New York: Non-Jewish research in Jewish resources, May 13

Looking for new research resources? “Non-Jewish Research in Jewish Resources” is set for Thursday, May 13 at the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s new location.

David M. Kleiman, president of Heritage Muse, is the speaker. The program starts at 5.30pm at 36 West 44th Street, 7th floor, in New York City.

Explore resources from around the world for Eastern and Western European research, often available for free.

Discover the research aids, books, and online content most often associated with the world of Jewish genealogy. These tools can open extensive research avenues for families of all faiths. Find surprising connections and general research sources in 17th-century colonial, and revolutionary American material, through to late 20th century immigration and burial data.

Publisher, researcher, folklorist and popular educator, Kleiman has been involved in family history works for more than 35 years. As president of Heritage Muse, Inc. and co-founder/chair of the NY Computers and Genealogy Special Interest Group. he is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Genealogical Speakers Guild, and serves on the Executive Council of the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York.

In 2009, he took on the duties of curator for the new Loeb Visitors Center at Touro Synagogue (Newport, Rhode Island), overseeing an extensive exhibit on the synagogue’s history, Colonial Newport, and the founding of America’s First Constitutional Amendment on Freedom of Religion. His company built the web site for both the Visitors Center and the sponsoring George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom.

Heritage Muse is a New York City digital publishing and research firm offering historical, genealogical, and design services to individuals, foundations, museums and corporations.

Fee: NYG&B members, $25; others, $40.

Visit the NYG&B website for more information and registration.

Lithuania: Vilnius project info

Researching ancestors who lived in Lithuania? There are some ongoing projects right now at the Historical Archive in Vilnius.

Readers interested in any of these records may make a qualifying contribution to the LitvakSIG District Research Group and will receive records soon after they are translated. It will take about 18 months before they will be added to JewishGen’s All Lithuania Database.

Remember to cast a wider net. Your ancestors may have lived in more than one nearby village.

Contributions help to get more records translated, so if your interests lie in these locations, you might hit gold.

These are projects currently being translated:

Translator 1
Balbieriskis (Suwalki) marriages – 1858-1870
Balbieriskis (Suwalki) deaths – 1858-1870
Balbieriskis (Suwalki) births, marriage, deaths, 1808-1857.

Translator 2
Stakliskes (Trakai) 1850s
Varena (Trakai) 1850s

Zasliai (Trakai) 1850s
Ziezmariai (Trakai)1850s
Merkine (Trakai)1850s

Translator 3
Plunge (Telsiai) divorces 1839, 1844-46, 1854-1860
Plunge deaths 1842, 1844, 1854-1855.

Translator 4
Vilnius (Vilna) 1875 Family List Book 1 is done, ow working on Book 2. Book 3 no longer exists. Book 4 will be translated if enough funds are

Translator 5
Kaunas births 1907-1914 ( total 2,777 records)

Translator 6
Kaunas deaths 1898, 1899, 1901-1906

Translator 7

Kaunas deaths 1907, 1913

To contribute, click here. For more information on records available and projects underway, visit LitvakSIG.

Florida: Genealogy beyond the Internet, April 14

Genealogy beyond the Internet is the program at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County on Wednesday, April 14.

The meeting runs from 12.30-3pm, with a brick wall session, business meeting and main program, at the South County Civic Center, Delray Beach. Members are free; others, $5. SIG groups for Hungary and Ukraine will meet from 11.30am-12.15pm.

Mark Jacobson, Jerry Naditch and Dennis Rice will present the main program, as they discuss genealogy resources not generally available online.

Researchers tend to forget that genealogists discovered useful sources of information well before the internet existed!

The presentation will focus on several “hard copy” resources such as: vital records, grave markers, published obituaries, city directories and Social Security applications.

The speakers will demonstrate examples of source material; how and where to obtain it. They will review resources of the Family History Centers (FHC), sponsored by the Mormon Church.

Many valuable genealogical documents are available only on microfilm, which can often be ordered and read at the Boca Raton Family History Library and other Palm Beach County sites.

Submit questions in advance for the Brick Wall program.

For more information, visit the JGS of Palm Beach County.

New York: Beyond the basics, April 11

The Jewish Genealogical Society of New York will present “Basics and Beyond,” an afternoon family history seminar, on Sunday, April 11.

The program will run from 1-5pm, at UJA-Federation of New York 130 East 59th Street, 7th floor, Manhattan.

Experienced genealogists will present two tracks – for beginners and those more experienced.

Beginners’ Track:
— How to get started
— Tracing your family in the US
— Finding/interpreting census/vital records
— Crossing the pond: Finding/interpreting passenger arrival/naturalization records

Advanced Track:
— Organizing, goal-setting, record-keeping
— What’s new in computer research
— Researching European records at home

Tracks run simultaneously; participants may attend sessions in either or both tracks

Topics include:

— Finding and interpreting census and vital records
— Passenger arrival and naturalization records
— Computer research
— Research organization
— Record-keeping and goal setting
— Searching European records from home.

Advance registration required, no on-site registration. For more information and registration, click here.

Fee: JGSNY members, $18; others, $25. New member special: $40, includes 2010 JGSNY membership (annual membership alone is $36).

Vienna: Searching JASSNIGER

At the Bendigo Famiy History Expo, attendee Margaret Brown told me about her JASSNIGER relatives from Vienna, and even went home to bring me the birth and death certificates.

Click on each image to see them better. Each holds detailed information on various individuas, including maiden names of mother and grandmother, etc.

If you are researching Margaret’s father’s rare name, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with her. Some dozen burials are in Vienna; she knows there was a US branch but has not yet checked for it.

Ancestry: SSDI now updated weekly

One of’s first databases, the Social Security Death Index will now be updated weekly.

The Social Security Death Index is known by its acronym SSDI. Names have been added to that database since 1996, more than 86 million of them, in fact.

The weekly updating means that this useful database will be much more current with recent deaths reported to the Social Security Administration.

What does the SSDI contain? It lists deaths reported to the SSA or the Railroad Retirement Board. Individuals who did not have social security cards are not included. Thus, not everyone you’re searching for may be found.

Ancestry offers these search tips:

— Search by the surname used by the individual at the time of death.

— No hits? Try other surnames used at other times during that person’s life.

— Search by given name, death year, birth year – without a surname.

— Try using initials as SSDI records do not always include a full given name.

— Try searching with a middle name instead of the first name.

— Try variant name forms, such as Sarah/Sally or Mary/Polly/Molly and other common forms or nicknames, such as Jacob/Jake, Isaac/Ike, Matthew/Matt, or James/John.

— For dates, switch day and month (e.g. 5 February or 2 May, which can be written 5/2 or 2/5). Some records list the entire date of death, some only the month or year.

— You can also search using the Social Security Number (SSN) alone, if you have it.

Ancestry has now made it easier to search using only the first few letters of the name and a wild card asterisk (*).

Researchers should remember that the location for death is not always where the person died or was buried, but is in fact the last place of residence known by the SSA for that person.

For example, the individual might have been on vacation or spending the winter in a warmer climate or have been anywhere in the world when they died, but the SSA would only be concerned with the official last place of residence.

Researchers need to find more evidence to determine the exact place of death.

With more records appearing weekly, check back often for family members of interest.

Australia: Oldest Jewish person turns 109

Tracing the Tribe notes the 109th birthday of the oldest Jewish person in Australia.

The Australian Jewish News reported that Mary Rothstein celebrated her birthday Sunday in a Jewish Care home for the aged in Melbourne. Among the guests were her daughter, Ruth Cavallaro, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Born in Russia on February 27, 1901, moved to the UK at 2, married Joe Rothstein in 1935 and migrated to Australia in 1958. She ran her own millinery business and made hats for the royal family before the move. In Australia, she worked at the famous Myer department store. She said she only lied about her age once to avoid a mandatory retirement at 65.

Rothstein can’t understand why she’s lived so long. “It doesn’t seem possible,” she told the paper.

Rosa Rein, who was the world’s oldest Jewish person, died in Switzerland at 112 in early February.