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How JewishGen’s Genealogy Class Helped Me Make the Connection

By April Stone

“I signed up for JewishGen’s Basic On-Line Genealogy Class … the tools I acquired during this class opened up my entire world of genealogical research.”

Restoring a Family’s Name

By Roberta Fleishman

“After years of fruitless research and frustration, one day my husband stumbled upon the Rosenbaum Bank Passage Order database on JewishGen and ultimately success!”

A Roots Tour to Lithuania and Poland

By Beth Weitz Katz

“We were able to locate Risa’s headstone because my mother had a 1935 photograph of family members standing next to her gravestone in Jurbarkas. Seven years later, those family members …were killed by the Nazis and buried in the adjacent mass grave.”

85 Years Later, a Niece and a Great-Grandniece Rediscover That Friendship

By Marla Raucher Osborn

“The University archive also has Bronia's 50-page master's thesis…It is written in German. I feel Bronia with me as I stare at the fine, even, delicate penmanship written by her hand in 1931.”

EDITORS' NOTE - August 2013

In this issue we present four very different stories of success. The common thread that ties these stories together is the drive to understand a family’s history and connect it to the present. Our authors research their families in Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, and Israel.

April Stone was unsuccessful in finding any information regarding her paternal great-grandfather. She enrolls in JewishGen’s Basic On-Line Genealogy Class and later the Independent Study Class. Through these classes she enhances her researching skills, locates her great-grandfather’s records after discovering his surname had been changed, and ultimately connects with previously unknown family members. As April so aptly puts it, Victory!

Roberta Fleishman wanted to help her uncle research his father’s family history, but this proved difficult since the family’s surname had been changed when they came to America and Uncle Herb did not know the original surname. After four years of fruitless research, Roberta’s husband finds the Rosenbaum Bank Passage Order database on JewishGen, which leads them to other records, and to ultimate success. A family name is restored!

Beth Weitz Katz, along with her mother, visits the grave of her great-great-grandmother in Jurbarkas, Lithuania. They locate the grave with the aid of a 1935 photograph of family members gathered around the tombstone, family members who would all later be killed by the Nazis and buried in a mass grave nearby. Beth prepares for the trip by accessing JewishGen resources such as Yizkor Books, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and the Discussion Group.

Marla Raucher Osborn had questions about her great-grand-aunt Bronia. Bronia was born in 1904 in Galicia, left for Palestine in 1936, came to America in the 1950s, and then returned to Israel, where she died in 1992. Why had she returned to Israel? Marla’s research takes her to Bronia’s Israeli probate file and to the archives of two universities in Lwow and Krakow, where she discovers Bronia’s lifelong friend, Lotte.

We hope you enjoy these stories and learn from the variety of research approaches the authors describe. JewishGen provides many resources to assist you in expanding your knowledge and connecting with family. We wish you success and encourage you to send us your stories.

Nancy Siegel, Editor                                                            Anna Blanchard, Webmaster
San Francisco, California                                                  Saint Louis, Missouri


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Updated by AB on September 1 2013.

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