Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D., is a professional genealogist specializing in DNA evidence. He is the author of the long-running blog The Genetic Genealogist, and frequently gives presentations and webinars to educate others about the use of DNA to explore their ancestry.
On November 9-10, 1938 Nazis conducted a wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms throughout Germany, annexed Austria and areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia…it is known as Kristallnacht. "The Night of Broken Glass", stems from the broken windows of 267 synagogues, homes and 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses destroyed during the action, as well as the deaths of 91 Jews. Up to 30,000 Jewish males were arrested and transferred to concentration camps. Kristallnacht was the turning point in Nazi's anti-Semitic policy and persecution of the Jews.
The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in the United Kingdom announced they completed their project to catalogue their collection of 356 testimonies from eye witnesses to Kristallnacht. For the first time full-text transcriptions of the original documents in German, French and Dutch are available in English.
To access the testimonies see: http://wienerlibrarycollections.co.uk/novemberpogrom/testimonies-and-reports/overview
The Grand Duchy Research Project was begun by Sonya and David Hoffman.
They identified documents relating to Jewish families who lived in the
Grand Duchy region during the 17th and 18th centuries.
David and Sonia Hoffman founded the Jewish Family History Foundation
More than a dozen years ago to acquire and transcribe the Jewish
records of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL). Poll tax censuses were
made of the Jewish inhabitants of towns in the GDL, and especially
those from 1765 and 1784.
The Hoffmans ran the GDL Project for a number of years. Sadly, David
Hoffman (who was also a co-founder of LitvakSIG and a past president)
experienced serious health problems and then passed away two years
ago. After a number of discussions between Sonia Hoffman and
LitvakSIG, we have agreed to take on the work begun by the Jewish
Family History Foundation. We thank Sonia Hoffman and are honored
to host and present the Jewish Family History Foundation GDL project
here on LitvakSIG.
Millions of records are available online for those researching their ancestors from the former Russian Empire. These records are completely free to access and download.
But still so many people won’t touch a link for a website in Russian. I’m trying to figure out why when Google Translate makes it so much easier to use these websites.
Using these Russian websites isn’t a computer safety issue. I only use Malwarebytes to protect my computer from malicious websites and my computer is completely safe.
So many of the best Russian websites have information never found on the subscription genealogy websites. Russian genealogy research online is possible even if you don’t know Russian.
The JDC was founded to support Jewish communities dislocated by war and natural disasters. Genealogists may be very interested in searching their Archives for family members who were uprooted as a consequence of World Wars 1 and 2, or who may have emigrated to Palestine before the creation of the State of Israel. Over 500,000 names are listed. Additionally there are primary source materials that would be of value to historians. Here is the link to the JDC website.
The most appropriate way of considering names used by Jews in Eastern Europe is to separate the discussion of personal names from that of family names. Indeed, personal names represent an organic part of Jewish culture. Their corpus developed over the centuries in a natural way, inside the community. Their history is closely related to that of Yiddish. On the other hand, but for a very few exceptions, the family names were invented during a short period of time, around the turn of the nineteenth century. Their adoption was forced by state authorities. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, in numerous communities they were marginal for Jewish self-consciousness. Most family researchers wonder why Jewish names were modified or even completely changed over the last 200 years. This wonderful piece by Alexander Beider may shed some light on that subject http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Names_and_Naming
Hal Bookbinder of IAJGS has steered us to the series "The Internet is Forever". This is on Safe Computing which was published in the September issue of "Venturing into Our Past", the Newsletter of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV). The twenty-four articles published to date are available in a single PDF which includes an index. This resource is freely accessible using either of the following links:
http://tinyurl.com/jqvk7a6 or http://tinyurl.com/ComputingArticles
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
If you had relatives who immigrated to the United States in the 20th century this the place to order the above records.
Per USCIS the A-File is:
What Are A-Files?
Alien Files, or "A-Files," are individual files identified by subject's Alien Registration Number ("A-number"). An A-number is a unique personal identifier assigned to a non-citizen. A-Files became the official file for all immigration and naturalization records created or consolidated since April 1, 1944.
Per USCIS the C-File is:
What are C-Files?
Certificate Files, or "C-Files," document naturalizations - the acquisition of United States citizenship after birth. C-Files contain copies of records evidencing the:
Granting of naturalized U.S. citizenship by courts between from 1906 to 1956; and
Issuance of Certificates of Citizenship to those who derived or resumed U.S. citizenship.
C-Files are a product of the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906. That law created the Federal Naturalization Service and required the new agency to collect and maintain copies of all naturalization records nationwide. The C-File series later expanded to include records of U.S. citizenship acquired by derivation (naturalization by virtue of qualifying relation to another who is a birthright or naturalized citizen) and resumption or repatriation by former citizens that expatriated themselves (lost their U.S. citizenship).
Between September 27, 1906 until March 31, 1956, the Federal Naturalization Service stored its citizenship records in C-Files. Certain C-File documents are duplicated in the records of naturalization courts across the nation. Other C-File documents are unique.
Per USCIS Registry file are:
What are Registry Files?
Registry Files document the creation of official immigrant arrival records under the Registry Act of March 2, 1929 (45 Stat 1512). The Registry Act applied to persons who entered the United States prior to July 1, 1924, and for whom no arrival record could later be found. Because the Registry Program required applicants to document their arrival and subsequent residence in the country, Registry Files often contain significant biographical information about the subject immigrant.
The most important thing is to oppose the obscene fee increases. Go to: https://www.recordsnotrevenue.com/ for more information and
send your comments to:
Written comments must be submitted on or before December 16, 2019. Comments must be identified by DHS Docket No. USCIS– 2019–0010 by one of the following methods:
By Mail: Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Mailstop #2140, Washington, DC 20529–2140.
No hand delivered or couriered comments will be accepted. Nor will they accept anything on digital medial storage devices such as CDs/DVDs or USB drives.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee