How to find your town page
The core of our website consists of town pages, one for each of almost 800 towns in our database. We have tried to make it easy for you to get to any of the town pages. Use any of these three methods.
If none of these methods work for you, try using the JewishGen Gazetteer and the JewishGen Communities Database to obtain more information about your town and how its name was spelled. (Hint: Use Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex rather than Beider-Morse. D-M Soundex seems to be more accurate for town names.)
Document Collections and Project Lists
Document Collections and Project Lists contain the primary content of our website. Every town, district, and province page has sections for Document Collections and Projects that relate to that town... unless no material currently is available. These sections contain brief descriptions of the Collection or Project, along with a hyperlink to its location. Most content is on KehilaLinks websites where it the KehilaLinks 'owner' maintains it. Content for a town, district, or province that does not have an active KehilaLinks website is on the Bessarabia SIG site.
We have provided you with several ways to get to the Document Collections and Projects for your town. The easiest way is to go to your town page. There you will find lists of all relevant Document Collections and Projects for your town, along with a brief description of each item, an indication of its status, and the location of the item (e.g. on a KehilaLinks website, or at an external website or archive).
Master Index of Document Collections
You can browse through our Master Index of Document Collections. This Master Index page also is accessible by selecting 'Most Visited' on the 'Get Started' top menu, and clicking on Master Index of Documents. In the Search Form that comes up, leave all the entries set to their defaults, 'All...', and leave the Keyword field blank, then click the Search button. The Master Index of Document Collections has six columns:
Clicking on the View button for each Collection (it looks like a magnifying glass) takes you to a page that provides a detailed description of the Document Collection. That page also contains a list of towns for which the Collection is relevant. Click on the town name or the magnifier at the right side of the town line to go to the Bessarabia SIG Town Page that lists information for that particular collection and town.
Clicking on the View button that looks like an open book takes you to the web location that is the source of the document collection.
You can sort the Master Index table by any column. Just click on the column heading you want to sort by. Click again to sort the column in inverse order.
A Search Form at the top of the Master Index of Document Collections page allows you to narrow your search to a specific province, district, town, document type, or keyword. Each box in the Search Form has a dropdown menu that enables you to select an entry for that box. The circled question mark in the Search Form heading brings up a Help page. This Help page explains your search options and defines all the terms in the Search Form.
Master Index of Projects
A Master Index of Projects is available on the Research Menu. It works in a way very similar to the Master Index of Document Collections. To see the entire Index, leave all the default selections set to 'All...', leave the Keyword search box blank and click Search. The Master Project Index that appears has 4 sortable columns plus a View button.
The View button takes you to a page that has a detailed description of the Project for the geographic area you selected, a hyperlinked list of Document Collections related to the project, and a list of project tasks and the status of each.
You can narrow your search to a specific province, district, town, or project status by using the drop down lists in the Search Form at the top of the page. The circled question mark in the Search Form heading brings up a Help page. This Help page explains your search options and defines all the terms in the Search Form.
We begin on the Home page with the clickable maps showing the ten districts. We'll use the town of Kishinev to show how you can drill down to original documents and their translations.
Other towns, projects, and document collections will be similar, but detailed content may differ. As we mentioned earlier, almost all this content is on a KehilaLinks website or on an external website. The 'owner' of that website controls how the data are presented.
The Top Menu Bar
The top menu bar is available from every page of our website. It offers multiple ways to access all the information on the site. Now that you understand our Town orientation, Document Collections and Projects, we hope you will find each section of the Top Menu Bar is fairly intuitive. So we'll just guide you through the menus and leave it to you to explore more thoroughly.
Begin on our Home page. It features our clickable map of Bessarabia. You can use it to click through to any province, district, or town page, each of which has considerable content. You also can access the clickable map from Towns and Districts on the Top Menu Bar. The Home page also shows our most recent 'What's New' messages.
The Get Started menu is where you are now. It has sections that describe the work of our SIG as well as several 'how-to' sections like this one.
'Get started with our SIG' has links to two pop-out documents:
'Get started with this Website' has two items on a pop-out menu:
'Most Visited' has 4 pop-out items:
Towns and Districts
We previously discussed one of the menu choices under Towns and Districts: 'Alphabetic List of Towns'.
ResearchThe Research Menu has 1 submenu and several other sections:
Photos, Travel, and More
Everything on this menu is pretty standard and intuitive. No special instruction is needed. The submenus are: Photo Gallery, Travel Reports, Stories, People, Recipes, Book Reviews, and Other Articles. Items under Other Articles that relate to towns, districts or provinces also are listed on the relevant geographic pages of our website.
The contents of this menu item also are pretty standard and straightforward. Sub-menus include:
'Donate' tells you how you can make a monetary contribution to JewishGen and our SIG. You can designate your donation for general use or for specific towns or projects.
'Contribute' identifies some of the primary ways you can contribute your time and skills to assist our work.
'Town Leaders Needed' lists the towns in our concerned geographical area that currently lack town leaders. Since we have more than 100 towns in our database, and fewer Town Leaders, there are many opportunities for you to contribute to the SIG while advancing your own family history research.
'Acknowledgements' is a work-in-progress. It is here that we recognize the outstanding efforts of our volunteers.
We hope Bessarabia SIG's website will help you further your research. For many of us, working with Bessarabia SIG is a way to 'give back' for all the assistance we received with our own research. If you need help, please call upon us. If you can help move the SIG forward, please contact us. We take our tag line seriously... Bessarabia SIG, where Jewish genealogy is personal.
Best wishes,Inna Vayner, Bessarabia SIG Coordinator
where Jewish genealogy is personal