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JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry

Submitting Data to JOWBR

The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) aims to catalog data about Jewish cemeteries and burial records worldwide, from the earliest records to the present.
JOWBR is a searchable database of names and associated information, including photographs of gravestones.
JOWBR contains more than 4.1 million burial records from 9,500 cemeteries in 138 countries.
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Why JOWBR? FAQ

What is JOWBR?

The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) is a database of names and other identifying information from Jewish cemeteries and burial records worldwide, from the earliest records to the present. It is a compilation of three linked databases: a database of burial records, headstone photos when available, and information about each particular cemetery where we have burial records. JOWBR's aim is to catalog extant data about Jewish cemeteries and burial records worldwide.

JOWBR is a searchable database on JewishGen, and the data is also incorporated into the relevant JewishGen "All Country" Databases.

For more information on donating information to JOWBR, see our page "Why Submit Burial Records to JOWBR".


You can watch JewishGen's screencast series
“How To Submit Data To JOWBR”
by clicking here.

How does the JOWBR project work?

The indexing of burial records is the responsibility of a large team of volunteers, coordinated by Nolan Altman.   If you’d like to volunteer to help create spreadsheets from photos or do translations of headstones from various languages (usually Hebrew or Cyrillic) to English, please submit our volunteer form by clicking here.

To help accumulate burial data, JewishGen has initiated an "adopt a cemetery" program, to encourage Special Interest Groups (SIGs), local Jewish genealogy societies (JGSs), synagogue youth groups, Jewish Federations, and other interested parties to adopt a cemetery or a landsmanschaft plot and index its records for submission to the JOWBR project.  If you would like to participate in this program,  please contact Nolan Altman.

We regret that we cannot accept individual family burial data.  JOWBR only accepts data from an entire cemetery or an entire landsmanschaft/organization plot within a larger cemetery.

Forms:

All forms and explanatory material are available online, using the links below: a Donor Agreement, a template for data entry (an Excel spreadsheet), and an explanation of the fields used for data entry.

The fields for data input for each burial are below.  Only those fields for which you have information should be used

  • Plot Location
  • Surname
  • Given Name(s)
  • Place of Birth
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Death
  • Date of Death (English)
  • Date of Death (Hebrew)
  • Age at Death
  • Date of Burial
  • Hebrew Name
  • Spouse's Name
  • Father's Name
  • Mother's Name
  • Other Surnames
  • All Towns
  • Photo Filename
  • Comments/Notes

For more information about these fields, please see the JOWBR data entry instructions.

If you visit your ancestral town or have access to local cemeteries that are not currently in JOWBR, but you are unable to enter the data yourself, please contact us and we will arrange to have this done by one of our volunteers.  Please also remember that we are not accepting information on individual burials, only information for complete cemeteries, landsmanschaft or synagogue plots.

All contributors of burial data are asked to submit a Donor Agreement giving permission for this material to be put online.

Working Documents:

· JOWBR Template (Excel Spreadsheet)
· JOWBR Template Instructions
· JOWBR Donor Agreement

Contacts:

  • Completed datafile spreadsheets are to be sent to jowbrsubmissions@lyris.jewishgen.org as e-mail attachments.  Photos  should be transferred using a third party file sharing service (e.g. DropBox).  If that’s not possible, please contact Nolan Altman.
  • Complete and submit the online donor agreement
  • For any questions, please contact Nolan Altman.

Photographs and Translations:

For hints on photographing tombstones, please see this file.

If you have photos of headstones with non-English inscriptions, we can have a volunteer prepare the standard template for you.

See "Contacts" above on how to submit photo files.

JOWBR Updates

JOWBR typically updates twice annually; in June and December.  All material received by May 31 will be included in the May update and the cut-off for the year-end update is November 30th. Reminders are usually made through the JewishGen Discussion List.

Individual Cemetery Updates

If you wish to update an existing cemetery template, please contact Nolan Altman.  He will send you a copy of the “live” spreadsheet and then you can add new records, correct errors, add photo file information, or make whatever additional adjustments are needed.  When your updated file is received, JewishGen will do a complete deletion of the old file and a replace with your updated file.

Corrections

Corrections should be handled as described in the Updates paragraph above.  However, if you find a necessary correction, please consider the following:

  • We are happy to make corrections due to typos or translation errors, but we need to have some evidence as to what the change should be made.  When a cemetery administrator or other donor sends me their records, and a researcher tells me that something is wrong, there is no way for me to tell who is correct.  Yes, I know the cemetery could be wrong, but so could the family member.  We do not verify submitted information.
  • JOWBR is a burial record database.  The purpose of JOWBR is to give you the same information that you would get if you visited the cemetery and were standing in front of the headstone, errors and all.  If you want to expand the genealogical information for a person in your tree, consider adding your family tree to JewishGen’s Family Tree of the Jewish People (https://www.jewishgen.org/gedcom/)
  • For some cemeteries, there is one individual donor or a local Jewish Genealogical Society that coordinates the preparation and updates for those cemeteries.  In those cases, your corrections will be forwarded to those parties to make the appropriate changes in their next submitted update. 

As mentioned above, JOWBR is updated on  semi-annual basis.  Even if it appears to be a simple change, based on the way our software was written, we need to process all changes together in our two semi-annual updates, June and December. 


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Last Update: 17 Jul 2014   WSB
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