January 2008

Logo-dark blue


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

January 2008

· Monday, January 7, 2008, 7:30 p.m. ·

7:30 p.m. PROGRAM: Documenting Immigrants to America, 1882-1954
Immigration Photo
Discovering how our ancestors emigrated from overseas ports to various American cities is one of the most important components of genealogical research. This lecture will focus on the immigration and naturalization records of a typical late 19th and early 20th century immigrant. Records in the custody of both U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly INS) and the National Archives will be discussed, including ship passenger lists, Board of Special Inquiry records, land border arrival records, visa files, legalization records, Alien Registration, and naturalization and citizenship records. The presentation will conclude with a lively Q&A session so come prepared with your family history questions.
SPEAKER:: Marian L. Smith is the Senior Historian at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. She regularly lectures at national and international genealogy conferences on the history and uses of immigration and naturalization records. Her articles appear in the National Archives journal Prologue, the FGS Forum, and other publications. Her research focus primarily involves official immigration agency records held in the National Archives in downtown Washington, D.C.

Location: Skirball Cultural Center, Magnin Auditorium, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
Exit the San Diego Freeway at Skirball Center Dr. Right onto Sepulveda Blvd. and right again into Skirball parking, opposite Center entrance; or turn left on Herscher Dr., north of the Center, to the underground parking lot.Marian Smith

Library: The JGSLA’s Spiszman Traveling Library, with its collection of genealogical books and member volunteers to assist you, will be on the Magnin Auditorium mezzanine from 7 p.m. Attendance

Fees: Free to JGSLA and GACS members. $5 Guest Fee for others. No reservations necessary and parking is free.


2008 IAJGS Conference Website is Now Open

The 2008 Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be in Chicago, August 17–22, 2008, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile and is co-hosted by the IAJGS, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, and the Illiana Jewish Genealogical Society.
The conference website [www.chicago2008.org] is now open, providing information about the conference and providing for the on-line submission of proposals for talks. All proposals must be submitted by January 15 th with decisions as to accepted proposals to be completed by late February. Conference registration will open the first week of January 2008.

USHMM To Have Public Access to ITS Records

Nu? What’s New? (12/2/07)The U.S. Holocaust Museum (USHMM) plans to accept inquiries regarding the collection of Holocaust-related records of the International Tracing Service this month, perhaps as early as December 3. Consult local newspapers or other news media for the formal announcement. What USHMM currently has is part of the record collection of ITS plus the entire Central Names Index (CNI) of 50 million digitized index cards providing information about 17 million people. These cards place an individual in a specific place at a specific time. The balance of the record collection will be given to USHMM and other repositories, such as Yad Vashem, over the next two years.

US Passport Applications from 1795 to 1925

Sandy Malek, JGSLA presidentAncestry.com has posted a wonderful new database, called US Passport Applications from 1795 to 1925. If you are fortunate enough to have had relatives who traveled as a US citizen, there is information relating to their residence and their birth information. If naturalized, there is information as to when and where that happened. There may be information about family members. Best of all, there are pictures for the later years! There may also be pictures of family members for the same passport. There may be supporting letters submitted for the passport. Be sure to scroll through the documents you find until you get to the end! I was up into the wee hours when I discovered this database…it was a gratifying search, indeed! Bundesarchiv’s new digital database
Nancy Biederman (Hint submitted to Gersig by Renee Steinig)The German Federal Archive’s new digital database [www.bild.bundesarchiv.de] has over 70,000 photographs, aerial shots, and posters and will continue to grow. The images date from 1860, but most are from the 20th century. The site is presented in both German and English. It allows simple searches by word and year and advanced searches by numerous parameters. The Bundesarchiv has not whitewashed history: when I searched for posters using the keyword “Juden,” most of the results were anti-semitic pieces from the Nazi era. However, I also found an interesting poster for a 1929 Jewish community rally for Erez Israel. Thumbnails and watermarked copies can be viewed for free; there is a charge for downloads. Jewish Population of the World
Barbara Algaze, JGSLA LibrarianFor a chart of the World Jewish Population (2006) go to [www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/jewpop.html]. You can click on to any of the countries for a History of the Jews of that country.Findmypast.com Adds 10 Million British Burials
Nu? What’s New? (12/2/07)Included in their collection is a British emigration index, 1890–1930, with plans to extend it to 1960. This firm has just announced the addition of an index to 10 million burials in England and Wales for the years 1538–2005. It provides the full name; date of burial; age at death (when given in the original source); name of the county; parish and place of burial.


It is a fee-for-service site. At no charge, the site displays the deceased’s name, year of burial and county. They have various pricing arrangements including monthly and annual subscriptions as well as the ability to buy electronic scrip.

FindMyPast.com has a number of other databases, such as 1841–1891 census data, military records, and vital records index books. Eretz Israel Records Indexing [EIRI] project
Martha Lev-Zion, IGS-NegevThe Israel Genealogical Society (IGS) is very happy to announce that thanks to Rosie Feldman, our webmistress, we have added more searchable databases to our website’s Eretz Israel Records Indexing (EIRI) project, with still more to come! You can now find on our website the searchable 1922 Census for Petach Tikvah with 3,077 names on EIRI. This census was undertaken during the British Mandate as the first census of their hegemony over the area [www.isragen.org.il/eiri/1922/introduction.html].In addition, two other smaller databases were added:
Victims of the 1929 Arab Riots: In 1929, the Arabs, at the incitement of Hadj Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem, went on a killing spree against the Jews in Jerusalem, Motza, Hebron, Tel Aviv, Beer Tuvia, Hulda, Haifa, Safat, and Ein Zeitim. This list includes those murdered. Details include: surname, given name, father’s name, place of birth and country of birth, birth year, date and place murdered, detailed biographical notes, and many entries also contain the mother’s name. Be sure to click on “details” to get all the information on a person. For those using Firefox as a browser, when “details” is clicked, an “error console” might pop up inadvertently. Just close it to read all the information available on the person of your interest. The birthplaces of those listed are from all over the globe
American Citizens in Eretz Israel in 1929: After the riots broke out, an American citizen, worried about his parents who had come to Eretz Israel for a visit, wrote to the American State Department to ask about their whereabouts. The Department of State then requested a survey of all United States citizens present in the area. This database is extracted from the American Consul’s response to the requested survey [www.isragen.org.il/eiri/1929-Amer/introduction.html].Jewish UK cemetery burialsBarbara Algaze, JGSLA LibrarianFor information on nearly 2,500 Jewish UK cemetery burials, try GenPals. Cemeteries included are Bancroft Road, Brady Street, East Ham, Edmonton Federation (Montague Road), Lauriston Road (formerly Grove Road), and Wolvercote. There are histories for the Brady Street (Great Synagogue) and Lauriston Road (Hambro Synagogue) cemeteries [www.genpals.com]. Found on [tracingthetribe.blogspot.com], the Genealogy Blog of Schelly Talalay Dardashti.

USCIS Genealogy Program

Hal Bookbinder, Dates & Updates EditorThe USCIS plans to offer for-fee service to genealogists to speed access to its vast collection of records. The following is from the USCIS.gov website: “USCIS has records, which document the arrival and later naturalization of millions of American immigrants. If you have an ancestor who immigrated and arrived in the United States after 1892 and was naturalized between 1906 and 1956, the future USCIS Genealogy Program wants to help in your family history research. The USCIS Genealogy Program will be a fee-for-service program designed to provide genealogical and historical records and reference services to genealogists and historians. To make a request for copies of historical records now, contact the USCIS FOIA Program at [USCIS.FOIA@dhs.gov].”
At this past summer’s 27th IAJGS Conference, Ave Sloane, Chief of the Genealogy Section of the USCIS, Historical Records and Genealogy Branch discussed the program sharing that it would include expedited access to the following records sets:

(1) Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files) issued 1906-1956;
(2) Alien Registration Forms (AR-2) issued 1940-1944 and AR-2 forms issued 1944-1951;
(3) Visa Files issued 1924-1944 and Visa Records issued 1944-1951;
(4) Registry Files issued 1929-1944 and Registry records issued 1944-1951; and
(5) Alien Files numbered below 8-million (contents dated prior to 1951).

While careful to make no commitments, she predicted that the program would be formalized around the end of this year or early in 2008. This program was published as a proposed rule in the Federal Register, volume 71, #76, April 20, 2006, page 20357. If you would like to read the proposed rule, go to the home page of the Federal Register, [www.gpoaccess.gov/fr], click on the “Page Number (1995 forward)” search, select volume 71, enter page “20357” and select, “SUBMIT”.
ITS Accepting Online Requests

Nu? What’s New? (11/11/07)

The International Tracing Service is now accepting online inquiries. There are three potential application forms: (1) tracing inquiry for reuniting persons, (2) information on detention/employment/stay, and (3) historical research request. Access to these forms can be initiated at [www.its-arolsen.org/en/key_activities].
The complete news announcement can be found at
[www.its-arolsen.org/en/press/press_releases /index.html?expand=632&cHash=93edaa5738].

2009 IAJGS Conference To Be In Philadelphia
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies has announced the 29th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held in Philadelphia, from August 2–7, 2009, at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel. The conference will be co-hosted by the IAJGS and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia. Tracing Your Family Roots
Hal Bookbinder, Dates & Updates EditorFor over 10 years, Sallyanne Sack and Arlene Sachs have hosted a public access television show in Farifax, VA dedicated to tracing one’s roots. These half-hour shows are freely available on the web at [tracingroots.nova.org].Recent shows included: Micheal Matsas, on his book “The Illusion of Safety, the Story of Greek Jews during the Second World War” (November 2007); and Paul Shapiro, director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, on the Holocaust collection of the International Tracing Service (October 2007).Upcoming shows, which may be available by the time you get this issue of Dates and Updates, include Ave M. Sloane and Marian Smith, both from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, on the new fee-for-service genealogy program and Jeffery Malka on his “Sephardic Genealogy” web site [Sephardicgen.com].Guardian and Observer Place Back Issues Online
Nu? What’s New? (11/11/07)Two British newspapers, the Guardian and the Observer have placed more than 212 years of their back editions on the Internet. It is available free of charge at any library or institution that subscribes to the ProQuest Historical Newspapers Service, or, for £7.95, you can purchase access for 24 hours. There are rates for longer term access.The site is located at [archive.guardian.co.uk]. Caution: After an initial search, the results page displays the ability to search again. Note that it says “Search within results,” that is, it will not initiate a new search but will only search within the results found.


Car Pools

Sandy Malek, President

Are you looking for a ride to one of more of our meetings? Are you willing to give another member a ride, and share the ever-rising cost of gas? If you need to find a member who lives near you for possibly arranging a ride to and from meetings, please contact Hale Porter at [hale.porter@verizon.net] who can look up the names and contact information for other members in your area. You can take it from there! Another good way to help reduce your carbon footprint, and help our environment!

Upcoming Meetings

Monday, February 18, 12 noon – 6 p.m. Assisted Research Day at the LA Regional Family History Center. Open only to JGSLA members whose dues are current. Others are welcome to join, or become current, at the door.

Sunday, March 9, 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Skirball Cultural Center – Half Day Seminar – $20 for members, $25 for guests: “It’s All Online! Internet Sleuthing for the Family Historian or Genealogist” – Ron Arons, Beau Sharbrough (Footnote.com), and Suzanne Russo Adams (Ancestry.com); free screening at 5:00PM of “Past Lives: The Stanley Diamond Story”.