Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Very Grateful Thank You

As we prepare to welcome the new year, it seems an appropriate time to thank all those in the genealogy world with whom I have worked during the past year.  My world has been enriched because of them.  First I would like to thank those societies that hosted me as a speaker during the year.  I am proud that they chose me to be part of their educational programs.

Genealogical Forum of Oregon
Sweet Home Genealogical Society
Oregon Genealogical Society
Ohio Genealogical Society
International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies
Jewish Genealogical Society of Cleveland
Klamath Basin Genealogical Society
Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon
Milwaukie Family History Center
Sacramento Public Library
Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society
Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando

Another big thank you goes to those societies with which I am involved on a regular basis as a volunteer.  I serve on the boards of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon, and I am the coordinator of the African American Special Interest Group (AA SIG) at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon (GFO).  I am so happy to spend time with other individuals who are interested in the vitality of today's genealogical societies and work hard to keep them alive and thriving.

A special thank you goes out to Harold Hinds, another volunteer at GFO, who provides tremendous help and support for me with the AA SIG.  Without his advice and guidance, the group would not be in as good shape as it is.

I was fortunate enough this past year to connect with cousins I did not know previously.  I am especially grateful to them for their willingness to share family information and photos, which has helped my research into our shared families.

And since this is a blog, some of my most heartfelt thanks go to my readers.  I appreciate every comment that is sent to me and that you find my writing a worthwhile expenditure of your time.

I have learned something from everyone this past year.  I look forward to another year of learning and enjoying this obsessive hobby we all enjoy.

Happy new year!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Did Genea-Santa Bring You and Your Family?

I'm running a little late this week, but I did get a great present from Genea-Santa, so I wanted to chime in for Randy Seaver's post-Christmas Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along; cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!):

(1) What genea-gift did Genea-Santa bring you and/or your family this Christmas season?

(2) Tell us in a comment to this blog post, in your own blog post, or in a Facebook post, and be sure to leave a link to your post.

So I had two gifts from Genea-Santa this Christmas.  The first was actually on Christmas Day, when I spent the day with three of my grandchildren.  That's a wonderful gift at any time, but it's particularly enjoyable during the holidays.

The second gift was very unexpected and came a couple of days later.  For more than 20 years I have been searching for the arrival into the United States of my great-great-grandmother Ruchel Dwoire (Jaffe) Brainin and her three youngest children.  I will be posting more about my discovery soon, because it's a long, convoluted story, but I finally have found them!  Not only that, the oldest daughter in the family was traveling with them, probably to help her mother manage the younger children.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Tell Us Your Best Christmas Memory

We're getting close to Christmas, so it isn't surprising that Randy Seaver is focusing on the holiday for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge:

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along; cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!):

(1) Many of us grew up believing in Santa Claus as children, having a Christmas tree, going to church, and visiting relatives and friends at Christmas time.

(2) Tell us your "best" Christmas memory:  What Christmas holiday event is still vivid and real in your mind?

(3) Share it in a blog post of your own or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a comment here so we can all read about your memory.

I hope this doesn't make me sound like a Scrooge, but I had serious trouble remembering anything specific about Christmas.  I know we celebrated it when I was a child (and my mother jokingly called the Christmas tree a "Chanukah bush"), and I used to believe in Santa Claus, but I couldn't come up with any special presents, any Christmas visitors, nothin'.  My mother's family is Jewish, so they weren't doing anything with us for Christmas, and my father wasn't close to his family.  Neither of my parents was observant about religion.

The memory I was finally able to come up with was, of all things, going to Midnight Mass with my mother while I still lived in Niceville, Florida.  Even though my mother was Jewish, she had a lifelong fascination with Catholicism.  I don't know if Niceville even had a synagogue (somehow I doubt it, and it doesn't seem to now), but it definitely had at least one Catholic church (it appears to have two currently).  I think two years in a row my mother and I attended Midnight Mass.  I remember being impressed with all the pomp and ritual, but I don't recall any details.  I also remember my mother being very happy that she was able to find someone to go with, and I guess that's the most important part.