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 07/06/2012  InfoSheets on Ukraine SIG Page

Another Ukraine SIG improvement: we have restructured the InfoSheets page
on the Ukraine SIG Home Page. You can now select these wonderfully
informative how-to lessons by category, including areas such as databases,
indexing, research and more.

Be sure to take a look at

Linda Cantor
Ukraine SIG Communications and Discussion List Director

 07/04/2012  Ukraine SIG's Annual Report to JewishGen, 2011-2012

Dear Ukraine SIG Friends,

This is an updated extract from the annual report Ukraine SIG submitted to JewishGen for 2011-2012. It outlines our progress toward SIG revitalization during the past year.

The past year has been devoted to revitalizing Ukraine SIG. We have changed the way Ukraine SIG operates. We are more active in seeking out records, translating them, processing them and making them available. We changed the way the SIG is governed, appointed an entirely new Board of Directors, improved communication, and shifted our orientation from guberniyas (provinces) to towns and districts. We completely restructured our website to reflect our new towns and districts orientation and to make data and information easier to find.

  • We have recruited volunteers as Town Leaders for 143 towns.
  • We have increased the number of KehilaLinks websites for Ukraine towns from 47 to 78 with another 50 pending.
  • Our Discussion List now has 2,876 subscribers, up from 2,650 last year, an 8.8% increase.
  • A new Facebook page supplements our SIG’s Discussion List.
  • In addition to Town Leaders and KehilaLinks Owners we have gone from zero to more than 50 volunteers actively working, including 25 translators to help with Russian, Polish, Hebrew, and Yiddish documents.
  • We created and posted 28 InfoSheets & “How-to” documents. These include two PowerPoint tutorials, one to help Ukraine SIG volunteers create name indexes for Yizkor Book translations, and one to help volunteers index the unindexed fields of the Ellis Island Database.
  • We created an online Language and Skills Survey that has served as a model for other SIGs. It has provided us with a list of eager volunteers who have the skills we need for our projects.

At the beginning of the year, the SIG had no active projects underway. Now, ...

      • We are translating name lists from 4 Russian books and several other sources, including 4 Prenumeranten. Two Prenumeranten lists with more than 1,800 names are done. Two others are in-progress. A 1919 Pogrom list for Trostyanets and a 1748 Census for Vishnevets have been completed. Five other name lists are in-progress.
      • We have acquired and are translating more than 1,300 catalog cards from the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People.
        • We have completed translation of gravestones from the Trostyanets Jewish cemetery and are working on gravestones from Zhitomir Jewish Cemeteries, more than 4,500 gravestones.
      • We acquired, translated and submitted to the JewishGen Ukraine Database more than 3,000 records from the 1795 Ostrog Census.
      • We have indexed the un-indexed fields of the Ellis Island Database records for 4 towns and are working on 3 others.
      • We have begun indexing names and other information on KehilaLinks websites for Ukraine towns. One website is done; 3 others are in-progress.
      • We have created 6 new KehilaLinks websites under SIG sponsorship until permanent owners step forward. We also are helping 4 KehilaLinks website owners update their sites.
      • We have identified, and are translating and cataloging more than 600 data sources on Russian language websites.
      • Vital records with more than 14,000 names for three towns have been translated and are ready for posting. Vital records translations for 3 other towns with more than 3,200 names are in-progress.
      • Extraction of data from Yad Vashem for one town is in-progress.
      • We have guided creation of name indexes for 4 Yizkor Books. The indexes contain more than 7,500 names and have been submitted to JewishGen for posting.
      • We have provided translators for 5 Yizkor Books.
      • We have given presentations about the new Ukraine SIG to the JGSs of Oregon, Washington, and Greater Orlando.
      • We have arranged for a guest luncheon speaker at the 2012 IAJGS Paris Conference, Iryna Serheyeva, head of the Department of Jewish Studies at the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine. She also will give a presentation about resources at the Kyiv Archives. Two other SIG presentations have been accepted by the Conference.

All datasets are being submitted to the JewishGen Ukraine Database, the Yizkor Book Master Name Index, and JOWBR.

It has been a busy year for Ukraine SIG … and there is much more to come.

Ron Doctor (rddpdx@gmail.com)
Coordinator, JewishGen Ukraine SIG
where Jewish genealogy is personal

 06/10/2012  Center for Genealogical Research Name Lists

I want to tell you about a tremendous new resource that Marilyn Robinson, Tara Levin, and Bena Shklyanoy have uncovered, each working independently. It is the Russian language website of the Center for Genealogical Research (http://www.rosgenea.ru). Each entry is a short biographical paragraph about an individual. The paragraph often includes names of spouses or children. The entries are arranged alphabetically by surname. According to the website, the list covers the European territory of the former Russian Empire, people born before 1918. I estimate that about 10% of the names are Jewish.

The website contains about 420,000 primary surnames (almost 2,600 pages of primary surnames with about 160 names per page). Common surnames have multiple secondary pages, each with up to 15 people listed. For example the primary surname Kagan has six secondary pages with a total of 60 to 90 name entries. We estimate that the Center's website has more than 6 million individual name entries ... between 500,000 and 1 million Jewish name entries. A.M. Paramonov's Encyclopedia of Names, Kharkov Province seems to be drawn from this list. (We are more than half finished with the extraction of Jewish names and translating the entries from Paramonov's Encyclopedia.)

The entries seem to be drawn from 5 reference works (all in Russian):

1) Address book of members of the All-Union Botanical Society, as of May 1, 1957. St. Petersburg. Publisher: USSR Academy of Sciences. Leningrad, 1958. (Scanning funded by the Center for Genealogical Research)

2) City of Yekaterinburg, Collection of historical statistics and background information on the city, with an address pointer and including some information on the Yekaterinburg district. A publication of Yekaterinburg Mayor I.I. Simanova. Yekaterinburg. Printed in Yekaterinburg Week in 1889. (Scanning funded by /Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company/).

3)Picturesque Russia. , Volume 4. Part two. by P.P. Semionov; St. Petersburg - Moscow: 1881-1901, M.O. Wolf (bookseller-typographer). (Scanning funded by Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company)

4) Complete list of officer ranks of the Russian Imperial Army on 1 January 1909. St. Petersburg: Military press (in the building of the General Staff). (Scanning funded by the Center for Genealogical Research)

5) Russia. The full geographical description of our country. Desktop and road book. Volume 5. Urals and the Ural region. St. Petersburg. Publisher: A.F. DeVries, 1914. (scanning funded Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company)

We need translators to extract the Jewish entries, translate them from printed Russian to English, and enter the translations in a spreadsheet. We will provide you with the spreadsheet template. Bena (benagen@gmail.com) will serve as Project Manager until we can find a qualified Manager to take over the project. I have entered this project and related data collection into our website database. You can see the project page here.

Please contact me if you can help with this project, either as project manager or as a translator.


Ron Doctor (rddpdx@gmail.com)
Coordinator, JewishGen Ukraine SIG
where Jewish genealogy is personal

 06/10/2012  Appointment of Bena Shklyanoy to Ukraine SIG's Board of Directors

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Bena Shklyanoy (benagen@gmail.com) to Ukraine SIG's Board of Directors. Bena is our new Translations and Data Director. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1976 from Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) with her husband and two small children. She grew up in a bilingual, Russian and Yiddish, family and now lives in Chicago. Bena has an M.A. in Linguistics, Russian language and Literature from the University of Kiev, and an M.S. in Management from the Lake Forest Executive School of Management. In Kiev, she worked as a technical translator and editor at an engineering firm. In the U.S., she became a computer programmer, then a project manager. She worked in information technology for more than 30 years.

Bena will be responsible for coordinating our translation projects and for preparing our datasets for posting to JewishGen Ukraine Database and the Ukraine SIG Master Name Index. Her full job description and a more detailed biography are here.

If you have translation skills (Russian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish, or Ukrainian) or Project Management skills, and are interested in working with Bena and Ukraine SIG, please contact me.


Ron Doctor (rddpdx@gmail.com)
Coordinator, JewishGen Ukraine SIG
where Jewish genealogy is personal

 04/23/2012  IAJGS 2012 Conference-Paris: Ukraine SIG-related events

As many of you know, the 32nd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is in Paris, France this year. It runs from 15 through 18 July. Your Ukraine SIG has a full schedule of events for the Conference.

15 July,   10:00 am, Ariel Parkansky, Revitalization of the Ukraine SIG Website
15 July,    2:00 pm, SIG-BOF Fair, Ukraine SIG* and Kremenets District Research Group have tables
15 July,    4:40 pm, Kremenets District Research Group, Birds of a Feather meeting
15 July,    5:40 pm, Ron Doctor & Susan Sobel, Town-based re-indexing of the unindexed fields in the Ellis Island Database
16 July,   10:50 am, Novohrad-Volinskiy (Zvhil) Birds of a Feather meeting
16 July,   12:30 pm, Ukraine SIG Luncheon, Iryna Serheyeva (fee, reservation required),Pinkasim holdings of the Vernadskiy National Library of Ukraine
16 July,    2:00 pm, Ron Doctor, Ukraine SIG General Meeting
16 July,    7:00 pm, Warren Blatt, JewishGen 2012
17 July,   10:00 am, Ukraine SIG Open Board Meeting
18 July,    9:00 am, Iryna Serheyeva, Documents in Kyiv Archives and in the Vernadskiy National Library of Ukraine Collections

As you can see we've developed an excellent program. I urge you especially to attend the SIG Luncheon. Iryna Serheyeva is Head of the Jewish Studies Department of the Vernadskiy National Library of Ukraine. Her luncheon talk about Pinkasim will be especially useful. (Pinkasim are Jewish Community Records.) In her presentation on 18 July Iryna will expand on her discussion of the Vernadskiy Library's holdings and also will discuss documents that are in the Kyiv Archives.

Don't miss Ariel Parkansky's discussion of how he and his Web Team restructured Ukraine SIG's website and integrated it with KehilaLinks websites and other resources. Our new website is an innovative tool for advancing your family history research. As we load links and descriptions of new content, the website just keeps getting more and more useful day-by-day.

At our SIG General Meeting, I will report on the remarkable progress that we have made on Ukraine SIG's revitalization activities. I'll also discuss the many new research opportunities ahead of us. As we did last year, we will hold an Open Board Meeting at the Conference. Everyone is invited.

I hope to see you at the Conference. Be sure to visit our SIG/BOF Fair table so that we can meet personally.

Ron Doctor (rddpdx@gmail.com)
Coordinator, JewishGen Ukraine SIG
where Jewish genealogy is personal

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