USCIS Fee Hike

If you have a certain number of genea-friends on social media, you may have already seen this, but we want to inform you about something that is currently going on in the genealogy world.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the INS) has proposed an outrageous fee increase, raising the fees for a $65 search and the follow-up $65 record retrieval to $240 and $385 — a 492% increase.

What files does the USCIS have?

  • Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files), September 27, 1906 to March 31, 1956
  • Alien Registration Forms (Form AR-2), August 1940 to March 1944
  • Visa Files, July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
  • Registry Files, March 1929 to March 31, 1944
  • A-Files, April 1, 1944 to May 1, 1951

These are records that cannot be found anywhere else. NARA should have already received some of these files, which would make them easier for genealogists to access, but they have not been passed along as they should have been. And no genealogy organization has access to them or even to the indexes.

The USCIS has provided an opportunity for us to comment on the proposed rule that dramatically impacts the USCIS Genealogy Records Program.

You can read more about the rule proposal at https://www.recordsnotrevenue.com/ as well as see samples of some documents you may get from USCIS.

We encourage all of our members and friends to then follow through and comment on how you feel about this fee increase at https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCIS-2019-0010-0001. They have already received over 11,000 comments and you can leave a comment until the end of December.

Call to Meeting Update – November 18

This is your reminder message of our upcoming UJGS meeting, November 18th, 6:30pm at the FHL in our usual room.

This is our election meeting and a good time to either volunteer yourself for a position or volunteer your ideas for what you want our society to do in the future.

And we have a speaker scheduled. (The previous message said we didn’t.) Lindsay Levine will be speaking about research in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

See you there.

Call to Meeting – November 18

It’s November so that means it’s time for the last meeting of the year for Utah JGS.

We’ll meet on November 18th and, as usual, at 6:30pm at the Family History Library in a main floor classroom.

If you want to have a say in the future of our society, or volunteer for a position, this is your chance because it’s our election meeting.

We don’t have a speaker scheduled so we’ll just be talking about genealogy and our society. If you have ideas to improve our society or get more people involved, bring them. If you have questions about your own genealogy, we’re always happy to try to help.

See you there.

Movie Screening – October 2

Announcing a screening of the award-winning film, Children of the Inquisition, followed by a discussion with the film’s director, Joseph Lovett.  The film follows people in their journey of self-discovery through genealogy research and the stories of their ancestors who survived the Inquisition.  Children of the Inquisition won the Grand Prize for the “Hearts, Minds, Souls Award:  Celebrating Films that Reflect the Jewish Experience” from the Flicker’s Rhode Island International Film Festival.

The event will take place at the Gould Auditorium, Marriott Library, at the University of Utah from 5:30 – 8:00pm on October 2nd. It is being sponsored by Friends of the Marriott Library, the Marriott Library Special Collections, and the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Free refreshments will be provided.

More about the film and the trailer can be found at: https://childrenoftheinquisition.com/.

There is a parking lot west of the library for $2 per hour, or several TRAX or UTA bus stops on campus. The library provides directions and more information.

Call to Meeting – September 16

It’s almost time for our last meeting of the year — the Hebrew year, that is.

Our next meeting is in two weeks, on September 16th, at 6:30pm in a main floor classroom of the Family History Library.

Come hear Kathy Kirkpatrick teach us about Jewish Military Burials in Europe and the US.

We will not have a meeting in October due to the High Holidays, so come and get your fix for Jewish genealogy this month. (We will have a meeting in November.)

As always, you are welcome to bring your own genealogy problem if you need assistance with your research. We’re happy to help.

See you there.

Robert Neu, 1940-2019

UJGS is sad to report we’ve just learned about the death of Robert Neu on 16 March 2019.

Robert was the founder of our society in 2002, serving as president from that time until he left for an LDS mission in 2007. Upon his return in 2008, he remained an active member until about 2012. He continued to attend sporadically until his last meeting in 2015. He moved to Minnesota soon after.

Robert contributed regularly to Atsmi Uvsari, our newsletter (2003-2010), including as the editor for about a year. His book reviews can be found in many of the old issues, along with other stories.

In 2005 (Issue 10, page 7), Robert gave the following still-relevant advice to our members:

“Don’t give up. Get to know ALL the records from the area you are researching. Help others as you gain knowledge.”

Robert was buried at Fair View Cemetery in Middletown, New Jersey, where he has other family members. He was 78 years old. His obituary can be read online.

UJGS sends its condolences to his many family members and friends.

Call to Meeting – August 19

It’s time for another JGS meeting. We are still meeting on the third Monday of the month, August 19th, in a main floor classroom of the Family History Library at 6:30pm.

This month, we will hear from Banai Feldstein about Lesser Known Online Resources, a presentation she gave at the IAJGS conference last month in Cleveland.

Come learn about many resources, most free, and how to find more to help with your own research.

As always, if you need any help — translations or brick walls — bring them along and we’ll do our best to move you along in your research.

See you there.

Call to Meeting – Monday, July 15

This is your monthly reminder that it’s time for a Utah JGS meeting. Again, we will be meeting on the third Monday, July 15th, 6:30pm, at the Family History Library in a classroom on the main floor.

We have two possible presentations, depending on if one will be ready in time for the meeting. Both presentations are about available genealogy resources, each from different sources. We’ll try to send out a reminder when we know which one we’re going with.

As always, if you have any research problems you want help with, bring them with you and we’ll try to help.

See you next week.


Call to Meeting Reminder – Monday, June 17

Just a reminder that the next UJGS meeting is tomorrow evening at 6:30pm at the the JCC (Jewish Community Center) at 2 North Medical Drive. Use their parking lot then go in the main entrance and signs or people will guide you to where we are.

The topic will be An Introduction to Jewish Genealogy.

If you have any friends or family who are interested in genealogy research, bring them along so they can learn.

As always, if anyone has a research problem, bring that along as well and we’ll see what we can do to help you with it.

See you there.