Thursday, August 11, 2016

IAJGS2016, Day 5

I'll be blogging all week--you'll be able to see all my posts on IAJGS2016 here.

I started off super-early with a bloggers' breakfast.

Then, off to the Chernigov Guberniya BOF, which is the area which includes Nezhin.  The group is going to start a project to transcribe the Chernigov Guberniya records that have been filmed by FamilySearch.

And then I went to hear Vivian Kahn talk about "Hungarian for Family Researchers."
Vivian Kahn teaching basic Hungarian

Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric branch of Uralic languages.  It is most closely related to the Siberian languages of Ostyak (Khanty) and Vogul (Mansi).  There are about 14 million native Hungarian speakers today.  In addition, many Hungarian Jews spoke Hungarian--not Yiddish.

Understanding the basics can help extract relevant information from records and also help with searching Hungarian websites.

The Hungarian alphabet has more letter than English, because some letter combinations are treated as if they are letters, including cs, gy, sz, and zs.  The letters q, w and x only appear in words adapted from other languages.  There are also letters with diacritical marks that are pronounced differently.  Changing marks changes the meaning.

Stress is almost always on the first syllable.  And word stems/roots make up the core vocabulary (which is like Hebrew, so that makes sense to me).  Suffixes are used to make plurals but also to express subject, object and tense as well as posession.

There are 14 vowels in Hungarian, categorized as "back vowels" and "front vowels," which talks about the part of your mouth used to vocalize them.  "Vowel harmony" determines suffix form.

Dates could be written in various ways--completely written out, separated by periods (with Roman numerals representing months), and years may be entirely written out as well.
I got to add a new ribbon.  And responsibility.

After that, things got a bit interesting.  I went to the Sub-Carpathian SIG meeting--where I was introduced as the new SIG Coordinator.  I want to get records for other researchers from the area similar to what I've gotten for my own family.  If you're interested in the area and aren't yet getting the Sub-Carpathian listserv, sign up--I'll be sending out plans shortly.

Then I went to a tech-focused lunch.  The low-tech tomato-basil-mozzarella sandwich was yummy.

Next up, I introduced Mindie Kaplan and then listened to her talk which was about how you can get relatives to say yes.  She explained that you can get a better idea, based on oral history, of where to start looking.  You can also get help to identify mystery photographs. She gave many examples from her own research where various strategies worked to put together puzzle pieces and get additional information.
Mindie Kaplan

Mindie talked about using social media like Facebook to try to find living relatives who may have good information.

She also talked about the initial approach.  Don't ask about maiden names (as people may feel you're trying to steal their identity).  If you have photos from their line, send it to them.  That is something that should be meaningful to them and also gives you some credibility.

She stressed the importance of keeping consistent email addresses so you can be reachable.

Photos you get from people can help to tell stories about people and shed light on the relationships between various family members.

She discussed how DNA can be used to prove (or maybe disprove) a potential connection--and can encourage someone to isn't sure of the relationship that there actually is one.

Then I sat at the Gift of Life table for a little bit.  They're working to get more people into the bone marrow transplant database.  If you're at the conference, between the ages of 18 & 61, they'll be around Friday as well--come get your cheek swabbed!
At IAJGS?  Come swab!

And that's about it!  I'm flying home tonight, so back to reality and your semi-regularly scheduled blog postings!

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Follow me (@larasgenealogy).

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  1. I don't think you're wearing enough "hats" Lara!

  2. Lara, thank you for all the days reports. I enjoyed reading each day! Have a safe and fruitful trip to Hungary.

    1. Thanks! I'm actually going to Ukraine--but it used to be Hungary. Too many border changes to keep track of. :)

  3. Lara,

    I look forward to hearing of your trip to Ukraine. LOTS of good pointers & insights will be most welcome, as I hope to travel there next year! Safe journey . . .