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30 April 2013

Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952

The number of databases available at which are useful for those with Jewish families continues to grow. One of the newest is Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952. As of today the collection does not include the original images, however it does have a name index to over 1.6 million records.

The amount of information included in this database should help those who had family in Michigan. The entry below for example, shows the death of Arthur Mittledorf. From the record we find that Arthur, the son of Osias Mittledorf and his wife Annie Beidner, was born in Detroit on 6 May 1926 and died there on 17 Aug 1927. For those who would like to look at the original record, the Family History Library film number (1972984) is also included.

When added to the other  databases on, the ability to find families in Michigan has been greatly increased.

12 April 2013

The Jews of Mozambique

 On 16 November 1910, the Ship Garth Castle landed at Southampton, England. The ship had departed out of the Port of Delagoa Bay, Mozambique. On board that ship was Minnie Buirski, a Jewish mother traveling with her 8 children, and most likely very pregnant as her ninth child, a daughter named Beryl had arrived in time to be listed as a 2 month old on the 1911 Census of England. According to that census, mom was born in England, the eight children who sailed with her were all born in South Africa and Beryl brought the family full circle as she was also born in England.
The fact that a Jewish mother with such strong ties to South Africa and England would wind up sailing out of Mozambique may seem surprising to some, but

the country of Mozambique and its small Jewish community has been tied to both countries. The congregation in Mozambique actually was founded in 1899 when Joseph Herman Hertz arrived from Johannesburg. He convinced the Jews of Lourenco Marques to organize a community and to begin acquiring land for a synagogue and a cemetery.
The original Jews who settled in Mozambique were a very diverse mix. Equal parts Ashkenazic and Sephardic, they arrived from places such as Vilna, London, and South Africa.
In 1926 The Sephardic Jews  and Ashkenazic Jews came together and built a synagogue that they shared. However, the fact that even combined as one the community was just not large enough to support having their own Rabbi. During the time of World War II, a large number of Jews arrived from Nazi occupied European countries.
Even with these Jews arriving, the community never really grew and by the time of the Mozambique Independence in 1975, most of the Jews had left the country. In the late 1980's a move was started to bring the synagogue back to the Jewish community. Since the recovery of that synagogue, the community has begun to grow. Although still small, the y have begun to reclaim the cemetery and they have reestablished the Jewish traditions to their younger members.

03 April 2013

Netherlands, Marriages, 1565-1892

In posts over the last few months, I have discussed various collections of births, deaths and burials from the Netherlands. These are located at Now, it has been brought to my attention that I have not also mention that a database of marriagess for the period 1565-1892 is also available.
That database which now has over 560,000 records is name search able, and provides great information for each marriage. The record below is the marriage of Benjamin Abraham Cohen and his wife Hanna Marcus Dwingersma.

This collection can be of great help in linking families together. It can be searched at Netherlands, Marriages, 1565 -1892. As always, Familysearch can be searched free of charge.