Some will say, not without reason, that it is rather late, too late. The town has become a museum in which Judaism is exposed and sold to American and Israeli tourists and others who come from all over the world to find roots or weep over a vanished world. Others will say what has passed is dead and gone. The disaster took place sixty years ago. The time has come, with the disappearance of those who experienced it or some part of it, not to forget but to bring the weeping time to an end; the remembrance of what Jewish life was in Poland and in this town in particular can help prevent those times from coming back again. One can also, in the course of a day in Cracow, think this and cry out that.
Read More → Many researchers, particularly those working on very large families or single-surname projects, reach a point where a particular relationship can be deduced but cannot quite be proven. The naming patterns may be there and everything seems to fit into plausible times and places, but neither documentation nor oral testimony exists that might even remotely be considered proof. Do you record it as fact, without evidence? Or do you leave open a question when you actually “know” the answer? If you leave it open, you leave gaps and loose ends in your genealogy for no good reason. But if you bite the bullet and call it fact, you may never re-examine the decision in light of new source material. Your research heirs certainly won’t think to do so. How do you decide?
Read More → The Jewish Records Indexing- Poland (JRI-Poland) birth, marriage, and death indices found on the JewishGen Web site are invaluable resources for finding information with surname searches. This article provides a few tips for getting the most out of using these indices. These tips are based on my experience doing surname searches in the indices covering Kolomea Administrative District towns and villages for more than 50 requestors submitting hundreds of surnames.
Read More → The Brettschneiders are intertwined with Renee Stern Steinig’s and my Schächner and Steinig families. Renee and I set out to determine whether our three branches of Brettschneiders are related to each other and ended up researching all of the Brettschneiders from Eastern Galicia in the Austrian Empire near the borders with Bukovina and Russia. Most Jewish Brettschneiders in the United States emigrated from three towns and their surrounding villages. Several “cross links” exist between towns within family branches.
Read More → I was delighted to receive a third photograph of my great-grandmother Gittel from my father’s cousin. When I started genealogical research three years ago, I had not even known her name. Now I had immigration records, census records, birth records, death certificates, and other family information that had helped fill in some of the knowledge gaps about family members and key dates. I was able to determine that my great-grandparents had immigrated in the 1890’s from Korolowka, Galicia, now Oleyëvo-Korolëvka, Ukraine, the town where 38 Jews survived the Holocaust by hiding in caves for a remarkable 344 days. But this photo was a little different.
Read More → Postcards and contemporary newspapers have been significant among the manifold sources I have drawn on during my study of family history. In my first book I described how a postcard written in 1916 from the Eastern Front by Austrian army doctor Abraham Loew to his cousin Regina Griffel opened up a trail that led from Vienna via London to New York and Chicago, back to Strasbourg, and finally to Tarnobrzeg in Austrian Galicia. It was only in this roundabout way that I managed to locate the family of my maternal grandmother Chawa Wahl and, in due course, scores of cousins of the Griffel, Loew, Taube, Safier, and other related families (Edward Gelles, An Ancient Lineage: European Roots of a Jewish Family, Vallentine Mitchell: London, 2006).
Read More → This story was written in Hebrew by the surviving daughter of Bendet Akselrad of Korczyna and Krosno. The family was well established and had extensive roots and history in Korczyna and the vicinity. It contributed heavily to the Jewish community and provided leaders for the Jewish communities of Korczyna and Krosno for several generations until these communities and their Jewish residents were destroyed by the Germans during WWII.
Read More → How many times have I heard “There’s no information on my shtetl.” Perhaps there’s no information readily available on the Internet, and you’ve tried Google and JewishGen’s databases and sitewide searches, but alas.... Yet there is plenty of information about the vast majority of shtetls. The trick is to find people who do have the knowledge or documents about a particular place and get them to share it. Fifteen years ago I found nothing on the Internet about a “two horse” town named Zmigrod. Nobody had even heard of it and no data were available. So in my grandparents’ memory, I created a JewishGen ShtetLinks site.
Read More → The Kolbuszowa Region Research Group (KRRG) includes the following Administrative Districts (AD): Kolbuszowa, Lancut, Mielec, Nisko, Pilzno, Ropczyce, Rzeszów, Strzyzów, and Tarnobrzeg. The Suchostaw Region Research Group (SRRG) includes the following AD: Borszczow, Buczacz, Czortkow, Husiatyn, Skalat, Tarnopol, Trembowla, Zbaraz, and Zaleszczyki.
Read More → In 1978, the Skala Benevolent Society (SBS) published a yizkor book called Skala. The book was written by the shtetl’s former Jewish residents who either had survived the Holocaust or had been born in Skala and previously had emigrated. Its purpose was to honor Skala’s Jewish community, which had been annihilated by the Nazis and their allies. Most of the contributors to the original book were the survivors themselves, who felt a deep inner compulsion and moral obligation to those who perished, to tell the story of Jewish Skala and to share with their children and future generations their memories of suffering, struggle, and loss. The yizkor book was written primarily in Yiddish and Hebrew and was largely inaccessible to many modern Skala researchers, most of whose families came from this shtetl. Skala on the River Zbrucz, a translation of the entire yizkor book into English, has now been published by the Skala Research Group (whose members are investigating their roots in Skala) and the SBS.
Read More → Cadastral Maps and Landowner Records -- Out of some 50 people the Coordinator did surname/given name searches for, eight KRG members/non-members requested full reports and made donations to the Gesher Galicia Cadastral Map Project in the name of Kolomea. Our account there now is about $800. Surname/Given Name Searches -- Two new search requests have been completed since last report. The door is always open for new requests to conduct surname searches and report given names found.
Read More → Every year on Yom HaShoah people gather to remember the victims. Among them will be some survivors, each year fewer and fewer. he blurred lines of a serial number on a forearm are the image of the Holocaust. The tattoos of the survivors symbolize the brutality of the concentration camps. No official document identifies the people who were subjected to having these numbers tattooed on their arms. Gabriella Y. Karin, a sculptor and Holocaust survivor, began the Auschwitz Tattoo Numbers Photography Project to create a visual catalog that identifies the survivors of Auschwitz. This project is trying to make a visual documentation of this barbaric happening. Please help assemble information about as many people as can be reached.
Read More → The ShtetLink site for the town of Baligród is active. Contributions of additional material for the site are welcome.
Read More → Have you registered for the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy yet? It’s not too late! The conference will take place in Los Angeles, California from 11–16 July and promises to be one of the most comprehensive and entertaining genealogical events in recent memory. More than 300 lectures and 50 films, plus workshops, computer labs, theatrical performances, and more from early morning until late evening. Many programs will be geared toward Galician, Polish, and Ukrainian researchers. All kinds of lectures on methods. Incredible opportunities to further your Holocaust research. Constant opportunities to network with landsleit from other Galician shtetlach and towns. For program details go to http://www.JGSLA2010.com/ and click on the Programs tab.
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