April 2006

Logo-dark blue


P.O. Box 55443 , Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
JGSLA.ORG – (818) 771-5554

April 2006

Program for Monday, April 24, 2006

7:00 p. m. Pre-Meeting: “Genealogical Research in the United Kingdom”

Lorna Kay will explain how to research records in the United Kingdom, with emphasis on the various archives available and current online databases, including the ongoing “Free BMD” project which contains transcriptions of the civil registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales. She’ll also highlight databases available exclusively to JGS of Great Britain members and explain new research projects currently being worked on by their volunteers, including her personal project for digitizing the marriage registers for Manchester synagogues. A handout with useful website links will be available, and she will discuss the JGSGB’s Shemot magazine, the JGSGB newsletter and their latest publication “A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in the United Kingdom.”

Speaker: Lorna Kay is chairman of the Manchester Regional Group of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. She had been dabbling “gently” with her family tree until she attended the 21st International Conference in London in 2001 when she became absolutely smitten with the whole thing. Realizing there was nothing in Manchester to help with genealogical research, she started a regional group of the JGSGB. They held their first meeting in November 2001, and it is now the fastest-growing regional branch of the JGSGB. In July 2002 she visited Ukraine to go back to her family roots in Kamenets Podolsk. She has also traced her maternal side back to 1759 in Latvia and paternal side back to 1810 in the Ukraine.

7:30 p. m. Main Program: “The Grand Duchy (GDL) Project: Finding Families in 18th Century Records in Belarus, Lithuania and Poland”

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was home to the ancestors of 80% of the Jews alive in the world today. During this “golden age,” before this area became part of the Russian Empire, Jews enjoyed a large degree of self-government and economic security. The Hoffmans are translating and analyzing thousands of pages of census-tax records from the latter half of the 18th century, for the areas that are now in Lithuania, Belarus , parts of Poland and Ukraine. They will describe the information that these records contain about communities (kahals) and families, and the historical context for these findings. They will demonstrate how researchers have identified their families in these records, though they did not yet have surnames. Many shtetl research groups are participating in this project to create a patronymic online database and to more fully recreate the history of their shtetls going back to the 17th and 18th centuries. For more information about the Grand Duchy Project, go to [www.jewishfamilyhistory.org].

See www.jgsla.org for more information on this program.

Speakers: David B. Hoffman, Ph.D. and Sonia Hoffman. David B. Hoffman, Ph.D., is the president of the Jewish Family History Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors of the JGS Los Angeles. He co-founded and is the past-president of the LitvakSIG. Sonia Hoffman is president of the JGS Los Angeles and coordinates the Grand Duchy Project of the Jewish Family History Foundation. She served as coordinator of the Bialystok Shtetl CO-OP for JRI-Poland. David and Sonia have edited a family newsletter/family history journal for a large extended family since 1992. They have published numerous articles in Avotaynu and Roots-Key, and have spoken at five IAJGS annual conferences and for many other genealogy societies around the world.

Location: Skirball Cultural Center, Magnin Auditorium, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Exit the San Diego Fwy at Skirball Center Dr. Right onto Sepulveda Blvd. and right again into Skirball parking, opposite the Center entrance; or turn left on Herscher Drive, north of the Center, to the underground parking lot. Library Access: The JGSLA Spiszman Library of reference books and maps will be available for use starting at 6:30 pm in the Magnin Auditorium. JGSLA members will be available to assist with use of the Library.

Attendance Fees: $5.00 for guests; no fee for members and parking is free.

Member News

We extend our condolences to Werner Frank on the death of his mother, who passed away at age 103 on March 6 th.

Our best wishes to Faith Goldman on the engagement of her son, Army Sgt Samuel Goldman to USAF Sgt Melissa Herron. They met while stationed in South Korea.

Passenger Lists Online
Barbara Algaze [barbara@jgsla.org]

Check out [home.att.net/~wee-monster/onlinelists.html]. The website has records of passengers to the Ports of NY, Baltimore, Boston, Maine, New England, New Orleans, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Hawaii, the Carolinas, Texas and Virginia. There are also databases for arrivals to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain; and for departures from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, and Spain.

Israel ’s 58th Independence Day Festival May 7

Visit the JGSLA booth at the upcoming Israel Independence Day Festival. Stop by to say hello and enjoy the Festival! Information at [www.israelfestival.com/]

Location: Woodley Park (between Burbank & Victory)
Date/time: Sunday, May 7, 2006 / 10:00am – 7:00pm
Cost: $5 Per Person, Children Under Six (6) free Parking: Free

Montreal , Canada Research
Marion Werle [marion@jgsla.org]

The Library and Archives of Quebec have placed City Directories of Montreal from 1842 to 1950 online. The directories include alphabetical directories of individuals and businesses, a street directory, and some classified advertisements, not surprisingly, in French. See [bibnum2.bnquebec.ca/bna/lovell/index.html].

37 th Annual Genealogical Jamboree and Resource Expo May 5-6

The Southern California Genealogical Society will sponsor a two-day conference on May 5th and 6th at the Hilton Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center, 2500 Hollywood Way. JGSLA Librarian, Barbara Algaze, will be speaking on “Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy” at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Other talks and speakers of interest are Michael Kirley on “What is New at the L.A. Public Library,” Randy Thompson on “Resources at NARA Laguna Niguel,” Elaine Alexander on “U.S. Ports of Arrival and Their Records,” Christine Rose on “Addicted to Courthouses,” Bonnie Petrovich on “Census Online Through Heritage Quest,” Lisa Lee on “Easy Ways to Use Multimedia Technology in Family Reunions,” Tom Underhill on “How to Produce a Quality Family History Book,” and more. Check out the full program and schedule at: [http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/2006jam-sat.htm].

Polish Genealogy Conference April 21-24

The United Polish Genealogical Societies are hosting a conference in Salt Lake City from April 21 – 24, 2006. This conference is hosted by the Polish Genealogical Society of California, and will be held at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel and the LDS Family History Library. The cost for the full four days is $80.00. If you are interested in this conference, go to [www.pgsca.org], press the button on the left side “UPGS Conf.” and you will find the list of lectures and all the other information.

JGSLA Cemetery Project: Volunteers Needed
Sonia Hoffman [president@jgsla.org]

Our Cemetery Project to catalog the burials at Beth Israel Cemetery in East Los Angeles (1068 S. Downey Rd., LA 90023) is underway, and volunteers are needed on Sunday, April 2nd to walk the cemetery. Several visits will be required, so April 23 and April 30 have also been tentatively scheduled. Please contact us if you would like to participate at the cemetery, or with data entry after the information has been gathered. To volunteer and arrange carpools, please contact Nancy Holden at [nholden@interserv.com] or 626/441-3729. ArchiveGrid Database Free Thru May 31st
Nancy Biederman [treasurer@jgsla.org]

A new database collects detailed data on the holdings of thousands of libraries, museums, and other archives and makes the information searchable online. ArchiveGrid allows researchers to search through historical documents, personal papers and family histories held in archives around the world and will be free to all until May 31 st. See [archivegrid.org/web/jsp/index.jsp].

May Program to Feature Stephen Morse
Pamela Weisberger [pamela@jgsla.org]

Stephen Morse, one of the most popular speakers on genealogy, will be coming to Los Angeles to speak at our May meeting. This meeting will be co-hosted by the Skirball Cultural Center. His [www.stevemorse.org] website provides an outstanding portal into a wide range of databases across the Internet. It is a valuable tool for Jewish and non-Jewish genealogists alike. Mark your calendar for the May meeting…and bring a friend!  

Obtaining Vital Records
Hal Bookbinder [hal@jgsla.org]

If you are not sure of the procedures for obtaining birth, marriage, divorce or death records from the various states, counties, cities and even foreign countries, check out [www.vitalrec.com]. This site contains information on where to write, the cost and the forms you will need. It also facilitates ordering these records on line. The site is affiliated with Ancestry.com and so contains a lot of “encouragement” to access Ancesty’s paid services. But, you need not do so to get the information you need to obtain U.S. and many foreign vital records.

Early NYC Vital Records at the FHL Barbara Algaze [barbara@jgsla.org]

When looking in the online catalogue of the Family History Library for the microfilms for early New York City vital records at [www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/ FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp], be aware that they are located in a number of places in the catalogue and the listings are not consistent.

For example, some of them might be located under the listing of New York, New York. You will find others under the borough and state (i.e. Brooklyn, New York) and others might be found under the county and state (i.e. Kings, New York). You will find others under the listing of Manhattan, New York.

In addition, you should check under the lists of Vital Records AND Vital Records – Indexes. So, for New York City Births, under the various permutations, you will find the following listings:

  • List of births reported and index to certificates (All boroughs) 1881 – 1965, Microfilms 1,322,457+ (30 microfilm reels)
  • Manhattan birth certificates 1866 – 1897/birth index cards 1866 – 1897, Microfilms 1,323,501+ (543 microfilm reels)
  • Index to birth certificates, Brooklyn, 1866 – 1897, Microfilms 1,324,701+ (34 microfilm reels)
  • Index to births 1848 – 1897, Queens County, NY, Microfilms 1,378,884+ (7 microfilm reels)
  • Register of births, Manhattan, 1847 – 1873, 1830 – 1865, Microfilms 1,378,956+ (28 reels)
  • Brooklyn Birth certificates (no index) 1866 – 1909, Microfilms 1,380,499+ (153 reels)
  • Manhattan birth certificates (no index) 1818 – 1909, Microfilms 1,953,076+ (233 reels)
  • Birth records Queens, New York, 1898 – 1909, Microfilms 1,992,977+ (21 reels)
  • Bronx birth certificates and records of birth 1898 – 1909 (no index), Microfilms 2,022,836+ (30 reels)

Practice Safe Computing
Hal Bookbinder [hal@jgsla.org]

Everyone who uses a computer to attach to the Internet (which includes just about all of us) needs to take reasonable precautions to protect their system. Otherwise, you put both your system and others at risk.

  • Have a current anti-virus program AND a current anti-spy-ware program running on your computer.
  • Renew your anti-virus & anti-spy-ware subscriptions so that you continue to get the latest pattern files.
  • Don’t open suspicious emails. If your email program automatically previews emails, turn the feature off.

Set up your computer to download the latest security patches from Microsoft. They are quickly exploited.

Practicing Safe Computing (continued)

  • Turn on your XP system’s free firewall, or install another software or hardware firewall.
  • If you have a wireless facility at home, set it up with an ID that is not broadcast, allowing anyone access.
  • Use passwords that are not easy to guess (like a month, weekday or a pet’s name), and don’t write them down.
  • Get a Macintosh (only half-joking…they are designed better to avoid viruses and spy-ware).

Websites with Links to Genealogical Websites Hal Bookbinder [hal@jgsla.org]

The following websites contain links to enormous numbers of genealogically oriented websites. In addition, many libraries, organizations, and governmental agencies have organized lists of relevant websites, especially in their own geographic areas or relevant to their roles.

Cyndi’s List is, by far, the most extensive listing of sites of genealogical interest with over 250,000 categorized links. It has recently been reorganized to ease its use. So, if you haven’t checked it out recently, consider doing so.

  • Avotaynu List of Jewish Genealogical Research sites
  • Cyndi’s List
  • Family Tree Magazine, Best Undiscovered Sites, 2005
  • Family Tree Magazine, Best Sites, 2004
  • Genealogy.com’s list of helpful web sites
  • Google Directory – Genealogy
  • Jewish Web Index
  • National Archives: Resources on Other Web Sites
  • Richard William’s genealogy web site listing
  • RootsWeb
  • Stephen Wood and Matthew Helm’s Genealogy Portal
  • The USGen Web Project
  • Yahoo! Search Directory – Genealogy

Share Your Hints and News

Please let us know of major family events, brief research stories, exciting research successes and research hints so that they can be shared in Dates & Updates. Send your input to Hal Bookbinder, Dates & Updates Editor, at [hal@jgsla.org].