Sunday, February 5, 2023

Tips to Find Relatives on JewishGen

JewishGen is an incredible collection of resources, especially the databases containing millions of indexed records--which has thousands of new records being added each month.  But both because of how JewishGen's search engine works as well as how records are being indexed from (mostly) Eastern European languages to English, you may not be finding indexed records that are there and you would want to find.  This post will discuss some different techniques that could help you find these records.  And if you have additional techniques, please add them in the comments to help other readers!

JewishGen's Search Interface

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Records, Not Revenue: We Need Your Help

The USCIS Genealogy Program holds many historical records, including US immigrant A-Files and C-Files.  These can be a treasure trove of information for genealogists, sometimes including original birth certificates, photos, and more.  (To get an idea of the types of information you can get, you can see what I received for my grandfather here and here, as well as my grandmother here and here.)

The program has always been slow to respond (it took 16 months to get my grandmother's A-File, and that was with me sending regular pings) and not inexpensive.  Back in 2020, USCIS tried to raise the already high rates by an exorbitant amount, and thankfully that request was denied.  But they are trying again.  And we need your help to stop this 269% (yes, 269%!!) fee hike from happening.

(And besides, many of these records should already be publicly and readily available at the National Archives, without having to deal with the bottleneck and transparency-free entity that is the USCIS Genealogy Program.) 

 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Hungarian Holocaust Survivors (And Other Yad Vashem Additions)

Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Memorial, has been digitizing and indexing many Holocaust-related records and making them searchable by the public.  Their Pages of Testimony, where people memorialized relatives who were murdered during the war, have been searchable for a while and are an invaluable resource.  But even if you've looked at Yad Vashem's database of records in the past, it's definitely worth re-looking every so often because of the scope of record sets they've added.

One of their recent additions has been information about Hungarian Holocaust Survivors--including many that were from what is now Subcarpathian Ukraine (where my mother's mother's family originated)--which can help you identify relatives who survived the war.

Survivor Card for my 2nd cousin twice removed Samuel Ruttner/Fuchs