Category Archives: Genealogy

The Genealogy of Bernie Sanders, Part 1

Especially with shows like Who Do You Think You Are?, celebrity genealogy is all the rage right now. There’s also a saying that if you want your genealogy researched, run for public office.

Since my specialty is Jewish research, I thought I’d participate with Bernie Sanders, our next US President. (Don’t argue with me. I believe that.)

With my access to the Family History Library and various subscription sites that I can use there for free, I plan to expend no money. How far can I go for free?

Bernard “Bernie” Sanders was born 8 September 1941 in Brooklyn to Eli Sanders and Dorothy Glassberg. This information came from Wikipedia, and I continued on my own from there.

I tried the 1940 US Census first where I found Eli and Dorothy Sanders with their son Lawrence living in Brooklyn. The census said that Eli was naturalized, so I looked for that on Ancestry. I found a naturalization for Elias Sanders from the 1920s before he was married, so I could not yet be sure it was the right person, but I held on to it.

1940 US Federal Census; Brooklyn, Kings County, New York; ED 24-305, Sheet 11A, Lines 24-26; Ancestry.com
1940 US Federal Census; Brooklyn, Kings County, New York; ED 24-305, Sheet 11A, Lines 24-26; Ancestry.com

From ItalianGen, I found the marriage of Elias Sanders and Dora Glassberg in 1934, so I retrieved it from the FHL. Elias’s parents were Leon and Ethel Horn. One of the witnesses was Henry Sanders. I continued up this part of the family.

NYC Marriage Certificate, Bronx County, 28 July 1934, Cert #5607, FHL Film #1927886
NYC Marriage Certificate, Bronx County, 28 July 1934, Cert #5607, FHL Film #1927886

Leon and Ethel were clearly Americanized versions of their names, unless they came to America and changed their names themselves. (No evidence was found of this.) And I would be on the lookout for Henry.

There was still a question of whether I had the same person on all these records. I returned to the naturalization and looked up the passenger ship list listed on the Certificate of Arrival. Elias Sanders arrived as Eliasz Gitman in 1921. He left his mother, Jetti Gutman, in Stopnica, his last residence. And he was joining his uncle Abraham Louis Horn in Brooklyn. Bingo. That matched his mother’s maiden name. Also, Jetti is Yetta is Etta is Ethel. (In Jewish names, yes, it really is.)

Ship Passenger List, Eliasz Gitman, SS Lapland, Antwerp to New York, 11 June 1921, Ancestry.com
Ship Passenger List, Eliasz Gitman, SS Lapland, Antwerp to New York, 11 June 1921, Ancestry.com

I followed up on Abraham for a bit at that point. I found him in the 1915 New York State Census at the same address as on the ship list, so I knew I had the right person. He lived with his wife Katie and children, Henry, Ada, Silas, Eli, Manuel, and Rose. I went on to find the 1925 NY State Census, the 1930 US Census, the 1940 US Census (where Abraham was a widower), and eventually the 1920 Census, which took a bit more effort.

1920 US Federal Census; Abraham Horn Family; Brooklyn, Kings County, New York; ED 1064, Sheet 10A, Lines 32-39; Ancestry.com
1920 US Federal Census; Abraham Horn Family; Brooklyn, Kings County, New York; ED 1064, Sheet 10A, Lines 32-39; Ancestry.com

I also found two passport applications for Abraham, in 1920 (with a photo) and 1908, and a draft registration for World War I. His dates of arrival and naturalization were varied on the censuses, with his arrival 1885 or 1892, and his naturalization may have been 1894, though that census stated “unknown” for his wife’s arrival, making the date less likely to be correct. Either way, it looked like his ship list and naturalization probably would not yield new information if they could be found and verified to be his, since they were so early, so I headed back to Elias Sanders.

US Passport Applications, Abraham L Horn, #172750, Ancestry.com
US Passport Applications, Abraham L Horn, #172750, Ancestry.com

A general search on Ancestry yielded a ship list for Elias in 1931. He was a US citizen, claiming 1672 Broadway, Brooklyn, as his address. A few lines above him, Henry Sanders, five years older, was claiming the same address. Recall that Henry Sanders was also a witness to Elias’s marriage. It was time to follow up with Henry.

I found a naturalization for Henry where he was also living at 1672 Broadway. His declaration listed the name Hyman, so he had changed that along the way. And his certificate of arrival listed his name as Elias Gutman. He arrived under his brother’s ticket? I checked the ship list, which listed the same relatives, and had Elias’s age instead of Henry’s. It also listed his mother as Etel Gutmann, instead of Jetti — but those are the same name. We hear stories of people arriving using other people’s tickets. Here is one. (This is the second I’ve ever found proof of.) Henry used his brother’s ticket, and Elias arrived the next year under his own name.

I checked the 1925 NY State Census for 1672 Broadway. There were two families there, but no Sanders. In 1930, one of the same families was still at the address, and they were from Austria, with a son named Elias (recall that Abraham had an Eli/Elias also). Elias is not the most common of names, but it is common for a bunch of Ashkenazi Jewish cousins born around the same time to be named after a relative who had just died. In this case, the three Eliases were born about 1904, 1904, and 1910. So I decided to look into this family who lived at the address that the Sanders brothers kept using. Perhaps the wife was a sister of Elias and Henry’s?

1925 New York State Census, 1672 Broadway, Kings County, AD 5, ED 32, Page 5, Lines 8-13, Ancestry.com
1925 New York State Census, 1672 Broadway, Kings County, AD 5, ED 32, Page 5, Lines 8-13, Ancestry.com

The 1925 Census said that Oscar and Rose Wiener were born in Austria and their kids were born in the US. The 1930 Census said they were all born in Austria. The 1925 gave the date of his naturalization, but it wasn’t on Ancestry. Rose and the children all had the same year for arrival, so I looked for their ship list, hoping to find them all together. Ancestry brought me to the page where they were detained aliens and I had to search for the other page, but they were from the same town as Elias Sanders, she left behind “family” Chaye Horn, and they were joining Oscar who was already at 1672 Broadway. I was wondering if this could be a sister to Elias, but this made it look more like a relative on the Horn side. Since they were married in Europe, it could be harder to prove.

Searching harder for Oscar’s ship list online, I finally found it indexed on the Hamburg list, but Ancestry was taking me to the wrong page. I reversed the search for the US ship list by searching on the ship name and finally found him mis-indexed. He was also from the same Stopnica and joining brother-in-law A J Horn. At this point, it was clear that Rose was the connection and she was a Horn, not a Gitman.

Eventually I found the family in the 1940 census, the one daughter missing and Oscar widowed. A search in ItalianGen left me a few options to find Rose’s death certificate.

It was time to switch over to FamilySearch to look for more. I wanted to find the naturalization for Oscar. I checked my naturalization reference guide for Kings County (which was stated in one census) and discovered they were indexed by JGS NY. I found two entries for Oscar Weiner and Wiener. Back at FamilySearch, the catalog said the records were online, but the search didn’t find it and didn’t show me images. I noticed they were browseable and was able to find both. One was the correct one, which also pointed back to the ship list I had just found. He was not born in Stopnica, but Alt Wisnics.

The JewishGen Gazetteer couldn’t make heads or tails of that, but the Gesher Galicia more simple list of towns included Wisnicz, which is somewhat north of Stopnica.

While still home and unable to get more records from microfilm, I scoured JRI-Poland for anything about this family but I was unable to find any listings that matched any of the people I already knew about, including an Eliasz in the Horn family who probably died between 1902 and 1904. I was really hoping to get back further into the European records but it can’t always be done with the materials in Utah. Stopnica records were only microfilmed for 10 years and the remaining records have not been digitized yet by the Polish archive.

Another FHL visit brought on many more records. First, the death certificate of Rose Wiener showed her to be the daughter of Elias Horn and Chaia Goodman, giving me both the person that the Eliases were likely named for and placing her in the family. Because next I found that Abraham Horn had the same parents on his death certificate.

NYC Death Certificates, Brooklyn, 1935, #17795, FHL Film #2079653
NYC Death Certificates, Brooklyn, 1935, #17795, FHL Film #2079653

A 1940 US Census I’d found earlier for Henry was verified when I found his marriage certificate to Hilda Kornreich, listing his parents exactly as Elias had on his marriage certificate, Leon and Ethel.

I also sat at an FHL computer and looked through ProQuest Obituaries. I found obits for Elias and Dorothy Sanders, Henry and Hilda Sanders, and Abraham Horn.  No other family members were mentioned beyond those that I already found, other than children and grandchildren for some. I got an unintended head start on the Glassberg family because Dorothy’s obituary listed her siblings. And interestingly, Hilda’s mentioned a sister who married a Glassberg. I wonder if there’s a chance they’re doubly connected through marriages.

Obituary of Elias Sanders, The New York Times, 6 August 1962, Page 25, ProQuest Historical Newspapers
Obituary of Elias Sanders, The New York Times, 6 August 1962, Page 25, ProQuest Historical Newspapers

In the end, I did not find the death of Oscar Wiener, nor was I able to get any Polish records to research the family back. I did find two siblings to Elias’s mother Ethel, though no documentary proof that they are siblings outside of the ship lists stating others were uncle and brother-in-law, and they all have the same surname. I’ve found ship list relationships to sometimes not be correct, but when there are this many that put the family together, I will trust it, unless I find something later that brings it into question.

I eventually revisited JRI-Poland and retrieved all of the Gitman and Horn records from Stopnica in the hopes of finding some connection to the names I already had, but they were all for new people. The Polish archive has 1875-1903 and 1906-1909 Jewish vital records, but they haven’t been digitized yet. If there are earlier records in another town, I haven’t found what town it is yet; it’s apparently not indexed by JRI, or none of this family have any vital events registered. That sometimes happens too.

Since I mentioned at the beginning the line about going into politics if you want your genealogy done, I thought I’d add in a little something, since that’s seemingly meant to find the skeletons in the closet. I’ve heard Bernie state that his father came to this country with no money in his pocket. (Or did he say with only a nickel? Maybe it was without a nickel. Now I’m not sure.) For the record, the ship list says that Elias arrived with $25. I have heard that the immigrants would claim the amount of money they had and the officials wouldn’t always verify it, but the ship list does state that amount.

Outside of being stuck in US records, I found this to be a lot of fun. I look forward to chasing up the Glassberg family next.


Update, 3 February 2016: I have been corrected by Renee Steinig in comments. There are two Polish towns of similar spelling, Stopnica and Słopnice. I originally did much of this research several months before posting the article, but I recall having a bit of a conundrum about which town was the correct one. On various documents, handwritten information said Słopnice, while typed always said Stopnica. I believe I did have a bit of outside influence as well from an Internet article. But the 1908 Abraham Horn passport application was clear that the correct town was Słopnice, not Stopnica as I stated in this article, going so far as to say “Słopnice, County of Limanova” for his place of birth. I obviously did not spend enough time with that document — the 1920 was the one that captured my attention with the photo. However, with the correction of the town, there are now no Polish records available to for me to search.

The URL of this blog post is http://idogenealogy.com/2016/01/31/bernie-sanders/.

The Feldstein One Name Study Begins

For years, I have collected data on any Feldsteins I came across. I have been contacted randomly by other Feldsteins asking if we were related. I even collected all Feldstein censuses at one time, leaving off somewhere in 1930; there were so many.

I’ve wanted to do a one name study for a long time, and I have finally just begun only two days ago. I felt the inspiration to get started, so I used it.

Actually, I’ve been in the middle of another one name study, since everyone named Mularzewicz is related to me. I still have quite a lot to go on that one, but I just added a big chunk of distant family and I’m in the middle of gathering NYC vital records for them.

But Feldstein is different because we’re not all related. I have no illusions that I will find we are related. I’m just hoping to find some families that are, even if they’re not related to me. I know of only one group of Feldsteins that are alleged cousins, but I have yet to prove it.

And so, I began with the US Federal Censuses. The first Feldsteins to show up were in 1860. And then they vanished. I have found no trace of that family in the next two censuses. There is a possible death certificate for the wife in NYC that matches her birth year, but I haven’t gotten it yet to know.

First Feldsteins, 1860 US Federal Census, New York City
First Feldsteins, 1860 US Federal Census, New York City

For a few months now, I’ve been collecting NYC vital records, beginning with marriages. I have a lot, and I think at least a few match up with the families already in my new database. I usually scan them at the end of the day after I’ve finished client work, so it goes slowly.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. So far, I have entered the families from the US Federal Census from 1860, 1870, and 1880. There is a family in 1895 Iowa and a couple women in 1892 New York. There appears to be a couple in 1890 New York City.

I thought most Feldsteins would be in New York, but in 1880, there seemed to be more in Pennsylvania; maybe it was about half of them. I was able to connect just a few people between censuses; most information didn’t match. Most of the Feldsteins who showed up new in Pittsburgh were from Poland, so I wonder if some of them are related.  One family was in Chicago, and one Feldstein was out in West Virginia. He was married, but his wife was not listed with him.

It disturbs me that the people from 1860 were not found later and even some from 1870 were not in 1880.

I could nearly pinpoint the immigration of two families by the children suddenly being born in the place where they were enumerated vs. Russia or Poland.

I already have confounding information. I have found two Theodore Feldsteins — they both appear the same census year, so I know they’re different. But in searching for 1890, I came across a record of 1890 Veterans Schedules for Theodore — I don’t know which one it was.

I’ve decided to go systematically rather than research each family individually, for now. Obviously I’ve begun with US Censuses, but I’ve been gathering NYC Marriages as well. I haven’t decided if I should start to integrate those records or wait a little longer.

By 1900 there are significantly more Feldsteins in the US Census, and in several more states than I’ve seen so far. Maybe it would be good to deal with the vital records that I have prior to that date before I get to those records.

I’m using my usual database for this project, the one I programmed myself, so I’ll be able to transfer it to a web site easily enough when I’m ready. My only trouble will be merging people — my program doesn’t do that yet. I may have to add that functionality just for this project. I’ve added more features to the program over the years as I’ve needed them. With a new kind of project, there may be some more programming in my future.

Current database count: 72 people.

On a personal note, I realize that I haven’t blogged anything for a while, so I figured it was beyond time to come back. I was pretty busy in November with NaNoWriMo. I ended up organizing genealogy for over 40 hours during the month (plus I wrote over 20k words of an actual story), and then I got more done in December. I’ve had a blog post waiting to be finished for about three months that I need to get back to and finish. I’m still keeping busy doing genealogy for myself and clients. I just realized I’d been neglecting my blog and thought, hey, I started a new project, that should be on my blog. Did you miss me? :-)

Israel 2015 – Days 15-21

It was easy to fall out of the practice of blogging, so now it’s time to finish up. I did keep up a little better than this seems, but I didn’t publish it.

Except for one night at Daniel’s after the conference, I stayed with my cousins in Haifa the rest of the trip, taking it easy. Some people would baulk at how I wasted time, but I enjoyed myself. I don’t feel the need to spend all my waking moments on tours and seeing historic sites. I have seen quite a bit and I think it will still be here when I come back in the future.

Here’s a quick family tree, as I will mention their names. Lea is my second cousin, once removed. Her husband is Odi. Her kids: Dikla, Tomer, and Lior. Dikla is married to Ido and Carmel is their daughter. Tomer is married to Michal and Noga is their daughter. Lior lives with her parents presently and Daniel is her boyfriend.

So what have I done all these days? Let’s see if I can remember.

We visited the cemetery in Nesher where Lea’s parents and grandmother are buried. Then there was a party. Lea invited about 40 people on her mother’s side of the family. (I’m on her father’s side.) It was a welcome home to Lior, the youngest daughter, who just got back from eight months in South America after serving her time in the IDF. I also met Lea’s brother Israel and his family at the party.

On other days, Lea, Carmel, and I went to the local zoo. Then we met Lior and Daniel for lunch. Lea, Odi, and I went to see HaMinyonim. Lea had mentioned needing some time to stop by her work (she was on vacation my whole visit) and I told her to drop me at the movie, but they said we should all go. They even found it playing in English, though I would’ve been happy with it in Hebrew for fun. It was adorable. The only drawback was that much of the cutest parts were in the trailers. However, the one phrase Minions speak that is Hebrew was worth it to see in Israel.

A long drive brought Lea, Odi, and I to the Switzerland forest above Lake Kinneret. We visited Yardenit and watched people being baptized where they thought Jesus was baptized but not quite in the same place; that was a weird one. We drove through Tiberias without really stopping. Visited the Magdala church and the synagogue ruins in front of it that were 2000 years old. And finally we stopped at Kibbutz Amir. This was where Lea’s parents lived until just after she was born. She still has an aunt there. It’s also where the family picture was taken that helped me find them.

A shorter trip brought Lea and I to the Israel Valley where we met Lior and Michal for lunch, with Carmel and Noga. Then the two of us drove around to see Nahalal, the first moshav, another moshav, Beit Shearim, and Bet Lekhem HaGalili, or what Google Map calls Bethlehem of Galilee. The Hebrew name is more interesting to me. They sell all kinds of spices and some foods. You can walk through their farm, but it was hot so we just took the quick walk in the front.

Genealogy day began in the evening, typical of the Jewish calendar. Lea went through boxes of photos, then I scanned them on their computer. Many were unlabelled and a good collection were mystery people. Under other circumstances, I might have done her mother’s family and even her husband’s, but there was so much.

Next, Lea and I went through the family methodically like we did at the beginning and this time she typed it in Hebrew. We still did not finish. But I was able to finish up the family for my database, which I now need to add.

I ended my visit with the cousins by visiting Caesarea in the evening. I’m pretty sure a lot of that wasn’t there 30 years ago.

The next day, Lea dropped me off at the train station where I headed back south to Tel Aviv. I visited Beit Hatfutsot and waited for Daniel to arrive. He showed me to the secret room in the basement, after mentioning the urban legend that says they have some of the LDS Polish microfilms, but they never let anyone see them. We mostly spent the day at the Mediterranean Sea. I mentioned to him that I had seen all three major bodies of water, but hadn’t been in any of them. So we walked along the boardwalk for a bit and ended up at the beach. We just hung out there until after the sun went down and I walked into the water a bunch of times. We didn’t change into bathing suits, so I could only walk a little ways in.

And that’s about it. Daniel dropped me off at the airport. Security was pretty easy. The baggage check took so much longer; I don’t know why they couldn’t check the bags of the people in front of me in line for so long. The flights home were brutal. I need to learn how to sleep sitting up I guess. I couldn’t stay awake but I definitely didn’t sleep.

My mom informed me today that we did swim in the Dead Sea 30 years ago. We don’t have pictures because our tour guide was off eating lunch and we didn’t bring the cameras onto the lake. We had the huge hotel breakfast, but he didn’t. I have no recollection of this, but I remember so little of that trip. I scanned in all of my photos and I had a total of 52 for that three week trip. I joked that I wanted to take at least 2000 on this trip. I made that number easily.

So now that I’m home, I guess I have a little more blogging to do about the trip, mostly sharing some of the photos, I think. Watch for those in the near future, but give me a little time. I have to catch up on everything after a three week vacation.

But since it’s easier to upload pictures from home… here’s my last sunset in Israel over the Mediterranean Sea.

Last Sunset in Israel

Israel 2015 – Day 13-14

Lea took me to a Druze village for a little shopping, then up to a church for a view. I forget the name of the church, but I have pictures to tell me later. There was a statue of Elijah, believed to be where he had to take down the false prophets. They had a compass on the ground of the lookout pointing off towards major cities and some minor ones more nearby. Unfortuantely, the sky wasn’t as clear as the day before, so we couldn’t see too terribly far.

Next up, we went north. Rosh Hanikrah was beautiful. We walked right up to the border fence with Lebanon. Some army VIPs showed up and even they went through some inspection to cross through. Then we took the cable car down to see the grottoes and the old tunnels where the British built their railroad.

We stopped in Akko on the way back where we walked through the old city and the shuk. Many shops were closed and we realized eventually that it was still Ramadan. We had lunch at Said, supposedly the best humus in Israel, certainly in Akko. (I even looked it up online.) Another unfortunate stop was at the Tunisian synagogue, which was also closed at the time, so we couldn’t go in.

I finally emailed all of my other known Israeli cousins, so we’ll see if I have a chance to meet with any of them before I leave. If not, it’s just another reason to come back again. I have a few other reasons that are piling up of things I didn’t get to do yet. I should come back more often than every 30 years.

Israel 2015 – Day 11-12

I began and ended my visit to Jerusalem by visiting the Old City and the Kotel. This time, I found an audio walking tour in an Android app. I only did the Jewish Quarter tour. There were a lot of people wandering around the quarter — I wasn’t the only tourist.

A couple hours later than I expected, I headed out of Jerusalem with Daniel and his family. He invited me to stay the night in Kfar Saba, so I would be part way to Haifa for the next day. We left so late that I got only a quick driving tour in the dark and then in the morning. Daniel traded files with me; I had the on demand files and he had the webinars, so there are now back-ups. He dropped me off at the train station on his way to work.

The train was a curiosity. Things were no longer bilingual, for the most part. I got to the platform, which was loaded with IDF soldiers. There was an announcement in Hebrew and the place cleared out. Soon, everyone was on the opposite side. I realized I had to switch sides quickly to not miss my train; had it not been a few minutes late, I would have had a long wait for the next one. Then, when I should have had about 7 minutes to transfer trains, it was more like 2 minutes, and the elevator was slow. But I got on my train and headed up to Haifa. I called my cousin along the way and she showed up a little bit after me.

At her home, I walked Lea through some of the Halpert family tree before we stopped for lunch. She was writing it all out in Hebrew. She then took me out to see the Bahai Garden and Elijah’s Cave, among a few other views in Haifa. The whole lot of us went out for falafel for dinner. I went to bed early, waking up early too, but I got some pretty decent sleep.

My cousins are nice. The only problem is that they like the heat. I had this issue all last week with Emily. When I was barely comfortable, she was freezing. It’s going to be a warm week.

Israel 2015 – Day 9-10 – IAJGS Day 4-5

Thursday was very busy for my conference schedule. Unfortunately, the sleep deprivation caught up to me. After waking up very early and going to breakfast, I just could not stay awake. I missed the whole morning. I showed up in time for lunch and didn’t go to that either. The only session I went to was the Professionals BOF. A good sized group of us sat around two tables and discussed some interesting issues about running our genealogy businesses. It left me with some things to think about.

I briefly helped Daniel with running around to record some extra sessions by webinar. I don’t know what will happen with those, but since we didn’t have the majority of sessions being recorded, he was catching more of them. This also left me with an advantage. As the IAJGS webmaster, I will have access to all of the recorded and on demand sessions, so I can watch them later after missing them during the week.

I didn’t sign up for a table for the banquet, but I know people. I asked to sit at table 1 and was allowed, but opted for 19 right next to it and sat with Daniel. We’ve had a good time at the banquet before, and since I only see him briefly twice a year during genealogy conferences, I try to spend as much time with him as possible. The entertainment seemed like an odd choice, a barbershop group, but once they got past the usual songs, the others were good. My mind wandered when Dick Eastman was speaking, but I got the bulk of it, and I’d already heard some of his ideas previously in the week.

Friday started too early, as does every day, but instead of jumping up for breakfast, I stayed in bed for a while lomger; it makes me feel like I’ve slept more. I had plenty of time to get to my session. I figured I should webinar myself, but when Daniel didn’t answer, I didn’t. I wasn’t sure how my new presentation would go. I had a much bigger crowd for Search As An Art in the very last time slot of the conference. I felt really good about how it went and I had lots of questions after. That one is definitely a keeper and needs to be expanded on.

Afterwards, I finally got invited to the Shabbat dinner for the IAJGS board and other VIPs that I’d been hearing about. It was really nice and gave us some time to casually chat with each other and the new CEO of FamilySearch.

Edit: This is the peril of writing a blog post late; I forgot some of it. After my session, I went out to Mahane Yehuda Market. It was a madhouse. I mostly just walked through and observed. I ended up walking back to the hotel when I meant to take the light rail. I even ended up going the long way and via Cinema City. I really wanted ice cream, but the place there was already closed.

Israel 2015 – Day 8 – IAJGS Day 3

I started the day in Non-Classified and Unidentified Sources for Genealogy with Alex Denysenko. It was a fascinating tour of records that he has come across in unusual ways, whether the archive simply hadn’t cataloged it, or it was built into the roof of a building. Some were in beautiful shape and others were almost unreadable. It doesn’t teach me anything about doing research or how I can find such records for myself, but it is interesting to see that records are still being found.

Lunch was spent with five other bloggers, including our banquet keynote, Dick Eastman. We went out to Caffit, a dairy restaurant.

The IAJGS Annual Meeting ended up taking its full three hours this year. There were some concerns. I made a fuss at one point when they probably expected it to go by smoothly, expressing my disappointment in the Stern Grant choices. This was the third time in five years that Gesher Galicia has won. As much as they do, not everyone is a galitzianer, including me, and I think the money should go to other organizations that haven’t gotten it yet. Some other people spoke up after me too, but they still got the grant.

I finished off with The Mother of All Genealogies (Genesis 10) with Prof. Aaron Demsky. This lecture looked at different types of genealogies that are listed in the bible. It was interesting. Again, it was another lecture that didn’t assist my research at all, but I guess sometimes those are needed to break up everything else. After all, I wouldn’t mind learning more history at these conferences, so this is moving in that kind of direction.

I really wanted to go back to the Old City tonight and visit the Kotel again. Today is the 30th anniversary of my bat mitzvah, which was at the Kotel. But the friends I tried to get to go with me didn’t come through. I ended up having dinner in the hotel with Marlis. I would be more upset if I hadn’t already been to the Kotel on this trip already. And I will go back again before I leave Jerusalem.

Israel 2015 – Day 7 – IAJGS Day 2

Today was a short day on lectures. I had two at a time in two time slots, but I still didn’t go to the first one at all. Both were broadcast On Demand. Conveniently, as webmaster, I will be getting all of those to put on the web site, so I can watch them later.

I went to Ask the Experts: Adventures in Archival Research in Poland, Ukraine, and Austria with Alex and Natalie Dunai. Pam Weisberger moderated, I think, a little too much. There were many questions posed in the description, but instead of answering those, they took audience questions and just barely glanced over those listed questions. I know the Dunais have information. I’m still waiting for them to provide a session that shares it. I’m usually disappointed by the lack of details they provide.

I gave my first lecture today, Insider’s Guide to the Family History Library. I timed myself to 45 minutes exactly… then finished in 32. But, this year, it was supposed to be 30 minutes, so I don’t feel bad for finishing that early. I had a small crowd, but people were told not to attend sessions that were on demand because there are no other recordings this year to buy.

And that was it for the conference itself. It was time to leave the hotel again, so I went out to the First Station with Daniel and Rose, then we walked by the Liberty Bell and Montefiore’s Windmill, ending up at an auction for a little while.

No picture today. WordPress and Androids aren’t cooperating. I wanted to share the windmill.

Israel 2015 – Day 6 – IAJGS Day 1

Time for the IAJGS Conference.

I started out in the session for New Attendees. Marlis Humphrey, as President of IAJGS, presents that. But she asks me to help, this year specifically with demonstrating the app. We had a good crowd but ran short on time.

Next, I went to Sensitive Subjects in Genealogy: What to Reveal, What to Conceal from Jane Neff Rollins. She was a Jedi level speaker, only answering the main question in the last few minutes. She wasn’t specific enough for me though, with what I should do about the big family secret that I know.

I went into Footnotes, Side Notes, and Remarks in European Vital Records with three speakers, but it wasn’t long until I was summoned by Daniel to help someone with tech support on the app. The session sounded like it might get interesting, but the parts I heard, I already knew.

Daniel asked me to the Bukovina BOF to introduce me, since I scan a lot of records for them.

Sub-Carpathia SIG was next, where Marshall Katz finally admitted publicly that he had digitized records and would get them indexed, verifying that he would never share the images. He told me this quietly in Paris a few years ago too, specifying that I didn’t need to go back to Ukraine. I still will. I want the records, not the index, and unlike him, I get permission from the archivist so I have no problem sharing the images. I recently posted the index of records I digitized in 2012 of over 1100 Mukacheve births, along with 15,000 names of the Uzhhorod 1938 Voters List on my new site, Jewish Genealogy Indexing and Research Collective.

The Keynote Session was good. Rabbi Lau spoke mostly in Hebrew but switched to English sometimes. The simultaneous translation did good. I only wish I wasn’t so tired by that time of the day.

And there was plenty of socializing and networking throughout the day and at the President’s Reception and Opening Reception.

Israel 2015 – Day 5

After joining the Shabbaton unexpectedly yesterday, today I joined a tour. I went on the Masada and Dead Sea tour.

Masada was hot. I brought back one souvenir and it’s red and all over my face and arms. So much for the sunblock.

We skipped the Dead Sea for the most part. Many people were very annoyed, including me. I was last in Israel 30 years ago. My family saw the Dead Sea but didn’t go in. I wanted to do that this time. Obviously we could see the sea on the drive, and we did convince the driver to stop so we could take pictures. But I wanted more this time.

They said that many beaches are closed because of lower water levels and a plethora of sinkholes. But one person abandoned the tour at the start and he got to go.

We stopped at the old synagogue at Ein Gedi and at Qumran, but just for the gift shop of the latter.

It was a fun trip, but I thought it would be better.

I had dinner with four friends and almost fell asleep at the restaurant.

Today’s picture is the Dead Sea.

image