Category Archives: Press Release

Election Results

Congratulations to our new UJGS officers. Our election was held yesterday at our regular meeting.

All of our officers have been re-elected to another two-year term. Returning are Todd Knowles as President, Paula Paradise as Secretary, and Banai Feldstein as Treasurer and Webmaster.

Also joining our Board is Josh Perlman, serving as the Chair of the Activities Committee.

We will soon begin planning for our society activities next year. We are currently looking at setting up a special January meeting on a Sunday for a speaker who will be coming to town. We’ll let you know as the plans move forward.

MyHeritage Record Week

Search MyHeritage Censuses for freeMyHeritage is available at the Family History Library, making it accessible to our Utah JGS members fairly easily, but it’s always more convenient to search from home, at any hour, with all your genealogy data handy.

For one week, August 14 – 20, MyHeritage will be making all of its major census collections available for free. This includes the US, UK and Ireland, Canada, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. They are offering this in celebration of their recent milestone of surpassing eight billion historical records on SuperSearch.

So if you’ve been wanting to search the Nordic censuses or you’ve had trouble finding some of your relatives in the other censuses, now is a great time to try another search engine to find them.

If you’ve previously uploaded your family tree to MyHeritage, you should look through your record matches as well. They may have already found some listings for you.

You can visit their blog post about this offer to find links directly to each of the census collections by country.

Happy hunting!

Practicing Safe Computing

A new resource has been made available from Hal Bookbinder. A series of short articles on Practicing Safe Computing have appeared monthly in “Venturing Into Our Past”, the newsletter of the JGS of Conejo Valley and Ventura County.

To date, 17 articles have been published. They have been consolidated into a single PDF file and it is freely available. Hal is planning to add new articles over the coming months.

Each article is only one page long and talks about general tips for using your computer and the Internet safely, from backing up your data to avoiding scams and viruses.

This is a useful resource. Be sure to download the PDF and read the articles. Thank you, Hal for sharing these with us.

 

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair 2016

Did you know that the US National Archive has held a Genealogy Fair every year since 2005? The 2016 Fair takes place on October 26 and 27 and it’s free to attend from home.

Some of this year’s sessions include Welcoming Remarks by Archivst of the US, David S. Ferriero; Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives; The Best National Archives Records Genealogists Aren’t Using; and much more.

You can find a list of sessions, times, and links for how to watch from home via YouTube on their web site.

At the bottom of the page, you can also find links to previous Genealogy Fairs. Videos, handouts, and presentation slides are online for some, so you can learn even more from past years. For example, the 2014 Fair included a session on Alien Files (A-Files) and the video is available to watch. There are plenty of other interesting titles as well.

The 2015 videos are online, so it’s likely the 2016 videos will also be available after the event for those who miss it when it’s live. But do check out the presentations and learn more about researching in our National Archives.

Marelynn Zipser Recognized by IAJGS

Marelynn Zipser, IAJGS Volunteer of the Year
Marelynn Zipser, IAJGS Volunteer of the Year, presented by Banai Feldstein (left)

Utah JGS would like to extend its congratulations to  Marelynn Zipser who received the Volunteer of the Year award from the IAJGS at the 2016 Conference.

Marelynn’s award acknowledges her years of transcribing records for Hungarian SIG. The H-SIG database originally started with Marelynn’s transcriptions and she has indexed well over 150,000 records, comprising about 14% of the SIG’s database, as well as over 65,000 vital records.

UJGS was happy to have nominated Marelynn for the award and we thank the IAJGS for acknowledging one of our founding members for her huge and ongoing contribution to Jewish genealogy.

UJGS Elects New Officers for 2016-2017

Thank you to everyone who attended our meeting tonight. Every other year, we have elections for officers at our final meeting of the year. After several years of the same officers, we have a few changes this year. Here is our new slate of officers for the next two years:

President – W. Todd Knowles
Secretary – Paula Paradise
Treasurer – Banai Lynn Feldstein
Webmaster – Banai Lynn Feldstein

Todd has been an active member of UJGS for many years, serving as Treasurer for much of that time. We look forward to striving for his vision of what our society can be.

Paula has been a familiar face at our meetings for a while. We look forward to working with her in her new role as Secretary and we hope that she brings some fresh new ideas to our leadership.

Banai isn’t going anywhere either. She is continuing as Webmaster and stepping in as Treasurer to let Todd focus his attention on other aspects of his new position.

Congratulations to our new officers!

Our new officers, along with other board members, will have a board meeting the first week of December to determine our plans and meeting schedule for next year. We’ll let you know when that is set up and we hope to see you next year at our UJGS meetings.

Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights

IsignedHave 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.

Knowles Collection Surpasses One Million Entries

Todd Knowles
Todd Knowles

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.

The Knowles Collection was recently moved on the FamilySearch web site so it’s easier to find, under the Search > Genealogies section at https://familysearch.org/family-trees.

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.

Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

yom.hashoahTomorrow 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.

The event is free and open to the public, sponsored by the JCC and the United Jewish Federation of Utah.

Announcing Avotaynu Online

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.

10305596_1539206903017646_1156350738497498646_nAs 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.