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Ernest Thode’s German-English Genealogical Dictionary

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The German-English Genealogical Dictionary, by Ernest Thode, has been around for years. I’ve gone through more than one since I got my first in the 1990s. The book is designed for the family researcher who has little or no knowledge of German, but who nevertheless needs to make a translation of German-language documents. The dictionary covers thousands of German terms and defines them in single words or brief phrases. All words, symbols, and abbreviations in the dictionary were chosen on the basis of their association with genealogy, having been noted in church records, civil registration records, family correspondence, genealogical journals, ships’ passenger lists, and emigration records.

Among the many categories of entries included in the dictionary are family relationships, days of the week, map terms, legal terms, cardinal and ordinary numbers, roman numerals, signs of the zodiac, coins, liquid and dry measures, measures of length, place names, historical territories, geographical terms, occupations, titles, military ranks, types of taxes, illnesses, calendar days, male and female given names, heraldry, abbreviations, books of the Bible, and common genealogical words from Danish, Dutch, French, Latin, and Polish.

The following is from the Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Abbreviations
  • German Alphabet with Script Variations
  • German Genealogical Terms
  • Genealogical Symbols
  • Male Given Names – Female Given Names
  • Surnames and Occupations
  • Months / Signs of the Zodiac
  • Planets / Metals/Days of the Week
  • Ordinal Numbers
  • Cardinal Numbers
  • Suffixes
  • Reverse Suffix Index
  • Key to German Dialect Pronunciations
  • Map of Germany 1871-1918
  • Dictionary A-Z – 286 pages

The book is currently on sale for 15% off at the FRPC website – or 20% off as part of an online German-language Newspapers bundle. Click on the links to purchase.

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The U.S. Census Bureau Created an Official Instagram Account

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The following tip sheet was released today by the U.S. Census Bureau:

Today the U.S. Census Bureau created an official Instagram account. The account will provide an outlet for the public to view the story behind the numbers, starting with the 2015 Census Test in the Savannah, Ga., area. Follow the Census Bureau on Instagram at @u.s.censusbureau.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

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Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) to the National Historical Publications & Records Commission

The following news release is from the National Archives:

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March 24, 2015 – Washington, DC: Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero today announced the appointment of Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This Commission carries out the grants program of the National Archives to increase public access to America’s historical records.

“NHPRC plays a critical role in ensuring our country’s heritage is preserved and made accessible to Americans for generations to come,” said Senator Sullivan. “I’m honored and excited to serve on this important Commission.”

“We are fortunate to have Senator Sullivan serve on the Commission,” said the Archivist. “He brings a wealth of experience to the task, especially his long and distinguished career in the military and public service. We have long been proud of our partnership with the Alaska State Archives and Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board, and Senator Sullivan will add to the Commission’s efforts to connect the American people to our rich archival collections and make us all better stewards of the American record in a digital age.”

Prior to entering the U.S. Senate this January, Sullivan served as Alaska’s Attorney General and Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. He was a judicial clerk for the highest federal and state courts in Alaska. Over the past 21 years, he has served the nation on active duty and in the reserves and is currently an infantry officer and Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.

Sullivan was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a Director in the International Economics Directorate of the National Security Council staff at the White House. After earning a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University in 1987, he received a joint law and Masters of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1993.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission promotes the preservation and use of America’s documentary heritage essential to understanding our democracy, history, and culture. Since 1964, the NHPRC has awarded $215 million to 5,000 projects in all 50 states and special jurisdictions to preserve historical records, including electronic records, to assist archives through a network of state partners, and to enhance public access through publishing finding aids and collections of historical records in print and digital formats.

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History Professor Dan Feller to be on TV Twice in the Next 10 Days

The following excerpt is from an article posted in March 27, 2015 edition of http://tntoday.utk.edu/:

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[University of Tennessee] History Professor Dan Feller will be on television twice in the next ten days — once as part of C-SPAN’s Lectures in History series and once on the popular cable TV program Who Do You think You Are?

Feller is the editor and director of the Papers of Andrew Jackson, a multivolume project that is supported by UT, the National Archives, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

C-SPAN came to campus in January to film Feller leading a graduate seminar on Jacksonian democracy. The seven students in the class are all pursuing graduate degrees in US history. The resulting show will air at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, on C-SPAN3. It will be available CSPAN’s video library by Monday.

Read the full article.

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NGS 2016 Family History Conference Call for Papers Closes 1 April 2015

The following is from the National Genealogical Society:

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ARLINGTON, VA, 26 MARCH 2015 — Time is running out to submit lecture proposals for the NGS 2016 Family History Conference. Speakers and sponsoring organizations must submit their proposals by 1 April 2015. The conference, entitled Exploring the Centuries: Footprints in Time, will be held 4–7 May 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The ethnic makeup of Florida is, and always has been, diverse. Native Americans—including Miccosukees, Choctaw, Creek, Timucua, and Calusa—lived throughout the area, which became known as La Florida after the arrival of Ponce de León in 1513. The Spanish were followed by other groups such as the French, British, Irish, German, and Greeks. The importation of African slaves also affected society in Florida as did the formation of the Seminole alliance. All of these people have left many footprints in time and a rich repository of records to trace our ancestry.

NGS will consider lectures covering the following topics: Florida history (especially early settlements), records, repositories, ethnic and religious groups, neighboring areas (i.e., the Caribbean, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina), and migration to, from, and within Florida. The Society will also consider regional topics of interest, including land and military records, especially those pertaining to the Revolutionary War, Indian wars, Civil War, and World War I. Additionally, proposals may cover broader genealogical categories, including federal records, the law as it relates to genealogy, methodology, genetic genealogy, analysis and problem solving, and technology.

Interested individuals and organizations should adhere to NGS guidelines. Speakers may submit up to eight proposals electronically through the NGS website. Organizations wishing to sponsor a lecture or track of lectures should review the details and sponsor requirements. All proposals must be submitted by 1 April 2015.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

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German-Language Newspaper #Genealogy Research Bundle – 20% Off through Tuesday, Mar 31

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After spending a few hours searching online German newspapers, I’ve decided that Family Roots Publishing will run a 20% off special on a bundle of the brand new Historic German Newspapers Online – with a copy of the ever-popular German-English Genealogical Dictionary. Both books are written by my friend, Ernest Thode.

The bundle of two volumes is available for 20% off, making it just $51.92 (Reg. $64.90). This price is good through Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

Click here to Order the Bundle at the FamilyRootsPublishing.com Website.

Since you may already have one of these books, I’ve also made them available individually at 15% off. Click on the links to read the reviews and/or order.

Historic German Newspapers OnlineRead the Review at GenealogyBlog.com.
Historic German Newspapers Online – Order at the FamilyRootsPublishing.com website at 15% off.

German-English Genealogical DictionaryClick here for more information and-or to order at the FamilyRootsPublishing.com website at 15% off.

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FamilySearch Adds Over 5.8 Million Indexed Records & Images for Australia, Canada, Hungary, Russia, South Africa, & the USA

The following is from FamilySearch.org:

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FamilySearch has added to its collections more than 5.8 million indexed records and images for Australia, Canada, Hungary, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. Notable collection updates include 2,435,483 indexed records from the Canada Census, 1911 collection; 2,069,202 indexed records from the Australia, Queensland Cemetery Records, 1802–1990 collection; and 310,900 images from the Russia, Tula Poll Tax Census (Revision Lists), 1758–1895 collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

Australia, Queensland Cemetery Records, 1802–1990 – 2,069,202 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Canada Census, 1911 – 2,435,483 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Canada, Newfoundland Census, 1921 – 218,865 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Canada, Nova Scotia Marriages, 1907–1932 – 66,106 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Canada, Prince Edward Island Marriage Registers, 1832–1888 – 20,262 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Hungary, Civil Registration, 1801–1980 – 170,900 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Russia, Tula Poll Tax Census (Revision Lists), 1758–1895 – 0 – 310,900 -Added images to an existing collection.

South Africa, Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1848–1956 – 0 – 30,830 – Added images to an existing collection.

US, California, San Diego, Airplane Passenger and Crew Lists, 1929–1954 - 0 – 17,333 – New browsable image collection.

US, California, San Diego, Chinese Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905–1923 – 0 – 648 -Added images to an existing collection.

US, California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893–1953 – 225,314 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

US, Florida, Key West Passenger Lists, 1898–1945 – 7,931 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

US, Maine, Vital Records, 1670–1907 – 0 – 4,826 – Added images to an existing collection.

US, Minnesota, Baudette, Warroad, and International Falls Passenger Lists, 1910–1923 – 0 – 1,900 – New browsable image collection.

US, Montana, Beaverhead County Records, 1862–2009 – 551 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

US, New York, New York, Soundex to Passenger and Crew Lists, 1887–1921 – 0 – 5,799 – New browsable image collection.

US, North Dakota, Manifests of Immigrant Arrivals, 1910–1952 – 0 – 11,627 – New browsable image collection.

US, Ohio, County Marriages, 1789–2013 – 0 – 103,303 – Added images to an existing collection.

US, South Carolina, Confederate Home Records, 1909–1958 – 0 – 6,147 – New browsable image collection.

United States, Records of the Superintendent of Education and of the Division of Education, 1864–1879 – 0 – 162,191 – New browsable image collection.

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New “Historic German Newspapers Online” – On Sale for 15% Off Thru Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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I spent much of the day searching, translating and printing items from online German newspapers and books. Up until now, I had no idea that so much was available! I’ve been using GenealogyBank and Newspapers.com for my research for years, but honestly, I had no clue as to the wealth of historic German-language materials available to me. We all know how valuable U.S. newspapers have been for our research. Well, it works the same way with the Germanic stuff. What was particularly exciting was finding Conrad Meitzler of New Orleans in the 1840s was from Kriegsfeld, Pfalz (Bavaria at the time), the same small town that my great-grandfather, Karl Meitzler, emigrated from in 1849 or 50. I’ve tried to find his origins for years. Puzzle solved… Now – how is Conrad related to me?

Late in 2014, a new book was published titled “Historic German Newspapers Online.” Written by my friend, Ernest Thode, the volume reveals information on over 1900 German-language papers that are found at numerous public, private, and commercial websites. It’s been a busy Winter, and I didn’t get around to studying his book until this week. It now set me off on an adventure that’s not likely to end for a long time.

Most of the papers cited are from Germany and the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, although there are papers cited from as far afield as China and Oklahoma. Citations range from large papers to small, from dailies to weeklies, national papers to local papers, even trade papers, government papers, and occupational papers for saddlers, railroad men, gardeners, bookbinders, and tailors. A single site hosted by the Austrian National Library, for example, has digitized millions of pages in hundreds of titles from Austro-Hungary, with the years 1700-1875 now almost fully digitized, as are World War I newspapers from 1914-1918. Hundreds of other websites are hosted by libraries, universities, museums, and institutions, many with English language interfaces.

As with U.S. research, the genealogical information you can find in these online newspapers is almost limitless. They include notices of births, marriages, and deaths. These vital stats are found in civil registrations, baptisms and wedding announcements from churches, intentions to emigrate, trade news, lists of pupils, appointments to office, promotions, transfers, retirements, deaths, estate sales, lists of hotel guests, and a multitude of everyday notices.

Using the book turned out to be my key to sources I’d never considered before. To find this information in Thode’s book, There are 3 steps – Look for your place of interest in the “Places” section (Pages 19-128) to see what papers are online for your area of interest; then in the “Titles” section (Pages 129-233) find a general description of the paper’s coverage and a citation to the website. Finally find the citation website addresses that are located on pages 11-18. You’ll be amazed at the range of information available to you online in German-language newspapers!

Ernie’s new book is broken up into 4 sections as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Key-Site-URL List
  • Part A: German-language Newspapers Sorted by Current County, Place of Publication, and Title
  • Part B: German-language Newspapers Sorted by Title, Dates and Key

The papers are from the following countries (the number representing the number of titles):

  • Argentina (1)
  • Australia (3)
  • Austria (228)
  • Belgium (8)
  • China (3)
  • Crimea (1)
  • Croatia (7)
  • Czech Republic (43)
  • Egypt (1)
  • England (1)
  • Estonia (3)
  • France (64)
  • Georgia (1)
  • Germany (1162)
  • Hungary (18)
  • Israel; France (1)
  • Italy (25)
  • Latvia (8)
  • Liechtenstein (8)
  • Luxembourg (6)
  • Mexico (1)
  • Montenegro (1)
  • Namibia1 (1)
  • Netherlands (1)
  • Norway (1)
  • Poland (147)
  • Romania (10)
  • Russia (18)
  • Scotland (2)
  • Serbia (1)
  • Slovakia (2)
  • Slovenia (11)
  • Switzerland (33)
  • Tanzania (3)
  • Turkey (1)
  • Ukraine (6)
  • United States (62)
  • Unknown Place (9)

Ernest holds a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a Master’s degree in German from Stamford. He has taught German and English, translated genealogical documents, and was a local history and genealogy librarian for 21 years. He is also the author of the popular book, The German-English Genealogical Dictionary, as well as a number of other works.

Order Historic German Newspapers Online at the FRPC website for 15% off through Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (Just $21.21).

Or order as a bundle with Thode’s German-English Genealogical Dictionary (which comes in real handy while reading the German language papers) for 20% off at the FRPC website through Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (Just $51.92).

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Genealogical Research in Nebraska – On Sale for 23% Off Thru March 31, 2015

Whether the final stop or just a temporary host to wagon trains of passing pioneers, Nebraska was another stepping stone in the United States’ ever westward expansion.  Nebraska become a state in 1867. Like other states, Nebraska has a long and unique history all its own. Its people are equally unique and special, especially to genealogists in search of their Nebraskan ancestors. To help the researcher, author Ruby Coleman wrote Genealogical Research in Nebraska.

And Family Roots Publishing is making it available for 23% off through Midnight EDT Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – Just $19.95 (Reg. $25.95). Click on the link to order.

As with researching in any specific geographical location, Coleman suggests, the challenge for researching in Nebraska is to locate as many records as possible. There are many repositories where these records are found. Nebraska’s record keeping is somewhat unique, but very useful to the genealogist with a little know how. Available records document families who came to Nebraska, whether they settled and stayed or moved on after a few years.

Heavily illustrated with photos and documents, this volume was written to give the researcher clues in locating and understand Nebraska specific records; including, those records previously not considered relevant or available.

Author Ruby Coleman, of Nebraska, has been actively involved in researching genealogy for over 40 years and has been a professional genealogist for over 25 years. She is an instructor of seminars and classes, as well as a lecturer and free-lance writer. Her expertise is in Nebraska and the plains states genealogy, history, and research.

 

Contents

Introduction
Nebraska Settlement
Colonization and Development by Railroad
Nebraska Court System and Records
Nebraska Vital Records
Probate, Guardianships and Adoptions
Land Records
Naturalization Records
Civil and Criminal Court Records
County Histories
Territorial, Federal and State Censuses
Military Records
Schools and Records
Cemeteries
Institutional Records
Nebraska Railroads
Nebraska Ethnic Groups
Religious Records
Orphan Trains
Cattle Brands
Societies, Repositories and Libraries
Genealogical Collections in Nebraska Libraries and Repositories
Nebraska State Censuses & Substitutes 1854-1976
Maps Showing Nebraska County Boundary Changes
Nebraska County Records – Alphabetical by county
Suggested Internet Web Pages
Suggested Reading
Notes

 

Order a copy of Genealogical Research in Nebraska for yourself, a relative, a friend, or your local library from Family Roots Publishing; Sale Price: 23% Off – Just $19.95 through Tuesday March 31, 2015 (Reg.$25.95).

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TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” to Feature Sean Hayes Sunday, March 29, 2015

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I got to see a preview of the upcoming March 29, 2015 episode of TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? This one features Sean Hayes – who is most likely best known for his role as Jack McFarland in the long-running NBC sitcom, Will and Grace. He won an Emmy Award for that gig. The episode was filmed from November 29 to December 07, 2014.

Sean grew up in modest circumstances in a Chicago suburb. Sean’s father left the family when Sean was just 5, and they’re currently estranged. Since there’s such a big disconnect with his father’s family, Sean wanted to know more about his paternal roots. Sean was especially interested in knowing why his father and his siblings were placed in an orphanage when at least one of their parents was still alive.

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In this episode, Sean heads to Chicago to begin his search, where his father and grandparents were from. He discovered that his grandfather, William, was once successful, but met an early demise in the Chicago slums – a death that was most likely the result of alcoholism. Sean found that at the time of his grandfather’s death, his grandmother had broken both of her hips, which led to his father and his siblings living in the orphanage. Digging further into his paternal roots, he discovered that his great grandfather, Patrick Hayes, immigrated to Chicago from Ireland in 1901. Patrick appeared to have been a responsible, ambitious man.

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Sean followed his ancestor’s trail to Dublin and County Kerry, where he was surprised to find his great grandfather actually had lengthy court records for various crimes and did hard labor in jail. The hard labor was made up of tasks that were really hard! Further research revealed that much of the Hayes family – including Sean’s great, great grandfather Patrick Hayes Senior – constantly ran afoul of the law, and even faced each other in court over family brawls. Finally, Sean discovered that Patrick senior’s wife’s early death appeared to have prompted the string of family troubles. Alcohol seems to have aided in the family’s troubles. Through Sean’s journey, he was able to deepen his understanding of his father’s roots and appreciate that he’s broken a turbulent family pattern on his own.

I found the show to be fascinating. Don’t miss it! It premieres this Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 10/9c on TLC.

Cities/locations visited:

  • Sean Hayes’ home, Los Angeles;
  • Chicago History Museum, Chicago, IL;
  • Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL;
  • Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, IL;
  • National Archives of Dublin, Dublin, IRE;
  • Tarbert Bridewell Courthouse, Tarbert, County Kerry, IRE;
  • Finucane Bar, Ballylongford, County Kerry, IRE

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Salt Lake Plaza Hotel Announces New 2015 Research Your Roots #Genealogy Package

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The Spring-Summer genealogy research season has begun. If you’re even considering going to Salt Lake City, I’d be making reservations now! I just got new details on the Research Your Roots Package and 2015 Genealogy Rates for the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. The prices are very affordable, and a good deal – especially when you consider that when you stay at the Plaza, you are Next Door To The World’s Largest Genealogy Library!

The Salt Lake Plaza’s Research Your Roots 3-Night Package is priced as follows:

  • $355.00 Per Person Based on Single Occupancy Includes Tax.
  • $215.00 Per Person Based on Double Occupancy Includes Tax.

The Package Includes:

  • 3 Nights Deluxe Accommodations.
  • One Hour Per Person of Research Consultation.
  • All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Breakfast.

If you’re not looking for a package, the “Genealogy” discount rate is only $90.00. Keep in mind that these specials are subject to availability and Hotel’s projected occupancy. The pricing is good through December 31, 2015.

Where Genealogists Stay!

  • Research your family roots next door at the World’s Largest Genealogy Library with over 2.2 million rolls of micro film, 300,000 books, and 4,500 periodicals.
  • Just across the street from Historic Temple Square hosting 5 million visitors annually.
  • Adjacent to the City Creek Center, Gateway mall and downtown dining and events.
  • Beautiful banquet/conference facilities for all special occasions.
  • Amenities include: free wireless hi-speed internet, guest library, business center, refrigerators & microwaves, pool, Jacuzzi, guest laundry, gift shop and covered parking.
  • The Plaza Hotel’s full service restaurant offers one of downtown’s most popular and affordable dining experiences with room service.
  • Airport shuttle.

Please contact my good friend, Richard Williams, who is the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. Tell him that Leland sent you. I highly recommend the Plaza, and I stay there whenever I am in Salt Lake City (once for a 7-week stay!). The Plaza sponsors GenealogyBlog.com, as well as the Genealogy Newsline, and is the headquarters hotel of the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour.

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Contact Info:
Salt Lake Plaza Hotel
122 West South Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
Richard Williams’ Direct Line: 801-606-2410
Fax: 801-521-8477
E-Mail: sales@plaza-hotel.com
www.plaza-hotel.com

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Popular Online Jewish Genealogy Collection Surpasses One Million Entries

The following News Release is from FamilySearch:

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Knowles Collection, a quickly growing, free online Jewish genealogy database linking generations of Jewish families from all over the world, reached its one-millionth record milestone and is now easily searchable online. The collection started from scratch just over seven years ago, with historical records gathered from FamilySearch’s collections. Now the vast majority of new contributions are coming from families and private archives worldwide. The free collection can be accessed at FamilySearch.org/family-trees.

The databases from the Knowles Collection are unlike other collections in that people are linked as families and the collection can be searched by name, giving researchers access to records of entire families. All records are sourced and show the people who donated the records so cousins can contact one another. New records are added continually, and the collection is growing by about 10,000 names per month from over 80 countries. Corrections are made as the need is found, and new links are added continually.

“With the Knowles Collection so visible at FamilySearch.org, researchers will have the chance to compare their Jewish family histories against the collections of FamilySearch, giving families more opportunities to expand, preserve, and share them,” said Todd Knowles, a Jewish genealogy specialist at the popular Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and founder of the popular Knowles Collection.

The popular Knowles Collection started from Knowles’s desire to know more about his Jewish ancestors. “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. “The genealogy of Morris David Rosenbaum became the backbone of the Knowles Collection.”

Knowles began by following Rosenbaum from Poland through England to the United States. Knowles discovered the Mordy Collection in England, which had been compiled by Isobel Mordy from Middlesex, England. “She had literally used individual scraps of paper to compile 150 individual pedigrees, with over 7,500 records,” said Knowles. Mordy’s work was very important, but because of the complexity and numbering system of her collection, searching it was difficult, so Knowles decided to make it electronic.

“Mordy did not have access to the Internet or the resources we have available to us today to fill in sources and gaps,” said Knowles. So Knowles used the tools available to him at FamilySearch.org, such as census records, probates, synagogue records, and cemetery records, to begin publishing more than 10,000 Jewish names hailing from the British Isles. Eventually, his collection of Jews of the British Isles grew to 40,000 names.

Today, Jewish communities worldwide are adding their own records to the popular Knowles Collection online. The Knowles Collection has grown from Jews of the British Isles (now with 208,349 records), to Jews of North America (489,400), Jews of Europe (380,637), Jews of South America and the Caribbean (21,351), Jews of Africa, the Orient, and the Middle East (37,618), and the newest one, Jews of the Southern Pacific (21,518).

“So many of our ancestors left their native lands for new homes. That diaspora [scattered colonies of Jews] are now in six different searchable databases in the Knowles Collection,” said Knowles, “These collections show how universal our families are.”

Knowles said many difficulties exist in Jewish genealogical research. “The records of one family may be in hundreds of places. Very few records are in a central archive. The records collection at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City is the largest outside of Israel,” Knowles says.

There has always been an interest in family history among Jews. With the advent of the Internet and electronically accessible databases online, that interest is growing rapidly. “Jews are doing family history like crazy,” Knowles says. “Rabbis have kids doing their family history before their bar mitzvahs. Everyone has a desire to know who they are and where they came from. Once you spend a little time looking at your family’s past, you will find a fascination you never thought possible.”

The Knowles Collection can be accessed at FamilySearch.org (click Search, and then click Genealogies). If you would like to add your Jewish family records to the collection, Knowles says that the easiest and best way to add records to the collection is contact him at knowlescollection.blogspot.com.

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For Richer for Poorer – Historic Jewish Weddings in London’s East End

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The following excerpt is from a fascinating article by Anne Joseph, posted in the March 19, 2015 edition of The Jewish Daily Forward:

“No man in Whitechapel drives a busier or a more paying trade than does the shadchan,” observed the writer Louise Jordan Miln in 1900. In fact, a ledger belonging to a shadkhen, or matchmaker, is one of the objects on display for the first time in “For Richer For Poorer: Weddings Unveiled,” the latest exhibition at the Jewish Museum London. Written entirely in Yiddish, the 1940s ledger shows a list of his prospective clients. A stamp depicting two hands shaking next to the names of a couple indicates when a successful match had been made.

“For Richer For Poorer” celebrates the story of the Jewish wedding in Britain’s Jewish community from the late 19th century to the mid-20th, focusing in particular on the immigrant community who settled in London’s East End…

Read the full article.

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A Review of the Washington Memorial Library in Macon, Georgia

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The following article by Selma Blackmon is from the March 13, 2015 edition of examiner.com:

With my goal of personal research, the Washington Memorial Library deserves more; the genealogical and historical room merits a five star review. The Washington Memorial Library located at 1180 Washington Avenue, Macon, Georgia 31201 provided for me the following amenities…


See the full article for all the details!

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A New Genetic Map of the U.K.

The following teaser is from nature.com:

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Researchers have found genetic signatures among Britons that betray their historical roots in particular locales of the United Kingdom, leading to the finest-scale map of genetic variation yet created. The analysis — which shows a snapshot of clusters of genetic variation in the late 1800s, when people were less likely to migrate far from their region of birth — reflects historical waves of migration by different populations into the island.

Read the article.

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