23 December 2016

Happy Hanukkah 2016

As everyone around the world makes final preparations with their families, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a HAPPY HANUKKAH.

19 December 2016

South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958

For those with ancestry in South Africa,  over 1.5 million images of probate records have been added to the Historical Collections at FamilySearch.org. These records are the South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of The Supreme Court, 1869-1958.
Doing a search of the name Cohen yields 192 records, including that of Maurice Cohen who died at the age of 38 on 3 Mar 1901 in Kuruman, Cape Province, South Africa. Since the records have been transcribed, we are able to gain some very valuable information just from viewing  the index (shown below).

However, it is not until the original image is viewed that the full benefit of these records is shown. The record is the death notice for Maurice. In addition to the information from the index, we now also have the name of his father, Solomon Jacob, mother, Rachael, wife, Louisa,  and children, Samuel, Kate and Mabel. Also, the location of his birth in the index is stated as being Russia, but the original record expands that to being Palanga, Kurland, Russia. This truly has become a record of his entire family.

This collection is a valuable tool for those looking for family in South Africa. As with all FamilySearch records it can be viewed from home at www.familysearch.org.

14 December 2016

IAJGS 2017 The Perfect Gift

As we quickly approach the beginning of Hanukkah, many of us are wondering how we may bring our families closer together. One wonderful way to do this is to give a registration to next years International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, which will be held in Orlando, Florida from 23-28 July 2017. 
The conference blog is now up and running and gives more information. It can be found at Orlando Conference Blog.

I hope to see you all there.

02 December 2016

The Jews of Tire, Turkey

Tire, is a town in Izmir province, which is located in the western part of the Anatolian Peninsula, on the eastern side of the Aegean Sea. With its climate, location and large seaport it has long been an important city, dating back at least 5,000 years.  
The Jewish community in the area is also long established, dating back to sometime in the early 1400's when 2 Ottoman sultans invited the Jews who had been persecuted in Spain and Portugal to settle in the Ottoman cities. The community truly became a melting pot as not only did the Jews come from Spain and Portugal, but also  Greece, and in the 17th century, places such as Italy and Holland. It was in the early 1600's, when the Jewish people truly
became a community and built their first synagogue. In 1609, Rabbi Isaac HaLevi Dayan, arrived from Istanbul, becoming the first Rabbi of Izmir.

Even with the long history of this area, this post is not about that, but is about the incredible work being done to document the Jews who lived in Tire.
Under the leadership of Murat Sanus, the people of Tire will never be forgotten.  His website, www.jewsoftire.com, is a wonderful example of a project that brings family history to life.

The site is very friendly to  researchers and includes incredible amounts of information. In addition to the records we are familiar with this project includes a treasure trove of pictures documenting the families of Tire. In addition to the website, a book of the community, Jewish Citizens Lived in Tire,  has been published and they are hopefully of producing a film about Tire. I would encourage everyone to search through the databases and see what an incredible resource this is. 
Thanks to everyone involved, they will never be forgotten.