Immigration Research Weekend

No, it’s not any kind of official event, but what else were you planning to do for the Labor Day weekend? is offering their Immigration and Travel databases for free until September 2nd. What’s included in those databases? A lot.

Ship passenger lists with arrivals to New York, Boston, Baltimore, California, and more; outgoing ship lists from Hamburg and the UK; border crossings between the US and Canada, US and Mexico. Naturalization records are also part of the immigration collection. They’re even offering Jewish arrivals to Switzerland from 1938-1945 among the “other records”.

So if you’ve got some time this weekend, now is a great opportunity to fill in some of those missing documents. If you don’t have time, maybe you’ll want to make some. The free access is already available now, so take advantage!

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

So many genealogy events have moved to the realm of the Internet recently. For those who can’t travel to each event, it gives us the opportunity to attend, at least in part, from home. And here is another one.

The US National Archives (NARA) is hosting a virtual Genealogy Fair on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3-4, from 10am-4pm EST (8am-2pm MST). This is an annual event in its ninth year, and the first year they are broadcasting over the Internet. Recorded sessions will also be available online after the event.

NARA holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. Found an ancestor’s ship list or naturalization papers? It probably came from NARA.

This is great a opportunity to learn more about these documents, or what other documents NARA may hold that can help with your research.

Visit for more information. Updates will be posted to their site as more details become available.

IAJGS Conference LIVE! from Boston

If you’ve been to any of our meetings, you’ve heard about the IAJGS annual conferences. A few of our members are going to be in Boston, but they are introducing something brand new that all of our members may take advantage of, called IAJGS Conference LIVE!

What is LIVE!? IAJGS has teamed up with FamilySearch to bring video streaming technology to the Boston conference. About 50 sessions will be streamed online throughout the week. The sessions will also be available for viewing for three months after the conference.

This is the perfect opportunity for anyone who can’t be at the conference to experience some of the sessions for themselves. Access to LIVE! costs only a fraction of the conference price, and once you figure in the cost of travel and hotel, it’s quite the deal. For $139, you can have access to the full week of streamed sessions, or purchase only a single day for $49 for each day.

More information, including the full schedule of LIVE! sessions, visit the IAJGS 2013 conference web site. Registration for LIVE! can also be found at that link.

Call To Meeting – July 23

It’s time for another UJGS meeting. We will be in the main floor classroom of the Family History Library from 7-9pm on July 23rd, next Tuesday.

We are only a few weeks away from the IAJGS conference in Boston, so this month’s meeting will be a very small preview of the conference.

Our speaker will be our own Banai Lynn Feldstein. She will be presenting Secrets of Jewish Genealogy Research at the Family History Library. This presentation provides some of the basics and some of the insider secrets about research at the Library.

This will be Banai’s practice run before the conference. Be ready to evaluate the presentation and offer your own advice about what she should teach (and what can be cut to make it under an hour).

As always, this will be presented as a webinar, which requires registration, for those who can’t be there in person.

See you next week!

Library Research Night – June 2013

It’s time for another UJGS meeting, and this one is Library Research Night. Come to the Family History Library on Tuesday, June 18th, from 5-9pm, and research with your fellow society members.

All levels of researchers are welcome, from beginners to experts. Ask for advice on your genealogy research or give some to others. Share your finds with society members and discuss where to take your research next.

Free parking is available behind the museum. Check our meetings page for details.

We’d love to know if you’re planning to come and if you have a specific area of research you’re seeking help with. We’ll try to match you up with a member who can help.

We have reserved the main floor classroom, so come and meet us there.

See you next week!

Call To Meeting – May 2013

It’s time for another UJGS meeting. We are meeting at the Family History Library, Tuesday, May 21st, from 7-9pm. This month’s topic: Genealogy in the Round.

What’s Genealogy in the Round? It’s a bring-your-own topic. Everyone is encouraged to participate in some way. Bring a family heirloom, tell a story about an ancestor, share a genealogical find, tell something interesting you’ve learned while researching history, or bring a brick wall problem and we’ll try to help you chip away at it.

We’ll also have some discussion about the 2014 IAJGS conference we’ll be co-hosting next summer.

We will be broadcasting this meeting as a webinar for anyone who want to join us remotely. You can register at this link. If you want to share something from home, please be ready with a microphone and headset and we will try to have the system set up so that we can broadcast you to the room.

We’d be happy to have our members send us pictures or scans of what they’re planning to share so we can show them during the broadcast. Or feel free to bring your files on a flash drive and take over at the podium for a few minutes. (Please, no presentations longer than ten minutes. We want to give everyone a turn.)

If you want help with a brick wall, you may send that information in advance too. Since we’ll be at the Library, we might even be able to find some information you need before you go home.

Shavuot begins this Tuesday evening, so have a happy holiday. (Read more about the holiday from our previous blog post.)

And we’ll see you on the 21st. Who’s going to be there?

Jewish American History Month

May is Jewish American History Month (JAHM). This year’s theme is American Jews in Entertainment.

Resources are available at the web site, the most interesting found under the Education & Resources, including a Historical Timeline of Jews in America, Stories about prominent Jews, a Teacher Curriculum with some content that is interesting reading for anyone, and information about Jewish American entertainers, linked to the BIO channel and their programs.

President Obama issued a Proclamation for 2013 and there is also an official JAHM government web site. This site also provides Stories, Audio/Video, and Exhibits & Collections, many pages featuring links to collections at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and other informational sources.

UJGS encourages our members to learn more about Jewish American History by perusing these web sites. What new information can you learn that might further your genealogy pursuits?

Boston 2013 Schedule Online

The preliminary schedule for the Boston 2013 is now online.

From Jay Sage, a Boston co-chair:

We are excited to announce that the preliminary program, including the schedule of speakers, SIG luncheons, and computer workshops, is now available on the conference website. The link is prominent on the home page at The program can be searched in very flexible ways: by title, speaker, date, experience level, type of presentation (e.g., lecture or workshop), topic category, and geographical focus.

Some programmatic elements are not yet on the schedule. These include Breakfasts with Experts, many of the evening events, and the Film Festival films. They will be added as they are finalized. Also, some programming details may still change.

Boston will host the 33rd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy this August 4-9. Early registration ends April 30. Besides the early registration discount, there is also a spouse discount, a student discount, and rates for attending individual days.

Who from UJGS will be going to Boston this summer?

South Davis Family History Fair 2013

The South Davis Family History Fair is this weekend, April 19-20, at Woods Cross High School. This is an annual event, in its 16th year, brought to us by the Utah Genealogical Association.

The Fair begins Friday evening at 7pm with the keynote speaker, Denise May Levenick, presenting Treasures in the Attic: Every Keepsake Has a Story. This event is free to the public.

Saturday’s program begins at 8am with another keynote from David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch, presenting Preserve the Pensions – The Community Makes a Difference, followed by five sessions from 9:15am – 4:30pm. Several sessions have 22 different lectures to choose from. Topics include German research, multiple sessions about creating books or DVDs to share with family, using technology in different ways, and much more.

If you go, be sure to look for our own Todd Knowles, teaching about Jewish research, the Knowles collection, and British research.

Registration is only $15. Lunch can be added for only $6.

Schedule details and a link at the bottom of the page to registration are on the UGA web site.