Saturday, October 31, 2015

Concentration Camp Prisoners' Belongings, Cape Town Marriages, Belgians in Britain, and More

August Ahlers' watch
A new online database has photographs of more than 3,000 items from the International Tracing Service's archive.  The items belonged to prisoners taken to the Dachau and Neuengamme concentration camps during World War II.  Some items were collected in Hamburg.  The photos have been placed online in hopes that the items can be returned to survivors or their family members.  More information about the database is available in a press release on the ITS site.

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The Great Synagogue (the Gardens Shul) in Cape Town, South Africa, is celebrating its 175th anniversary on November 6, 2015.  The search is on for photographs of weddings that took place in the synagogue; photos can be sent to  In addition, those who were married in the synagogue are invited to be in a group photograph to be taken before the November 6 festivities.  Read more about the event here.

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As many as 250,000 people fled Belgium at the beginning of World War I and went to Great Britain.  The Amsab Institute for Social History is now seeking stories, photographs, and documents about those Belgians.  As half of the refugees came from Antwerp, the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp is participating in the effort.  Those who share information will receive two complimentary tickets to the November 15 "Story Collection" day at the museum.  (Even though the page about the event says it's in English, most of the text is still in Dutch.  You can use Google Translate to get the gist of the information.)

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A photographer who took photographs of tenements and their residents in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland, 45 years ago is now trying to identify the people in the photos.  Several of the photos are included in an article about the search, and all of the photos are available on the Shelter Scotland Web site.

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The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy (IIJG) is working on a project to publish the late Paul Jacobi's 114 typewritten genealogical studies (monographs) of European rabbinical and other prominent Jewish families.  The institute now needs volunteers to proofread the text.  The work requires a high-level knowledge of the English language and will be spread out over the next ten months.  To volunteer, contact Ami Elyasaf, IIJG Executive Director, at  Information about the Jacobi collection can be found at  A list of the family names represented in the typewritten genealogies is at

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Urgent: An Archive in Danger

How some of the archival materials
are currently being stored
The Port of Los Angeles created an archives program in 2010 to preserve its historic documents.  About 25,000 linear feet of archival materials have been identified, including photographs, ledgers, maps, blueprints, promotional material, and ephemera.  In early 2015, the Port closed its archives without notice and moved the historic materials to a facility that is not climate-controlled and is not appropriate for storage of important documents.

Please read more details about this situation and sign the online petition calling on the Port and the Los Angeles Harbor Commission to preserve the archives.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Were You Doing in 1985?

This week for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Randy Seaver is jumping on the Back to the Future bandwagon, which had lots of coverage in the news in my area:

1) Since this was Back to the Future week, I have a related challenge:  Do you recall what you were doing in 1985?  Family, school, work, hobbies, technology, genealogy, vacations, etc?

2)  Tell us in a blog post of your own, in a comment on this blog, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.

I'm always amazed at the amount of detail Randy remembers when he writes about stuff like this.  I'm a lot fuzzier, even though I'm younger.

In 1985 I was two years past my college graduation, but I was still at the University of Southern California.  After graduation I started working full time at USC.  My first job was in the School of Urban Planning (which now seems to be a department in the Sol Price School of Public Policy), where I learned how to use the WordStar word processing program.  By 1985 I was an administrative assistant in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department (which also now carries an endowment name).  I remember several of the professors in the department:  Gerald Fleischer, Ali Kiran, Alex Loewenthal, Gerald Nadler, Barbaros Tansel, Marc <something>, Behrouz <something>.  The other admin I worked with was Deborah, and her maiden name was Cmehil, but I can't remember her married name.  One student I remember from the department is Joe Bok, the only football player I ever met who was also a graduate student in engineering.

1985 was my second year in the USC Trojan Marching Band (The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe).  I didn't grow up playing any marching band instruments, so my first year, 1984, I was prop crew (kind of like roadies).  By the end of the academic year I had started playing cymbals, and in fall of 1985 I was a member of the percussion section.  Because you can find almost anything on the Web nowadays, the 1985 USC football schedule is available online, and I can see all the games I went to.  I remember the games at ASU, Berkeley, and Notre Dame.  I should have gone on the trip to Honolulu, but someone deliberately screwed me out of it.  (Hey, I am remembering things after all.)

My big hobby at the time was gaming.  I was president of the USC Wargaming Club.  We met once a week.  Mostly we played Dungeons & Dragons, but we got in some RuneQuest also.  We didn't play that many actual wargames.

I lived just on the edge of East Los Angeles, on East Adams Boulevard, in a three-story Victorian house next to a church.  The uncle of a friend of mine had bought the house with his partner, and they rented out several of the rooms.  For tenants they ended up with four Navy prior enlisted who were all in ROTC, and me.  I don't remember what Roy did for work, but Bill was in the financial aid department at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.  They had a dachshund and a German shepherd.  The shepherd caught pigeons, and the dachshund caught rats.  They made a good team.

I rode a Suzuki GS550 motorcycle with the license plate "JANS GS."  I was a year past my knee surgery and couldn't ride a bicycle anymore.

I wasn't doing anything specific with genealogy at this time, but whenever I traveled out of town I tried to visit any relatives I could find nearby.

I was able to remember more than I thought I would.  So what were you doing in 1985?

What Happened to Raymond Lawrence Sellers?

My aunt will be turning 90 at the end of this month.  A lot of people, when they get to around that age, try to wrap up loose ends in their lives.  One thing my aunt would like to do with whatever years are left to her is find the son she gave up for adoption 70 years ago.  She has asked for my help.

Raymond Lawrence Sellers was born on September 23, 1945 in Bridgeton, Cumberland, New Jersey.  His mother, Dorothy Mae "Dottie" Sellers, was not married to the father, Clarence Newcomb "Zeke" Lore.  I was told that Dottie's father, my grandfather, was less than pleased with the situation and convinced Dottie to give up the baby for adoption.

I have heard two different stories about Raymond's adoption.  Several years ago I was told that he was given to friends of the family in an informal adoption.  Their names have variously been reported as Eckert or Eckman.  The other story, told more recently, is that Raymond was given to an adoption agency and that the adoption was a formal one.

The adoption probably happened in either Cumberland or Burlington County, New Jersey.

Another story I was told years ago is that sometime in the 1960's or so, Raymond somehow managed to track down Dottie and came around to the house to meet her.  She wasn't home at the time, and the person there didn't know about Raymond so sent him away.  If that story is true, it would seem to lean toward the informal adoption being the accurate scenario, as it would have been extremely difficult for Raymond to learn his birth mother's name at that time if the adoption had gone through an agency.  I'm not ruling anything out, though.

New Jersey adoption records are sealed after 1940, so it's almost impossible to get access to them.  I've tried looking through Burlington County court indices to see if there are any deleted entries that might refer to this adoption, but I didn't find any likely candidates.  I've searched the Social Security Death Index but didn't find any likely possibilities there.  I'm running out of relatively low-cost search methods.

I'm hoping that by sending this out to the universe someone who knows something about Raymond will hear about my search and respond.

Keeping my fingers crossed . . . .

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wedding Wednesday

Lynn and Myra
Fifty-four years ago today, my parents were married in Miami, Florida.  The timing was rather interesting:  It was a mere five days after my father's divorce from his first wife, the mother of my half-sister.

This past Saturday I wrote about the little I know of how my parents met.  Although I don't know exactly when my mother and cousin were going to that party, I know it had to have been by late June or early July of 1961 at the latest, because I came bouncing along the next year on April 9, and I was actually overdue by a week (yes, I was supposed to have been born on April Fool's Day).

Something else I learned after my mother had passed away is that my mother's father never knew my father had been married previously.  When my grandmother told me that, I stared at her in disbelief.  There's no question when you look at us that my half-sister, my sister, and I are closely related.  We very strongly resemble each other.  But the story my grandfather was told was that my half-sister was a cousin.  I thought, How could he not have known?  Then I realized the story must have been true, because if he had known, everyone would have heard him comment on it.  That little secret apparently was kept until the day he died, 28 years later.

I am very fortunate in that I have several photographs from the wedding.  It's a shame most of them are so dark, because you can barely see some of the people.  I recognize many of the faces in the photos but not everyone.  Attending on my mother's side were her parents and brothers, her father's brother (and wife Irene?), and her mother's brother and sister-in-law.  So far I don't know the name of the maid of honor.  On my father's side, his mother and maybe her sister were there.  And that's everyone I know!  There's a young girl at the table, and I have no idea who she is.  I'm definitely going to be sharing this post with several family members, asking them to help me ID the other people.  I suspect most of them are relatives, but who knows?  And maybe my father can tell me whose apartment and what restaurant they're in . . . .

Marty and maid of honor
Myra and Lynn
Myra, Lynn, Anna
Left:  maid of honor, Marty, Myra, Lynn, Anna, ?
Right:  Harry, Irene?, Gary, Lily, Abe, Al, Rose
Myra, Lynn, Anna, Anna's sister?, ?, ?
Al, Abe, Lily
Left:  ?, Rose, Al, Abe, Lily, Gary, Irene?, Harry
Right:  ?
Left:  Rose, Lily, a waiter
Right:  Myra's little headpiece is visible in the back
?, Al, ? (but definitely the focus of the photo)

Black and White and Read All Over . . . .

Several new links have been added to the Wikipedia online newspaper archives page, so I thought I should let everyone know about them.  All but two are free, which is always nice to hear.  Many more college student publications have appeared online; this seems to be an ongoing trend.  And there's one new country, Japan, which is one of the fee-based archives.

Australia:  The Ryerson Index contains publication information about more than 5 million death notices from 281 Australian newspapers, ranging from 1803 to the present.  The majority of the entries are from New South Wales, but other parts of the country do have coverage.

Brazil:  An older archive of Diario de Pernambuco, covering 1825–1924, is now available to go with the modern archive.  Maybe at some point the mid-20th century will be added?

Brazil:  The Diarios Oficiais ("Official Gazettes") of several cities and states are online.

British Columbia, Canada:  There are three new links for British Columbia, one index and two sets of transcriptions.  The index is for Victoria newspapers from 1858–1936 and includes BMD announcements, general news articles, and more.  The Qualicum Beach Family History Society has transcribed obituaries from many newspapers in the Parkville and Qualicum area from 1948–1994.  The second set of transcriptions is mostly BMD notices from British Columbia newspapers from 1861–1875.

Manitoba, Canada:  The Manitoban, the student publication for the University of Manitoba, is available for 1914–2012.  The Winnipeg Tribune archive currently covers 1890–1950, 1957–1960, and 1969, but there are plans to digitize and upload the missing years.

Québec, Canada:  McGill University student publications from 1875–2001 are on Internet Archive.  They include the McGill Gazette, McGill Fortnightly, McGill Outlook, Martlet, and McGill Daily.

Saskatchewan, Canada:  The Saskatchewan Obituaries Project is digitized scrapbooks of obituary clippings.

Canada (national):  The Drouin Institute has an online collection of transcribed obituaries from throughout Canada.  The site and the obituaries are all in French.

China:  Four more Shanghai papers published by the Jewish refugee community, three in German and one in English, have been added to Internet Archive.

Ireland:  PDF's of bound volumes of the Dublin Gazette from the 1750's to around 1800 can be downloaded from the Oireachtas Library Web site.  The Connolly Association has made available The Irish Democrat and its predecessor, Irish Freedom.

Japan:  The entire run (1897–2014) of the Japan Times, an English-language newspaper, has been digitzed and is available as a paid subscription through an outside agency.  This is probably designed as an institutional subscription only, but I can't find the site, only the marketing materials.

United Kingdom:  A generous person has created two Google Custom Searches:  one for all the national British newspapers, and a second that includes 384 local, city, and regional papers.

Arkansas:  The Ashley County Ledger has an obituary index and transcriptions for 1965 to the present.  The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library has an obituary index for local newspapers from the 1820's to the present.

Connecticut:  The Ferguson Library has provided an index to obituaries appearing in seven Stamford newspapers from 1830 to the present.

Georgia:  The Digital Library of Georgia has added two new collections:  Southern Voice, an LGBT publication, for 1988–1995; and six West Georgia historic newspapers covering 1843–1942.

Hawaii:  Two student publications from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are now online:  Ka Leo o Hawaiʻi, a newspaper, for 1922–1949 and 2002–2010; and Ka Palapala, kind of a student annual, for the 1920's to the 1960's.

Idaho:  The Gooding County Historical Society has a page with downloadable Excel files with obituary indices for Gooding County from 1946–1947 and 1980–2011.

Illinois:  Illinois Wesleyan University has digitized student publications ranging from 1870 to the present.  The Illinois Digital Archives has added the Huntley Farmside for 1960–2000 and two collections relating to World War II:  The Herald (for Melrose Park and area) for 1941–1945, and clippings and index cards relating to servicemen from Park Ridge.

Indiana:  The Tell City–Perry County Public Library has an obituary index for 2010–2014.  The Torch, the Valparaiso University student newspaper, has been digitized for 1914–1992.

Iowa:  Granville and Newspaper Archive have worked together to place four Granville newspapers and a scrapbook collection online.

Louisiana:  Centenary College of Louisiana, in Shreveport, has four student publications online covering 1899 to the present, including one published in French.

Massachusetts:  If you had whalers in your family, you'll want to look at this.  The Whalemen's Shipping List and Merchants' Transcript for 1843–1914, published in New Bedford, is online courtesy of the National Maritime Digital Library.

Montana:  The Columbia Falls Columbian for 1891–1925 (I believe it is the complete run) has been digitized by Veridian.

New Jersey:  A scattering of issues of the Newark Sunday Call from 1871–1881 and 1881–1946 are available in two separate collections from Google News Archive.

Ohio:  The Cleveland Jewish News Digital Archive has added a few more historical Cleveland Jewish newspapers to its database.  The Cleveland Public Library has two indices on its site for several Cleveland newspapers, one for death notices and one for general news items.  Ohio Memory, the state digitization project, has added several newspapers to its collection.

Tennessee:  This one's a little different.  The Knox County Public Library has digitized and posted two years of the Knoxville News-Sentinel as a sample to motivate people to donate to a fundraiser to raise enough money for NewsBank to digitize the newspaper for the years 1922–1990.  The two years available are 1940 and 1982 (no idea how those years were chosen).  What I'm particularly curious about is whether the newspaper is planned to be available as a NewsBank subscription, since the library is raising the funds.

Texas:  Some death notices and news items were transcribed from two Arlington newspapers and put together as books, which have now been scanned and can be downloaded from the Arlington Public Library Web site.  The Dallas Voice, an LGBT newspaper, has been scanned for 1964 to the present and is available through the Portal to Texas History.  And Lamar University student publications from 1933 to the present have been digitized and are on the university library site.

United States (national):  Obituary Central is an index to obituaries from throughout the country.  Warning:  When you first go to the page you get an annoying pop-up ad.

It's interesting how digital partnerships work (or don't).  The Poughkeepsie Journal is online again, on its third host site.  I first found the historical Journal on  Then the license apparently expired, and it was not available for a couple of years.  Next it appeared on  When Ancestry bought Footnote's parent company, it was unable to work out a license with ProQuest, which had created the digital archive of the newspaper.  The digital Journal has been offline for several years, collecting virtual dust on a virtual back shelf somewhere at ProQuest, and even the Journal didn't have access to it.  But now and Gannett, the Journal's owner, have redigitized the newspaper, through to the present, and it's on  You can read a little more about the current situation at Dick Eastman's blog.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Did Your Parents Meet?

Maybe Randy Seaver can read minds, because I was thinking about this very question recently.  In this week's installment of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy asked readers to post about how their parents met:

1) Do you know how, when, and where your parents met?  

2)  Please tell the family story in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in your own Facebook or Google+ post.

NOTE:  You can substitute your own story about meeting your spouse, or the story about your grandparents, etc.

I did not find out how my parents met until several years after my mother had passed away.  My grandmother was in California for a visit, and we were driving to meet up with other family members.  I don't remember if I asked her or if she just started talking about it, but she told me that while the family was living in Miami, my mother and her best friend were going out to a party, and the car broke down.  My mother was worried about how they would get to the party, but her friend said, "Don't worry, my uncle is a mechanic!"  Since this was well before the age of cell phones, I don't know how they contacted him (maybe there was a pay phone nearby?), but that mechanic was my father.  In October 1961 my parents were married.

I still have a lot of details to fill in.  I don't know how long before they married that the "great car breakdown" occurred.  I know my mother's family moved to Miami sometime between 1949 and 1951.  My father and his mother were living in Sanford (near Orlando) until at least about 1953ish, when he graduated high school, but he was living in Miami before December 11, 1956, because that's when and where he married his first wife (they knew each other through roller skating).  But then they moved back to New Jersey (where they were both from originally and where my half-sister was born) for a while, and I don't know when he/they returned to Miami.  (Whoops!  I just realized that makes two more moves for my father that I did not count in his migration total from last week.  Gotta add another 2,400 miles!)  I don't even know when my mother's best friend, my father's niece, moved to Miami.  There is always more to learn!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Free Genealogy Seminar Saturday, October 17, 2015

The California State Genealogical Alliance and the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County are presenting a free genealogy seminar this Saturday, October 17, 2015.  This is a great opportunity to attend three interesting talks at no cost, hang out with other genealogists, and learn more about the Alliance.

The presentations and speakers will be:

• "Finding Wives' and Daughters' Names", by Cath Trindle

• "Mapping Our Ancestors:  They Went Where?  Why?", by Mary Anne Vincent

• "Read All about It!:  Using Online Newspapers for Genealogical Research", by yours truly

There will be a CSGA board meeting after the third presentation.  The presentations and the board meeting are free and open to the public.

The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It will take place at:
Santa Cruz Main Library
upstairs meeting room
224 Church Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

For more information, download the flyer or visit the GSSCC Web site.  I hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ancestors Who Migrated a Long Way

This challenge makes me think of a song:  "I'm a travelin' man, I've made a lot of stops all over the world . . . ."

This week for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Randy Seaver asked about our most well traveled ancestors:

1) Many of our ancestors migrated to a distant place.  Which one of your ancestors migrated the furthest?  Or the furthest in North America?  It could be in one big move, or in several smaller moves over their lifetime.  How far did they travel?  Do you know the route they took?

2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.

My immigrant ancestors came from either western Europe (including the British Isles) or eastern Europe, so whichever ancestor traveled the furthest had to be one from eastern Europe.  After looking at distances for Krustpils, Latvia; Porazava, Belarus; Kamyanyets Litovsk, Belarus; and Chisinau, Moldova from Ellis Island, the winner is Kamyanets Podilskyy, Ukraine.  (I used Google to determine all my distances.)

I know my great-great-grandfather Avigdor Gorodetsky (later Victor Gordon) was in Kamenets Podolsky.  I have a photograph of him taken there.

From Kamenets Podolsky, Avigdor moved his family to Kishinev, Russia (now Chisinau, Moldova), a distance of 224 miles.

From Kishinev, he traveled to to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to take a ship to the Goldene Medina, the United States, 1,374 miles.

The ship's journey from Rotterdam to Ellis Island was 3,637 miles.

After arriving at Ellis Island, Victor lived in Brooklyn, a mere 12 miles further, until his death.

Adding all of that up brings a total of 5,247 miles that my great-great-grandfather traveled from the first place I know he was to where he died.

My great-grandfather Joyne Gorodetsky (Joe Gordon) followed the same path to the United States, including departing Europe from Rotterdam, so his total was also 5,247 miles.

There is a possibility that Avigdor began his life in Orinin, Russia (now Orynyn, Ukraine).  Every Kishinev record I have found that mentions him indicates he was "from" Orinin.  That means his family was registered there officially, but not necessarily that he actually lived there.  If he did, I can add 10 more miles to his travels, the distance between Orinin and Kamenets Podolsky.

A very well traveled person in my database is my cousin's mother.  Just the basic information I know is that she was born in Fremantle, Western Australia; immigrated to the U.S. at some point and married in Reno, Nevada; moved to Key West, Florida, where she had two children; came back west to San Jose, California, where she had another child; and died in Redding, California.  That comes to 15,230 miles, almost three times as far as my great-grandfather traveled.

I worked out my rough mileage also.  I was born in Los Angeles, California, and moved with my family to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  When we returned to the U.S. we went to Niceville, Florida.  I moved back to Los Angeles to go to college and then moved to Oakland, where I now live.  The total for that is 20,434 miles but covers only the places I've lived, not my other travels.

My mother beat me by a few thousand.  She was born in Brooklyn, New York; moved to Miami, Florida; married and crossed the country to Los Angeles; moved to Australia and then to Niceville; and then moved to San Antonio, Texas and back to Florida.  That leaves out a few minor regional moves and still comes to 23,484 miles.  Her nickname of "the wandering Jew" was well earned.

I think my father is the champ, however.  He was born in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.  I know I've forgotten a few moves to New York and back to Jersey, but at some point the family moved to Mount Holly, New Jersey.  From there my father and his mother moved to Sanford, Florida (where he graduated high school) and then on to Miami.  Following that came the cross-country trek to Los Angeles, moving to Australia, and returning to the U.S.  From Florida he and his third wife moved to Ohio (Cleveland, I think), then San Antonio, and then back to the Niceville area.  I'm missing several regional moves, and his total is still 25,161.

I feel tired just adding it all up.



Randy Seaver used this theme again for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun on September 18, 2021.  I found the list my grandfather created of everywhere he had lived and added the miles for the years my father lived with him to my father's tavels, so he now totals 26,184 (25,161 + 1,023) and is definitely still in the lead in my family for most traveled.  I'm still not accounting for short local moves.  (Maybe I'll add them if Randy uses this theme a third time.)  Those additional locations were:

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Babylon, New York
Great Bend, New York
Sackets Harbor, New York
Watertown, New York
Bordentown, New Jersey
Columbus, New Jersey
Browns Mills, New Jersey
Mount Holly, New Jersey

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Best Genealogy Day Ever

For this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy Seaver asked people to write about their best genealogy day ever:

1) What was you very "Best Genealogy Day Ever?"  It might be the day you solved a thorny research problem, or spent the day at a repository and came away with more records than you could imagine, or the day you met a cousin or visited an ancestral home.

2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.  Be sure to drop a comment to this post if you write your own blog post and link to it.

I agree with Randy, it's hard to pick only one day, especially since I've been researching for 40 years.  What was probably the very best day combined talking to a relative for the first time with solving a difficult research problem.  I learned that my great-great-grandmother's name was not Moore, as I had been led to believe when I started researching my family history, and that led to a lot more information.  But I actually wrote about that last year!

Rather than write about the same story, I thought about what might be my second-best genealogy day ever.  There were still a lot of contenders, but I decided on when I was contacted by a cousin I had never heard of, which led to meeting a whole new branch of my family.

My mother's family is Jewish, and to help try to make contact with possible cousins, I have posted all of the surnames in my family on in the Family Finder database.  Every now and then I get a nibble, but rarely anything significant.

Then one day I received a message from a woman who thought she might be related to me on my Meckler line, because both of our families came from Kamenets Litovsk, Russia (now Kamyenyets, Belarus).  We went back and forth a few times with "Do you recognize this name?" before we discovered that we both had the same woman with an extremely unusual married name, then living in Israel, in our trees.  We figured the odds were in our favor at that point and that we had to be cousins.  And then she invited me to her 50th wedding anniversary in Winnipeg!

So off I went to Winnipeg that summer, and I think I met about a hundred cousins.  One of the cousins, who was actually born in Kamenets Litovsk, sat down with me and we figured out the most likely place where the connection between our two branches comes in the family tree.  I was particularly impressed when she was able to go back and forth between the Hebrew, Yiddish, and English sections of the yizkor book for Kamenets Litovsk and read all the information about family members that was there.

After I updated all of my information in Family Tree Maker, I shared the new version of the family tree with many of the cousins I had met.  I'm still in touch with most of them even now, eight years later.

Something that made this discovery very special is that the province Kamenets Litovsk was in, Grodno, has very few archival records remaining for the Jewish community (the Nazis were particularly thorough in that area in destroying historical records), so I had never expected to be able to find relatives on that side of my family.  To not only meet family members, but also to learn about earlier generations of my family, was a wonderful gift.  And all of it started with that first message.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Free e-Book about Black Patriots and Loyalists

The University of Chicago Press allows free download of one e-book each month.  October's book is Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence, the story of slaves who fought with the rebellion and expected freedom, and those who fought with the British for freedom as a promised reward.

The download is available in several formats.  I don't think it's required to sign up on the UC Press e-mail list to download the book.  I've been on the e-mail list for quite a while and just don't remember.  Even if it is, it'll be worthwhile to get the book, and then you can unsubscribe.