Archive for September, 2008

Beginning Jewish Genealogy

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

How do you start a search for Jewish ancestors? As with any genealogy search, the best place to begin is to start with the individuals you know, and the information you currently have. Next, you will want to talk to family members who may be able to fill in some of the blanks. From there you’ll want to expand the search by searching original and derivative sources like census records, vital records, naturalization records, etc.  For Jewish ancestors, you will want to try some additional ideas including: join your local Jewish Genealogical Society, attend a Jewish conference, and consult with other individuals who are performing Jewish research.

A great resource for Jewish Genealogy is the Tracing The Tribe blog ( Tracing The Tribe is filled with resources, tools, and insights on Jewish genealogy. The blog is written by Schelly Talalay Dardashti who adds a nice personal touch to her work. Schelly has conducted family history research in Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Spain, Iran and other countries. She is also a well known speaker, teacher, and is the former president of the five-branched JFRA Israel (a Jewish genealogical association).

In her blog Schelly also provides links to other genealogical sites (which include Jewish classes, genealogical research, news, conferences and more), which may aid you in your research. Some of the sites Schelly mentions are:

For those who are just starting their research in Jewish Genealogy, JewishGen, one of Schelly’s recommendations, suggests the following two books:* Kurzweil, Arthur. From Generation to Generation: How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Personal History. Updated Edition. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004). 367 pages. ($24.95 hardcover). ISBN 0-7879-7051-4 [First edition was: (New York: William Morrow, 1980). 353 pages. ISBN 0-8052-0706-6. Second revised edition was: (New York: Harper Collins, 1994). 388 pages. ISBN 0-06-270097-9].

* Rottenberg, Dan. Finding Our Fathers: A Guidebook to Jewish Genealogy. (New York: Random House, 1977). 401 pages. ($20). [Reprints: Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986, 1995, 1998. ISBN 0-8063-1151-7] also offers several Jewish databases. Here are a few:

1. Jewish Cemeteries

2. JewishData

3.Heritage Florida Jewish News Exhibits at FGS Conference

Friday, September 5th, 2008

This week more than 1100 people attended the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference, which began yesterday (September 3rd) and will be held until September 6th in Philadelphia.

The conference is featuring more than 110 speakers, including well-known genealogists and lecturers in the field such, as Kory L. Meyerink, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, Rick Crume, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Jana Sloan Broglin, and many more.

Historian Robert Selig gave the keynote address. Selig is a specialist on the role of French forces under the Comte de Rochambeau during the American Revolutionary War and currently serves as project historian to the National Park Service for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail Project.

If you are in the Philadelphia area, swing by the booth in Exhibit Hall B, booths 711 and 713. Be sure to enter a drawing to win a free subscription or receive a discount on a membership.

FGS was founded in 1976 and represents the members of more than 500 genealogical societies. Although online registration is closed, conference walk-ins are welcome! For additional information about the conference and events surrounding the conference visit the FGS Blog at

New Church, Military, DAR Records Added To Quintin Collection

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Quintin Publications updated its collection on with more than 140 titles. Many books in the collection are mid-western American records from Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, and updates for Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and British records from Yorkshire, York, Surrey, and Yarmouth.

Time periods range from the 1600s through to 1948 with much heavier emphasis on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Contained within this particular collection are military records, state historical society records, church records from various Protestant religious groups, reminiscences and recollections, DAR materials, and many anniversary recollections of towns at their silver jubilees.

Quintin continues to be an integral partner with as it continues to update its collection with further quality records from locations across America and the world. Quintin Publications is scheduled to provide with a total of more than 10,000 books and articles. All databases in this collection area free to view for ten days from the date they are launched on the website.