Breaking News: JGSLA 2010 program now live!


BREAKING NEWS!

We’ve all been waiting anxiously for this announcement.

The program for the 30th IAJGS International Conference of Jewish Genealogy – JGSLA 2010 – is now live!

Just a cursory glance will leave you breathless as you peruse the amazing collection of programs.

CAVEAT: Some programs are not yet listed and there will be many changes, additions and adjustments to presentation times and days. Remember to check back frequently.

Have you registered? Do you have your hotel reservation? Your ticket to ride? Your T-shirt?

Time to get cracking, people, and enjoy early-bird registration discounts.

Tracing the Tribe will be spotlighting various program categories in the coming days, so stay tuned for much more.

Washington DC: Coming to America, April 18

What was it like for our ancestors to arrive at Ellis Island?

Learn about the experience with Barry Nove at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, on Sunday, April 18.

The program takes place at Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Road, Alexandria, Virginia. The event begins at 1pm with the main talk at 2pm.

Barry Nove will share the story and the techniques he used to learn what it was like for his ancestors and many of our own to arrive in America through Ellis Island. He began his family history quest when he organized the first family re-enactment tour of Ellis Island, filmed by PBS as background material for a 1997 genealogy documentary series, “Ancestors.”

Nove received unique access to the Ellis Island Museum, worked with its archivists and gained understanding and appreciation of what his grandparents and great-grandparents experienced.

On his journey he gathered photos of the ships his family arrived on from Bremen, Danzig, Hamburg and Rotterdam; naturalization documents, passenger manifests and historical research.

Fee: JGSGW members, free; others, $5. For more information and directions, visit the JGSGW site.

Florida: Orlando’s online computer research forum, April 27

As Tracing the Tribe has often said, genealogy is the great equalizer. It crosses all boundaries of faith, ethnicity, cultures and other issues that might divide us.

Genealogy doesn’t care what you eat, how or when; what you wear on your head or not; or any other issues that often separate communities and cause tension within even similar communities.

All of us are joined by our common interest in learn more about our ancestors and our unique family history.

The Internet can also be considered a great equalizer, and an online computer research forum sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando will help to break down brick walls, on Tuesday, April 27.

The program begins at 1pm in the main social hall of the Congregation of Reform Judaism, 928 Malone Drive.

The focus will be on breaking through brick walls, aided by five experienced computer genealogists – Herb Adler, Irwin Feldman, Paul Enchelmayer, Larry Morrell and Jose Valle – who will attempt to resolve difficult problems by demonstrating online techniques.

JGGO program chair Jerry Kurland established a working committee in early February to set up the Forum, with Carl Migden as a special advisor. Kurland surveyed society members and requested that they submit their major stumbling blocks.

Among the problems received:

— A member cannot find any trace of his great-grandfather despite the fact that he died in 1898 and is buried in Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago.

— A member is looking for the date and port of entry of his parents from Austria.

— A third person had been trying for years to find his mother-in-law on a passenger list.

Kurland says that the forum should provide some successful results and that, as a result, researchers should become more comfortable in browing the Internet and sampling websites from home.

Society members and guests will be able to view a large screen projection on how to connect to various websites.

For more information, address, directions, visit the JGSGO site.

New York: Gesher Galicia spring event, April 18

The Gesher Galicia Spring regional meeting is set for Sunday, April 18, at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th Street, New York City.

The two-part program begins at 11am.

Part 1: Update on the Cadastral Map and Landowner Records Project, with Gesher Galicia president and research coordinator Pamela Weisberger.

Cadastral land records and property maps are an excellent source of family history information. Studied together, they can show the exact location where a family lived in a shtetl. They can tell the story of neighbors or siblings who resided near each other and demonstrate how close a family lived to the synagogue, cemetery, schools, or the market square. Using house numbers gleaned from vital records, a connection can be made between these physical locations and the genealogical data. Landowner taxation books show the size and value of the properties that Jewish families owned or rented, adding greatly to the history of a family. These records are invaluable when other metrical records are not available, and in some cases they may be the only documented evidence relating to your ancestors.

Examples of maps and records from Phase 4 of the project will be shown and discussed, along with examples from a 1765 Polish magnate “census” book showing the Jewish residents of Grzymalow and the first appearance of Jewish surnames as derived from the occupations of the Jews who lived on the estate grounds. The next phase of the project (June 2010) will be detailed along with the return of the Lviv Street and House Photography Project in July 2010.

2. A Galician Childhood Recounted – The True Story of Feige Hollenberg-Connors Feige, who was born in Korolowka in 1933.

In addition to a house on the market square, her family had farmland outside of town, inherited from her Rosenstock grandfather. She led an idyllic childhood until war broke out and her family had to go into hiding. Hear her first-hand account of what it was like to grow up in this shtetl, until at age 14 she was hidden by a Ukrainian family that later betrayed her, escaped from the ghetto andlabor camp, and survived in the forest until the war’s end.

Feige returned to Korolowka last summer with cave explorer Chris Nicola, who will be on hand to add a coda to her story involving his discovery of “Priests Grotto” the seven-mile long cave where 38 Jews from the town hid until the war was over, and his tenacious path to both discover the identities of those who survived the horrors of war and to successfully reunite them.

There is actually a Part 3 to this program. After lunch, the JGS of New York will meet with speaker Roma Baran to hear her story of rediscoveringher family’s true identities.

A JGSLA 2010 preview will also be offered.

The meeting is free to all. Invite anyone who might be interested. Click here for directions.

Footnote.com: A new page for beginners

Are you a new user of Footnote.com? There’s now a special page for beginners.

View it here, and see these sections:

— Discover who you are: Find and organize your family history

— Discover through history: See Footnote’s documents online.

— Start by searching for your name among the 63 million-plus documents.

— Are you related? Start a Footnote ancestor page for your family.

— What do others know? Share the page you’ve created at Footnote on Facebook.

There’s new Footnote content to search:

— Naturalization Records: Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania
— City Directories: Des Moines, Indianapolis
— Civil War Union Soldier Service Records: Nebraska, Arkansas, Colored Troops
— Homestead Records: Nebraska
— Texas Death Certificates: more than 3 million images
— Final Payment Vouchers Index for Military Pensions, 1818-1864

And do check out the new enhanced image viewer.