February 2008


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

February 2008

· Monday, February 18, 2008, noon – 6:00 p.m. ·

Experienced JGSLA mentors will be available to help members get the most out of the Center’s resources, providing one-on-one computer assistance with many of the popular online genealogical databases including JewishGen, JRI-Poland, Ancestry.com, Footnote.com and Heritage Quest. The Center’s extensive collection of maps and gazetteers, U.S. census and vital records, naturalization and passport application indexes, city directories, passenger arrival lists, and international census and vital records will be available. Remember to bring your family trees and research materials with you. If you want to download electronic images of microfilm documents or online images from the Center’s computers, bring a flash drive. Full world access to all Ancestry databases covering United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Canada and Australia is now available. If you are unfamiliar with Ancestry, there is a useful tutorial at: [http://rpa.trlib.org/Ancestry-Tutorial.htm]. The following classes and Common Interest Group Meetings will be offered:

Feb_18_2008_01 12:15 – 1:00 p.m.: Introduction to the LAFHL Resources and Guide to New York City Research at the Center by Gerry Winerman, Past President, JGSLA
This talk will provide an overview of the Center’s collection of records, how to use the New York research notebook to locate vital records in the NYC microfilms, and a tutorial on how to order inexpensive copies from Salt Lake City.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.: United Kingdom Jewish Genealogy Interest Group Meeting, with Gerry Winerman
An informal gathering for those researching their Jewish roots in Great Britain. Come share your surnames, towns, stories and knowledge with others interested in learning more about their U.K. ancestors. Gerry has done extensive research on her English family lines and will offer helpful hints to those getting started. Remember to bring any family documents, trees, etc. to share.

Feb_18_2008_021:30-3:00 p.m.: Introduction to Internet Geneology – Arnie Schwartz, JGSLA board member, author and genealogy speaker.
Arnie will offer 38 easy ways to learn more about your relatives in this condensed version of his six-hour “Beginning Genealogy Workshop.” Internet sleuthing techniques will be covered along with tips on how to obtain copies of early documents by mail. A 176 page tutorial workbook, written for the visual learner, will be for sale at this meeting for $20. (or can be ordered by mail ahead of time for a $3 shipping charge) [usarnie1@sbcglobal.net]

Volunteers Needed!
If you want to volunteer your time staffing a desk or assisting at the computer stations or microfilm readers, please contact Program Vice President, Pamela Weisberger at: pweisberger@hotmail.com Helping out is a great way to help and meet your fellow members.

The Los Angeles Family History Library (FHC) is located at 10741 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles on the grounds of the LDS Temple. Turn north onto Manning Ave. from Santa Monica Blvd. Make the first left into the LDS Temple compound; proceed to the right until you reach the Visitors’ Center. Park along the fence or in the lot next to the Visitors’ Center. The entrance to the Family History Center is on the east (right) side of the Visitors’ Center.

Important Reminders
Only members whose dues are current may participate. If you have not yet renewed, you can do so at the door. New individuals are welcome to join the society and participate as well. This is a great opportunity to bring a friend who would like to join the JGSLA to get started or to accelerate their research. Bring a brown-bag lunch or snack to eat in the lunchroom area. There are also vending machines for snacks. Parking is free.

JGSLA President’s Message

As the new year gets underway, your Board extends our best wishes to each of you for a happy, safe, healthy and genealogically productive 2008. We have completed our Board elections, and welcome four new members to the Board: Lois Rosen, Sara Hyman, Mort Rappaport and Susan Wichter. At the same time, the Board thanks Gloria Burney for her service. Gloria served as Secretary of the society, and has decided to leave the Board. Mort will be taking the job of Secretary, while Lois will coordinate our SIGs, and Susan will be organizing a Speakers’ Bureau. Sara is handling various jobs, including the tabulation of responses to the recent email request for input regarding a possible annual conference. If you haven’t yet sent in your response, it is not too late…we would like to hear from everyone.

You should have recently received your copy of Roots-Key. This magnum opus is the final editorial effort of Nancy Holden, who retired as editor of our journal, effective with the issue you now have. This issue has received wonderfully complimentary reception from respected readers worldwide. The incoming editorial team, Board members all, contributed mightily to this issue, and I wish to recognize and thank Sonia Hoffman, David Hoffman and Nancy Biederman who worked tirelessly with Nancy Holden to publish this masterpiece. Kudos to all of you…you are indeed appreciated by the members of JGSLA.

We are looking forward to several extremely interesting programs. In February, we will have our private, members’ only afternoon at the L.A. Regional Family History Center, along with several helpful classes. In March, we will have an afternoon workshop at the Skirball Center. This event will require an attendance fee of $20 for members. The speakers at the workshop will be Ron Arons, as well as Beau Sharbrough from footnote.com and a speaker from ancestry.com. We feel certain you will enjoy hearing the speakers, will learn a lot and be inspired to explore new avenues of discovery. Reserve your place early! In May, we are honored to have Dr. Jeff Malka, who will be speaking on Sephardic genealogy. Pamela Weisberger, our VP of Programming, continues to surpass herself in providing interesting programs!

Congratulations to our member Adaire Klein, who was named one of the top ten “mensches” in Los Angeles in the December 28 issue of the Jewish Journal. Adaire is the Director of the Wiesenthal Library and Archives. If you haven’t been there, plan a visit…it has some surprising resources.

I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming meetings! Sandy Malek, President  

The Center for Jewish History

If you are in NYC, be sure to check out the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at The Center for Jewish History. Crediting a contribution from the JGS, Inc., they recently expanded their hours and are now open on Monday evenings. The Institute provides access to the Center’s public service computers, including the full range of genealogy databases (such as Ancestry.com) and other electronic resources, as well as an extensive open shelf genealogy reference collection and microfilms that are on loan from the Family History Library in SLC. Staff and volunteers are available to advise patrons. For location and more info, check [www.genealogy.cjh.org].

Contacting Marian Smith

JGSLA Researchers can contact our January speaker, Marian Smith, Senior Historian at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, at: [CISHistory.Library@dhs.gov]. Mail is opened by either Marian or the Jr. Historian, Zack. They both answer inquiries. If the writer includes Marian’s name, Zack makes sure that she sees it. If you prefer snail mail, write to: USCIS Historian 111 Massachusetts Ave NW, Room 1000 Washington, DC 20529

Yad Vashem Database
Charlotte Rutta

I periodically go back and check on databases that I have visited. This week I went back to Yad Vashem. We have a cousin who sent in pages of testimony on my husband’s family. When I accessed the database and clicked on one of the postings, I then clicked on the original document to read what our cousin had posted. To my surprise, she had entered the name of the father of my husband’s grandmother so now I have one more name to add to our family tree. I called her to verify the info and was told that the name had been passed down orally from the grandmother to her son and from this son to his son and so on. So, be sure to click on the document (graphic on left hand side) to see what info was posted. They could be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Jews of the Philippines
Barbara Algaze, JGSLA Librarian

To read about the history of the Jews in the Philippines go to: [blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=133832512&blogID=199486749].

USHMM Form Now on Internet
Nu? What’s New?

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is now accepting requests for searches of the ITS records. A form is available on the Internet at [itsrequest.ushmm.org/its/getting_started.php]. The site notes that priority will be given to Holocaust survivors and their immediate families.

Unclaimed Assets in Israel Online
Nu? What’s New?

The Company for Restitution of Holocaust Victims Assets has placed a list of assets in Israel, “previously owned by Holocaust victims,” on the Internet at [www.hashava.org.il/eng]. Persons claiming to be heirs should submit applications for restitution of assets using a special form that is available at the web site. A list of persons owning the assets can be found at [www.hashava.org.il/eng/assetList]. There are currently 60,000 entries. Assets include bank deposits, real estate and securities.

If there are spelling variants of the surname, use only the initial letters of the name when searching the database. Searching for “Moko” resulting in one person name Gecel Mokoton from Warsaw. This is almost certainly a misspelling of “Mokotow,” although the person is unknown to me. My maternal grandfather’s name was Tartasky (Tartacki in Polish). Searching for “Tarta” resulted in three men named Tartatzky. All are known to the family. The search engine has the flexibility of looking for any name that includes the sequence of letters in the search parameter. For example, the results of searching for “otow” included Bolotowski, Nachtowitz and others.

1911 Ireland Census
Bobby FurstThe National Archives of Ireland, in partnership with Libraries and Archives Canada, has now put the 1911 census of Ireland online. So far, the website only holds records for Dublin, but the rest of the census should be online sometime next year. [www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search]. Ancestry.com

You are undoubtedly aware that as result of a licensing dispute, free access to Ancestry, which had been available Family History Library (SLC) and all Regional Family History Centers, was withdrawn early last year. Through special arrangements, the LA Regional FHC reinstated limited access some months ago. The dispute has now been resolved and Ancestry is again available at the FHL and major FHCs. This includes the Centers in Los Angeles, Oakland, Orange, Sacramento and San Diego.

NARA Archives Budget Increased
Daphnah Sage (as posted to IAJGS Leadership Forum)

The FY 2008 budget just signed into law increases the National Archives budget by 20.5% over FY 2007, appropriating $411.1 million. Of great interest to genealogists are: $1.3 million to return to the public research hours that were reduced in October 2006 and $800,000 to hire more staff archivists to replace those who have left the agency in the past few years. The agency has 30 days to report to Congress on its progress in these two areas. Continuation of the work on the Electronic Records Archives (ERA), provision of full funding of $58 million, compared to last year’s funding level of $45.2 million. However, the spending measure requires the agency to submit to Congress a spending plan before any multi-year funds are obligated. For more details on the appropriations for the National Archives in the FY budget, you can access the press release by Archivist Weinstein at: [www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2008/nr08-41.html]

Considering genetic genealogy testing with FTDNA?
Nancy Biederman

JGSLA has a project page for members on Family Tree DNA [FTDNA]. Our group project is open to anyone who is a member of the society or a relative of a member. This will provide you with a discount of at least $50 on Y-tests and JGSLA will earn a small commission. So it is important to order your tests through our group project in order to get the discount and to give credit to JGSLA. You can access the JGSLA order page with discount pricing at [tinyurl.com/33yr7c]. You can also get the reduced rate by logging on to FTDNA’s website [www.familytreedna.com] and entering JGSLA in the search box. On the search results page that appears, click on JGSLA to order kits through our group. If you have questions about the FTDNA program, check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page at their website.

Digital Archive of Northern New York Newspapers
Nancy Biederman

The Northern NY Library Network provides free access to a collection of historical newspapers at [news.nnyln.net]. The database is searchable one newspaper at a time. There are currently 27, including newspapers from Canton, Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake, Watertown and other small towns – a bonus is the SUNY Oswegonian. You will find a complete list of titles on the first page. If your family lived in northern NY, or visited, or attended SUNY at Oswego, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Member News

Our best to Judie Rice on the birth this past August of her second grandson. Will Matthew Rice was born to Zev and Aren Rice. He joins his big brother, Dylan Michael, in Philadelphia.

World War II Photos Online
Bobby Furst

Footnote.com has recently released the largest collection of World War II photos online. Footnote is a subscription website, but you can view sample World War II photos and documents here: [www.footnote.com/wwii.php].

Latvia Names Database
Lois Rosen

There is a new site on line which is the culmination of much time and effort of many people all over the world. [names.lu.lv]. Using all sources available (e.g. Latvian Archival records, Yad Vashem, family contacts…) researchers are building a list of names of Latvian Jews who perished in or survived the Holocaust. They are seeking additions and corrections from family members.

[ed. note] To search the database, you must enter both the surname and the name of the city or rural area. The locations are in a pull down menu. If you do not enter a location, nothing will be found. I have already suggested to those responsible for the database that searching be supported for a surname across all locations.

The German Emigrants Database
RootsWeb Review (suggested by Nancy Beiderman)

The German Emigrants Database (Deutsche Auswanderer-Datenbank/DAD) is now available on the Bremerhaven Museum website. The database comprises information on emigrants who left Europe for the United States of America between 1820 and 1939, primarily from German ports. It is constantly being added to, but already contains data on 4.4 million emigrants. The current data stock covers the years 1820-1833, 1840-1891, 1904, and 1907. [deutsche-auswanderer-datenbank.de/index.php?id=51] Mt. Zion Cemetery Support
Nancy Biederman

Thank you to JGSLA members Shelley Davis and Richard Munitz. Both responded to the appeal for donations that appeared in the December issue of Dates and Updates. To encourage donations, JGSLA offered to match the first $100 received from our membership. Shelley and Richard’s participation in this special mitzvah resulted in a JGSLA contribution of $318 to the Federation’s Mt. Zion Cemetery Fund. Additional donations for Mt. Zion Cemetery from our members are welcome. Make a notation that the donation is for Mt. Zion, and mail your contribution to: JGSLA, PO Box 55443, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-0443.

Florida Jews Database
Bernard Kouchel (posted on JewishGen)

To preserve Florida history, the Jewish Museum of Florida (JMF) is compiling a database of all Florida Jews, past and present. You can submit a ‘Database Entry Form’ on yourself or another. You may include an optional photograph of the person. The information will be included in the Jewish Family Database – which is available for perusal on a touch-screen computer in the Museum’s Core exhibit hall. Obtain the form at: [www.jewishmuseum.com/JFDB%20Form-web.pdf].

March half-day Seminar (replaces regular meeting)
Sunday, March 9, 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Skirball Cultural Center – Half Day Seminar – $20 fee – “It’s All Online! Internet Sleuthing for the Family Historian or Genealogist” – Ron Arons, Beau Sharbrough (Footnote.com) and Suzanne Russo Adams (Ancestry.com), Registration required. Includes screening of “Past Lives: The Stanley Diamond Story”. Details on JGSLA website.
Dues Reminder
If you have already paid your 2008 dues, thanks. If not, please send your check in now. If you have misplaced your renewal notice, go to [www.jgsla.org], print off a membership application, complete it, and send it in with your check…or bring it with you to the meeting. Thanks!