The United Kingdom SIG meeting was held this morning and was attended by about 25 people. Jackye Sullins of the British-Jewry website and list gave a presentation on the site, taking us through the very useful resources on the site and the way that the mailing list works. The website for British-Jewry is www.british-jewry.org.uk/. I then gave a run through of the JGSGB website and the Jewish Communities and Records UK site. The benefits of using the useful links page on the JGSGB website under the Resources section was explained www.jgsgb.org.uk/useful-links-and-information-sources. Here is where we list most of the useful websites for exploring Jewish family history in the UK and elsewhere. I would recommend it is a first stop for researchers. The JCR-UK site was demonstrated, in particular the value of using the community pages to see what information and histories exist for each place that Jews live in or had lived in in the past. There are hundreds of towns listed and many contain articles about the community and links to further information. The meeting went well and we answered many questions.
Yesterday I reported that I would be going to a talk by Jeanette Rosenberg on Tracing European Immigrant Jews in Official Records. Not to be biased, because Jeanette is my wife, but it was a really good whistle-stop tour of most resources available for the doing genealogy in the UK. The feedback from some of the 50+ people at the talk was really positive and again lots of questions were asked.
After lunch I had the pleasure of being the Master of Ceremony for the IAJGS Live! streaming of the talk by Howard Margol on Lithuanian records. Howard is the doyen of Lithuanian research and talked through developments in transcription and acquisition of new records. The main message was that there are still many, many thousands of records to transcribe and also to find. The archives in Lithuania don’t know the content of all of there holdings so much of the work involves going through boxes and boxes of records to try and find useful ones for Jewish research.
We attended the JewishGen presentation at the end of the day. Here we were treated to an update on JewishGen and also to the airing of a video about JewishGen. I was most surprised to see a photograph of myself in the video, which had been taken in the hotel sports bar in Washington DC. Fame at last!
After all of the meetings and talks it became time for that most important activity at any of these conferences….schmoozing with other genealogists and having a really good time and a laugh.
Tiredness is kicking in now but have to get on. Will post again tomorrow if I’m not asleep all day!