“The JGSTB 2017 Guide to Jewish Genealogical Research: 

A Foundation for Beginners and an Update for Experienced Researchers”


Part 1 – Sunday, February 12, 2017

Part 2 – Sunday, March 12, 2017


The Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay will present the second (concluding) session of a two-part seminar entitled: “The JGSTB 2017 Guide to Jewish Genealogy Research: A Foundation for Beginners and an Update for Experienced Researchers” on March 12, 2017 at 2:00 PM at Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, 14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, Florida.  Registration will be at 1:30 PM. A seminar booklet summarizing the presentation and containing updated references will be available and is essential for those who were unable to attend the first session.

This seminar focuses on developing proper approaches and in applying the necessary tools, techniques and short cuts to most effectively connect you with your ancestors in the old country.  Internet resources as well as local resources will be emphasized to enable the beginner to discover his or her family history and to facilitate experienced researchers in resolving “brick wall” problems.  The past year has seen numerous additions, revisions and deletions of Internet sources, especially at and  New genealogical resources and databases will be demonstrated, and Internet links and site references are updated in the seminar booklet.

Dr. Emil H. Isaacson, who will lead the seminar, has over 30 years of experience in genealogy. He has researched his ancestral roots back seven generations to the late 1700’s in Europe.  He will share his successful and sometimes unsuccessful techniques (do’s and don’ts). 

The seminar is free to members.  Nonmembers will be charged $25 for individuals or $35 for a family, and that charge will include an annual membership. The seminar booklet will be available for $10, and it is strongly recommended that you reserve a copy, as it contains valuable reference material.  Only one booklet is needed for a family, and it is available only to seminar attendees.

Those who attended the first session are reminded to bring your seminar booklet with you to the concluding session.   Call Bruce Hadburg at 727-796-7981, or email him at to register for the seminar if you did not attend the first session.

The purpose of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay is to assist interested individuals in learning about Jewish genealogy and how to research and document their own family histories.  Anyone interested in learning how to do Jewish genealogical research is invited to attend.  Beginners as well as experienced researchers are welcome.  For further information on the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay or directions to the meeting call Bruce Hadburg at 727-796-7981, or email him at


The eligible voters’ names are transliterated into Yiddish characters.
You can find them at:


Live long! and Enjoy – the New England Centenarian Study

Renowned BUSM researcher Dr. Thomas Perls, Director of the New England Centenarian Study, will be in Orlando in early January 2017 for an actuary conference. Dr. Perls directed a study of centenarians in the Boston area, looking at the factors that contributed to their longevity. Your webmaster in his medical practice has met many centenarians in his medical practice. He always asked them what contributed to their longevity. Few had any idea.

Data from the centenarian study suggests that you have to:

  • Be lean
  • Don’t smoke
  • Have relatives who live long
  • Be an extrovert
  • Don’t be neurotic

Read an interesting overview of Dr. Perls’ study.


A new genealogy book called “A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Black Sheep in Your Family” has just been published. The book has been written by author Carl Migden, a long-time member of our own Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Orlando. 

Carl states: 

I’d like to tell you about a brand new genealogy book I wrote that deals with a particular type of genealogical research that has not been published before, Black Sheep in a family’s history. I encountered a black sheep in my family and I recount the detailed steps that I used, and I’m sure others could use to find the Black Sheep” in their family. I’m certain that the research methods outlined in my book will save researchers hours of time and trouble in their research.

Discover the secrets of finding black sheep in your family:
  • Includes a step-by-step guide to finding answers about your family’s secrets.
  • Recommends free websites for your genealogical research.
  • Actual case history results from courthouses, prisons and census records describing how the searches were performed.
  • Includes step-by-step examples with illustrations of how to apply the techniques to your genealogical search.
  • Sample letters to specific agencies and actual return responses.
  • This book will turn you into a genealogical guru.

“It can be found on eBay by double clicking on the text below”.

POSTED 11/8/16

CARL MIGDEN - black sheep BOOK


POSTED 11/28/16

Subject: JRI-Poland makes searchable a massive collection of new/updated data
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 16:20:38 -0500
X-Message-Number: 6

Thanks to the JRI-Poland leadership team, our many volunteers and generous 
supporters, 2016 continues to be an extremely significant year in the growth of the database.

It would be unfair of me to single out the many volunteers who  have contributed to
this latest batch.   But many will be posting  announcements about the newly 
indexed and extracted records, the updated and expanded index files for many towns,
and the linking of JRI-Poland search  results to digital images on the Polish State
Archives “National Digital  Archive” website. 

This is the third large batch of data uploaded and made searchable this year. 
The new and updated entries are from 36 towns and include 64,000  totally
new records and more than 50,000 updated records

In addition to these new/updated record entries that are now searchable in the 
JRI-Poland database, professionals have data entered tens of thousands of records 
that are not yet searchable online. These include record entries for which there 
were previously only basic indices but now are fully extracted. These individual 
data sets will be searchable online when the cost for each town is fully covered.

Researchers interested in the latest status for their town(s) are invited  
to write to [TownName]

Reminder: the JRI-Poland search system has many features and options that are 
exclusive to JRI-Poland. (While JRI-Poland indices are displayed on and form the 
major component of the JewishGen All-Poland Database, these  additional features 
for searching are only available as a standard option when you use the JRI-Poland 
search page. So, bookmark the JRI-Poland search  page the next time you use it.)

JRI-Poland invites and encourages your support for the work on your town. We are 
particularly hopeful that researchers using our database who have not contributed 
in the past, will join with their family members and landslayt to support further 
work on their town’s records.  Please remember that JRI-Poland is an independent 
organization with its  own administration and fundraising, and that donations to 
JewishGen do  not cover the cost of indexing records from Poland. 

To donate to projects for the extraction of records for your town project,  
please go to .  No donation is too small.

Stanley Diamond  
Executive Director
For the Board of Jewish  Records Indexing – Poland



Update on Family Tree Maker Software

From: Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee
Tue, 15 Nov 2016 17:23:39 -0800

Last December we learned that Ancestry was retiring its number one genealogy desktop software program Family Tree Maker (FTM). At the time Ancestry advised us they were continuing to support FTM through December 31, 2016 and then several months later we learned that MacKiev had purchased Family Tree Maker. At the time MacKiev announced they would be providing new, free updates in the Spring of 2016 for those who had FTM 2014 and MAC 3 and had registered the software with Ancestry. 

Recently, I have been asked by several readers about the status of Family
Tree Maker and I went to MacKiev for an update. Steve Caguiat, Vice
President, Software MacKiev replied and this is a summary of what he told me:

Free Update for current editions.

They do not yet have a date when the free update patch will be available.
MacKiev is working to finalize a free update which contains mostly stability
and performance improvements. There are no major new features in the new
editions. Therefore, for FTM 2014 and Mac 3 users this an update patch-not
and upgrade-which is why it’s free. For those who would like to be notified
the moment the update is ready, please go to  and sign up for the FTM Mailing List.  I was told that most FTM users have no problems and if that is true for your copy,  then there is no urgency to get
the update.  However, if your copy of FTM is crashing or has slowed to a
crawl with large trees, you can get a copy of the current build (not the
final build as yet) at the MacKiev’s Replacement Center (see below). 

The Replacement Center MacKiev opened this replacement center as they have received requests for replacements because of a hard drive crash and need to reinstall, or you can’t find your installation disc and are moving to a new computer. The Replacement Center is online and open 24/7 so FTM 2014 and Mac 3 users can get a new link emailed to them. 

Getting to the Replacement Center
1. Go to:
2. Click “for additional assistance” at the bottom of the page.
3. Click the Replacement Center tile. 

For those who are using Family Tree Maker and have asked about its status I
hope this helps. Posting this does not imply an endorsement of this product,
merely an update to answer several requests for information.  There are
multiple excellent desktop genealogy software products as well as the major
genealogy online organizations offering online options for your genealogy
trees. It is up to you as to which product best serves your individual needs.

I have no affiliation with MacKiev or Family Tree Maker.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Family Tree Maker Software
Family Tree Maker Software

Best Genealogy Library Websites of 2016 (US) 

POSTED 11/2/16 

Family Tree Magazine has published the Best Genealogy Library Websites in 2016.  These are a great resource as they are accessible from the comfort of your home computer regardless of where you are geographically located.

                      The top 11 are:

  1. Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
  2. Archive Gold ( offshoot of WorldCat)
  3. Cincinnati Digital Library
  4. Digital Public Library of America
  5. Genealogy Gophers (partnership with FamilySearch)
  6. Harvard Open Collections Program
  7. HathiTrust
  8. Library of Congress
  9. Midwest Genealogy Center
  10. New York Public Library Digital Collections
  11. WorldCat


I have no affiliation with Family Tree Magazine and am posting this solely
for the information of the reader.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


AVOTAYNU Magazine 

POSTED 10/16/16

AVOTAYNU publishes a quarterly journal that provides new information and developments related to Jewish Genealogy. 

AVOTAYNU Human Interest Stories

AVOTAYNU’s Winter issue will include human interest stories, which are “about how genealogy affected people’s lives, whether it be the researcher or the people they are researching.” The deadline for submission this year is December 1, 2016. Those who wish to share a story should submit it by email to When possible, illustrations should accompany the article. A very interesting sample story can be read at

Excerpted from AVOTAYNU
Excerpted from AVOTAYNU

 International Tracing Service – ITS

POSTED 10/16/16

The International Tracing Service, located in Bad Arolsen, Germany, is an archive and a center for documenting Nazi persecution and the liberated survivors. Out of the more than 30 million documents about an estimated 55 million persons, former victims of Nazism and their families receive information regarding their incarceration, forced labor, and postwar allied assistance.”          

International Tracing Service
International Tracing Service

The ITS website is at The digital archives is located at

Originally appeared in ‘Nu? What’s New?‘ the weekly email newsletter of Jewish genealogy October 16,2016.

Excerpted from AVOTAYNU
Excerpted from AVOTAYNU


Free Webinars from Legacy Family Tree Webinar, beginning early January 2016


The Historical Jewish Press has put many years of the Forverts online, mainly from 1920 to 1948, including a couple of August issues from 1897, most editions from January 1894 and also for December of 1913. Most of the other years are fully online, except that they are missing issues here and there. THE FORVERT provided home addresses during election years for our American-citizen ancestors who lived in New York City’s Lower East Side and were registered TO VOTE.  It set out lists, first by street and then by house number, of eligible voters.  To find such lists, it is best to search a date a few days prior to election day (which normally is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November).

The eligible voters’ names are transliterated into Yiddish characters.
You can find them at: