Sunday everyone got together to enjoy our Annual Party. We started with a short film on the History of Ellis Island, enjoyed Latkes and sweet treats. Here are some pictures from our event.
Warren Blatt, the Managing Director of Jewish Gen gave the group a presentation on how to navigate the Jewish Gen site. He explained that Jewish Gen in 2003 became a part of the Holocaust Museum. He went on to explain about the two main projects on Jewish Gen - the Yizkor Books and the KehilaLinks and the information that they contain. His slide presentation showed the group all the different parts of the website which included the Discussion Groups, Tools, and the Databases. He also told the group about ViewMate where you can upload documents and members help to translate as well as how to search for names and towns using different techniques. He also informed the group about the various Education Programs available through the site.
Below are some of the slides from his presentation.
Michelle Sandler, one of our own Board Members, was originally scheduled to present how to research. She surprised us yesterday by having Dick McFarlane a Past Director of the Orange Family History Library give us a presentation on how to navigate the website in preparation for our visit to their library.
He started by explaining you must first have an account with them and showed the group how to register.
He then walked the group through all aspects of the website.
Gathering and Verifying Your Family's Oral History
In this presentation on Sunday, Sara talked about what oral history really is and why we need to confirm it, how to gather and preserve stories and family information through interviews, then take a look at a couple "tall tales" and the types of records and resources could provide details to help confirm -or possibly disprove - the story.
Sara Cochran has been conducting genealogical research for over 20 years, and her research has taken her into nearly every State in the USA as well as Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Britain. She holds a Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate as well as a Bachelor Degree in Library Science. She especially enjoys breaking down brick walls for her clients, discovering the stories of black sheep ancestors, and helping individuals preserve their photographic legacy. She began her career as a professional genealogist in 2016 after spending over 11 years working for a pre-employment background check company. She is currently the Treasurer of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and Registrar for the Aurantia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and volunteers at the National Archives, Riverside office. She has also served on the board of the Genealogical Society of Riverside.
On Sunday the group had a high tech "telepresence" presentation from Christa where she showed the group how to navigate the Ancestry Website.
She pointed out the Top Search Tips for Ancestry and that the card catalog is the best way to search and find records. In addition, she pointed out that Ancestry and Jewish Gen have an arrangement which allows anyone to access the Jewish Gen records on Ancestry without having to subscribe to any paid services.
Posted below are some of the pages on Ancestry to utilize for researching:
Daniel Horowitz – Chief Genealogist for My Heritage presented: Nuremberg Library Restitution & Holocaust Survivors Family Reunited
His presentation focused on how one of his associates at My Heritage had come across books written by Isaak Bacharach who was killed in the Holocaust and his quest to find surviving members of the family to present them with the books.
He showed the group all of the techniques and websites he utilized to find the family and create a success story.
Some of the websites he utilized in his research included:
Most of us embarking on our genealogical journey go straight to ancestry.com and familysearch.com - both wonderful resources. The excitement in finding a piece of our ancestor’s story – their travel from the ‘old country’ or a census record listing their family members we knew nothing about keeps us thirsty for more.
Truth is, as we learned from our most informative speaker Ted Gostin, those two sites just scratch the surface. If you were not at Sunday’s Orange County Jewish Genealogical Society’s meeting, then you missed the opportunity to learn about the vast resources available to research our family’s past. Ted Gostin, a professional Genealogist spoke about the ways we can go beyond what is available on the ‘go-to’ genealogy websites. By category (Newspaper, Government, Library, etc.) he cited sources we can turn to for searching for vital records and more. A handout was distributed listing URLs, making it a great reference for all in attendance who are looking to explore beyond the basics. Members may retrieve the handout online in the members’ section of the OCJGS website.
Mr. Gostin opened our eyes to the simple ways to dig deeper providing entertaining examples; tidbits about the noted musician Ravel, Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas and famed actress Claire Bloom.
Mr. Gostin's handouts are available online at http://tinyurl.com/ocjgs-handouts
Michelle helped the beginners get started with the why and how of Jewish Genealogy.
Michelle's handout, which includes a comprehensive list of websites and significant books that every Jewish Genealogist should be familiar with, is available online at http://tinyurl.com/ocjgs-handouts
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