Sunday, August 4, 2013

IAJGS2013 Conference - Day 1

I'm currently up in Boston at the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy.  (Note to bad people: no, my house is not empty, so don't bother.)  As the conference progresses, you'll be able to see my entire summary, day by day, here.
I arrived in Boston early this morning and went straight to the conference hotel, which is just across from Boston Public Gardens, a perfect place for lunch:

I then walked around the vendor area, which was an eclectic mix of DNA-testing companies, book sales, judaica, and online genealogy site organizations.
Then I attended a very interesting talk by Hal Bookbinder which talked about how the borders of Europe changed. His main point was that it is crucial to understand how and when towns changed hands, as it can help you understand where people may have migrated, where records for each town might be found, and what your ancestors experienced. He used his family's town of Dubno to illustrate this, which was great because it is very nearby my paternal family's Volhynia origins which changed hands along with Dubno.

Then I went to the SHARE Fair. Many different regions' research areas had tables and information on their groups. I sat at the NextGen table for a while. There were lots of older people who came up as said how great it was that this group existed. The best was the guy who said he qualified for a group for 20s, 30s, and 40s because he was born in the 30s.

I also had a slot with a Russian/Ukrainian translator who helped me finally figure out what it was that my great-great-great grandfather Shimon Tolchinsky did for a living--he was a property manager on a large estate owned by the Polonsky family in Losinovka, just outside Nezhin. I was also able to tell the translator where she could find records for her family's town as I had seen it on some of the Nezhin microfilms--she had no idea. I'll be translating on Wednesday to help people with Hebrew documents.

I met tons of people that I've met virtually before now--people whose blogs I've read, people with family from the same towns as my family, and just random people from the world of Jewish genealogy.

I'm at dinner in Rami's in Brookline now. Yum.

Tonight I'll head to the keynote speech, then to a NextGen get-together. And then I'll need to crash because I start again tomorrow at 7am,

The best quote of the day was a pickup line that some guy tried on me: "Want to have lunch with me and explore if we should merge family trees?"


  1. that cracks me up:

    "The best was the guy who said he qualified for a group for 20s, 30s, and 40s because he was born in the 30"

    very funny!

    love the pictures. and that food looks amazing. genealogy+food is never a bad thing!


  2. Now everyone will wonder who the guy was with the great genealogical "pick-up" line! You didn't say how you handled it! LOL!