Logo-dark blue


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



· Sunday, January 22, 2006, 1:00 p.m. ·

Program: “How to Make Your Own Family History Video Using Your PC”

Unleash your inner Spielberg and make an Oscar-worthy documentary about your family. In this talk you will learn how to use moderately-priced and easy-to-use computer software and hardware to create your own family history video – incorporating still pictures and documents, home movies, other video, music, narration, and titles – and how to share your work on videotape or DVD.

Pre-Meeting: “Features to Look for When Choosing Genealogy Software”

A brief overview on how to decide which family tree software to purchase. This session will begin at 1:00pm.

Speaker: Mark Heckman (for both sessions above)

Mark has lectured on computer applications for genealogy at genealogy conferences in New York, Salt Lake City, Jerusalem, and Las Vegas and has also given talks on Internet genealogical resources, Holocaust genealogical research, and other topics for various Jewish genealogical societies. He has a MA degree in History and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of California. He is on the Steering Committee for the Gesher Galicia SIG, and is the current president of the JGS of Sacramento. He created web sites for the Romanian, Galician, and Volhynia SIGs, for the shtetls of Gorodenka, Kovel, and Kamen Kashirsky, and for the JGS of Sacramento and has taught classes in creating web pages at genealogical conferences and via a JewishGen e-mail course.

Location: University Synagogue – Klein Hall, 11960 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

From the San Fernando Valley, take the 405 south and exit at Sunset. Turn left from the off-ramp, then right on to Sunset.  Drive one mile on Sunset going west, then turn left on Saltair, and left into the parking lot.  From the South, take the 405 north, exit on Sunset, turn left on Sunset, and turn left on Saltair.

No charge for JGSLA members, $5 for guests. Non-members are invited to join ($25 annual dues).

New Expanded Version of D&U

This edition of Dates and Updates is larger than normal to accommodate additional research experiences, research hints and member news. Thanks to the members who responded to our call for items to share. We hope you find the additional contents useful and interesting. Please be sure to share your research stories, hints and family events for future issues. Even with the expanded format, our space is limited. So, please keep your submissions concise.

Member News

Gloria Resin [glowie400@cox.net] participated in this past October’s annual Genealogy Research trip in Salt Lake City led by Gary Mokotoff and Elaine Polakoff. She found it very valuable. If you are considering participating next year, you might want to contact Gloria about her experience.

Our best to Gunther Katz on the September birth of Rachel Rose Katz to his son and daughter-in-law, Steven & Ruth Katz.

A belated best wishes to Lee Bothast on the February birth of twins, Alexander Frederick and Lily Esther.

Our sincere condolences to Muriel Schloss on the death of her 27 year-old grand-daughter, Merav Schloss, of Austin, Texas.

Obituary Research

http://www.ancestorhunt.com/obituary_search.htm takes you to obituary search engines maintained by libraries, universities and other sources. Many of them are indexes and actual copies of the obituaries and must be ordered from the institution that holds the files. Thanks to Jan Meisels Allen for this hint.

And, while on the subject…

The Minnesota Historical Society launched the Minnesota Veterans Grave Registration Index, an online searchable index to over 72,000 Minnesota veterans’ grave registrations. “This database indexes the Veterans Graves Registration reports from 1857 to 1975, the bulk of which are in 1927-1969. It is not a list of all veterans ever buried in Minnesota.” Check it out at http://people.mnhs.org/vgri/. Thanks to Nancy Biederman for this hint.

Calendar Converters

There are lots of calendar converters available on the Internet to see what civil date associates with a Hebrew date that you have or vice versa. Charlotte Rutta brought to our attention a calendar converter that handles a myriad of different calendars, includin, Gregorian, Julian Day, Julian, Hebrew, Islamic, Persian, Mayan, Bahai, Indian Civil, and French Republican. And, for the computer geeks among us it also provides for, ISO 8601, Unix Time Value and Excel Serial Day.

JGSLA Members’ Research Stories

DNA links – Kajman…Kayman…Kyman…Kaiman Carolyn Kaiman Rosenstein

For the past five years, I’ve been researching all the descendants that I can find of two Kajman brothers who lived in Szczuczyn, Poland at the end of the 1700s. I have kept information in my database about anyone with any spelling variation of that surname who could potentially be related. I’ve also sent living descendants that I’ve contacted, copies of any documents that I’ve found about their ancestors.

I found information about a Philip Kayman family that had lived in London for a while before they settled in Chicago beginning in 1913. I had also kept track of the descendants of a Nathan Kayman who lived in England. Philip Kayman (named for his grandfather mentioned above) contacted some of Nathan Kayman’s descendants that I told him about. Between family stories and some additional documents that they found – they verified that they are related. It turned out that grandfathers Philip and Nathan were brothers, who had broken off contact with each other. Their descendants have been very happy to find each other.

The next question that I had was whether or not all of these Kaymans are also related to me? I asked Philip Kayman (whom I had met several times in Chicago) if he would be willing to do a Y-DNA-25 test through Family Tree DNA – and he was. I then asked a male Kyman cousin, who has been very interested in my research, if he would also be willing to have the test (which I volunteered to pay for). He agreed to participate – and it turned out that Philip and the Kyman cousin are related, because they matched on 24 of the 25 markers. This of course, means that Philip (and his English cousins) and I are also related. We’re trying to find any additional vital records that can tell us how we are related.

Walking the streets of my ancestors in London
Carrie Glicksteen

It was very exciting for me, relatively new to genealogical research, to meet two sets of cousins in England this summer. I was able to bring them photos of our common great-grandparents that they had never seen. Together, one set of cousins and I found the ancestral homes of our mutual great-grandparents, a great aunt and grandmother of hers, and the tailor shop where my grandfather worked. They are all in the Bayswater district of London, a pretty hip and trendy area now. It was amazing to see that everyone lived very close to each other and walking distance to the tailor shop. Our great grandparents’ home no longer existed, probably due to London bombings during WWII, but other houses on the street gave us the feel of the neighborhood as it was.

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. Please include something like, “Story for Dates and Updates” in the title, so it is not mistaken for SPAM and discarded.

Linking up with missing relatives
Meryl RizzottiIn August of 2004, I accidentally came across some information about my family. I found that I had Aunts and an Uncle that my mother had never told me about. Fortunately, my Uncle, the oldest son of my maternal grandparents, is still alive and was able to tell me who these people were. I then decided that I wanted to learn more about my family and went down to the LA Hall of Records in Norwalk to get more information. While there I met a woman who was one of those people who do Random Acts of Genealogic Kindness. She offered to look up my relatives. With the information that she initially provided I was able to start my own research.My maternal Great grandmother had had 12 children–7 of whom survived. Of those 7 children, 5 moved out to California from Philadelphia about 1912 and 2 remained behind. The only information I knew about the Philadelphia family was that my Grandfather and his oldest brother had a falling out over business and my Grandfather moved out to L.A. His sisters and youngest brother came out here too. But my mother had only told me about the oldest brother in Philly (“the bad guy”).My Uncle gave me the names of my grandfather’s siblings and I was able to track them all down–both the living as well as the deceased. In my research of the family that originated and stayed in Philly I found another Aunt that my Uncle did not know about. I was able to track down all of her descendants and made contact with all the living relatives who didn’t know about their California family. On my maternal Grandmother’s side I was also able to find all the living relatives that were in Philadelphia.By August, 2005, I had found everyone and made contact with the family members that we have not been in contact with since the separation in 1912; that included immigration records, naturalization records, a bit of a scandal and ship manifests. While I was doing that I did a bit of research on my father’s side of the family. Not bad for a year’s work considering I am a total novice. Hamburg Emigrant Index Now Extends to 1910

From Nu? What’s New? (subscribe at Avotaynu.com)

The Hamburg Emigration Index now includes the years 1890-1910. They represent 2,219,339 emigrants from this important port of departure. The index is located at http://www.linktoyourroots.hamburg.de/.

The index provides basic information about the emigrant: name, country/state of origin, approximate age, and destination. The search engine does not allow soundex searches. Use the wildcard feature. It is explained on the search page to find name variants.

For a fee, you can receive an abstract of the entire entry from the ship’s manifest. The cost for an abstract is $25 for 1-3 persons, $35 for 4-10 persons, $45 for 11-20, $60 for 21-30 persons. Because it is an abstract rather than the actual manifest, each member of a family of three on a specific page would have his/her own abstract. Therefore, they would count as three persons if you requested information about all three. Funds are used to support the Internet site.

Accessing Genealogical Books On-Line
Barbara Algaze, JGSLA LibrarianPlease note, our Los Angeles Family History Library is now officially LOS ANGELES REGIONAL FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY. The new web site is: www.lafhl.orgThe LDS Family History Library in Utah is converting its books to digital form and placing them on the BYU library website from there they can be accessed remotely. The URL is: http://www.lib.byu.edu/fhc/There are currently over 4,000 books online, with more being added each week. The output is in .pdf form, and full text searches are possible within each book and also from the BYU website itself. The books currently online are all in the public domain. At the present time there are very few books with Jewish content, but hopefully they will be adding some in the future.In addition, you can do a word search for books at our local Los Angeles Regional Family History Library. Go to the LAFHL web site at http://www.lafhl.org/books.htm. However as of now, they only have eleven books under a search for “Jewish.” To check out the list of the books in the JGSLA collection, you still have to go to the JGSLA.org site and click on to “Libraries.”They also have a new feature–you can order microfilms by mail. Check it out at http://www.lafhl.org/microorderform.html

Power GOOGLE’ing

Hal Bookbinder

It’s hard to find anyone unfamiliar with the GOOGLE internet search tool. However, most are unaware of the additional features of GOOGLE that make it even more powerful. For example, you can include in your search a rule to exclude some sites. One of my family names is “Barenberg.” But, if I use GOOGLE to search for this name, I come up with a lot of sites for “Russ Barenberg,” a folk guitarist in whom I am not interested. Using the “Advanced Search” button (immediately to the right of the GOOGLE search field), allowed me to do this. You can also use the advanced search feature to search only for pages in a particular language, in a specific domain (like .ucla.edu or .gov), or only recently updated pages. I encourage you to check out the buttons above (“Images,” “Groups,” “News,” “Froogle” and “Local”) and to the right (“Advanced Search,” “Preferences” and “Language Tools”) of the search field for additional powerful features. Cyndi’s List devotes a section to using GOOGLE for genealogical research. Check it out at http://www.cyndislist.com/google.htm and you are likely to find new and creative ways to use GOOGLE.


We’re planning a Danube River cruise ending up in Moldava. Might anyone in the society know of a translator who can help us or of a contact in Kishinev / Chisinau? Bobbe Mootchnik [b.mootchnik@worldnet.att.net]

David Fox reports that a translated copy of the 1852 real estate owners for Pruzhany has become available, containing 397 records. If you are prepared to make a donation to secure its acquisition and inclusion in the JewishGen Belarus Country Database, please contact David [davefox73@comcast.net].

JGSLA Board Elections

Each year, one-third of the seats on our board of directors come open and elections are held to fill them. Five open seats were filled through election at the December meeting. One of these seats was for the final one year of the term of a director who chose to leave the board and the other four were for full, three-year terms.

Thru 2006

Ann Harris
*Mel Sofian
Pamela Weisberger
Marion Werle

Thru 2007

Marion Diamond
Barbara Furst David Hoffman
Hale Porter

Thru 2008

**Nancy Biederman
*Gloria Burney
*Sandy Mallek
*Arnie Schwartz

* Newly elected board members
** Re-elected to a second term

As per the bylaws of the JGSLA, the board, at its first meeting in January 2006, will elect the officers of the society and determine the roles and responsibilities of the non-officer directors.

West Virginia Vital Records
Nancy Biederman

Check out this new database of West Virginia births, deaths, and marriages: http://www.wvculture.org/vrr. The West Virginia Division of Culture and History hosts this database.

Istanbul , Turkey Vital Records
Nancy Biederman

The International Society for Sephardic Progress’ Istanbul Jewish Genealogy Project has released a new online-accessible collection, 1870 to present, of over 50,000 records, including Istanbul marriage records, death and burial records from other sources including the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey and the Ashkenazi and Italian community records.

Canadian Ship Manifests Online

From Nu? What’s New? (subscribe at Avotaynu.com)

National Archives Canada plans to have digitized images of passenger lists in a database online for almost every port of entry for the years 1865 to 1921. The first images should be online shortly. Currently, there are no plans to include a name index. The Nanaimo Family History Society of British Columbia plans to index all passengers at Halifax and Quebec ( Montreal is included in the Port of Quebec) from 1900 to 1921. The index now covers Quebec Ports for the periods 2 Jul 1908 to 5 Jun 1909, 25 Jul 1909 to 26 Apr 1910 and 17 Sep 1910 to 13 Oct 1910. See http://members.shaw.ca/nanaimo.fhs/. Information provided is name, age, country of birth, arrival date, name of ship, port of entry, microfilm number and page number.

Castle Garden Database
Hal Bookbinder

Before Ellis Island there was Castle Garden. It served as the port of entry for NYC from 1855 to 1890 and 12 million people came through Castle Garden. The Castle Garden online database, however, contains individuals even outside of these dates. For example, I have long searched the Ellis Island records for Morris Biller. Census records showed that he arrived in 1892. But, he was nowhere to be found in the Soundex or on-line index. In searching the Castle Garden database, I found him as Moses Biller, arriving on the Bohemia on 8 October 1892. Backtracking, I found he was mis-indexed as “Bibler” in the Ellis Island database. Check www.castlegarden.org.

Last Updated March 4, 2006
Please forward corrections or comments to
JGSLA Webmaster
Copyright © 1995-2006 Jewish Genealogical Society, Los Angeles