75 Best Genealogy Websites For The US

Family Tree Magazine has published their 2014 list of the 75 best genealogy
websites for the US.     And there’s at least one website per state.
The 75 websites include historical societies, archives, newspapers,
military and other documents. Many sites free.

You can access the article (and the links) to the 75 sites at:

Original url:

La Shana Tova!

  La Shana Tova!
 A new year is about to begin. In the spirit of renewal, the Southern Arizona Jewish Genealogy Society extends an invitation to everyone  to attend our next meeting at the JCC on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, at 1:00 PM and reconnect with their family history.  

Please comment to this post prior to the meeting to let us know whether or not you are able to attend. We hope to see you at future meetings.  If you’ve been working on your own for a while and have questions, maybe it is time to rejoin SAJGS to get some answers.  Our members have expertise in various areas of genealogy research and would be more than happy to help you.  

If you have friends who are also interested in their family history and genealogy, please tell them about SAJGS and bring them along to our meetings so that they can share their stories and interests.
With all good wishes for a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year!
Best regards,
Southern Arizona Jewish Genealogy Society

A panel discussion: One Century Later: Surprising Ways World War l Continues to Shape Our World, Our Culture and Our Lives.

The following is from the JewishGen mailing list:

July 28, 2014 is the centennial of the beginning of World War I (the US did not enter the war until April 6, 1916). The (US) National Archives, US World War One Centennial Commission and the National WWI Museum in Kansas City, Missouri are sponsoring a panel discussion: One Century Later: Surprising Ways World War l Continues to Shape Our World, Our Culture and Our Lives.
The centennial of WWI is a theme of the IAJGS 34th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy July 270-August 1, 2014 (http://conference.iajgs.org/2014/)

The time and location: July 27, 2014 11: 0 0 am CDT
4:00 pm UTC/GMT
The National World War I Museum
100 W 26 Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108

You can also watch it live: www.theworldwar.org or www.worldwar1centennial.org

To read the promotional flyer and see who is on the panel and more see: http://worldwar-1centennial.org/pdf/WW1_PromoFlyer_v2_27Jul2014.pdf

To read more about the US World War I Centennial see: http://worldwar-1centennial.org/

To read more about the National WWI Museum see: https://theworldwar.org/

Jan Meisels Allen Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is offering a free webinar on “Records Found”

The following information is from the JewishGen mailing list:

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is offering a free webinar on “Records Found” on July 24, 2014 at 1:00PM EDT. The focus of the webinar is about women who lost citizenship through marriage, naturalization and repatriation between 1922-1956.

In 1907, the Expatriation Act mandated that all women acquired their husband’s nationality upon marriage – and between 1907 and 1922 many women lost their US citizenship by marrying non-US citizens. This webinar examines citizenship records documenting the resumption of US citizenship by these women through the naturalization under the 1922 Married Women’s Act and through an expedited repatriation program that started in 1936.

To attend the webinar go to:


Original url:


This webinar will also be held on Thursday, September 25, 2014 1:00 PM.

Jan Meisels Allen Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

“I Remember Jewish Drohobycz” with David Einsiedler

Longtime member Barbara Mannlein sent this to me. I’ve viewed it and it’s well worth the 17 minutes or so it takes to see it. Barbara has a personal connection to the David Einsiedler.


I met David Einsiedler in the 1980’s while doing research in DC. He spoke many languages, he was brilliant…..and very helpful.

Gesher Galicia has uploaded a new short video to our site:

"I Remember Jewish Drohobycz" with David Einsiedler


In this portrait of the vanished world of Eastern European Jewry, the
late David Einsiedler, born in Drohobycz in 1919, recounts the heart
and soul of shtetl life between the two World Wars. Through personal
reminiscences he leads us through the streets and into the homes 
and schools of his Galician town. David describes moving to Lvov, 
then to the university in Pisa, Italy, and on to America in the late 
1930s as the threat of war looms over his beloved home and the 
lives of his loved ones.

David attended the King Wladyslaw Jagiello Gymnasium in Drohobycz. 
The artist, poet and author Bruno Schulz (1892-1942) was one of his
teachers. The video page also has photos of David's family, the 1934
school photo of his gymnasium classmates (and another photo with
handwritten names) as well as a pencil drawing Schulz made of David's
fiance, Stella Batischan. There is also a link to an article by David that 
more fully describes life in Galicia.

This video was shot in 2005 and shown at the Las Vegas IAJGS
conference, but it has never been online until now. Many genealogists
were the beneficiaries of David's research talents over the years when
communication was only done by phone calls and snail mail. His 
memory is a blessing to all of us.

Pamela Weisberger
Gesher Galicia


AncestryDNA Sale $49

Here’s the scoop and how it worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

I logged into Ancestry and from the home page clicked on Explore AncestryDNA. That took me to a page that showed the $49 price. I clicked on the Get AncestryDNA button and filled out the form. When I clicked on review your order I noticed a button for coupons. I typed in socialdna and got another discount to bring my total price with standard shipping to $46.70.

It took a couple of tries and logging out and back in again. Try clearing your web browser cache.  Good Luck!

Ancestry Gave Me An Extra Month At Renewal

Many of you may subscribe to Ancestry.com. With a little effort you may be able to score a deal.

This was my experience, your mileage may vary.

My annual world subscription to Ancestry was due to expire July 7, 2014. On July 4, I called them to ask about renewing and applying the AARP discount. They said in order to do that they would have to cancel my subscription and then apply the discount to a new annual subscription. The downside was that I would loose three days off the subscription I had paid for last year. Given the week or so that Ancestry was unusable due to the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, I felt that loosing another 3 days was unacceptable. The customer service agent said to call back on the day my annual subscription expired and ask for the AARP discount then.

So, here it is July 7 and I called to renew. A different customer service agent told me if I renew for a semi-annual subscription I can get an extra month free and I could take advantage of the 30% AARP discount. She went on to confirm that it would auto renew in 7 months with the same AARP discount applied for 6 months giving me 13 months for a total of $208.

My suggestion to you is to call Ancestry 800-262-3787 and ask about the AARP discount and then ask if there are any other specials you can take advantage of.

Upcoming Genealogy Events

Although there’s not a Jewish connection here I strongly believe many of us could learn a few more things about research and genealogy in general.

Family Tree Maker: Notes
Thursday, June 12th at 1:00 pm (Eastern)/10:00 am (Pacific)

Person notes. Research notes. Fact notes. Source notes. There are a lot of places to keep notes in Family Tree Maker. Join Crista Cowan for a look at the different note features in FTM and a look at how she keeps her own notes to help guide her family history research.

Free Records Available on Ancestry.com
Tuesday, June 17th at 1:00 pm (Eastern)/10:00 am (Pacific)

Did you know that there are hundreds of free databases available on Ancestry.com. Join Crista Cowan for a look at the records available to you even without a current subscription. She’ll show you how to access them, how to search them, and how to attach them to your tree. She’ll also share some tips for making note of what you want to search the next time you renew your subscription.

AncestryDNA:  The Search for Biological Family
Thursday, June 19th at 1:00 pm (Eastern)/10:00 am (Pacific)

Many of you have taken the AncestryDNA test for the sole purpose of discovering more about your biological family. Some of you have been contacted by cousin matches who are hoping you can help them in their search. Join Crista Cowan to learn some of the tips and tricks for working with your AncestryDNA results and connecting with your DNA cousins to narrow in on those biological ancestors.

Double Dating:  Julian Calendar or Gregorian Calendar
Tuesday, June 24th at 1:00 pm (Eastern)/10:00 am (Pacific)

You may have seen the double dates recorded in some family trees – a birth date listed as 1743/1744. But, do you know WHY it is recorded that way? Join Crista Cowan for a look at the switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar and how that affects your family history research.

Genealogical Proof Standard:  An Introduction
Thursday, June 26th at 1:00 pm (Eastern)/10:00 am (Pacific)

Ready to take your genealogy skills to the next level? “Proof is a fundamental concept in genealogy. In order to merit confidence, each conclusion about an ancestor must have sufficient credibility to be accepted as “proved.” Acceptable conclusions, therefore, meet the Genealogical Proof Standard.” (Board for Certification of Genealogists) Join Crista Cowan for an introduction to the Genealogical Proof Standard.

Click here to RSVP for any of the above webinars.  Watch each webinar live via Livestream here.  If you can’t watch live RSVP anyway to receive reminders via Facebook prior to each event and a notice when they have been archived on YouTube.

Ancestry Retires Some Services Effective Sept 5, 2014

On June 4, 2014, Eric Shoup posted on Ancestry.com that MyFamily, MyCanvas, LegacyDNA and Mundia-English would all be retired effective Sept 5, 2014. Genealogy.com will continue but in a slightly different form.

Click on the links below to get more information.





Mundia – English


Jamboree Live Streamed Sessions

I viewed 2 sessions. On Friday I viewed the Blaine Bettinger PhD, JD – DNA & Genealogical Proof Standard.

The streaming was perfect, no issues with video or sound. DNA and Genealogical Proof Standard are two subjects I know very little about. After viewing this session I still know very little about them. That’s not to say the presentation was not worthwhile. I was determined to pick up at least a couple of tidbits that I could tuck away for future use. I learned a little about the various DNA tests and which one I should probably do if I ever decide to have myself tested. I also learned that my paternal line in my immediate family has “daughter-ed out”. My two children are girls and my late brother had a girl. The DNA that is only passed on from father to son has stopped with me, same for my brother.

I’ve heard about the Genealogical Proof Standard but didn’t know much about it. Books have been written about it but here from the FamilySearch.org website is a very concise description without much explanation.

The purpose of the Genealogical Proof Standard*is to show what the minimums are that a genealogist must do for his or her work to be credible.

There are five elements to the Genealogical Proof Standard:

  1. A reasonably exhaustive search has been conducted.
  2. Each statement of fact has a complete and accurate source citation.
  3. The evidence is reliable, and has been skillfully correlated and interpreted.
  4. Any contradictory evidence has been resolved.
  5. The conclusion has been soundly reasoned.

Any proof statement is subject to re-evaluation when new evidence arises.

*The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Orem, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 2000), 1-2, and Thomas W. Jones, “Proved?: Five Ways to Prove Who Your Ancestor Was” (printed handout for a lecture presented to library staff, 23 October 2003, Family History Library, Salt Lake City), 1.

The gist of presentation was that DNA can sometimes be used in conjunction with a “reasonably exhaustive search”, to come to a “soundly reasoned conclusion”.

On Saturday I viewed F. Warren Bittner, CG – Elusive Immigrant!

My internet connection must have been spotty because the sound and video cut out every couple of seconds. His presentation left me flat. It seemed to concentrate mostly on locating church records and doing so by on site visits to Europe. He used a particular family as an example and showed how various records differentiated in given and surnames and how he inferred that he was in fact gathering the correct information. After 45 minutes I threw in the towel, the spotty audio and video was too much to handle.

The bottom line is that these were only two of 14 free live streamed sessions. It was certainly better than traveling to Southern California. I will seriously consider paying for live streamed access to the IAJGS conference in Salt Lake City later on this summer.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 48 other followers

%d bloggers like this: