Have you signed the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights yet? If you went to the IAJGS conference last summer, you may have signed the books at the IAJGS table in the central hallway.
So far, the Declaration has collected 8,000 signatures, but it needs 10,000 to be heard. Federal and state legislation and regulations are coming this year where it will be critical to have the 10,000 signatures.
if you haven’t signed, it’s important for you to do so. The Declaration comes from RPAC, the Records Preservation and Access Committee. Several organizations (FGS, NGS, ASG, APG, BCG, ICAP-Gen, IAJGS, proQuest, and Ancestry) have banned together to give us a voice in the US and state governments.
Many government entities are threatening to take away any access we may already have to records that are needed to discover our family histories, often under the fear of identity theft. Identity theft almost never occurs through genealogical means — but our government needs for us to tell them and we need enough voices behind our representative speakers for them to listen. Imagine if we had even less access to the records than we do now. How far would you get in your research?
If you didn’t already sign, or don’t remember, please sign the online version at http://bit.ly/gen-declaration. It’s the easiest way to participate in the Declaration. And invite all your friends and family as well. If they support your pursuit of genealogy, then they should be happy to sign.
Are you a current member of UJGS? If you haven’t paid your dues for 2015 yet, then you aren’t. Please update your membership by signing in to our web site and paying via Paypal, or by sending a check to the treasurer.
Once you’ve taken care of that, please come to our meetings. We miss you. We haven’t seen you in months. There’s so much more to do with your genealogy research and we’ve moved our meeting times a little earlier this year so you can get some research done at the Family History Library every month.
One of our meetings this year was so small and mostly new people that we just helped each individual with their specific research needs. But even if we get a full room, we will still have time after our presentation to help everyone find a little bit more about their family history.
So please come back.
Our next meeting is July 21st, which may not have a presentation, and our president won’t be back from Israel yet, but you’ll still have all the resources of the FHL to use. How about sharing a story in August about the information you find in July?
Next week is the third Tuesday of the month, which means it’s time for UJGS to have a meeting at the Family History Library. As usual, the meeting will start at 6pm. We should be meeting in the main floor classroom, but if we’re not there (like last month), just ask at the main information desk and they should know where we are. This month’s theme is Vital Records.
Just a quick message to remind everyone that this Tuesday is the next UJGS meeting. (That’s either today or tomorrow, depending on when you read this message.) We’ve had a slight change of plans. The main floor classroom is getting a technology upgrade so we’ll be meeting in the B1 classroom instead.
The Knowles Collection, a quickly growing, free online Jewish genealogy database linking generations of Jewish families from all over the world, recently reached its one millionth record milestone. The database was begun seven years about by UJGS’s Todd Knowles, the Jewish genealogy specialist at the Family History Library.
“My search for my great-great-grandfather Morris David Rosenbaum, a Polish Jew, eventually led me to begin compiling the genealogical records of the Jewish people,” recounted Knowles.
Todd began by following Rosenbaum from Poland through England to the United States. He discovered the Mordy Collection in England, which had been compiled by Isobel Mordy, containing information about 150 individual pedigrees with over 7500 records. Mordy didn’t have the Internet and other current resources, so Todd used FamilySearch.org and records at the Family History Library to digitize, organize, and research, to publish more than 10,000 Jewish names from the British Isles. The collection has since grown to six databases for Jews of the British Isles; North America; Europe; South America and the Caribbean; Africa, the Orient, and the Middle East; and the South Pacific.
Todd continues to add to the database via research and indexing as well as receiving donations of data. He regularly writes about new collections that are added to the Knowles Collection on his blog.
This information was provided to us via FamilySearch. The entire press release is online. If our members want to know more, Todd attends most of our meetings and he would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the Knowles Collection.
Tomorrow is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day or Holocaust Remembrance Day.
To mark the occasion, the Salt Lake City JCC is holding an event on Thursday, April 16th, from 1-3pm.
The keynote speaker will be Dr Noemi Mattis, whose parents were leaders of the Belgian Jewish resistance movement. She will share her story of being a hidden child to protect her from the Nazis in World War II.
It’s time for another meeting of UJGS. Our meeting will take place next week, April 21st, at 6pm, at the Family History Library in the main floor classroom.
The theme for this month is Census Records. Everyone has some ancestors in census records and we’ll be helping you learn how to find yours. Then stick around for a while at the FHL and get some research done.
Avotaynu Inc. is pleased to announce the creation of Avotaynu Online, an exciting new venture intended to stimulate collaboration among Jewish genealogists in all its forms. Leading participants in the various areas of genealogical research will provide in-depth articles on events and discoveries on a regular basis.
As a bonus, all articles from 2007-2011 published in Avotaynu are available at no charge at the Avotaynu Online web site.
Readers can subscribe by email at the Avotaynu Online site or by RSS reader, or follow the public commentary on the official Facebook page, as well as Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media outlets.
By virtue of its focus on the in-depth reporting of specific subjects, Avotaynu Online is intended to be entirely distinct from the existing print journal, Avotaynu.
Avotaynu Online aims to promote conversation within the genealogical community on the subject it covers. Unlike print, which is a one-way medium, readers of articles will be encouraged to respond to the authors directly from the web site and to engage them in developing new lines of thinking.
In the past, Avotaynu was limited by available space in the quarterly journal, but with virtually unlimited space online, the web site will free them from that limitation.
The managing editor of Avotaynu Online will be Adam Brown, who has been a curator for the collaborative online family tree hosted by Geni/MyHeritage and is the founder of the Jewish DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA. Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus will be Editor-in-Chief and Gary Mokotoff will be Publisher.
IAJGS Vice President Ken Bravo was recently interviewed by Bernice Bennett on blogtalkradio.
The topic was Why the New York Times is Wrong: Using Basic Genealogy Tools and Methods to Show that Your Family Name Was Not Changed At Ellis Island
After seeing an obituary in the New York Times claiming that someone’s name was changed at Ellis Island, Ken researched the family and proved the myth to be false. With little response from the Times, he found more obituaries perpetuating the same myth, researching each of them to prove them wrong.