Northern California: ‘Sharing, Preserving in Digital Era,’ April 19

Learn how to share and preserve family memories in a digital age with speaker Daniel Horowitz at the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society’s Peninsula branch in Los Altos, on Monday, April 19.

Doors open at 7pm, the program begins at 7.30pm at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Today researchers have many options for storing and sharing research material, including text, images, videos, documents and sound. Today’s tools range from “capturing” devices (such as audio/video recorders, cameras, mobile phones and scanners) to products for sharing (such as CDs, DVDs, portable disc, electronic photo frames) to the Internet itself.

For many, the Internet is the perfect place to share and preserve memories. Publish your material in a range of ways, from those that are completely private to completely public, everything between.

Ask for collaboration or confirmation or simply display the information; and you can control every aspect. Many easy-to-use tools and resources can facilitate the work of setting up websites, blogs, wikis or any other ways to publish the information.

Learn the different available options, establish your goals and decide the best way to publish your research and collected materials, and allow the younger generations to enjoy, help and collaborate in your project.

Born and raised in Caracas,Venezuela, Daniel Horowitz and his family have lived in Israel since 2005. He is translation and database manager at MyHeritage.com, a genealogical social networking site with many exciting features for connecting families around the world.

He’s a computer instructor and teacher/creator of the Searching for My Roots genealogy project for young people. A founder/lecturer for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Venezuela, he’s a member/webmaster of the Israel-based IGS/JFRA society and the Horowitz Family Association.

He’s a frequent lecturer at international Jewish and general genealogy conferences and is a board member/webmaster of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS).

Fee: Attendance is free to all. For more information, contact the SFBAJGS vice president and branch chair Rosanne Leeson.

Sacramento: Facial recognition technology for genealogy, April 18

“Facial Recognition Technology for Genealogy,” with Daniel Horowitz, will be the topic at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento (California), on Sunday, April 18.

The program begins at 10m, at the Albert Einstein Residence Center.

Facial recognition technology is used worldwide in the security industry. It can also help identify people in old family photos, discover other people related to you and enable reconnection of lost branches.

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Daniel has lived in Israel with his family since 2005. He is the database and translation manager for MyHeritage.com, a genealogy social networking site. Among his other “hats,” he’s the IAJGS webmaster and at the Horowitz Family Association. He was the founder of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Venezuela.

For additional information, directions and more, see the JGSS site or send an email.

Australia: Visiting Sydney, Day 1

Ziva drove me to the airport, before dawn, to catch an early morning flight to Sydney to see my cousins.

Bob and Di met me at the airport and, since time was so limited, they drove me around to get a feeling for this beautiful city. The weather was sunny and breezy and Bob shared his love for the city where he has lived for more than three decades.

For lunch, we went to the Sydney Fish Market for fish and chips. An amazing building full of fresh everything that can say “glub glub.”

Some of them were still speaking!

Name a creature of the water and it is on ice or in a tank somewhere here. There are also other kiosks inside (sushi and more).

At 2pm, Bob and Di dropped me off at the Kent Street site of the Society of Australian Genealogists, where I met the SAG program director Carole Riley, a GenClass.com colleague Kerry Farmer and MyHeritage.com’s Linde Wolters (who lives in Sydney). From left, Carole, Kerry and Linde:

We had a quick tour of the excellent facilities, library (there is another archive offsite), talked genealogy – what else? – and went for refreshment to the cafe across the street. First it was 3.20pm and the next time we checked it was 4pm. If I wasn’t being picked up by my cousins, we could have gone for several more hours.

For dinner, we went to a Lebanese restaurant with our cousins’ friends and had a great time talking genealogy, DNA and much more.

Tomorrow, say my cousins, I’ll get to see koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, emus and other unusual animals. Looking forward to that!

Canada: Jewish genealogy at ShalomLife

Tracing the Tribe was interviewed by Toronto’s ShalomLife.com writer Dan Verbin.

The first of a two-part article is here.

It covers many Jewish genealogy topics, including trends, myths, online resources, Sephardic genealogy, DNA genetic genealogy, technology, opening of Eastern European archives, JGSLA 2010 and more – and that’s just in part one!

MyHeritage acquires major European family network

MyHeritage.com announced today that it had acquired a major European family network, OSN (Verwandt.de).

Users of both sites will benefit from the companies’ combined technologies and make it easier for families to keep in touch as they bridge gaps of geography, language and time.

According to the press release, MyHeritage now becomes the largest international site dedicated to families on the web. The acquisition means the company now has 13 million family trees, 47 million members and 530 million profiles, and operates in 35 languages.

Based in Hamburg, Germany, the OSN Group operates a network of 10 family sites, including Verwandt.de (Germany), Moikrewni.pl (Poland) and Dynastree.com (USA).

MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet (photo right) said this integration of services into a single international platform is a big step towards the company’s vision of connecting families around the world, and to support them in exploring family history, sharing memories and staying connected.

With this acquisition, the company builds on its markets in the US, UK, Canada, France and Australia, making inroads into European (Germany, Poland, the Netherlands) and Latin American markets.

The term “family graph” is used in the press release, referring to the millions of family trees and genealogical profiles:

“The increased scale of this privacy-enforced family graph provides instant value to families, making it even easier for them to find long-lost relatives and discover more about their unique family histories. This will help, for example, more North American members connect with their European relatives and ancestors.”

While Facebook offers a social connection graph and LinkedIn offers a graph of professional connections graph, MyHeritage is building a family graph, past and present.

“By extending the scale and geographic reach of its family graph and offering a private place online for families across the world to securely share photos, important events and explore our family history, MyHeritage.com’s service has the potential to become part of the fabric of our online lives.”

To help members manage online family connections, various tools and technologies are available, such as free downloadable genealogy software, Smart Matching™ technology that connects family trees across different languages, pronunciations and spellings; and advanced facial recognition technology to tag family photos.

New OSN technologies will be integrated into MyHeritage.com, beginning with the Family Crest Builder. This feature is fun. Even if your family doesn’t have a crest handed down through the centuries, members can now create their own unique crest (and even use it as background on their trees. There are myriad graphic heraldry symbols, shield shapes, colors, banners and other plug-in elements to form the crest.

On February 1, the site also released a new version of the web tree viewer for easier navigation and better visual graphics.

WDYTYA Live: Research guides, workshops, Feb. 26-28

Who do You Think You Are Live – The National History Show in the UK – has published online a series of guides for those researching ancestors.

The show is set for February 26-28, at the Olympia in London.

Click here and see the left menu. click on “What’s Your Story?” and see the list of available guides.

In addition, to Jewish Ancestors, the other guides are Getting Started, Army Ancestors, Criminal Ancestors, Divorced Ancestors, Irish Ancestors, Migration, Scottish Ancestors.

Each has additional links and resources within the text. Additional Jewish resources listed in the guide are Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain and JewishGen.

The Jewish guide covers immigration; birth, marriage and death certificates; census records and wills.

WORKSHOPS

Several workshops at the show will feature well-known individuals in several fields.

On Sunday, February 28, Laurence Harris and Daniel Horowitz will each present a workshop.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, DNA workshop presentations feature Bennett Greenspan, Max Blankfeld and Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona.

All speaker biographies are available here.[Note: Speaker biographies are listed by first name – not surname – which I found strange for a genealogy-focused event. Also, not all biographies are listed.]

— Sunday details:

Laurence will provide the top 10 tips for tracing Jewish ancestors – which he uses for professional and personal genealogical goals – from 12-15-1pm.

He’s a professional genealogist and family historian. He has researched for the Who Do You Think You Are TV series and specialises in tracing Jewish Ancestors and living relatives in the UK and overseas. He is the former chairman and genealogical inquiries officer of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain.

Daniel’s workshop is set for 2.15-3pm, titled “Face Recognition and Photo Tagging for Genealogy Research,”in which he’ll cover this state-of-the-art technology available at MyHeritage.com.

Daniel is the genealogy and translation manager at MyHeritage.com, an IAJGS board member, Israel Genealogical society member, a genealogy educator and wears other hats as well.

— DNA workshop details:

FamilyTreeDNA.com founder Bennett will present “New frontiers for DNA and genealogy” all three days, from 12-12.45pm, and “21st century tools for genealogists” 5-5.45pm Saturday; Max will present “DNA for genealogy – basic concepts” 10-10.45am each day and “National Geographic’s DNA project – The Genographic Project,” 4-4.45pm Friday and Saturday and 3-3.45pm Sunday.

While our friends will be enjoying this London event, I will be speaking in Hong Kong and Australia – a really exciting journey! Tracing the Tribe hopes to be at the London event in 2011.

Family Tree Magazine: New issue

The March 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine provides another great issue for researchers, providing many practical resources and articles.

It went on sale January 5 and, if you have a subscription, you’re already enjoying it.

Diane Haddad covered the new issue in her Genealogy Insider post.

–Assess your genealogical fitness level with a “Shaping Up” survey. Find links to classes, websites, books and organizations to help everyone, from beginners to experts, brush up on skills or learn new ones.

–Learn about your ancestors with a social history of their times, such as childbirth practices in our grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ days, in”We Deliver for You.” There’s information on birth, hospital and midwives’ records.

–“Flirting With Disaster” will help you understand about disasters our ancestors lived through … or didn’t. Find sources to victims’ names.

–“Go Go Gadgets” tells researchers what to look for in seven technology tools – a practical article comparing popular models for each tool.

–There’s a Toolkit Tutorial on Twitter and its new vocabulary for social networking.

–How to keep your family connected via a family website with the MyHeritage Web Guide, detailing how to use a tree on MyHeritage.com to do research and connect with family.

Other articles include Puerto Rican root tracing, color photography and sources to help African-American researchers.