Fellow collaborators, please invite anyone and everyone interested in Jewish genealogy to follow or collaborate on this project. The Jewish Genealogy Portal should then become an excellent place for us to have discussions relevant to our pursuits. There are still a great number of areas where we could use major sub-projects to bring projects and people together. We can each make the Jewish parts of Geni better by recruiting more people to join in building the big tree.
This may also be useful
Great that you would like to start new projects and that you have prospective collaborators.
The two links below could be useful in starting up your project. If you need help, let me know.
Julia Mann - Those are fascinating areas. You inspired me to think about how great it would be to have projects devoted to early Jewish settlements by geography. I have found myself focusing on Iowa, the Tri-City region (Rock Island, Moline, Davenport), St. Louis, the Midwest generally, Texas, and early South Carolina. I do have one project on immigration from Volhynia to the Midwest since this seems to be where many from certain towns in Volhynia (a Gubernia now in Ukraine to the west of Kiev) went. I have another on immigration from Siauliai, Lithuania towns to Muscatine, Iowa.
I'd love to see projects on early NYC, Philadelphia, and Richmond and would be happy to help you start them if you wish.
My East Prussian (Suwalki Gubernia primarily) ancestors immigrated to Charleston / Abbeville in the 1850s/1860s, to Peoria IL in 1870s - 1890s, to Philadelphia in the 1890s. The Frankels (and probably Wallks) were Peoria and Philadelphia. The Visanska / Rosenberg / Margolis (Levine) / Winstock were Charleston / Abbeville.
Others from Suwalki immigrated to Texas and VA and intermarried with some of the families from Charleston / Abbeville - such as Brin and Mittenthal. I believe that one of the founders of Nieman Marcus was a Suwalki immigrant to Texas.
You'll find mostly Siauliai (Kovno/Kaunas Gubernia) and a few Volhynia Gubernia in Muscatine, Iowa beginning in the 1880s. You'll find Volhynia as I mentioned in Tri-City and St. Louis and other Midwest. For each project I have gone to Ancestry records and to Jewish Gen Family Finder, as well as to family trees on the Web, and tried to list all the surnames I could identify as having been immigrants from a region in Poland-Lithuania-Ukraine to the U.S. town/area.
Hatte Blejer I'd love to talk to you more. I'm trying to take my US family from Prussia (Posen) back to their origins, but not sure how to go about it. I also have family that came from Poland/Lituania to Philadelphia at the turn of the century.
Wendi..My ggg grandfather was from Posen...Fordon....and I've done a little research on people from that area. If you know the town, let me know and I'll see if I might be able to help. I believe his brothers settled in Richmond, hence my interest in that city. Hattie, can we start taking a look at the NY,PA,VA connections in the New Year? I'll start taking a look at what I've got and finish off ( well, it's never really finished, is it?) some other stuff I've got to do. Hi Judith, thanks for including me in this!
Julia Mann - we might start with Richmond and Philly. I can't imagine how to tackle NY. I've gone through tons of records from NY looking for my relatives and there are so many immigrants. We need a way to organize and work slowly.
Okay, we'll aim for the new year and start with whichever one Julia chooses and we can use that project discussion to talk about organization and content. The two projects I referenced were easier because Muscatine is a small town and for the Midwest I focused on immigrants from a specific Gubernia in the Russian Empire. As Pam Karp, Randy Schoenberg and I found out with Krakow, how you organize the project when you have a lot of profiles is important. The New Amsterdam umbrella project might have good lessons learned.
As you guys are doing your thinking caps ...I have no idea how to track in "the old country" really - I set up the Brody, Ukraine project but haven't progressed it, and my other ancestral spots are "Odessa" and "Vienna," (where no names I know appear on the source list for the Geni project).
But I would be interested in US side projects, specifically
- Donaldsville, Louisiana (there's a cemetery / archeology project out there and all the families that lived there are traceable)
- New Orleans, Louisiana
For the larger cities with immigratation from multiple locations don't we have to think of smaller sets to organize the data?
- congregation lists
- specific neighborhoods
My brother-in-laws family are from Louisiana and further up the Mississippi Delta and I actually bought a lot of books on those communities which I sent to him. I can help there. They connect with the Alsatian Jewish project since the early immigrants were often from Alsace-Lorraine.
Erica Howton - you would be ideal to help organize the NY project or series of related projects. I hope you'll be involved. I was thinking specific neighborhoods but congregation lists would be good for the early days where people associated with their landsmen and were buried in specific sections of the cemetery. That's often how you can find out where your relative came from, by which benevolent society is listed associated with their burial place :)
Re tracking the old country, for some areas and eras there are many online documents, once you know where your family came from. And it turns out that even for villages that you thought were obscure, the Russian Empire kept Revision Lists for census purposes. So for instance, I was able to pay a researcher to translated the 1858 RL from Novopoltavka, Kherson Gubernia -- a Jewish agricultural settlement of 80 households maybe. Say 700 people. And there were my husband's great great grandfather, his brothers, his son (our ancestor), and the name of my husband's great great great grandfather that was unknown by the family. We were able to finally learn how the two branches of the family in Argentina are related -- they derive from two cousins Chaim Alter and Moises (Moshe). And Moises was a twin!
Hatte although I'm a New Yorker I have no ancestry I know of in New York except for my New Amsterdam family. I can give some geographic and resource pointers of course.
My immigrants went to New Orleans and Dorchester, MA respectively, so am far more interested in those areas. :):)
I have cousins who have tracked their Louisiana side to an Alsace Lorraine location. it's two brothers who came over together so it's not a big family in USA.
My thinking on this is that the bulk of the immigration that us descendants want to know about is the 1880- 1920 timeframe.
There is definitely however a place for a project on those who remained in Europe and were lucky enough to get out in the 1920s - 1930s, as well as those who were displaced persons. However in the case of the U.S. they closed the gates of immigration and that is why my husband's family ended up in Argentina, so after 1920 more or less, the number of immigrants to the U.S. decreased dramatically.
My family hardly went to the US so I would not be much use with the geography of the projects. What I can do is help wih setting up the umbrella and satellite projects and be a first port of call with format issues, as Judith Berlowitz, busy writing
Perhaps until you get going with those projects in the new year we can put a burst of energy into Krakow.