Oregon: DNA genetic genealogy, April 20

Genetic genealogy with Emily D. Aulicino is on the program at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon, on Tuesday, April 20.

The talk begins at 7.30pm at Congregation Ahavath Achim, Portland. Doors open at 7pm for networking and assistance with genealogy questions.

Genetic genealogy, the use of DNA testing to aid traditional genealogical research, is a new and accurate field for the family historian as it can prove or disprove family connections. In this information-packed program, learn the basics of DNA testing and how it helps your research. Learn about different tests and the value of each. Understand who to test and why.

Find out why FamilyTreeDNA.com’s new test, Family Finder, is the next generation in DNA testing and goes beyond what previous tests could do.

Aulicino will answer questions and address such issues as privacy and getting your family to participate.

A $30 gift certificate toward a DNA test will be raffled at no cost to those attending the program.

A retired teacher, Aulicino has researched her family’s genealogy for more than 40 years, traveling nationally and internationally for that purpose. She is a speaker and regional coordinator for the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG), and teaches genetic genealogy at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon (Portland).

She has attended five annual FamilyTreeDNA.com administrator conferences, where she spoke in 2007. In 2008, she presented at the West Coast African American Summit (Bellevue, Washington), and in 2009 and 2010, attended the London UK “Who Do You Think You Are? Live” family history fair.

She administers 13 DNA projects at FamilyTreeDNA (surname, geographical and societies) and seven surname email lists on Roots Web, three genetic genealogy email lists with another that helps helps genealogists and non-genealogists write their  family and personal memories.

Attendees interested in testing with FamilyTreeDNA can receive discounted tests through the JGSO page. For more information on the arrangement, click here.

Fee:  JGSO members, free; others, $5. See the JGSO website for directions and additional information.

Museum of Family History: New exhibits

What’s new at the Museum of Family History this month?

Walk in My Shoes: Collected Memories of the Holocaust

Chaim Basist (Lida, Belarus): He and his family hid in the forest with the Bielski partisans. Hebrew/English.

Peter Kleinmann (Munkacs/Mukachevo, Ukraine). Nine of 12 chapters of his autobiography are online with more to follow very soon. He was in Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen and Flossenburg.

MOFH Film Series (through April 18): World War II and the Holocaust

“The Jews of Krakow’s Kazimierz District.” 1936 archival film shows Krakow’s Kazimierz Jewish district. Most buildings can be visited today and are in a similar condition – only the people who walked those streets are long gone. Note: A YouTube version of this film states the years are 1938-9, not 1936.

Exhibit: “The Jewish Ghetto” (coming in 2010)

“The Ghettos of Dabrowa Grnicza and Bedzin” (10:51). Two parts shot in the ghettos of Dabrowa Grnicza and Bedzin, probablywhen the ghetto was founded in May 1942, although deportations began in October 1940. Despite cooperation with the occupiers, as shown in this film, several large deportations took place in 1942; the last major ones were in 1943: 5,000, 22 June 1943; 8,000, around 13 August 1943. The 1,000 remaining Jews were subsequently deported. An uprising took place August 1943, was quelled and the ghetto eliminated. Both films are in the Polish film archive (ul. Chelmska, Warsaw.

Al Jolson Film Festival

— Jolson stars in and sings in the film trailer to “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum.” Don’t forget to visit the Museum’s large Al Jolson exhibit, “The Immortal Al Jolson” (see and hear many more videos, more than 40 sound clips).

ERC Lecture Series: The Development of Yiddish Literature

— Since the Czernowitz Conference: In October 2008, Boris Sandler, Forverts editor-in-chief, gave a Yiddish speech at the IAYC (International Association of Yiddish Clubs) conference about the development of Yiddish literature since the 1908 Czernowitz conference on the future of the Yiddish language. A transcript of the talk is now available in English and can be found within the “ERC Lecture Series” at the Museum’s Education and Research Center.

Visit the Museum of Family History online. Learn what’s new at the Steve Lasky’s blog.

Questions for Steve on new exhibits or material you’d like to share? Contact him.

Michigan: ‘The Brothers Warner,’ April 26

Join in the nosh-and-a-movie fundraiser for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan, on Monday, April 26.

The event starts at 7pm, the film screens at 8pm, in the Commerce Theatre, 14 Mile and Haggerty, Walled Lake, at the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival.

This is the inside story of the little known major player in the Warner Bros. studio legend, Harry Warner, honest Abe, visionary Sam, and volatile Jack – the original Hollywood independent filmmakers. This close-knit band of brothers was the first to use mass media to “educate, entertain, and enlighten.”

“‘The Brothers Warner’ is a well-made, fascinating documentary. Cass has not only honored her grandfather’s legacy with this work, she’s also paid homage to one of the guiding principles of the four Warner brothers who founded the studio by producing a film that will educate, entertain and enlighten audiences.” —Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment

Their legendary scrappy rise from nothing, their overcoming of personal tragedies, and their battles are all woven together with the times they lived in. From opening their first storefront theater by hanging a sheet on the wall and borrowing chairs from a funeral parlor to creating one of the top studios in America – four brothers built an empire on a dream and revolutionized Hollywood creating the first major studio with a social conscience.

Fee: $18 per person ($8 goes to support JGSMi; additional donation appreciated); for more information or to order tickets, register online.

Ancestor Approved: 10 things about my ancestors

Tracing the Tribe has received the Ancestor Approved award from Pat and Judy, the GenealogyGals.

Their blog is a joint effort.

Award recipients are supposed to report on 10 things learned about our ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened us, and then pass along the award to 10 more genealogy bloggers who are doing their ancestors proud.

1. Surprised: At the life of my maternal great-grandmother Riva BANK TALALAY – born in a shtetl outside Kovno – who was ran away to the Gypsies – so the story goes – to avoid a disliked marriage. Along the way, she learned herbal healing, midwifery, reading tarot cards and palmistry. When she did marry Aron Peretz Talalay and moved to his agricultural colony Vorotinschtina, some 12 miles southwest of Mogilev, Belarus, she was known for creating the first closet in the shtetl. In Newark, New Jersey, she was also a midwife and healer and well-known for getting her way to make living better for her family.

2. Surprised: That the generation-to-generation one-liner – “This was our name in Spain” – has been corroborated by archival research in Spain and DNA genetic testing.

3. Enlightened: Our TALALAY family’s first immigrant ancestor met an English-speaker on the boat over in 1898 who advised him to change his name as no one would give a job to Mr. Tell-a-lie. Thus TOLLIN, TALLIN, TAYLOR, TOLL, TALL and – of course – those lost Philadelphia FEINSTEINs, came about.

4. Enlightened: My maternal FINK (Suchostaw, Galicia -> Ukraine) grandfather and his brothers had a large building maintenance company in New York City. Once, during a window-cleaners’ strike, a worker was quoted as calling his employers, “those rats, the FINKs.” According to family story, the term “rat-fink” was born.

5. Surprised: On hearing that my mother, as a teen, used to swim across Kauneonga Lake (Catskills, Sullivan County, about 10 miles from Monticello) frequently. It is a very large lake!

6. Humbled: To have found at least one lost branch of the Dardashti family, and thus fulfilling a request of my husband’s eldest aunt Nane-jan – made more than 35 years ago in Teheran – to find the lost branches (descendants of relatives who became Moslem) and tell them that they had cousins who thought about them all the time.

7. Humbled: To think about the difficulties Nane-jan underwent as the first Jewish girl to go to school in Teheran in 1902. The community stopped buying from her father, a butcher, and she endured taunts and attacks on her way to school. All her sisters also went to school, with some of them becoming French teachers. It wasn’t easy being a father with such advanced enlightened thinking in those days.

8. Frequently flabbergasted when thinking of our newly-connected TALALAY-KATSNELSON relatives (from Bobruisk, Belarus) in Melbourne, Australia. Their eldest daughter Nelly is a journalist and her daughter is Miliana. I’m Schelly, a journalist and our daughter is Liana. Do you also hear Twilight Zone music?

9. Surprised at how much cousin Leon in Melbourne and I resemble each other. His mother was a Talalay whose father (Gamshei) had moved (reasons still unknown) from Mogilev to Bobruisk.

10. Still shocked: My late cousin Victor Talalay (Toronto) and I both located information about the family branch in Israel at the same time, decades ago, when we separately visited Israel and found the data in the English phone book. We each dutifully copied the info and held onto the scraps of paper with name, address and phone number for decades. I finally wrote and located the granddaughter as her grandfather, who placed the entry every year, had died only a year or so prior. He had placed the info in the English phone book every year hoping that US relatives would find it and contact him. He had arrived from Berlin (after leaving Mogilev in 1902 and going to London and Germany) to Israel in 1933. Moral: Never procrastinate when it comes to following up on all clues to family history.

Since I am coming into this award late – procrastination still runs in our family – and I believe almost all bloggers have already been tagged, I am awarding this coveted prize to everyone who has not already been noted.