Jewish Records Indexing - Poland today announced the "Surname Distribution Mapper" - a tool designed to help genealogy researchers graphically understand where their family names first appeared in the 19th century records and visualize how the family spread throughout Poland by decades from the early 1800s into the first part of the 20th century.
Stanley Diamond, JRI-Poland executive director, described the new feature as follows: Using modern mapping technology provided by Google Maps, the Surname Distribution Mapper allows users to graphically display their search results using a tree icon to indicate the number of entries found for a surname in a town's vital and other records. By running the cursor over each tree icon, a user can view a popup window displaying the number of vital record entries found in various towns in the JRI-Poland database. Clicking on the balloon brings the user to the familiar JRI-Poland search results for detailed viewing of a town's entries.
Additionally, and especially exciting for researchers, the Surname Distribution Mapper can display results for specific decades or in a "progressive mode," where tree icons appear successively by decade to give the researcher an idea of the movement of their family around Poland and the Western Ukraine.
"The Surname Distribution Mapper enables a researcher to experience visually much of what we had only been able to do conceptually," explained Robinn Magid, Lublin Archives Project Coordinator and long-time JRI-Poland board member. "Our goal is to quickly determine where a person should focus their research energy to obtain results beyond what the family's oral history might recollect."
"JRI-Poland database manager Michael Tobias has given us the gift of highlighting migration patterns and spotlighting probable 'home bases' for families. The Surname mapper takes genealogy search results to a new level," she said.
“This is yet another example of the high quality applications that are coming to Jewish genealogy websites" commented Gary Mokotoff, publisher of Avotaynu, the International Review of Jewish Genealogy. "Through records of your ancestors, it is a magnificent pictorial representation where they lived and the geographic time frame in which their records were created,” he added.
The JRI-Poland Surname Distribution Mapper is now live and can be initiated from the "search database" link on the JRI-Poland Home Page at www.jri-poland.org .
Visit www.jri-poland.org to read the announcement and begin using this special feature.
The mission of Jewish Records Indexing - Poland (JRI-Poland) is to create searchable on-line indices of Jewish records from current and former territories of Poland. Where such records are available, they may include towns that are now part of Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus.
With more than 4.5 million records indexed, JRI-Poland is the largest online database of Jewish vital records.
JRI-Poland is an independent non-profit tax-exempt Organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Under special arrangement, the JRI-Poland web site, mailing list, and database are hosted by JewishGen.
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