Jersalem Post article on 18th century GDL records for Lithuania #lithuania


Dear fellow Litvaks,

The Jewish Family History Foundation's Grand Duchy of Lithuania project to
transliterate 18th century records for an online database has made a great
deal of progress. Records for 1784 (and many for 1765) have been acquired;
a detailed inventory of every major town, shtetl or kahal is on our website
and as translation/transliteration of records proceeds, it is expected that
several thousand sub-kahals, inns and taverns will be added to the list.

As a brief introduction to our project, we invite you to read the Schelly
Talalay Dardashti's column in this week's Jerusalem Post, at the website
listed below. Then please visit our project website at

We provide a series of articles and detailed examples of how researchers
found their ancestors on the 18th century lists that lack surnames.

Visit our website to learn more about how you can participate. Many
Litvak researchers are already involved and have traced their ancestors
back as far as the mid 1600s. While a lot of the transliteration/translation
will be done by professionals, skilled volunteers can transliterate Polish
(Yiddish) names - the letters are in a Latin alphabet but the handwriting
is often difficult to decipher. You will need help with words that are no
longer in Polish-English dictionaries. A large part of the task is
translating the many sub-kahals, villages, taverns and inns. The
introductions are in Polish and often provide information about who owned
the land on which the Kahal existed. The records are signed by elders in
It's All Relative: A Grand Project
by Schelly Talalay Dardashti
Nov. 18, 2004

Schelly Talalay Dardashti details the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Project,
which will help researchers leap >from 19th century records to ancestors
in the 18th and even 17th centuries.

or go to and look under Jewish World to find Schelly's story.

David Hoffman
Jewish Family History Foundation

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