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Genealogy for Gen X, Y and Z

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A Guide to Using the Gen X, Y and Z Site



  • Tradition

    Judaism has rituals that link us to one another and to thousands of years of Jewish history and tradition.

  • L’Dor V’Dor

    L’dor V’dor is the generational passage from one generation to the next. It follows Jewish written and oral tradition.

Start With Yourself

  • Journaling Your Family History

    A family history journal is personal, you can write it with the intention of never sharing it, with the intention of using the contents to further your family history writing or as a legacy to your descendants to have a better understanding of your own attitudes and actions.

  • Genealogy and Family History: Get Started with Charts

    Charts help us see at a glance how we are related to other family members. There are many kinds of charts that fit the many kinds of family units in the modern world.

  • Family Relationships

    A picture of a family shows relationships. But what kind of relationship? The labels mother father aunt uncle cousin and cousin once removed all show the position that a person takes on a chart. Learn these relationships and diagram them.

  • Machatunim

    English Needs a Word for the Relationship Between Your Parents and Your In-Laws, by Jason Feifer, describes the close relationship between the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom. Machatunim means “the parents of my child’s spouse.” There’s no English equivalent, which makes describing this relationship otherwise kind of challenging. What else would they say? Co-in-laws? That barely makes sense. My parents would have to say something clunky like, “our son’s wife’s parents.” Machatunim is way better.

  • The Immigrant Journal Project: an activity for teachers and students

    A series of lessons related to eastern and southern European immigration to the United States. The lessons address immigrants’ decisions to come to the United States, crossing the North Atlantic, their passage through Ellis Island, and their searches for jobs and housing. The Immigrant Journal Project: an activity for teachers and students. Imagine yourself on a journey to a new world.

Find Your Story

  • New to Genealogy - Beginners’ First Step

    New to family history and ancestry research? If you are a beginner or a seasoned genealogist, take care of the time-sensitive critical steps immediately and then you can take your time to learn how to set attainable goals as your genealogy experience grows. Oral Research: do it while you still have family members to ask.

  • Talk to Your Family

    Interviewing Grandma and Grandpa - A guide for talking to a family elder on what it was like growing up. These suggested questions help us think about when our grandparents were kids and teenagers who only much later became moms and dads. Grandparents have a lifetime of experiences to share about their lives growing up, their struggles and their joys at every phase. Limiting the number of questions for the first interview makes sense. From there let the conversation flow.

  • Look Around Your House

    Everything Tells a Story. Every family has a legacy. Everyone has old stories repeated throughout the generations. Look for stories in old photos, important papers, saved newspapers or newspaper clippings and old family recipes, treasured heirlooms and ordinary well-used implement we saved for their usefulness and as a way of preserving a person in memory.

  • Tips for Beginning Family History Research

    Ancestry lists a series of steps that start with interviews and document collection from the family you know.

  • How to Build a Family Tree

    The National Genealogical Society has written an advanced step by step outline for gathering family information. As in all guides, it reinforces the importance of starting a family tree with your own life. "Go back to your birth record and start to note the details of where you were born, the date, your parents full names, and be sure to include your mother’s maiden name. Next record details of places you have lived, your schooling, marriage, and children. Then begin to work back further and research your parents’ lives.

  • Interview Questions

    There are many examples of interview questions. Google is a good source to ask: Genealogy+interview questions?


  • Google My Maps

    This is point by point navigation and the easiest genealogy mapping program to use. It automatically draws routes from point to point, sets placemarks for chosen places. Easy to use, it is great for tracking places your ancestors lived. Learn more: Tutorial, and more advanced videos.

  • Google Maps

    Google Maps is for point to point navigation. This program contains all of the navigation, lightweight mapping power and points of interest with just a small hint of satellite imagery. This program is for everyday use.

  • Google Earth

    This advanced program is for explorers and for those who want to know what places look like. It has complete 3D satellite data but just a small subset of information on places. It does not have automatic point-to-point navigation. You can plot ancestral towns, enter pictures and stories and manually draw point to point routes.

  • Finding Your Ancestral Town

    In this demo, learn how you can use JewishGen to locate and identify your ancestral town. Searches can be done in multiple languages.

  • Finding Your JewishGen Community

    The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island presents a video to explain how to use the JewishGen Communities Database. JewishGen’s Communities Database is an excellent resource for discovering information on your ancestral town. Here are 8 ways to get the most out of this resource.

  • Find a photo of any NYC building from 1940

    Researchers interested in New York City will be thrilled to learn that you can view online images of nearly every single building in the five boroughs of New York City from circa 1940. These photos are published online and available in the New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery. They join a similar set of photos from the early 1980s which are also available online at the same location.


  • Immigration Primer - Your Family's Immigration Story

    Immigration is when people go to live in another country permanently. We all have immigration stories in our family trees. Do you know where your ancestors originally came from? Take some to learn about those countries and cultures. Did they speak Yiddish? Find out what life was like before they came to America. Find their homeland on a map.

  • Complete Archive of Ellis Island Records

    Now Online for Free, these ship passenger records span more than half the nation’s history, including millions of arrivals during the “Great Wave” of immigration (1880s–early 1920s).

  • Castle Garden: Immigration Before Ellis Island

    The country’s first immigration station was the Emigrant Landing Depot at Castle Garden. Castle Garden opened to immigrants in 1855 on the eve of a dramatic wave of European immigration. During the next 35 years, more than 8 million people passed through Castle Garden, especially from Germany and Ireland, and later from Italy and Eastern Europe.

  • New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924

    This is a searchable surname index to lists of 25 million people (not just immigrants) who arrived at Ellis Island, Port of New York, 1892-1924. In addition, includes a link to images of arrival lists at the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Web site.

Choosing Databases


  • Searching Census

    Work online. Create a free account at and search 1900, 1910, 1920, 1920 and 1940 census records.

  • Search Vital Records

    Work online to discover the birth, marriage and death records for your ancestors that were born in the United States. These records can be found free at and Find a Grave, the world’s largest gravesite collection.

  • Search Immigration Records

    Explore the free online resources to search for passenger arrival records (manifests). Some are very general and some can be very specific. Here are helpful websites that are totally free.

  • Genealogy and Family History: Census Records

    If you are new to genealogy, you will quickly find the importance of using census records in your research. They enable you to track your family from decade to decade, location to location. Since 1790, every 10 years the U.S. has conducted a federal census. Census are not unique to the the federal government, states sometimes conducted their own census as well. State census were often taken between the federal ones. Therefore, providing a more continuous picture of your changing family. Knowing how to drill down and extract data out of both types of census is invaluable.

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