Category Archives: Press Release

IAJGS Virtual Conference 2020

Sorry that we didn’t send this notice out sooner, but IAJGS is doing its conference virtually this year and it’s this week.

This year, there are some live lectures and there’s an on demand library. So even if you sign up late, all the live lectures ought to be available on demand at some time after they have concluded.

But there’s a bonus free part of the conference. SIG and BOF meetings are free, as well as the JewishGen annual presentation and the IAJGS annual meeting. The SIG and BOF schedule is online here.

What are SIGs and BOFs? Special Interest Groups and Birds of a Feather. This is how we divide ourselves by the regions our families came from. Most Jewish American researchers will find themselves in multiple groups. These groups work to obtain and index records mostly, but may also help with coordinating research trips, recommending local researchers, or more, focusing on just their area of the world. SIGs are bigger geographical areas and BOFs often fit into specific SIGs, but work in smaller areas.

Visit iajgs2020.org to sign up. You will need to register for the free sessions, or you could pay for the full conference. Again, you’ve missed the first day already, but there are three more days to go. The SIG meetings are being recorded, so they may be available on demand at some point too.

One Webinar A Day Extended To May

Last month, we told you that Legacy Family Tree Webinars were offering one webinar a day for free from their catalog. They have extended that to May.

The schedule can be found on their web site.

They provide a list for the month, followed by a list by topic. Each day of the week has a different topic.

Sunday: Methodology
Monday: DNA
Tuesday: Ethnic Genealogy (May 19 and 26 are Jewish)
Wednesday: TechZone
Thursday: Around The Globe
Friday: Beginners
Saturday: Technology

This is your chance to watch some of the older webinars that you missed the first time, or to rewatch and refresh your memory. They also have upcoming live webinars listed on the home page, which are free when they’re live and then for another week. You can also pay for access to their entire webinar library which goes back to 2010.

Free Genealogy Webinars Daily

We hope our members are doing well, staying home, and staying healthy. During this difficult time, a plethora of information and entertainment is being offered online for free and we’d like to tell you about one.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars is releasing for free one webinar from their collection every day of April. Each day of the week has a different theme and there are quite a variety of topics.

Sundays are for methodology, Mondays are DNA topics, Tuesdays are ethnic genealogy, etc.

And we’re just in time to catch tomorrow’s (April 7) webinar on Sephardic Research.

You can view he entire schedule for the rest of month on the Legacy Family Tree web site.

What else have you been doing for the past month? Have you caught any operas at The Met? Seen any musicals or plays? Researched something on JSTOR? Virtually visited a museum? If you’re not using social media, you may be missing out on all the wonderful things now being shared for free online. You can also search on Google for “free things to do online”.

24 Hours of Genealogy Webinars

MyHeritage is hosting a 24 hour marathon of webinars at Legacy Family Tree Webinars, on March 12th and 13th.

The webinars begin at 3pm today, March 12, and conclude the tomorrow.

You can see the list of webinars, the times, and register on their web site. Registration is for the full day, but you can log in for only the webinars you want to see. Additionally, the webinars will be available for free for a week, so if you miss the one at 2am, or even at 2pm, you have a week to catch it before you’ll have to pay to see it.

There are webinars on Swedish, Dutch, Belgian, Australian and New Zealand records, as well as evidence and proof, name-changing ancestors, several on DNA, US census, and more.

Be sure to check out the list to see which ones apply to your own research and don’t miss your chance for more genealogy education.

We meant to send this message out earlier, but even if you don’t make it to the live version, you still have a week to watch.

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.

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.

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.

Happy Valentine’s Day from MyHeritage

While our members can access the site whenever they visit the Family History Library, MyHeritage is offering an early Valentine’s Day gift.

Free access to all marriage records on their site. This includes US, European, and all international collections they have.

So if you have some marriages in your family still to find, take a look and see what they have from the convenience of your home.

This offer runs from February 10 – 17 at myheritage.com.

FindMyPast Free Weekend – September 7 – 10

FindMyPast is offering free access to 2.7 billion records this weekend. Included in the offer is birth, marriage, and death records, census, military, immigration, directories, the 1939 Register, and more.

Most of these collections are British but also include ship lists going to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America and more; the Catholic Heritage Archive of North American, British, and Irish records. It appears that FindMyPast is offering access to almost all of their collections (except for newspapers, PERSI, and UK Electoral Registers).

The offer ends at midnight on September 10th (BST?), so don’t miss out on the opportunity to search these records from the comfort of your own home. FindMyPast is available for free access at the Family History Library, but some collections are not always available in the library versions.

I know what I’ll be doing for some of this weekend. What will you be doing?

AmericanAncestors Free Access This Week

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering free access this week to all of its online databases, more than 1.4 billion names.

Visit AmericanAncestors.org to search their records. Searching is free but you will need to create a guest account to see the images.

These records are only free from July 10 to July 17, so don’t miss out. They have more than just New England records. You can browse their database list to see what they have.

Happy hunting!