading center throughout the nineteenth century and inspired some of Russia's most enduring writers, artists, and musicians.  Charles King has uncovered new documents that shed light on an untold story of the Holocaust, and he also reveals how the city recovered after the Second World War but how its Jewish identity was reshaped as well--from a thriving center of Jewish culture into an object of nostalgia and longing.  A book-signing will follow the presentation.

Charles King is Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University. He is the author of five books, including Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams and his work has been translated into more than ten languages. King’s articles and commentary have appeared in magazines and newspapers as well as in leading academic journals.

The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at CJH will be open before the meeting at 11:00 a.m. for networking with other researchers and access to research materials and computers.
For further information contact info@jgs.org

Canadian Military Resources

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

A recent article in About.com genealogy has some interesting resources if you are researching Canadian military ancestors.

The resources include:
1. Legion Magazine's free database of death notices for Royal Canadian Legion members with military backgrounds.

2. Online index from Library and Archives Canada to service records of the 600,000 men and women who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War (1914-1918) as soldiers, nurses and chaplains.

3 Canadian Post-War Military and Dependent Graves.

4. Books of Remembrance- includes names of Canadians who fought and lost their lives in wars from WW I through Afghanistan.

And more!

See: http://tinyurl.com/3e5qt8q
original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

November 7 Meeting of JGSCV "How To Begin Your Genealogy"

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) will be meeting on Monday, November 7, 2011 7:00-9:00 pm at Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Note: different time and day of week

The Topic: How to Begin Your Genealogy

Have you been wondering how to begin your genealogy? Have you been working on your genealogy for a while and need some ideas of where to focus next? Whether you are new to genealogy or a seasoned genealogist there is something for everyone to learn in this program covering family documents, time lines, census records, immigration and naturalization records, family photos, interviewing techniques, newspaper research.and more!

The International Jewish Genealogy month is celebrated on the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. For 2011, the exact dates are from Oct 29 to Nov 26. International Jewish Genealogy Month is an opportunity to encourage Jewish genealogy. What better way for JGSCV to celebrate this occasion than to offer a program on how to begin your genealogy!

Speaker: Jan Meisels Allen, president and founding member of JGSCV. Jan is vice president of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and has served on the IAJGS Board of Directors since 2004, is chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee (PRAMC) and represents the IAJGS as a managing member on the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC). She has been researching her Polish, Hungarian and Galician roots for over 13 years. She has spoken at a number of organizations on Jewish genealogy, including at a number of IAJGS International conferences.

Our Schmoozing corner, which starts 15 minutes before the meeting begins will be facilitated by Warren Blatt, Managing Director, JewishGen and a founding member and board member of JGSCV This permits attendees to ask questions on brick walls and get directions on how to do their research.

Our traveling library will have categories A and B books. The books are available starting 30 minutes before the program to shortly after the program. To see which books are coming to the meeting, please see our website www.jgscv.org under traveling library.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County is dedicated to sharing genealogical information, techniques and research tools with anyone interested in Jewish genealogy and family history. (www.jgscv.org). There is no charge to attend the meeting and all are welcome to attend.

For more information including directions to the meeting, see our website www.jgscv.org

Jan Meisels Allen
President, JGSCV

Emma Lazarus Focus of New Exhibit and App For Walking Tour By Museum of Jewish Heritage (New York City)

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Museum of Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, of which JewishGen is an affiliate, has created an app for a walking tour of Emma Lazarus' New York- including her Jewish heritage. This is tied to the Museum's new exhibit which starts October 26 through the summer of 2012. It is a downloadable walking tour visiting 19 sites that helped shape Lazarus'
legacy. The Museum's exhibit is in conjunction with the 125th anniversary
of the Statue of Liberty. http://www.mjhnyc.org/emma/

Emma Lazarus was an American Jewish poet born in New York City in 1849, a child of Portuguese Sephardic Jews, best known for her sonnet inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, The New Colossus ...give me your tired your poor, your huddled masses...". This is the focus of a new app for a walking tour of the Manhattan, from Battery Park to the Upper east Side..one is taken back in time to the sights and sounds of the life in New York in
the second half of the 19th century.

One also learns about Lazarus' Jewish identity and her Sephardic lineage dating back to her great great uncle Gershom Mendes Seixas, who served as the spiritual leader of Shearith Israel, New York's first Jewish congregation, and his brother Moses, who authored a very famous letter to George Washington. One stop is at the home of Judge Benjamin Nathan, Lazarus' uncle, who was murdered there in 1870. The crime affected Lazarus deeply and rocked New York's elite society. Edith Wharton's family's home stood next door to Nathan's.

This is posted for the interest of Jewish history in early New York. I have no affiliation with the Museum, other than being a supporter of JewishGen which is a museum affiliate.

original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Virginia Potential Threat to Access Vital Records

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

I have previously alerted this forum about current actions in Virginia that, if enacted would severely limit access to vital records. SB 865 was introduced in the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year which would have liberalized access was referred to a legislative commission for further study--the Joint Commission on Health Care. The IAJGS Latest Legislative Alert has information on the report and the concerns of the genealogical community.

I am suggesting you read the latest National Genealogical Societies "Upfront"
http://upfront.ngsgenealogy.org/ which has the most current information on this critical concern, along with suggestions and legislative contacts Comments to the Joint Commission on Health Care members need to be received before November 22.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

[USA]Reproduction Fee Schedule As of October 1, 2011; National Archives Final Rule On Increased Fees

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) posted their reproduction fee schedule as of October 1., 2011. Go to: http://www.archives.gov/research/order/fees.html.

The Federal Register (USA) has posted the final rule on the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) "reasons" for fee increases. It does not state what or when fees will be increased, rather it gives the National Archives rationale for fee increases, such as what costs make up NARA's fees, how they are calculated, how they develop and publicize reproduction fees, etc.. This rule becomes effective November 10, 2011. To read the final rule go to:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

New memorial honors valor of Jewish chaplains

Click here to read the entire article.

How Many U.S. Jews, And Who Cares?

With no national Jewish population study in the works, demographers seek to fill the void.

Click here to read the entire article from The Jewish Week.

109 Years of American Jewish History Goes Digital

The Journal of Jewish Communal Service (JJCS) is now available in digital form on the Web.

Click here to read the entire article from the Jewish Week.

Portraying Jewish life during 1950s in Indy

Indiana Historical Society's 'You Are There' exhibit portrays Jewish life in '50s Indy.

Click here to learn more.

Are Genealogies Just Social Constructs?

By Josh Rothman from the Boston Globe.

In recent years, interest in genealogy has become a globe-conquering phenomenon; now, with the rise of consumer genetics, we can expect them to become ever more detailed and far-reaching. 

In Ancestors and Relatives: Genealogy, Identity, and Community, Eviatar Zerubavel, a sociologist at Rutgers, pulls back the curtain on the genealogical obsession. Genealogies, he argues, aren't the straightforward, objective accounts of our ancestries we often presume them to be. Instead, they're heavily curated social constructions, and are as much about our values as they are about the facts of who gave birth to whom.

Click here for the entire article.

New JewishGen Course: Using JewishGen for European Research

This Advanced Course is interactive and collaborative. It is Internet oriented and focuses on finding family records in Eastern Europe (November 11-December 11). 

Downloadable lessons include:

  • An overview of JewishGen, its search capabilities and component databases
  • Jewish customs, geography and history as they affect family research.
  • The methodology of foreign research
  • Jewish European research sources
  • How to Hire a Researcher to search for records

Registration is by application.Please choose one family and one town for your research project. Write a one paragraph introduction to your family surnames (limit is one surname or two if it is a married couple
from the same town). Outline 1 goal and 3 objectives (what you want to know at the end of four weeks).

This class is in a web based private forum made collaborative through post and reply. It is open for you to read, download the lessons, ask questions and interact with an instructor about your research. It requires about 8-10 hours per week.

Tuition is $100, payable after the application process through our online secure web site.

Please click here for further information.

12 Years

Dear Friend,

You know how important JewishGen is to researching Jewish family history. In fact, many other people understand this as well, for over the past year, the total collective amount of time users spent on JewishGen amounted to more than 12 Years!

People are continually becoming interested in their Jewish family history, and they are turning to JewishGen. Our statistics show that more than 40,000 new users joined JewishGen last year, and we expect this number to increase next year.  But we need your help to continue offering these resources.

With more than  20 Million records online ( more than 1 million were recently added), and incredibly valuable resources such as the Family Finder and Discussion Groups (used by thousands every day), JewishGen is the premier online resource for Jewish Genealogy - and we are proud to have been responsible for numerous family connections over the past two decades.

Right now, please donate to JewishGen and help us preserve our history for future generations. (US residents are eligible for 2011 tax deductible benefits on all donations submitted before December 31st.)

Your generous donation of any amount - whether it's$25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more - will make an immediate difference. Last year, despite the global economic uncertainty, we were able to balance our budget based upon the high level of participation from our users. While we received some donations in excess of $1000 or as little as $5,  each gift was significant, and we hope you will  help support the important work of JewishGen in any way that you can.

As in past years, gifts of $100 or more will grant you access to enhanced database search capabilities, enrollment in our online genealogy course and other extra features.

Credit Card contributions can be submitted on our secure website by clicking here. If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to JewishGen and send it to:

36 Battery Place
New York, NY 10280

Over the past twenty years, JewishGen has helped forge countless family connections, but time is essential, and there is still so much to do -  please help us continue our important mission.

With grateful appreciation,

Warren Blatt
Managing Director, JewishGen.org

P.S. YOUR donation WILL make a difference. There remain countless cousins to be connected, aunts to be located and families to be educated about their past, but it is  only with your support that we can continue. Please contribute whatever you are able at this time – current and future generations will appreciate it

Announcement: JGS of Palm Beach County

Posted by Jacqueline Fineblit 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Membership Meeting

South County Civic Center, 16700 Jog Road, Delray Beach, FL

11:15 am – 1:00 pm


Non-members--$5 (guest fee may be applied toward membership dues)

Tricks & Tips of the Lesser Known and Used Databases


Mona Freedman Morris and Dennis Rice

The program Tricks & Tips of the Lesser Known and Used Databases, will be presented at the November 9 membership meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County (JGSPBCI). The presentation, designed to stimulate the beginner as well as the seasoned researcher, takes place 1 PM, at the South County Civic Center, 16700 Jog Road, Delray Beach, FL 

Speakers Mona Freedman Morris, and Dennis Rice, will demonstrate some of their Tricks and Tips for using popular databases.  Mr. Rice will concentrate on the databases FamilySearch and Fold3 (Footnote), while Ms. Morris will show lesser-known resources within Ancestry.com.   She will also describe the information available using Jewishdata.com and America’s Obituaries.

Mr. Rice served as president of the JGSPBCI for four years from 2004-2007. Prior to that, he served as 
program chairperson. He teaches genealogy classes and presents lectures at JGSPBCI meetings and to many community groups. Last season he taught three courses at the JCC Academy of Continuing Education and was a guest lecturer at the Palm Beach Library Hagen Ranch Road branch. 

Ms Morris, a professional genealogist and speaker, is a member of both the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the Professional Genealogical Speakers Bureau.  She is founder and President Emeritus of JGSPBCI, and Past President of the International Professional Jewish Genealogical Society. She is the author of “Scattered Seeds, A Guide to Jewish Genealogy” and was an adjunct professor at FAU. 

Both Mr. Rice and Ms Morris are active members of the JGSPBCI Speakers Bureau, delivering lectures to an number of organizations mostly in Palm Beach county. 
Genealogy mentors will be available after the presentation. Guests are welcome. There is a guest fee of $5 for those who wish to attend. The guest fee may be applied toward membership dues.

For further information about the Brick Wall program, or to submit questions in advance, e-mail president@jgspalmbeachcounty.org .  For Special Interest Groups (SIGS), contact Mona Morris mona@jgspalmbeachcounty.org. 

For meeting information contact: 
Sylvia Nusinov sylvia@jgspalmbeachcounty.org, (561) 483-1060
Marilyn Newman mnewman@jgspalmbeachcounty.org, (561) 775-4920

Jews of Greenville, SC

While South Carolina has a rich Jewish history, most of what has been written has been focused on Charleston. In the early 1800s Charleston was home to the largest Jewish community in the country. There has been relatively little written about the Jews in the Upstate.

Unlike the Sephardic Jews who settled in Charleston, who were of Spanish and Portuguese descent, the Jews who settled in the Upstate came mainly from Russia and Poland via cities such as Baltimore and New York.

Click here to read the entire article from Greenville Online.

Chinese Jews feel more at home in Israel

Descendants of Persian traders in Kaifeng, China, move to Israel with the help of a religious group and finally learn Jewish rules and traditions.

Click here to read the entire article from the LA Times.

Next JOWBR Update

Posted by Nolan Altman

JewishGen's JOWBR (JewishGen's Online Worldwide Burial Registry) database will be updated at year-end and will include all submissions received through November 30th, 2011.

I know many of you did not have time to complete your projects for the pre-conference update in July, so hopefully you will be able to submit your data / photos for the year-end update. Also, I've received many emails regarding new projects that were scheduled after the Washington conference and through this fall. (Please keep in mind that we request complete cemeteries or cemetery sections. We cannot accept individual family data.)

A listing of our current holdings can be viewed here. For information on how to submit data / photos, please click here.

Announcement: JGS of Long Island

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island  will present its 21st annual family history workshop

Jewish Genealogy 101: Four Hours+ to Your Family Roots
Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 from 12:30 to 5 p.m.

Mid-Island Y-JCC
45 Manetto Hill Road, Plainview, NY
Click here for directions. 

Seating is limited. To assure a reservation, please register as soon as possible. Registrations postmarked by Saturday, Oct. 29: $45* ($15 for an additional family member)

Postmarked after Oct. 29 or at the door: $55* ($15 for an additional family member) 

*Fees include 2012 annual dues.

Attendees receive a copy of the workshop manual**,  "Jewish Genealogy 101." A light lunch -- bagels and 
spreads, coffee and cake -- is served. 

Expert instruction on the sources and strategies essential  for Jewish genealogical research....
  • interviewing relatives
  • identifying ancestral towns
  • Holocaust research
  • using censuses, city directories, ship's manifests, 
  • naturalizations, vital records, and other U.S. sources 
  • European records
  • computer and Internet resources

Recommended both for beginners and for family historians who want to brush up or expand their skills.

To register, please visit www.jgsli.org.
Please mark your calendar also for these upcoming 

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2:00 p.m. 
"Who Do You Think You Are, Roger Tilles?"
Plainview Old Bethpage Public Library
999 Old Country Road, Plainview

Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00 p.m.
"Mapping Madness" - Ron Arons
Mid-Island JCC
45 Manetto Hill Road, Plainview

Future Events
  • Sunday, Dec. 18 - Rafael Guber
  • Sunday, Jan. 22 - "Breaking Down Brick Walls"
  • Sunday, Feb. 26 - Professor Stan Pugliese
  • Sunday, March 25 - Terryn Barill Tower
  • Sunday, April 22 - Gary Mokotoff
  • Sunday, May 20 - Steve Morse
  • Sunday, June 24 - Phyllis Kramer

Update: KehilaLinks

Posted by Susana Leistner Bloch

We are pleased to welcome the following webpages to JewishGen KehilaLinks.We thank the owners and webmasters of these KehilaLinks pages for creating fitting memorials to the Jewish Communities that once lived in those communities and for providing a valuable resource for future generations of their descendants.

Compiled by Dr. Agnes Szego
Created / Webpage Design by Marshall J. Katz  
Created by Joan Forman
Created by Ariel Parkansky
The original Odessa webpage was created by Nancy Holden and ceded to Ariel.
The webpage was redesigned with new material added and the material of the original webpage incorporated into the new one.
Created by Rhoda Miller
Created by Marshall J. Katz
Created by Marshall J. Katz 
Created by Marshall J. Katz 
Created by Stuart Unger
Created by Sandy Aaronson
Created by Marshall J. Katz 
Some of our KehilaLinks pages were created by people who are no longer able to maintain them. We thank them for their past efforts and wish them luck on their future endeavors. The following webpages are "orphaned" and are available for adoption.

If you wish to follow their example and create a KehilaLink webpage for your ancestral shtetl or adopt an exiting "orphaned" KehilaLink page, please contact us at: < shtetl-help@jewishgen.org >.

Need technical help creating a webpage?: We have a team of dedicated volunteers who will help you create a webpage for your ancestral home. Please contact us if you would like help in creating a KehilaLinks webpage. 
May you and your loved ones have a safe, healthy, and joyous new year!
Gmar Hatima Tova - May you be inscribed in the Book of Life

Susana Leistner Bloch, VP, KehilaLinks, JewishGen, Inc.
Barbara Ellman, ShtetLinks Technical Coordinator

Update: Yizkor Book Project

Posted by Lance Ackerfeld

This past month we added a number of new books including the "The History of Jews in Ujpest" with a shocking long necrology of almost 10,000 names with important details of the martyrs from this community. As far as new entries go, apart from an impressive number of new Lithuanian entries (45), we also added in and entry on Szombathely, Hungary and Narewka, Poland. I remind those of you who are interested in the translation of a community appearing in any one of the Pinkasei Kehillot (Encyclopedias of Jewish Communities), to please contact me and I will explain how this can come about.

This month we also added in a new Translation Fund to raise money to engage a professional translator for the Tarnogrod, Poland - Yizkor Book which whilst well underway, still requires some financial support to help us translate the entire book. If you are interested in donating to this effort or any other of the 45 or so projects, please visit the Yizkor Book JewishGen-erosity page:

As far as the September figures go, during this last month we have added these 4 new projects:
  • Kremenets, Ukraine (Voice of Kremenets Emigrants in Israel and the Diaspora, 1995) 
  • Luninyets, Belarus (Memorial book of Luniniec/Kozhanhorodok)
  • Tornala, Slovakia (The history of the Jewish community of Tornala)
  • Ujpest, Hungary (The History of Jews in Ujpest)
And added more than 47 new entries and updated 22 existing projects!

Each of this this past month's additions and updates have been flagged at http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/translations.html to make it easy to find them.

Wishing you all an extremely Sweet New Year,
Lance Ackerfeld
Yizkor Book Project Manager

'Prohibition' Tells Changing Story of Jews in America

Prohibition forced Jews to forge a new identity for themselves.

Click here to read the entire article from the Forward.

Bibles rescued from Syria in secret op

Holy books dating back 1,000 years, meticulously guarded by Jewish community, travel from Damascus to Israel in continent-wide, James Bond-style operation.

Click here to read the entire article from Ynet.

Germany reopens hundreds of Nazi probes

Nearly seven decades after the end of World War II, German authorities have reopened hundreds of dormant investigations of Nazi death camp guards in an eleventh hour attempt that could result in at least dozens of new prosecutions.

Click here for the entire article from the AP.
Click here to read our 2011 Update

Announcement: JGS of New York

Posted by Edith Ewenstein

Next Meeting

October 16, 2011

2:00 p.m.

Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY

Introducing the Jewish Telegraphic Agency News Archive
Adam Soclof
Throughout its 90-year history, the JTA it has been the trusted global source of breaking news, investigating reporting, in-depth analysis, opinion and features on current events and issues of interest to the Jewish people.

The new JTA Jewish News Archive is a powerful reference tool about current events and modern Jewish history and holds more than a quarter-million articles covering the period of 1923-2008.  Tips will be shared that will help you during your research.

The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at CJH will be open before the meeting at 11:00 a.m. for networking with other researchers and access to research materials and computers

For further information contact info@jgs.org

Announcements: JGS of Cleveland

Posted by Kenneth Bravo

Next Meeting
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
7:30 P.M.
Menorah Park, Miller Board Room
27100 Cedar Road, Beachwood, Ohio 44122

Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret
Steven Luxenberg, Washington Post Reporter and Author of Award Winning Author

For additional information, please visit www.clevelandjgs.org

Crista Cowen Ancestry.com- Speaker at JGS Conejo Valley and Ventura County October 10 mtg

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) will be meeting on Monday, October 10 2011 7:00-9:00 pm at Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Note: different time and day of week

Come celebrate JGSCV's 6th anniversary!

The Topic:
Finding Your Jewish Ancestors On Ancestry.com

Do you have an Ancestry.com subscription (or are thinking about getting one) but suspect that you are only using a fraction of what can be done with the powerful tools and resources available on this website? We will focus specifically on using the Ancestry.com resources to locate your Jewish ancestors. Join us to learn more about unleashing the full potential of Ancestry.com on your family history. Even if you've been using Ancestry.com for years you are sure to learn something new!

Speaker: Crista Cowan, Community Alliance Manager for the Ancestry World Archives Project. Ancestry.com. Previous positions at Ancestry.com include European Content Acquisition Manager and Document Preservation Indexing Manager. She has been employed at Ancestry.com since 2004, and has completed her second tern as president of the Utah Valley Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Crista has been involved with family history research for over 20 years and is the owner of Legacy Family History Services, specializing in descendancy research, Jewish immigration, and sharing family history with the genealogically challenged.

Our Schmoozing corner, which starts 15 minutes before the meeting begins (6:45 PM) will be facilitated by Nancy Biederman, a founding member of JG an accomplished genealogist. This permits attendees to ask questions on brick walls and get directions on how to do their research.

The 5-minute genealogical technique--this one with JGSCV board member, Marion Werle, will be talking on using timelines in our genealogical research.

Our rotating traveling library will have Categories A and D . To see which books are listed under which category, please go to our website, www.JGSCV.org and look under traveling library. The books are available starting 30 minutes before the program to shortly after the program.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County is dedicated to sharing genealogical information, techniques and research tools with anyone interested in Jewish genealogy and family history. (www.jgscv.org). There is no charge to attend the meeting and all are welcome to attend.

For more information including directions to the meeting, see our website

Jan Meisels Allen
President, JGSCV

Ancestry.com Offering Free Access To Different Collections Thorugh October 15

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Ancestry is offering from October 1-15 free access in celebration of their 15th anniversary. Every day they will be offering free access to a "different collection"-which they will reveal to you that day. Once the collection is open it will remain "free access" through October 15 midnight Eastern Time. http://www.ancestry.com.

You can also enter for a chance to win the prize of the day in the 15 Days
of Discovery Sweepstakes.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

ProQuest Historical Newspapers Adds 3 American Jewish Newspapers & 1 Israel Newspaper

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

ProQuest has added to their Historical Newspapers Collection three American Jewish Newspapers: The Jewish Advocate (Boston-based weekly-the oldest-continuously-circulating Jewish newspaper in America), The American Hebrew & Jewish Messenger (from 1857) and later this year they will add The Jewish Exponent (1887-1990) and the Jerusalem Post (1932-1988) as an International complement.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers Collection are subscription -based through libraries. Libraries may chose which newspapers they subscribe to from the collection. If you are interested in having these newspapers available at your library you need to make your interest known. IAJGS has been successful and fortunate in having the entire ProQuest Historical Newspaper Collection available in the Resource Room/Center computers at recent IAJGS Conferences in Philadelphia (2009) and Washington DC (2011) and will continue to work with ProQuest to try to have this resource available at future IAJGS conferences. To read more about ProQuest:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Updated IAJGS Legislative Alert Posted: Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maine

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

An updated IAJGS Legislative Alert is posted to the IAJGS website: www.iajgs.org. Hover your mouse over the left hand button that says "legislation" and on the drop-down box click on "Latest Alert".

There are three very important updates on issues, two of which you may wish to comment on: Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Virginia: Joint Commission on Health Care Report on SB 865
The Virginia legislature is considering changes to Virginia's laws on access to vital records, which could either expand - or severely limit - research access to birth, marriage, and death records. Currently, birth records held by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) are closed for 100 years, with marriage and death records closed for 50 years. After these time periods, the records are supposed to be turned over to the Library of Virginia (LVA). Virginia Senator Harry Blevins introduced SB 865 in the 2011 Virginia General Assembly to improve access to records, which was referred to the Virginia Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) for study. A JCHC staff study proposes restrictions, not liberalizing, access by lengthening the closed VDH period to 125 years for births and 75 years for marriages and deaths. Comments on the JCHC are due by October 6. Information is contained in the Legislative Alert.

Pennsylvania SB 361
This bill would make birth records (after 100 years) and death records (after 50 years) open records to be maintained by the Pennsylvania State Archives. The bill is on the Senate floor for a vote as early as the week of September 26. More information on this positive bill to open records is included in the Legislative Alert.

Maine-- Researcher Card
I recently posted that the Maine Rule Making Coordinators stated that they would accept a letter on genealogy society letterhead to use as attesting to the person requesting a researcher card is a genealogist. I have since heard from the Maine Rule Making Coordinator that they are creating a policy on how and who will be added to the current listing of genealogical societies. A list of current IAJGS member societies has been submitted to the rule making authority. When we learn of their policy on how and who will be added to their list, it will be posted on this listserve.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Older US District Court Records Are Not Being Destroyed; New Access Procedures for Court Records

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Recently, there have been newspaper articles stating the US District Courts were destroying older court records--many of which had genealogical interest. A blog posting by the (USA) National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) states that is not true and what is actually happening is the result of a multi-year, nationwide effort by National Archives staff to develop some objective criteria by which records are identified for permanent retention. In the past, court cases that did not go to trial were destroyed unless considered "historically significant". Under the new program the non-trial cases are kept for 15 years unless determined to have
historical significance. All cases that went to trial are permanently retained. http://blogs.archives.gov/records-express/?p=1290

NARA is now providing access to court records exclusively by online ordering or by mail/fax/e-mail. NARA will no longer provide on-site court case review services to the public at its Federal Records Centers. This change applies to all closed bankruptcy, civil, criminal, and court of appeals case files that remain in the legal custody of the courts but are physically stored at NARA's Federal Records Centers. Some centers have already changed to on-line only and remainder change on October 1, 2011. To read more about where and how to access these records go to: http://tinyurl.com/3wjysbl
original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

New Jersey AB 1590 Requires 3 Forms of ID to Obtain Birth Records

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

New Jersey AB 1590 would require three forms of identification when requesting a copy of a birth certificate from the NJ Department of Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens. Currently, the requirements are a photo of a driver's license or two other qualifying identification documents if photographic identification cannot be presented. If enacted, the new identification requirements would apply to any certified copy or certification for informational purposed of any birth record issued by the Department regardless of the year of birth. Everyone would be required to present a photo driver's license and two qualifying additional forms of identifications such as vehicle registration card, vehicle insurance cards, passport, voter registration card, green card or immigrant visa, court documents, school-issued identification card, etc.

The bill passed the Assembly March 2010, where it was forwarded to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. New Jersey has a two-year legislative session and action can be taken on the bill through the end of 2011. Currently, there is no action on the bill. PRAMC will monitor for further action. This was introduced due to concerns by the authors of identity theft by those requesting birth certificates.

If you wish to read the bill go to:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Arizona Birth and Death Records Available On-Line

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Arizona Department of Health Services has updated the birth certificates (1855-1935) and death records ( 1844-1960) available on-line. The law requires births that occurred at least 75 years ago and deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago.The records on-line do not constitute certified copies, but microfilmed images of county or state issued certificates being made available to the public in accordance with A.R.S. § 36-351(B). A link to the law is on the website.
See: http://genealogy.az.gov/

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

1930 Mexican Census Free on Ancestry.com

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

If you had family living in Mexico in 1930, the new Ancestry.com release of the 1930 Mexico National Census (El Quinto Censo General de Población y Vivienda 1930, México) is of interest for you! This the most comprehensive historical Mexican census available online It is estimated that this census counted approximately 90 percent of the population, (citizens from the Federal District, which includes Mexico City, were not included in the collection). The census includes approximately 12.8 million names. Ancestry is making this census free on-line and the plan is to keep this census free on-line. The census is in Spanish.

Mexico's first federal census was taken in 1895 and starting in 1900 censuses were taken every 10 years.

To search the census go to: www.ancestry.com/Mexico

To read more about the census go to: http://tinyurl.com/3mh7puj
original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee