Sunday, December 30, 2012

[USA] American Community Survey To Offer Internet Response

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The American Community Survey is an ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year to help with economic development.  It is a replacement for the US census long-form . The American Community Survey is performed annually rather once a decade (as is the census)  by sending it to approximately 250,000 American households monthly ( 3 million a year).
 
Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's acting director, announced on December 17 that they will now permit an online response as an option.
 
 
To read more on the American Community Survey go to:
 
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

[USA] Ohio Department of Health Changing Marriage and Divorce Abstracts Retention

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The [USA] Ohio Department of Health (ODOH) maintains an index of all marriages and divorces registered by Ohio Probate courts and submitted to the ODOH back to 1950. As of January 1, 2013 the ODOH Office of Vital Statistics (ODOH/VS) will change the way marriage and divorce abstracts are filed with them.  Starting January 1, 2013 the ODOH/VS will only maintain two years of marriage and divorce abstracts in their office  (2011 and 2012).  They will continue to maintain and electronic index--the new policy only effects the housing of the physical paper abstracts from 1950 forward.
 
The electronic index is searchable and provided free to the public.  The ODOH/VS will still be able to confirm marriage and divorce dates, the names of the individuals involved and the county where the event took place.
 
While I have a copy of the notice, at the time of writing this notice I was unable to find it on the Department's website.  http://www.odh.ohio.gov/
 
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Jewish American Heritage Month Theme- May 2013

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM),  is a national commemoration of the contributions that American Jews have made to the fabric the American culture and society. JAHM announced the theme for the May 2013 celebration: American Jews in Entertainment.  Immigrant Jewish entrepreneurs or their sons (like Sam Goldwyn, Jack and Harry Warner, Louis B. Mayer) were integral to the creation of Hollywood.
 
Beginning in January 2013, the JAHM website, www.jahm.us, will be updated with educational resource materials related to the theme American Jews in Entertainment.  Also in January, the JAHM website will roll out “Speaking of American Jewish Heritage,” an online resource listing speakers, musicians, artists and authors whose area of expertise is American Jewish heritage and history.
 
The JAHM website is an interactive clearinghouse for events, programs, and activities nationwide and a resource for school and community leaders. JGSs can submit their events, in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, sign up for email updates, and find out what’s happening in your neighborhood and across the country. See: http://www.jahm.us/events.aspx
 
Another part  of the website is entitled 50 stories from 50 States about unknown famous Jews in history from each state see: http://www.jahm.us/statestories.aspx  Societies may wish to submit a story for consideration.
 
History
 
JAHM recognition was started by President George W. Bush in 2006 as a result of the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish Community leaders resulting in congressional leaders urging then-President Bush to recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture.  The recognition of Jewish American Month has been continued by President Barack Obama.  Jewish American Heritage Month had its origins in 1980 when Congress passed Pub. L. 96-237, which authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating a week in April or May as Jewish Heritage Week.  President Carter issued this first proclamation, Presidential Proclamation 4752,  in April 1980.
 
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

(Belarus) NY Orthodontist Cemetery Rehabilitation Project

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

NY Orthodontist Michael Lozman started  a personal mission to restore the cemetery in his father's village in Belarus, Sopotskin, which has spread to help restore other Belarusian villages Jewish cemeteries.  Dr. Lozman realized he could not do this alone and was successful in getting college students from Dartmouth College to help during their summer schedules over several years.  One-third of the participating students are Jewish.  He has started  the Restoration of Eastern European Jewish Cemeteries Project to help restore more Jewish cemeteries and has received requests for restoration in Belarus and Lithuania.

To read more about this go to:  http://tinyurl.com/cntknrt
original url:
 http://www.timesofisrael.com/new-york-orthodontist-restores-jewish-history-one-grave-at-a-time/

 Thank you to Saul Issroff for alerting us to this interesting story.

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

(Greece) Lost Jewish Headstones Found In Greece

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Greek police said December 20  that 668 fragments of marble headstones and other fragments from Jewish graves destroyed during the Nazi occupation in World War II have been recovered from a plot of land in Thessaloniki Greece. Thessaloniki is Greece's second largest city. The headstones found are dated
from the mid-1800's until World War II. The engraving includes occupations as well as the name of the deceased.  An estimated 60,000 Greek Jews, most of the Jewish-Greek population pre-World War II were killed in the holocaust.

To read more about this find go to: http://tinyurl.com/cywbq5c
original url:
http://news.yahoo.com/lost-jewish-tombstones-found-greece-181312769.html

Thank you to Randy Herschaft, Associated Press  for alerting us to this exceptional find.

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

(USA) Bnai Brith Transfers Its Archives to the American Jewish Archives

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Last June Bnai Brith archives and its Holocaust collection were transferred to the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati,Ohio. It is a discreet collection and not merged in with the other collections at the American Jewish Archives.  Bnai Brith was the first national federated benevolent organization in the United States--it traces American Jewish history from the 19th century into the 20th century--from all facets of American Jewish community.

More information is available at: http://tinyurl.com/a54ujvq
original url:
http://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2012/08/bnai-brith-archives-transferred-to-ohio.html

You can access the American Jewish Archives website at:
http://americanjewisharchives.org/genealogy/   Not all of the Bnai Brith
archives are yet searchable.

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

[US] Census Resource Guide

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Michael Hait, a well-known professional genealogist, completed a free PDF e-book, called the  United States Census Pathfinder which includes a compilation of available information from government and independent websites about the US census from 1790-1940.  Census information grew each year from the inception in 1790 to 1940--the most recently released census.
The census is an essential tool for every  genealogist. To access the US Census Pathfinder go to: http://tinyurl.com/bnns3bw
original url:  http://haitfamilyresearch.com/pdf_files/Census_Pathfinder.pdf
The Pathfinder is copyrighted.

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

Ancestry.com Announced Stockholder Approval of Acquisition by Permira

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

December 27, 2012 Ancestry.com announced their stockholders approved the previously announced merger agreement to which a company owned by Permira funds and co-investors will acquire the company.  Permira is a European private equity firm with global reach.   To read the corporate press release
go to: http://tinyurl.com/bu5tdcv
original url:  http://ir.ancestry.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=729910

This is for information only as Ancestry.com is an online family resource that many genealogists are used to using.

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

Google Blogs of Interest

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Google has blogs that may be of interest to the genealogical world specifically Google Cultural Institute .There are 42 stories-- several that caught my attention include:  The Were Children--Deportation and Rescue of Jewish Children 1940-1945; 19 Kilometers From Auschwitz --The Story of  the Jewish Community of Trezbenia, Poland; The Fate of the Children of Marais, Grandchildren of the Righteous: Ambassadors of Memory, and more that are not specific to the holocaust or to Jewish-specific-issues.
to view the stories go to: http://tinyurl.com/9aans5x
original url:
 http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!home:page=1

Thank you to the National Genealogy Society Upfront with NGS to alerting us
to this find.

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

JewishGen Awarded the Seton Shields Genealogical Award

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Please join me in congratulating JewishGen for being awarded the November 2012 Seton Shields Genealogical Award. This award is granted by award-winning genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
( that is not a typo--she married someone not otherwise related with same last name).

In granting the award, Megan stated:  "JewishGen is a valuable resource I've used many times over the years. If you have any Jewish heritage or have ever used the popular Steve Morse website (http://stevemorse.org/), you're already familiar with all JewishGen has to offer, including countless databases and many other tools and resources. If not, I encourage you to visit and explore".

See:  http://tinyurl.com/d958xyv
original url:
http://megansmolenyak.posterous.com/seton-shields-genealogical-grant-awarded-to-j-72010

The monthly Seton Shields award is granted in the name of Megan's late mother.

About the Seton Shields Award:

If you represent an organization which serves the genealogical community at large - or if you serve a smaller community (perhaps you produce a family newsletter, host a website, organize reunions or some such thing) -- and find yourself shy of necessary funds, please consider filling out the form to apply for a small grant.  Megan will review all submissions and periodically select one for a donation.  Megan's goal is one per month.
Submissions will remain active candidates for six months from the date of receipt. She has awarded 150 such grants since May 2000.
To learn more about the Seton Shields award and perhaps apply for one go to:
http://www.honoringourancestors.com/grants.html

I do not know the amount of the awards--but since Megan is funding them herself expect that they are in the smaller range.

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

Jewish Genetic Diseases Subject of January 6, 2013 JGS Conejo Valley and Ventura County Meeting

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) will hold a general meeting, co-sponsored with and located at Temple Adat Elohim, on Sunday, January 6, 2013 1:30-3:30 p.m.at Temple Adat Elohim 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA

The Program:Jewish Genetic Disorders Across the Diaspora: Including Tay Sachs, Gaucher, BRCA1, BRCA 2 Mutations in the Ashkenazi Jewish Population and Genetic Screening for the Persian Jewish Community.Certified genetic counselors will be talking about various Jewish genetic disorders that affect different Jewish populations.  They will talk about
the importance of knowing our family health history-an integral part of genealogy-and the increased risks of inherited diseases of Ashkenazi
(Eastern European) Jews. Included in the discussion will be BRCA testing (breast and ovarian cancer) as well as Tay-Sachs, Gaucher and Familial Dysautonomia in the Ashkenazi Jewish community and a novel genetic screening panel for Persian Jewish community. Find out why some Jewish families would benefit from education, screening and testing for certain disorders.

Speakers: Catherine Quindipan, Certified Genetic Counselor, Study coordinator for the Persian Jewish Genetic Screening Program, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and Gary Frohlich, Certified Genetic Counselor for US Rare Diseases at Genzyme a Sanofi Company.

Our schmoozing corner starts 20 minutes before the program (1:10 p.m.) facilitated by Marion Werle, JGSCV board member.

We will have Categories A & B of our traveling library available beginning at 1:00 PM to shortly after the meeting. The list of books which are in the JGSCV library is located on our website www.jgscv.org under library-traveling.

There is no charge to attend the meeting and all are welcome to attend. Our 2013 membership dues campaign is well underway. Membership forms are available at the meeting, on the jgscv.org website and in our newsletter, Venturing Into Our Past. Annual dues are $25 for an individual and $30 for a family. Dues paid are good through December 2013.

Directions: Take 101 Freeway - exit Rancho Road in Thousand Oaks, go north (if coming from the west, cross Thousand Oaks Blvd ) to E. Hillcrest Drive turn right on E.Hillcrest go about 1.3 miles (just east of Conejo School Road ) Temple is on the right. There are approximately 75 parking spots within the complex. There is no parking on Hillcrest Drive . You may park in the complex or on any of the side streets.

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.

For more information, please see the JGSCV website:  www.jgscv.org


Jan Meisels Allen
President, JGSCV



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Important Letter from Gary Mokotoff


Friend --

JewishGen is an organization that is guided by individuals determined to light a spark within the hearts and minds of all people who want to know more about their Jewish family heritage.

With the help of more than 1,000 volunteers throughout the world, JewishGen has become a pivotal landmark of the global Jewish community. It is offered as a free public service, as the JewishGen staff and volunteers believe that anyone should have the opportunity to research their Jewish family history, even if they have limited money or technical skills to do so.

With its incredibly valuable databases (currently containing more than 21 million records), networking tools (such as the Family Finder) and projects (such as KehilaLinks and Yizkor book translations), JewishGen has become indispensable to anyone in search of answers about their past.

With this in mind, and with a humble spirit, I urge you to support JewishGen’s important work. YOUR support will help further the growth and success of JewishGen, which has a direct impact upon the global Jewish community.

Act now! Make your credit card contribution at JewishGen’s secure website by clicking here. (All donations received before December 31st will be eligible for full tax benefits for US donors.) If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to JewishGen and send it to:

JewishGen
36 Battery Place
New York, NY 10280
USA

I wish you and your family a happy, healthy New Year, and best of luck with your research.

With warm regards,

Gary Mokotoff
Volunteer since 1988
Creator of JewishGen’s Family Finder and Family Tree of the Jewish People
Co-Chair of JewishGen’s Board of Governors

Monday, December 10, 2012

[US] Library of Congress Releases 1,600 Photos From USA WWII Era-Past

Published by: Jan Meisels Allen

The US Library of Congress released over 1,600 color photographs from the USA's  World War II era, past. Usually photographs from that time period were in black and white not  in color.  The images were made between 1939 and 1944.  The  pictures depict life in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with a focus on rural areas and farm labor, as well as aspects of World War II mobilization, including factories, railroads, aviation training, and women working.
 
To learn more about the exhibit read: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/fsac/
 
To read an article on the exhibit go to:  http://tinyurl.com/bp64ko3
 
http://tinyurl.com/yvao7a
 
 
 
Thank you to Dick Eastman for alerting us to this article in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter about this article.
 
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Irish Army Census of 1922 On-Line For Free

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Irish Army Census of 1922 --the year the Irish National Army was formed- just celebrated its 90th anniversary.  The Anglo-Irish Agreement stipulated that with regard to strength,that the force could not exceed the size of the military establishments maintained in Great Britain as that which the population of Ireland bears to the population of Great Britain. Without accurate information, headquarters staff could not adequately estimate pay bills, feed, clothe or procure weapons or even determine how many troops they had at their disposal. By October 1922 the Army Council had decided that a Census of the National Forces would be taken as at midnight 12/13th November.
The census hasn't been transcribed, so you'll need to have some idea of where your relative might have been based in 1922
The census has been placed on the Irish Military Archives Website:
original url:
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Update on Washington State Access to Vital Records

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Last month we learned  the disturbing news that the Washington State Department of Health  was planning on proposing to reduce access to vital records requiring 125 years for birth, 50 years for marriage, death and divorce. The Washington State Public Records Committee meeting was scheduled December 5 to hear the request.
 
 This was met with great concern across the genealogical community and a lot of publicity ensued.  We have been advised that the Department of Health is backing away from their original plans to offer legislation on access to vital records in the upcoming legislative session--however, future legislative plans are unclear.  In addition we have been advised that the Department of Health will be transferring the vital records that under current law are required to be housed in the State Archives--for preservation and access.  The State Archives will have to digitize these records.  When we know more about which years and accessing them it will be reported on this forum.
 
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Western Australia Police Gazette

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The State Library of Western Australia has digitized and put online the Police Gazette of Western Australia from 1876 forward.  It lists all the police activity by year. The information includes a list of people arrested and their sentences, police appointments and promotions, conditional pardons issued to convicts, physical descriptions of convicts, etc.  I tried some "Jewish sounding" names such as Cohen and Levine and received multiple hits.  You can search by surname, place and convict number. 
 
The information is free by going to: http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/find/eresources/police_gazettes
 
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee                                                                                               
 

Spain Opens Door To Naturalization for Descendants of Sephardic Jews Who Fled Due to Inquisition

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Five hundred and twenty years after the start of the Inquisition, Spain opened the door to descendants of Sephardic Jews whose ancestors had fled the Iberian Peninsula, forced, in order to live in Spain or its colonies, to choose between exile or conversion to Christianity. Spain officials have promised to speed up the naturalization process for Sephardic Jews who spread through the Diaspora--however, the offer is not simple according to Genie Milgrom, president of the JGS of Greater Miami who is quoted in the article in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune on Sunday December 9. 
 
The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain told  the article's author, Doreen Carvajal, to be naturalized and become citizens, secular bnei anousim (descendants of anousim or crypto Jews)  Jewish applicants whose families had maintained double lives as Catholics must seek religious training and undergo formal conversion to Judaism. The Federation will screen and certify the Sephardic Jewish backgrounds of those who submit applications to obtain Spanish citizenship.
 
To read the article go to:  http://tinyurl.com/aw6pl7o
 
I don't know how long the article will be available at no cost past December 9.
 
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee