A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Lithuania

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain has recently revised and reprinted its publication “A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Lithuania” and this is now available for purchase through the JGSGB website.  To order a copy of this up to date guide to researching family in Lithuania simply go to: http://www.jgsgb.org.uk/catalog/shop and add the Guide to your shopping basket.

The author of the Guide is Sam Aaron, a long-standing JGSGB member and a leading light in Lithuanian Jewish Genealogy.  Sam will be speaking about Lithuanian research at the JGSGB London conference on 30 October.

The Lithuanian Guide provides clear information about how records were organised and what levels of government the records were collected at and where they can now be found.  There are details of the way various first and last names worked in Lithuania, which is an invaluable piece of information when trying to reconcile the names that people used in different situations – in Hebrew, in official records, as nicknames and so on.

So if you have Lithuanian ancestors this is a must to have.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

Benefits of JGSGB Membership – Part 4

In Part 3 of Benefits of Membership, I mentioned that one of these was Members Corner on our website. Under this, there are two items. The second of these isDetails of the various Special Interest Groups (SIG) Details of the Regional Groups (RG)”.  Meetings of these groups are free to members of JGSGB but a charge will be made to non members which will be offset against any future subscription to the Society.

Starting first with the SIG’s, there are four groups:

Anglo-Jewry SIG – If your interests lie in Anglo-Jewry this Special Interest Group is for you.  Our very enthusiastic members meet three or four times a year, under the chairmanship of Doreen Berger, to discuss their individual researches and to both receive and impart adviAnglo-Jewry SIG ce. The meetings are friendly and informal and it is usual for one of our members to give a short presentation on the progress of their own research.  You will be able to socialise with other members over tea and biscuits and the Library is opened at the end of the meeting.  Beginners are particularly welcome.

German SIG – Are you researching German-speaking ancestors? Would you like to start, but don’t know where to begin or have you reached a ‘brick wall’ or just want to share information? Novices, intermediate and experienced researchers are all welcome at the German Special Interest Group. Our coverage includes other German-speaking areas such as Austria, parts of Switzerland, Alsace, Lorraine, Bohemia and Moravia.
The Group meets quarterly, under the chairmanship of Jeanette Rosenberg, it has over 100 members with a core group of about 20 who attend meetings regularly.

Dutch & Sephardi SIG – Under the Chairmanship of Raymond Montanjes it was decided to combine the Dutch SIG with the Society’s dormant Sephardi group. As there is only a small Dutch Sephardi interest within the JGS – the majority of the Dutch researchers being Dutch Ashkenazim – the Sephardim were not being catered for at all. 3-4 meetings per annum are held. The ever welcome and very helpful ” ’round the table ” session, follow the talks. This is where we offer our researched names, dates and stories – plus any new research tools and general genealogical know how that is of use to all. Attendees provide their names, contact addresses, and general “wants”. A list is produced for each member. Cousins  – some sitting in the same room – have found each other.

Eastern European SIG -  Under the Chairmanship of Raymond Montanjes This has developed in a similar way to the Dutch & Sephardi group. The only difference is that it splits into 3 main groups. Polish, Lithuania/Estonian Litvak – where the South Africans are catered for  – and Romanian. There is always someone from the membership in attendance, to help out with other smaller Eastern European region researches, such as the Ukraine and other Baltic regions.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

Benefits of JGSGB Membership – Part 3

In Part 2 of Benefits of Membership, one of the items was Members Corner. Under this there are two items. The first of these isDatabases & Browsable Lists”.

These pages are for the exclusive use of members of the Society and are updated on a continuous basis

They contain many searchable databases including

  • West London Synagogue Birth Register 1 (1842-1905)
  • Central Foundation Girls School
  • Congregation of Jacob Synagogue
  • Jews’ Hospital
  • Death & Stone Setting Announcements from the Jewish Chronicle 1993-2004
  • Rabbi Rabinowitz Memorial Publication Fund
  • US Seatholders Lists
  • Boer War – 1899-1902
  • Society of Hebrew Literature 

and browsable lists including

  • 1933 United Synagogue Seatholders List
  • Palace Gardens / Kensington Palace Gardens. Jewish inhabitants from the 1881/1891/1901/1911 Census
  • Fitzjohns Avenue (Hampstead). Jewish inhabitants from the 1881/1891/1901/1911 Census
  • Bevis Marks (St Katherine Cree & All Hallow on the Wall) Middlesex/London E. Jewish Inhabitants from the 1851/1871/1881/1891 Census
  • Black Lion Yard (Whitechapel) London E. Jewish Inhabitants from the 1901 and 1911 Census
  • Albert Square (Ratcliff) London E. Jewish Inhabitants from the 1901 and 1911 Census
  • Jewish Branch of the Children’s Country Holidays Fund (1921)
  • Tottenham Synagogue Marriage Registers
  • List of Early Jewish Clock and Watchmakers
  • Report of the Jewish Lads Brigade 1900-1901
  • The Jewish Regiment Committee Subscriptions
  • Jewish Board of Guardians’ Book of Remembrance
  • Jewish officers in the Navy, Army and Territorial Forces, 1912
  • Brothers Who Died in Service in the British and Commonwealth Forces in the Second World War
  • List of additions to Roll of Honour in the British Jewry Book of Honour
  • 1888 Liverpool Subscription list
  • Jewish Board of Guardians’ Book of Remembrance

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

Benefits of JGSGB Membership – Part 2

Continuing our look at the benefits of membership

  • Members Corner’ on our website (for Members only)
    • Databases & Browsable Lists  (a variety of Members only databases and searchable lists)
    • Details of the various Special Interest Groups (SIG) Details of the Regional Groups (RG)
  • Shemot Our award winning journal published 3/4 times a year. Shemot contains a variety of articles of interest to genealogists, book reviews, abstracts of overseas genealogical articles, practical research tips and useful addresses
  • Newsletter (published quarterly) giving news about the Society, forthcoming events, international genealogical affairs, computer activities, library notes, and members’ letters and queries
  • Members monthly meetings (where we have specialist speakers, demonstrations or members talking about their projects/research)
  • Access to our panel of experts 
  • Participation in our Online Discussion Group called jgsgb-discuss
  • Family History workshops
  • Training courses in genealogy, and using computers and the Internet for genealogical research
  • An annual all day seminar
  • Mentoring/Buddy system 
  • Genealogical Enquiries Officer

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

Benefits of JGSGB Membership – Part 1

Well. if we don’t tell you all about the benefits of being a member of the JGSGB, then who will? So, here we go:

Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings Anglo-Jewish, Sephardi § Dutch, German, Latvia Lithuania Poland/Galicia/Ukraine

Regional Group (RG) Meetings Chilterns Group, South East London, South West London, East of London and Essex, Leeds, Manchester, Midland Group

Use of the Library which contains:

Several hundred reference books:

Computers and a selection of genealogical CD-ROMs and other genealogical databases – IT helpers on hand to assist

Maps and leaflets

Microfilms and microfiches (including copies of many of the major Anglo-Jewish genealogy collections)

Research papers: Journals from other Genealogical Societies around the world

One of the largest collections of Yizkor (Memorial) books in the UK

Family trees – indexed by principal surnames

To be continued

Washington Minus 8 Days

Well for my first post on the new JGSGB Blog – Jewish Ancestors? – I am starting a countdown
to attending the 31st IAJGS Conference in Washington DC.  For those of you who don’t know,
the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies runs a major genealogy conference
every year.  The conferences are mainly held in the USA but have also been held in countries
such as Canada, Israel and the UK (last time in 2001) and next year in France (Paris).
These conferences are really exciting to be at, as you can discover so much about Jewish genealogy
in one spot and also meet and make friends with hundreds of other genealogists.  I have been to
two other conferences in the States and they taught me an awful lot, including take a jumper with
you as the hotel air-conditioning can be fiercely cold!

Jeanette Rosenberg, who is my wife, and I have been preparing for the conference for several months
and we are only just over a week away from the conference official start date.  There are now
all the last minute things to do, including preparing a presentation for the UK Special Interest
Group meeting on Tuesday 16 August.  We also have to get together all the material we are taking
with us, such as copies of JGSGB Guides, Shemot, Newsletters, flyers for events and lots of other
stuff.  Maybe we might even be able to get some clothes in our suitcases as well!  There will be
other JGSGB Members attending the conference and they will also be taking material to the conference.

We will have a special UK-SIG logo on sticky labels to help people identify fellow UK researchers.
These have been prepared and will travel with us.

So, now to get on with the final preparations.

Mark Nicholls
Chairman JGSGB

A New Dawn

Welcome to this the first blog of the Jewish Genealogical Society of
Great Britain.

We hope that you will enjoy it’s content and that you will will contiue to read future
postings.

As the blog title suggests, it’s all about your Jewish Ancestors from the UK and
how to trace them.

Many people  living in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, USA as
well as many other parts of the World have Jewish Ancestors who originated in Great Britain.

The Society is in a unique position to point people, trying to trace Jewish Ancestors
from Great Britain, to the relevant records, many of which are available on the Society’s website.

Over the coming months we will highlight resources available and how to access them.

Tony Benson – Editor