Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Jewish Family History Resources Online

FamilySearch Releases Free Database and Research Guides

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH— FamilySearch added to its substantial Jewish genealogical collection with the addition of its new Jewish Family History Resources online. The announcement was made in conjunction with the 27th International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Conference in Salt Lake City this week. The new web page includes a new Jewish genealogy database, the Knowles Collection, as well as a new research guide, Tracing Your Jewish Ancestors. The new features can be accessed for free at FamilySearch provides numerous free tools and resources for anyone researching Jewish ancestry.

The Knowles Collection contains information for thousands of Jews from the British Isles. Building on the work of the late Isobel Mordy, the collection links individuals into family groups with more names added continuously. The collection is available as a file that can be viewed and edited through most genealogy software programs. Genealogy software is also available as a free download.

“The Tracing Your Jewish Ancestors guide is an excellent, free reference tool for anyone with a Jewish ancestor who came to the United States from Europe,” said Paul Nauta, manager of Public Affairs for FamilySearch. “Users will be able to follow simple steps to identify an ancestor’s birthplace or place of origin—a difficult task for many with Jewish ancestry,” Nauta added. It provides instructions on which records to search first, what to look for, and what research tools to use. It includes 30 colorful pages of examples and rich, helpful details. The digital document is available in a high quality, easy-to-use PDF format. The popular Jewish Genealogy Research Outline has also been revised and is accessible for free.

Other FamilySearch Jewish Family History Resources highlights include:

  • Links to relevant records and searchable databases
  • Helpful guides and forms to view online or print
  • Online indexing projects, where individuals can register to volunteer or to see what databases are forthcoming
  • Free genealogy management software
  • Directions to receive free personal assistance through a family history center near you
Those with Jewish ancestry should bookmark the site. Links to new resources and tools will be added as they become available.

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.

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