Category Archives: Miscellaneous

IAJGS on French Genealogy

For those researching older French history The French Genealogy Blog has an interesting article about ancient France and Jews and where they lived prior to their expulsion in 1394. The article has maps of how France looked at the time. It states, “that if working only with a modern map of France you will have the impression that the three main areas of Jewish communities, the Southwest, Alsace-Lorraine and Papal States and Provence survived the expulsion within France but they were not within France at the time and areas not within France at the time of the expulsion as areas were controlled by other powers:

  • By the English in the far northwest and the southwest region of Aquitaine
  • A tiny bit in the south belonged to the Kingdom of Navarre
  • The Holy Roman Empire held the northeast
  • Free Burgundy, Savoy and the Papal States owned all the rest of what is now eastern France

Paris was a special as – while Jews were not supposed to living there, most likely they were.”

Anne Mordell wrote the article and she is a professional  genealogist living in France.

She also reminds us of the language differences and that in all locations Jewish documents may also be in Hebrew.

Mordell also states the best research for each of the different regions may be done at Departmental and Municipal archives with their names, but not their websites.

To read the posting go to:

https://french-genealogy.typepad.com/genealogie/2022/09/french-jewish-genealogy-ancien-r%C3%A9gime-geography-is-important.html

IAJGS on RootsTech

RootsTech the largest family history conference worldwide, has announced their 2023 dates and that it will be both virtual and in person in Salt Lake City.  The dates are 2-4 March, 2023. It is sponsored by FamilySearch.  Go to: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/  to subscribe for updates.

You will be asked to subscribe for future updates.

The same aforementioned link gets you to the 2022 sessions…about 1,000 workshops and sessions to explore.  https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/search

To get to the keynotes all you have to do is scroll down once you are on the site. Below is a list of 2022 sponsors including IAJGS.

Links from IAJGS

October 3 is Unity Day in Germany and October 6 is German-American Day. To celebrate, Geneanet is celebrating “Ahnenfest” – Ancestor Festival – with free access to their Premium German records from Oct. 1-6 inclusive!  You need to register if you are not already a subscriber to Geneanet: https://en.geneanet.org/  Credit card information is not required.

October 3 is Tag der Deutschen Einheit (Germany Unity Day), a national holiday since 1990, which celebrates the reunification of Germany at the end of the Cold War. And October 6 is German-American Day, when 40 million Americans celebrate their German heritage. At Geneanet, they have decided to celebrate these two holidays with Ahnenfest — Ancestor Festival –, a week of free access to their Premium German records and collections!

In the past few months, millions of European data points have been added to Geneanet. Indexes of over 55 million German birth, marriage, and death register entries are now available, and more are coming.

From October 1-6, 2022 inclusive, take advantage of their rich collections with advanced search options such as search by couple, by occupation, by parents, by events, as well as spelling variants, geographic area and wildcards. And search their Genealogy Library with millions of books and newspapers. To guide you in these options, a help page (https://en.geneanet.org/help/search-engine-features-and-options)  is available. Tap into thousands of archival records, books and newspapers and grow your tree easily.

“Geneanet is a subscription service community of more than 4 million members who share their genealogical information for free: more than 7 billion individuals in the family trees, some digitized archival records, some family pictures, some indexes, all available through a powerful search engine, and a blog.”  Its website is available in multiple languages. If you go to https://en.geneanet.org/ you will find information  at the bottom of the page on  the green strip, the left click on the arrow under language and you can access the information in 10 supported languages.

Geneanet’s community is more than 4 million memberswho share their genealogical information for freemore than 7 billion individuals in the family trees, some digitized archival records, some family pictures, some indexes, all available through a powerful search engine, and a blog.  

More Links from IAJGS

The British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/),

in partnership with the British Library, has made a further one million historical newspaper pages available completely free to the public, reaching a new total of two million free pages.

Together, the British Newspaper Archive and the British Library are committed to releasing a total of five million free pages over five years, which can be accessed online on the British Newspaper Archive website and on Findmypast.

The British Newspaper Archive was created in 2011 when Findmypast set out to digitize the British Library’s entire newspaper collection and open it up to the public as the British Newspaper Archive. Today, it contains over 56 million pages. Exploring more of the British Newspaper Archive will result in requiring a paid subscription.

The free pages cover the years 1699-1900 across 244 titles in the UK.

Jewish Heritage Europe has an article on two significant new Holocaust Memorials: Names in Nowy Sącz and Returned (Cobble)stones in Prague.

NOWY SĄCZ, POLAND

A new memorial lists the names of 12,000 Jews from Nowy Sącz and its surroundings  deported by the Germans to their deaths  during the Holocaust. The dedication ceremony took place on the 80th anniversary of the last deportation of Jews to the death camp at Bełżec and was the culmination of a week of memorial events.  During the memorial service the names of the 12,000 victims were read aloud—Jews who were enclosed in the WW2 Nowy Sacz ghetto and who came from Nowy Sącz, as well as from Stary Sącz, Łabowa, Piwniczna Zdrój, Krynica Zdrój, Grybów, Limanowa, Łącko, Tarnów, Krakow Łódź, Leipzig (Germany), Sieradz and other places.

There is a video- audio is in Polish –that may be seen/heard on the website:

The memorial is a sunken area on whose walls the names are inscribed in long columns. The memorial is a project of People not numbers, a project headed by the Polish Olympic athlete Dariusz Popiela that seeks to restore Jewish cemeteries and to create memorials that list by one  the names of victims of the Holocaust.

PRAGUE: RETURNED (COBBLE)STONES MEMORIAL, September  7

The memorial constructed from hundreds of cobblestones that were cut from uprooted Jewish gravestones and used for paving in downtown Prague has been dedicated at the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague’s Žižkov district. (Not the famous Old Jewish Cemetery in the former ghetto area.)

 Return of the Stones monument, designed  the sculptor Jaroslav Róna and his wife Lucie, is centered on a low, circular mound made of 200 of the cobblestones showing remnants of Hebrew and Czech inscriptions, highlighted in gold. Low walls of unequal height, also made from the cobbles, branch out from this “like rays of the sun.”  the cobbles had been used to construct the pedestrian promenade along Na Příkopě street, at one end of Wenceslas Square, in the 1980s.  The fact that matzevot were used for the cobblestones became known after the fall of the communist regime in 1989.

A memorandum  signed between the city and the Jewish community mandated that the cobbles be removed and taken to the Zizkov cemetery.

Photos may be seen at: https://prazsky.denik.cz/zpravy_region/nahrobky-ktere-skoncily-v-dlazbe-se-promenily-v-pamatnik-20220907.html

Meeting Reminder

September 19 – Tina LaFreniere, Connecting Faces Through Time – How to Use Related Faces for Identifying Unknown People in Photos

Tina is a graduate of The University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. She is a former Assistant Vice President and Production Manager for a mortgage brokerage firm in Dallas, Texas. Tina chose to leave her career to raise her children, but soon found herself as a Montessori School teacher and later substitute teaching in her local public schools. Tina is passionate about educating and creating opportunities for children. She has volunteered for FIRST™ Robotics for over 13 years and served on the West Florida Regional Planning Board for many years.

Family has always been of utmost importance to Tina, and she has a great love of puzzles and history, so taking up genealogy as a hobby over 15 years ago seemed a natural fit. It is this passion for preserving not only her own family history, but everyone’s family history that led her to develop the idea for Related Faces. After inheriting thousands of photos, with hundreds being unmarked, she knew that other people must be in the same position as she was. She was determined to discover the identities of as many people in her photos as she could, and being the wife of a technology executive, she was certain she could apply technology in a positive way to help people discover the unknown people in their photos.

She began development of Related Faces in 2018, filed for the associated patents in 2020 and launched Related Faces in February of 2022. It is her ardent wish that Related Faces helps people discover as many unknown faces in their photos as possible.

Tina is a graduate of The University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. She is a former Assistant Vice President and Production Manager for a mortgage brokerage firm in Dallas, Texas. Tina chose to leave her career to raise her children, but soon found herself as a Montessori School teacher and later substitute teaching in her local public schools. Tina is passionate about educating and creating opportunities for children. She has volunteered for FIRST™ Robotics for over 13 years and served on the West Florida Regional Planning Board for many years.

Family has always been of utmost importance to Tina, and she has a great love of puzzles and history, so taking up genealogy as a hobby over 15 years ago seemed a natural fit. It is this passion for preserving not only her own family history, but everyone’s family history that led her to develop the idea for Related Faces. After inheriting thousands of photos, with hundreds being unmarked, she knew that other people must be in the same position as she was. She was determined to discover the identities of as many people in her photos as she could, and being the wife of a technology executive, she was certain she could apply technology in a positive way to help people discover the unknown people in their photos.

She began development of Related Faces in 2018, filed for the associated patents in 2020 and launched Related Faces in February of 2022. It is her ardent wish that Related Faces helps people discover as many unknown faces in their photos as possible.

Handout in separate email.

Ken Burns Documentary “The U.S. and the Holocaust”, shared by IAJGS Records Access

The U.S. and the Holocaust will premiere on PBS September 18, 2022. Check with your local cable provider for the station. The U.S. and The Holocaust, a new three-part , six-hour documentary directed and produced by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, explores America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history. Americans consider themselves a “nation of immigrants,” but as the catastrophe of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. Through riveting firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape and restrictive quota laws in America. The series will air September 18, 19 and 20, at 8:00-10:00 p.m. eastern/pacific 7:00-9:00 PM Central (check local listings) on PBS, https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/us-and-the-holocaust/

Post from IAJGS Records Access Committee

The Records Access Alert reports on records access. Therefore, the current national discourse about records being removed from the White House by former President Trump and NARA being the repository of all presidential records is a relevant posting issue.

The acting US Archivist, Debra Wall, says:

“The National Archives has been the focus of intense scrutiny for months, this week especially, with many people ascribing political motivation to our actions. NARA has received messages from the public accusing us of corruption and conspiring against the former President, or congratulating NARA for ‘bringing him down.’ Neither is accurate or welcome,.” This was said in an Aug. 24 message to staff members that was made public on Aug. 30.  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/22272015-debra-wall-letter-to-staff

“For the past 30-plus years as a NARA career civil servant, I have been proud to work for a uniquely and fiercely non-political government agency, known for its integrity and its position as an ‘honest broker.’ This notion is in our establishing laws and in our very culture. I hold it dear, and I know you do, too,” she added.

“Our fundamental interest is always in ensuring that government records are properly managed, preserved, and protected to ensure access to them for the life of the Republic. That is our mission, and what motivates us as we seek to uphold the public trust. I thank all of you for your dedication to that mission and your professionalism and integrity in carrying it out in a non-political and diligent manner.”

Fifteen boxes were transferred from the resort to NARA in January, when Wall’s predecessor David Ferriero was still in charge. NARA said that the boxes contained classified records. Some were torn up and taped back together; others that had been torn up weren’t reconstructed by the White House, according to Ferriero.

In separate letters to Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Wall said that the Department of Justice has been “exclusively responsible” for the investigation into the classified materials since NARA referred the matter to the department in early 2022.

“NARA has not been involved in the DOJ investigation or any searches that it has conducted. Accordingly, NARA is unable to provide a briefing or any documents in response to your letter, and we refer you to the DOJ,” Wall told Comer, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, and Turner, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. “Please note, however, that NARA is preserving all records related to this matter.”

To read more see: https://www.ntd.com/national-archives-head-says-agency-fiercely-non-political-after-anti-trump-accusations_832802.html

To read previous postings about NARA and the Presidential Records Act and Removal of Records from the White House see the IAJGS Records Access Alert archives at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts  You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts.  You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. It is required to include your organization affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)

U.S. Census Free at My Heritage this week

MyHeritage announced they are offering FREE Access to all U.S. census records from August 30-September 6, 2022.  To search go to: https://www.myheritage.com/research/category-1100/us-census They have the 1950 US Census indexed for Wyoming and Delaware with more to follow

The United States has conducted a census of its population every 10 years since 1790. MyHeritage offers the full set of currently available U.S. census records from 1790 to 1950, including high-resolution scans. These records offer important snapshots of the lives of people living in the United States throughout its history. Censuses are particularly valuable in that they can help you watch the lives of your ancestors unfold as they move from location to location, get married or divorced, have children, or change careers. They often include important details on each person’s occupation, including their trade and i