14 November 2007

What's Inside: Roots-Key, JGSLA

Family historians often overlook genealogy society journals as a major resource for information on all sorts of topics. Although perhaps the best-known Jewish focused publication is Avotaynu: The International Journal of Jewish Genealogy, researchers should not overlook individual society journals.

Jewish genealogy societies regularly exchange newsletters and journals, and if you're a member of a society, its library will likely contain copies of these publications.

One of the best society journals is that of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Los Angeles.

Roots-Key's Winter 2007 special double issue is themed "Recreating Your Ancestral Shtetl." It offers 68 pages covering many topics that researchers encounter while trying to expand family genealogy into town-wide research: Where do you find records? How do you analyze data? If no records exist, what can you do? When you've collected everything you can, what should you do with all of it?

This issue has four themes: documenting, analyzing, researching and preserving/sharing.

The first details many types of records available to document families and Jewish community life. This issue spotlights towns in Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Ukraine, with authors Sonia and David Hoffman, Vitaly Charny, Victor Kumok (Ukraine), Henry Neugass and Mike Marvins.

A separate section on data analysis describes integrating databases and given name analysis as well as community genealogies. Authors include Daniel Wagner and Israel Pickholtz (both from Israel).

The section on 20th century research focues on Holocaust memorials and memoirs, highlighting Yizkor books, translation projects, biographical memoirs, town associations, innovative ways to uncover the past and build a bridge to the future, with articles by Joyce Field, Werner Frank, Joel Petlin, Meyer Swirsky (Israel) and Martin Cahn (Poland).

Preserving and sharing research and town histories provides articles by Susana Bloch (Canada), Chaim Freedman (Israel), Eilat Gordin Levitan and Jeffrey Kohn.

To see the index of original articles from issues dating back to Spring 1994, click here. To obtain a copy (this double issue is $10), email editor Nancy Holden for details (her email can be found at that link).

Happy reading!

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