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JewishGen Family Finder reaches 200,000 entries

For further information:
      Susan E. King (, (713) 522-7599 (FAX)
      Warren Blatt (

Date: August 2, 2000

The JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) has reached another milestone. As of today, there have been over 200,000 unique entries submitted to the JGFF via the JewishGen website. The number of entries in the JGFF has nearly doubled every year since going online for interactive data entry and searching three years ago.

The JewishGen Family Finder is available for searching, entering and modifying data online at our website, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Data is updated instantaneously and is available immediately for subsequent search requests.

About the JewishGen Family Finder

The JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) is a database of surnames and towns currently being researched by Jewish genealogists worldwide. It contains ancestral surnames and town names, and is indexed and cross-referenced by both surname and town name.

The JGFF is a networking tool, designed to connect genealogists with similar research interests. Its purpose is to allow people who are researching the same surnames and towns to share information with each other. All Jewish genealogists and those who are interested in their Jewish heritage are encouraged to participate.

History of the JGFF

The concept for the JGFF began in April 1982, when the New York-based Jewish Genealogical Society published a 37-page typewritten roster of ancestral towns and surnames being researched by 83 members of the society. This was the genesis of what became the "Jewish Genealogical Family Finder". Gary Mokotoff, a member of the society, computerized the list and expanded the JGFF by permitting contributions from any person who was researching their Jewish ancestry, even though not a member of the New York group. Mokotoff elected to maintain the JGFF under the auspices of the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. from 1982 until 1996, turning over profits to the society. Printed copies of the JGFF were distributed to the various Jewish Genealogical Societies throughout the world semi-anually, and the JGFF was also made available to the public on microfiche.

In 1991, the JGFF was made available on several dial-up computer bulletin boards (BBSs), in a project developed by Susan King. In 1994, the JGFF was made available on the Internet, via a World Wide Web and e-mail retrieval system developed by Warren Blatt for JewishGen. In 1996, a new online system was developed for JewishGen by Michael Tobias, which included the ability to enter and modify entries online.

In 1996, ownership of the JGFF was transferred from the Jewish Genealogical Society (New York), to JewishGen, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, in order to make the data more widely available. It was renamed to the "JewishGen Family Finder". Researchers may now search and submit data online via the Internet.

Growth of the JGFF

As of August 2, 2000, the JGFF contained over 200,000 entries, submitted by over 37,000 Jewish genealogists worldwide. The database contains over 60,000 different surnames, and over 15,000 ancestral town names.

Date Researchers Entries
1990 1,300 20,000
1991 1,500 22,000
1992 1,700 24,000
1993 2,000 28,000
1994 2,300 30,000
1995 Jun 2,400 31,000
1995 Dec 2,600 32,000
1996 Jun 2,600 32,000
1996 Dec 3,500 40,000
1997 Mar 4,200 47,000
1997 Jun 4,900 52,000
1997 Sep 6,200 56,000
1997 Dec 7,300 61,000
1998 Mar 7,900 70,000
1998 Jun 10,000 80,000
1998 Sep 12,000 90,000
1998 Dec 15,000 105,000
1999 Mar 18,000 120,000
1999 Jun 21,000 135,000
1999 Sep 26,000 150,000
1999 Dec 29,000 165,000
2000 Mar 32,000 180,000
2000 Jun 36,000 195,000

For more information about the JewishGen Family Finder, see the "JGFF FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About the JewishGen Family Finder" at

JewishGen, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. The JewishGen website averages over a million hits a month. Tens of thousands now utilize the internet services of JewishGen, spanning all continents.

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