Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Review: "Genealogy at a Glance: Finding Eastern European Jewish Ancestors," by Janette Silverman

The Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore has published another in its series of "Genealogy at a Glance" laminated research guides - this time for Finding Eastern European Jewish Ancestors by Janette Silverman.

This "Genealogy at a Glance" booklet has four laminated pages on one 11" x 17" paper (folded). It is designed to give the user the basic elements of genealogy research in the allotted space. They provide an overview of the facts a researcher needs to know in order to begin and proceed successfully with research in the subject.

The description of the 
Finding Eastern European Jewish Ancestors  booklet includes:
Although the term Ashkenaz originally referred to a place now in Germany, it is broadly used these days to refer to all European Jews. This guide is intended as an aid to researchers who are searching for Ashkenazic Jewish ancestors from Eastern Europe who immigrated to the United States primarily between 1880 and 1924.
Researchers face many difficulties when trying to identify their Ashkenazic ancestors. Since the majority of Ashkenazic immigrants likely changed either their given name or their surname after arriving in the United States, locating them in record sources—for example, in immigration records—is particularly challenging. Pinpointing an Ashkenazic ancestor’s hometown is likewise a challenge, since over time some Eastern European countries ceased to exist, had lands ceded to other countries or encountered border changes, or had town names that were known by different names in different languages. In addition, Jewish immigrants were often inconsistent when recording their ages or dates of birth, in part because of the difference between the Jewish lunar calendar and the Julian and Gregorian solar calendars.
This guide first tackles the various difficulties you’ll face when researching your Ashkenazic Jewish ancestors and then offers concrete advice on how to overcome these difficulties. In just four, laminated pages, you’ll find everything you need to know to get your research started—the most helpful databases and reference works, as well as the major record sources, repositories, and online resources. Identifying Ashkenazic immigrants is challenging, but with this Genealogy at a Glance guide at your side, the task will become much easier.
The booklet has these sections:
  • Contents
  • Quick Facts
  • Who Are Jews?
  • Finding Jewish Ancestors
  • Why Identifying Ashkenazic Immigrants is So Difficult
  • Names
  • Places
  • Disappearing Ancestors
  • Dates
  • Record Sources
  • Major Repositories
  • Online Resources
This booklet is designed primarily for the person who has little experience and understanding of Eastern European and/or Jewish genealogy, and provides an overview of the basics of finding Eastern European Jewish ancestors.

For someone like me that teaches and talks about genealogy a bit, it is invaluable because I can pull it out and provide some guidance to my student or colleague interested in the subject.

The beauty of these "Genealogy at a Glance" booklets is that they are very light and portable in a briefcase or laptop case. They are fixtures in my research case.

This four-page laminated booklet costs $9.95,  plus postage and handling. You can order it through the Genealogical Store, or use the link for the  
Finding Eastern European Jewish Ancestors  booklet and click on the "Add to Cart" link.  I recommend buying these at seminars and conferences where they are offered in order to avoid the shipping costs.


Disclosure: Genealogical.com contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this booklet. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review.

The URL for this post is:  https://www.geneamusings.com/2020/04/review-genealogy-at-glance-finding.html

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2020.

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Bigbee60 said...

Randy wish they would address African American's with it my son has 12% of it in his DNA still trying to find out who and where he got it from, thanks for this post .

Randy Seaver said...

I didn't see a laminated guide like the Jewish one on Genealogical, but they do have a book about researching African-American ancestors - https://genealogical.com/store/a-genealogists-guide-to-discovering-your-african-american-ancestors/

Sounds like your son has one great-grandparent who was 100% African-American, or two 2nd great-grandparents who were. Doing genealogy research back to 1870 should find them - probably born in 1840-1900 time frame.