Last Update: 14-Sept-2006
To join go here:
We now have web pages organized by city at http://easig.pbwiki.com.
These pages are wikis, so they are easy to update or extend. You need to get the password from the Early American Webmaster (email at left). You do not need to know HTML to add to these pages. You can use a simple word processor.
Genealogists who are researching early Jewish immigrants to the US (pre-1880) have a different set of challenges and issues from the majority of Jewish Genealogy researchers. Unlike the majority, we do not have complete immigration records, nor living relatives who might remember "the old country" or what town the family came from. We may be 150 years or more removed from European roots. Most immigrants pre-1880 were spread out among small towns and rural areas in the south and midwest and blended in with their non-Jewish neighbors rather than collecting in urban areas and keeping their culture. For these reasons, many times our research methods and resources have more in common with standard American genealogy, but with a few twists.
The purpose of this SIG is to be a resource for genealogists researching families who came to the US before the larger immigration wave of the 1880s and later. We share our knowledge and methods with each other by answering queries on the SIG mailing list as well as through links on our web pages. The web pages are organized geographically (by state) in order to give advice and information that is as specific as possible.
There is no hard and fast rule about your first posting. However, it builds community spirit if you post a short message saying who you are researching (so that others can help you) and what sort of researching you have done in the past (so that others can get help from you).
Because email messages are archived, it is possible for new members to read, even months later, what you are interested in, and help you out. This is one of the real powers of the net.
The complete JewishGen rules are at: http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/rules.htm
A short list of rules follows below:
5 Easy Ways to Start Researching Early American Jewish Genealogy
The 1880 Census to see if your ancestors were here, then.
Register at JewishGen's Family Finder, to link up with people researching the same names in the same places as you. Also check out their American Databases (at least two are early american). Finally, you can look up burials at JOWBR's US area (with 600+ cemeteries and 200k+ burials).
Use Joe Beine's "wee-monster" Emigration and Immigration web page to find out when and how your relatives came to the US.
The genealogies from Rabbi Malcolm Stern's book First American Jewish Families: 600 Genealogies, 1654-1988 are on line within the AJA web site.
5 Easy Ways to Help Others Researching Early American Jewish Genealogy
Register at JewishGen's Family Finder, to link up with people researching the same names in the same places as you.
Register at RootsWeb's Books We Own, to help others benefit from books that you have.
Early American Jewish Genealogy Web Links
Genealogy Web Links
(There are many other pages of genealogy links. This is just to get you started.)