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24 September 2013

Happy Valley Jewish Cemetery, Hong Kong

  It seems day by day the genealogical world gets smaller and smaller. It really wasn't that long ago that in order to find the records of our ancestors we had to travel to countries worldwide hoping to view that one record that would break through a barrier. Now, through the benefit of the Internet we can bring those same records into our living rooms. A great example of this are the records of burials in the Happy Valley Jewish cemetery on the Island of Hong Kong.
The records of the cemetery do not include a lot of people, however if it is your family member that is buried there, having access to those records is priceless. Now, these records can be accessed through the FamilySearch website. In the Asia and Middle East section of the Historical Record Collection, is the China, Cemetery Records, 1820-1983. As of May of 2013, this collection had over 72,000 browse able images.
The Jewish Cemetery at Happy Valley is just one of dozens that make up the collection. The list below is just a partial list of those cemeteries.

By clicking on the link Jewish Cemetery (Happy Valley), a further list of the years covered is shown.

In the list shown, I selected the year 1958. In that year there were 8 Jewish Foreigner's Interred in the cemetery.

The place of birth is not shown but I believe the majority were born in the British Isles. Again, its not a large collection, but how many of us will ever get the chance to walk through the grounds of this burial ground of our ancestors.

11 September 2013

Italy, Mantova, Mantova, Jewish Records, 1770-1899

There continues to be some great records being made available at for those looking for their Jewish families. Over the last year or so a large number of collections containing the records from Italy have begun to appear in the Historical Collections of FamilySearch. These new databases are part of the
Italian Ancestors Community Project. It seems almost weekly new records from Italy are being added.

This past week 3 new databases were added that look to  have a lot of potential for finding Jewish families. The first database is the Italy, Mantova, Mantova, Jewish records, 1770-1899.     This collection is comprised of the birth, marriage and death records within the custody of the Archive for the Israelite Community of Mantova (Archivio della Communit√† Israelitica di Mantova). As of today, the collection is very small and is not name search able, however as more and more of the records are indexed the collection will be easier to use. The image below is just one page for the original records. Mantova is located in the North Central part of Italy, south of Verona.


In addition to the Jewish records of the community, 2 other databases are also being added to. While they are not Jewish collections they should be very helpful in tying together the family units. They are;
As with the Jewish records, both are new databases and are small. However, it is possible that people will be able to find their families in all three collections. While there are many doing the indexing, if you have language experience in Italian, it is very easy to get started in sharing your knowledge with others. Visit for more information.

03 September 2013

Louisiana, New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945

One of the earliest challenges faced by most researchers looking for their Jewish ancestors is finding them as they arrived in the United States. There are many different ports where they may have landed and its not always easy to find which one to search first.
As more and more of those records become available online that search is helped.
Now, FamilySearch has begun to add the original passenger lists for the arrivals at the Port of New Orleans for the years 1820- 1945. The records for New Orleans are so nice because so many include Sephardic Jews who came into the United States from the Caribbean and South America. The collection is name search able and images are still being added The information is very good. The pages below show the arrival of Moses Cohen, who arrived on 29 Aug 1919 on board the S.S. Metapan which was sailing from the Christobal Canal Zone.

From the passenger list we are able to find that he was 32 years of age, a merchant, a citizen of Cyprus. We also learn that he was Hebrew and that his last permanent address was in Colon, Panama. His closest relative still living in that country is his brother Joseph who resides in Panama City. Records of this type are such an amazing source of great information.