31 July 2020

IAJGS 2020 Virtual Conference

As has been well documented, this year the 2020 IAJGS Conference will be virtual. It is now less than 2 weeks away. For more information about the schedule and how to register, visit https://s4.goeshow.com/iajgs/annual/2020/index.cfm. I look forward to another great event.

04 May 2020

Estonia Jewish Population Registers, 1921-1940, at FamilySearch

The National Archives of Estonia, Tallinn contain many population registers for the Jewish population living in Estonia. This collection includes the time frame from the Russian Revolution to the end of World War II. While they are written in Estonian, they are very easy to read and can be a great tool for those with ancestry in Estonia. FamilySearch now has the digital images available online for free.

The record above is a great example of these records.
Line # 7 shows Maks Abramson, who was born in Tallinn in 1881. He is married and a merchant by trade. He is married to Zilla.
Line #8 is the record of his wife, Zilla Abramson, maiden surname Goldberg. She was born in 1896 in Latis.
Included on both entries are the names of their two sons, Gabriel, who was born in 1920 and David who was born in 1922.
These records can be accessed through the FamilySearch catalog. The entry is found below.

17 December 2019

South Carolina, Charleston Records at FamilySearch

Charleston, South Carolina is one of the oldest Jewish communities in North America, dating to the very late 1600's. The early members of the Jewish community were the Sephardic Jews from London and the Netherlands who had made those cities home since being driven out during the expulsion from Spain and Portugal in 1492.
By the mid-1700's, Charleston was the destination of choice for the Jews leaving London. These Sephardic Jews were for the most part the families of wealthy merchant families. Once in Charleston they used their experience in business as they established their own holdings in Charleston. In the year 1800, so many Jews had made their homes in Charleston that it had the largest Jewish population of any state in the United States.
FamilySearch has been adding many records to its Historical Collections section that will be of help to researchers looking for their Jewish roots in Charleston. The list as of 17 December 2019 is shown below.
These records are constantly updated and should be checked often as the databases continue to grow.

24 August 2019

IAJGS 2020

The very successful 2019 IAJGS conference is but a few weeks old and yet its time to begin planning for 2020.

From 9-14 August 2020 the IAJGS conference will return to the west coast, and be held in one of my favorite cities, San Diego, California.

For information will be coming soon and I look forward to seeing everyone there.

10 July 2019

IAJGS 2019 Only 3 weeks away

Only 3 weeks till we gather in Cleveland, Ohio for the 39th annual conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends and meeting many new ones. I hope to see you there.

22 February 2019

Center for Jewish History 28 Apr 2019

On 28 April 2019 I am honored to be speaking at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. My topic will be Using FamilySearch.org for Jewish Research. I look forward to seeing everyone.

Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995

Another great set of marriage records has been updated at FamilySearch.org. This collection, Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995, contains marriage licenses and certificates from various counties in Oklahoma. It is not a complete collection, but as of now has almost 50% of the records of the state for the time period. The current 345,859 images will be added to as new records are received.
The records themselves are very easy to use and very helpful for researchers as they try to locate family. The record below is for Sam Carshon, who married Sadye Cohen on 7 June 1914 at Pottawatomie, Oklahoma. He was 29 and she was 27.

26 January 2019

Maine, Tombstone Inscriptions, Surname Index, 1620-2014

For those with ancestry in the State of Maine, a newly updated database at FamilySearch should be of great interest. That database, Maine, Tombstone Inscriptions, Surname Index, 1620-2014 is a collection of extracts taken from headstones in various cemeteries located from all parts of the state of Maine. The digital images of the original cards are in the possession of the Maine State Library in Augusta.
The record below is for Samuel A. Cohen, who was born in 1904 and died in 1960. It states he was buried at Beth Jacob in Auburn, Androscoggin, Maine. According to the record his wife, Betty N., who was born in 1909 and died in 1958 is also buried there.


An interesting item about this database is that married women are usually listed twice, once under their married name and once under their maiden name, which is a great benefit to researchers. This record calls the cemetery Beth Jacob, however a search of the Find A Grave website (www.findagrave.com) shows both of them buried at the Temple Shalom Synagogue cemetery, also located in Auburn.

This may appear confusing but can be easily explained. In 1982, Congregation Beth Jacob and the Lewiston Jewish Community Center merged to become the Temple Shalom Synagogue.