Sunday, February 16, 2020

How Quickly the Holocaust Happened

My mother's parents were born in America, so I didn't hear about the Holocaust like I did from my father's parents, who both had survived the war in Poland (now Ukraine).  But my mother's parents had many relatives who had remained in Europe and who were Jews swept into World War II.  Until the war happened, they were living their everyday lives.  But this is a story of how quickly their lives changed--and ended.
From the Pesti Hírlap, February 1, 1944

Sunday, February 9, 2020

David Rutner's Land, Taken by the Government

My great-great-great-great grandfather was Dovid Rutner.  I knew that he owned some land as of 1865, per a cadastral map.  But it looks like he owned land in 1857 as well, but that land was taken by the government via a Hungarian version of eminent domain.
Budapesti Hírlap, January 28, 1857

Monday, February 3, 2020

Get a GRIP on Jewish Genealogy

This summer, I'm co-teaching a week-long intensive course on Jewish Genealogy, along with Emily Garber, Janette Silverman, and Marian Smith at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.  Where else would you want to spend the week of July 19 but in beautiful Pittsburgh!  Registration opens this Wednesday, with limited seats.

So what would you learn in this course?

Sunday, February 2, 2020

My Patriotic 4th Great Grandfather (and an incredible site for Hungarian historical research)

My 4th great grandfather was David Rutner of Kolodne (then Darva). I've now learned that he was a patriotic Hungarian--via a really cool site.
Donations to the Patriotic Cause (Hungarian War of Independence), including David Rutner

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Movement Between Austro-Hungarian Towns

Last week, I gave examples of how some Russian Empire families moved quite frequently, calling into the question the idea of an “ancestral town” in many cases.  This isn’t only the case in the Russian Empire; I’ve been indexing many records from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (currently Subcarpathian Ukraine), and I see quite a bit of movement there as well.
Birthplaces of parents of Jewish children born in Beregszasz 1897-1898, zoomed in (Beregszasz in red)


Sunday, January 12, 2020

RootsTech2020 for Jewish Genealogists

It's almost that time of year--RootsTech is coming!  And while Utah isn't the first place one would think of for Jewish genealogy, there's so much that RootsTech offers the Jewish genealogist.

(Note:  If you're coming or thinking about coming, keep reading to learn about a dinner for Jewish genealogists.)
Just a small part of the HUGE exhibit hall at RootsTech

Movement Between Russian Empire Towns

Many people assume that Jews in the Russian Empire lived in the same village for generations.  While sometimes that was the case, often it wasn't.  As an example, we can look at my own Zubkis family to see their movement, generation by generation.  And this is only what I've found so far!  (I'll be posting something similar for Hungarian Jews, so stay tuned!)
Places Within Modern-Day Ukraine Zubkis Descendants Lived

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Visualizing the Holocaust's Impact

My great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Avraham Rutner, had a lot of descendants.  I've used the incredibly useful and easy-to-use tool at http://learnforeverlearn.com/ancestors/ to visualize his family, as I've reconstructed it so far.  And what is incredibly visible--and emotionally difficult to see--is how the Holocaust decimated this extended family.
Descendants of Avraham Rutner, per http://learnforeverlearn.com/ancestors/