Southern California: ‘Genealogy in the round," May 2

“Genealogy In The Round: Share Your Successes, Failures, Artifacts and Brick Walls” is the topic at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County, on Sunday, May 2.

It begins at 1.30pm at Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks.

Sharing problems, solutions and other aspects of family history research helps everyone. One person’s experience may solve another’s problem.

Come and share a genealogical success, failure, brick wall, or genealogical artifact! This is your meeting – we all learn from one another – take this opportunity to share your genealogical story – success or failure, ask questions about your brick walls, and more!

If you wish to participate in the program, contact Jan Meisels Allen at president@JGSCV.org. Each participant will be given 5-10 minutes to share – depending on the number of presenters. Whether you are a JGSCV member or a potential member – we’d love to hear your genealogical story.

There is no fee to attend this meeting.

Los Angeles: Jamboree discounts end April 30

The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is just around the corner, June 11-13, at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center.

Some 1,600 attendees will benefit from 120 sessions, workshops and events; 50 internationally known speakers, and 70 exhibitors displaying products and services.

The geneabloggers will again be there in force with two special Blogger Summit sessions. Go from zero to blogging in only 60 minutes in the first, while the second will take you higher as you learn how to market your blog, make it more appealing and even more important issues.

Tracing the Tribe is on the panel for the second blogger session (11.30am-12.30pm, Saturday, June 12, “Now that You’re a Genealogy Blogger”) My genea-colleagues for that session are Lisa Louise Cooke, Kathryn Doyle, Thomas MacEntee and Craig Manson.

Later that day (2-3pm), I will present “The Iberian Ashkenaz DNA Project: The Administrator’s Viewpoint.” it will cover developing and building a DNA project from initial concept, project goal, criteria, participation and results.  

Early-bird discounts end April 30. Register by then and receive a $10 registration discount, $5 discount on all special events, and a free copy of the printed syllabus ($20 value).

More reasons – there are many – include:

Free Friday kids’ session for ages 8-16, as well as librarians and beginner researchers.

Free “Genealogy World” roundtable small group discussion sessions Friday morning – dozens of topics lead by experts (Tracing the Tribe and Daniel Horowitz will each lead one on Jewish research). Topics include regional and ethnic research, searching birth families, genealogy society management sessions. The Jamboree blog will detail these roundtables scheduled over three hours.

Free document and photo scanning provided by Ancestry.com.

Free webinar to help get the most out of any genealogy conference, including Jamboree. Click on the webinar image here.

— Friday morning tour of Evergreen Cemetery (Los Angeles), followed by lunch at Philippe’s Who says genealogy isn’t delicious? Philippe’s is where, according to legend, the French Dip sandwich was created!

— Excel, Word, Skype, blogging and Google applications in hand’s-on minicourses.

— Door prizes – worth thousands of dollars – include a week at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, a weekend at Strawberry Creek Inn or Bunkhouse B&B (Idyllwild, California).

— Beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.

— Live podcast Saturday – with Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems Podcast.

— Friday night banquet with Chris Haley, nephew of Alex Haley (“Roots”).

Free webinar Saturday morning with DearMYRTLE. Societies from across the US and Canada can participate from home via GoToWebinar. Join us onsite for breakfast (fee) or over the web.

Dates to remember:

April 30: Early bird registration ends at midnight.
May 1: Mini-sessions registration opens.
May 10: Marriott hotel discount ends.
June 1: Pre-registration closes.

Get all the details on Jamboree; click on the Jamboree logo.
Follow all Jamboree blog updates.

See you in Burbank!

Florida: ‘Googling Goodies for Genealogists,’ April 25

“Googling Goodies for Genealogists” will be presented by Paul L. Enchelmayer at the next meeting of the  Jewish Genealogical Society of Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University (NSU), on Sunday, April 25.

The free program begins at 1pm at NSU’s Alvin Sherman Library, 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd, Davie.

Enchelmayer has spoken to nearly two dozen societies and clubs, presenting programs to help others learn how technology can aid in family history projects.

He is chair of the Genealogy Group, University Club, Winter Park; past president and current webmaster, Central Florida Genealogical Society, Orange County; member and webmaster, Florida State Genealogical Society’s Speakers Bureau; member, National Genealogical Society; and member, Hamilton County Genealogical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Seating is limited, pre-registration required, so click here to let them know you’re coming.

For more information, click on the JGSBC site, or send an email. A link on the JGSBC site will lead to the library site, with a map and directions.

Connecticut: Genealogy guru Arthur Kurzweil, May 2

Famed genealogist and author Arthur Kurzweil will give the keynote presentation, “Jewish Genealogy as a Spiritual Pilgrimage,” at the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford’s Family History Day, on Sunday, May 2.

His book, “From Generation to Generation,” was one of the first books on Jewish genealogy and inspired a generation of individuals to begin their journey of discovery (including Tracing the Tribe). He was also among the founders of the very first Jewish genealogical society, in New York City.

Kurweill will also be the scholar-in-residence at this summer’s 30th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy – JGSLA 2010 – July 11-16, Los Angeles.

The venue is Beth El Temple in West Hartford, from 12.30-5pm. Kurzweill will also lead two workshops at the event. One will be for experienced genealogical researchers and one to help those discover what happened to relatives during the Holocaust. Fee: members, $12; others, $15. View the event brochure here for complete information on all 10 workshops and registration.

Family History Day is an opportunity for adults and middle- and high-school aged children to learn how to save family memories and treasures for future generations. The program will include 10 expert workshops on topics including conducting an effective interview; writing your own memoir; conducting genealogical research; archiving precious photos, papers and artifacts; and creating keepsake memories. A vendor showcase will display products and services related to genealogical research.

He was interviewed – “Jewish genealogy as a spiritual pursuit” – in the Jewish Ledger.

Among his other books: “On the Road with Rabbi Steinsaltz: 25 Years of Pre-Dawn Car Trips, Mind-Blowing Encounters and Inspiring Conversations with a Man of Wisdom;” “The Torah for Dummies,” “The Encyclopedia of Jewish Genealogy” and “My Generations: A Course in Jewish Family History,” a popular text used for almost two decades in North American synagogue schools. An accomplished magician, he is also coordinator of the Talmud Circle Project, directed by Rabbi Steinsaltz.

He received the Distinguished Humanitarian Award (Melton Center, Ohio State University) for his unique contributions to Jewish education, and the IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the interview, Kurweill says:

I believe that in the same way that the Talmud says that when the Temple was destroyed, they rebuilt by doing their family trees, in our generation we have the same task. As a rebuilding generation, we are doing our family trees to rebuild, to put the pieces back together again, to take that shattered people and to bring them back together again. Our work is mitzvah work. I think we are doing a good job.

Learn how he developed an interest in genealogy:

When I began investigating my family history I found that there were no guidebooks. I ended up writing the book I wish I had been able to find.

How does an absolute beginner start?

The first step is to talk to relatives. That’s always the first step. The documents will wait. The people don’t wait. Talk to every relative you can find. Talking to relatives is the most important thing to do. After that, I’d say you should explore http://www.jewishgen.org. This is cyberspace headquarters for Jewish genealogy. If you are interested in Jewish genealogy and you go to this website, we won’t see you again for months!

Interest in Jewish genealogy is growing. More and more people each year are becoming convinced that you can be very successful in climbing your Jewish family tree. There is no question that the major factor in the growth of this pursuit is the Internet and all that it offers the researcher.

The story also addresses how his spiritual life meshes with genealogy:

It seems to me that every step of the way when we pursue our genealogical research, we are involved in mitzvahs. Who more than we honor the elderly? Who more than we reach out to the elderly people in our family and our communities and make them feel like we need them – because we do. And what is that but a mitzvah, to honor the elderly. Who more than we ask questions? The Talmud consists of questions, thousands of ways of asking different questions. Did you ever ask the question, “Where did you get that information from?” Well, there is a little code word in the Talmud for the question, “Where did you get that question from?” And who has perfected the art of asking questions more than we have?

Who like we genealogists performs the mitzvah of ahavat Yisrael, the love of the people of Israel, which really means tolerance. What Jews in the world are more tolerant than Jewish genealogists? Why are we tolerant? We are tolerant because we learn that on this branch of the family there are Galicianers, and on this branch there are Litvaks, and on this branch there are assimilated Jews and on this branch there were intermarriages! And we see that each of our families really is everybody, and in the process we become tolerant.

Read the complete interview at the link above

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.