Looking at Lodz

If your family has ties to Lodz, Poland, you should check out what’s available through Jewish Records Indexing-Poland.

Roni Seibl Liebowitz of New York is the Lodz Archive coordinator for the JRI-Poland/Polish State Archives Project.

In 1997, JRI-Poland entered into an agreement with the Polish State Archives to index Jewish vital records not microfilmed by the Mormons (LDS). Each year, the Lodz USC (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego – civil registration office) transfers eligible (i.e. 100-year-old) registers to the Lodz branch of the Polish State Archives. These records then become available to JRI-Poland for indexing.

  • 1826-1877: Birth, marriage and death records were indexed by volunteers from the records microfilmed by the Mormons.
  • 1878-1898: The first Lodz PSA project; these results have been online for years.
  • 1899-1905: The project to index 43,501 birth, marriage and death records began in 2001. These were computerized by the JRI-Poland team in Warsaw, and the 1899-1901 indices have been added to the online searchable JRI-Poland database.
  • 1902-1905: The indices are completed, says Liebowitz, but cannot added to the online database until funding is complete.

Liebowitz says this new data will enable researchers to expand the time period of research “from our grandparents and their siblings to when many of our parents, aunts and uncles were born in Lodz.” There are 26,735 birth, marriage and death records in these four years, offering many opportunities for success in researching Lodz families.

To see if your names of interest are found in the new 1899-1905 data, click here.

The project to index the records of 1906 and later will be announced after the new data funding is completed. To see the current project’s status, click here, go to “Lodz (Phase 2)” in the drop-down menu.

Deep in the heart of Texas

I’m hunting down Texas Jewish resources in anticipation of my first trip to Texas, for the Houston-based Family Tree DNA conference.

The Texas Jewish Historical Society, in Austin, offers interesting resources, including virtual reconstructions of small-town Texas synagogues and a series of related articles by architect Robert P. Davis.

According to the American Jewish Yearbooks 1910-1928, writes Davis, some 40 Texas towns had at least one synagogue. Three generations down the line, that number is greatly diminished. The Texas Jewish Historical Society underwrote this project to preserve something of these vanishing synagogues and their communities.

Davis’ essays cover memory, synagogue design before and after WWII, a history of Texas Jews, a history of Jewish business in Texas, assimilation and migration.

The virtual restoration project uses CAD (computer-aided design) to recreate the buildings.

Two years ago, at Beth Hatefutsoth in Tel Aviv, a similar project recreated German synagogues destroyed during WWII. The popular exhibit was created by non-Jewish students, historians and technology professionals in Germany.

The Texas project’s virtual restorations have three stages. The first is historical research to develop a documented description of the building. A three-dimensional solid model is constructed, and then digitized. Finally, audio tours recorded by former residents are added to the models, photographs and animations.

The recreated synagogues are in Abilene, Amarillo, Baytown, Breckenridge, Brenham, Brownsville, Bryan, Corsicana, Galveston, Jefferson, Kilgore, Laredo, Longview, Lubbock, Marshall, Midland-Odessa, Port Arthur, San Angelo, Schulenberg, Sherman, Texarkana, Tyler, Victoria, Wharton and Wichita Falls.

Several pages show photos of plaques listing the leading local families, and Wharton’s page even shows the synagogue’s huge BBQ pit.

On the left of the homepage, click on Synagogue Map and float your mouse over the counties to see links to families, synagogues and more. Under Links, view an interesting assortment of books on the Jewish presence in the West, as well as links to the region’s Jewish genealogical societies.

Deeper in the heart of Texas

Genealogical societies are always good sources for local information, and the Greater Houston Jewish Genealogical Society has some great ideas if you’re looking for Texas family.

Since 2001, JGS volunteers have been transcribing life-cycle events from the microfilms of Houston’s Jewish Herald-Voice. The first phase of the project resulted in a life-cycle index from the newspapaper’s founding in 1908 through 1979.

Existing microfilms have been digitized onto CDs and the remaining film has been purchased. JGS members, working at home, are now working on transcribing the years from 1980 to the present. The society anticipates the index will be current by the end of 2006.

The searchable online index, 1908-1979 is on JewishGen.

There are two databases, individual and couples.

Examples of individual events would be births, death, unveilings, brit, bar/bat mitzvahs, birthdays, etc. Currently, there are 26,232 events listed.

The couples events include engagements, marriages, and anniversaries. Currently, there are 12,454 events.

Copies of the articles themselves are available through the JGSGH.

Looking at Lodz

If your family has ties to Lodz, Poland, you should check out what’s available through Jewish Records Indexing-Poland.

Roni Seibl Liebowitz of New York is the Lodz Archive coordinator for the JRI-Poland/Polish State Archives Project.

In 1997, JRI-Poland entered into an agreement with the Polish State Archives to index Jewish vital records not microfilmed by the Mormons (LDS). Each year, the Lodz USC (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego – civil registration office) transfers eligible (i.e. 100-year-old) registers to the Lodz branch of the Polish State Archives. These records then become available to JRI-Poland for indexing.

  • 1826-1877: Birth, marriage and death records were indexed by volunteers from the records microfilmed by the Mormons.
  • 1878-1898: The first Lodz PSA project; these results have been online for years.
  • 1899-1905: The project to index 43,501 birth, marriage and death records began in 2001. These were computerized by the JRI-Poland team in Warsaw, and the 1899-1901 indices have been added to the online searchable JRI-Poland database.
  • 1902-1905: The indices are completed, says Liebowitz, but cannot added to the online database until funding is complete.

Liebowitz says this new data will enable researchers to expand the time period of research “from our grandparents and their siblings to when many of our parents, aunts and uncles were born in Lodz.” There are 26,735 birth, marriage and death records in these four years, offering many opportunities for success in researching Lodz families.

To see if your names of interest are found in the new 1899-1905 data, click here.

The project to index the records of 1906 and later will be announced after the new data funding is completed. To see the current project’s status, click here, go to “Lodz (Phase 2)” in the drop-down menu.

Deep in the heart of Texas

I’m hunting down Texas Jewish resources in anticipation of my first trip to Texas, for the Houston-based Family Tree DNA conference.

The Texas Jewish Historical Society, in Austin, offers interesting resources, including virtual reconstructions of small-town Texas synagogues and a series of related articles by architect Robert P. Davis.

According to the American Jewish Yearbooks 1910-1928, writes Davis, some 40 Texas towns had at least one synagogue. Three generations down the line, that number is greatly diminished. The Texas Jewish Historical Society underwrote this project to preserve something of these vanishing synagogues and their communities.

Davis’ essays cover memory, synagogue design before and after WWII, a history of Texas Jews, a history of Jewish business in Texas, assimilation and migration.

The virtual restoration project uses CAD (computer-aided design) to recreate the buildings.

Two years ago, at Beth Hatefutsoth in Tel Aviv, a similar project recreated German synagogues destroyed during WWII. The popular exhibit was created by non-Jewish students, historians and technology professionals in Germany.

The Texas project’s virtual restorations have three stages. The first is historical research to develop a documented description of the building. A three-dimensional solid model is constructed, and then digitized. Finally, audio tours recorded by former residents are added to the models, photographs and animations.

The recreated synagogues are in Abilene, Amarillo, Baytown, Breckenridge, Brenham, Brownsville, Bryan, Corsicana, Galveston, Jefferson, Kilgore, Laredo, Longview, Lubbock, Marshall, Midland-Odessa, Port Arthur, San Angelo, Schulenberg, Sherman, Texarkana, Tyler, Victoria, Wharton and Wichita Falls.

Several pages show photos of plaques listing the leading local families, and Wharton’s page even shows the synagogue’s huge BBQ pit.

On the left of the homepage, click on Synagogue Map and float your mouse over the counties to see links to families, synagogues and more. Under Links, view an interesting assortment of books on the Jewish presence in the West, as well as links to the region’s Jewish genealogical societies.

Deeper in the heart of Texas

Genealogical societies are always good sources for local information, and the Greater Houston Jewish Genealogical Society has some great ideas if you’re looking for Texas family.

Since 2001, JGS volunteers have been transcribing life-cycle events from the microfilms of Houston’s Jewish Herald-Voice. The first phase of the project resulted in a life-cycle index from the newspapaper’s founding in 1908 through 1979.

Existing microfilms have been digitized onto CDs and the remaining film has been purchased. JGS members, working at home, are now working on transcribing the years from 1980 to the present. The society anticipates the index will be current by the end of 2006.

The searchable online index, 1908-1979 is on JewishGen.

There are two databases, individual and couples.

Examples of individual events would be births, death, unveilings, brit, bar/bat mitzvahs, birthdays, etc. Currently, there are 26,232 events listed.

The couples events include engagements, marriages, and anniversaries. Currently, there are 12,454 events.

Copies of the articles themselves are available through the JGSGH.