In the beginning... #usa

Rachel Unkefer <runkefer@...>

there were 27 members of the Early American SIG. That's not too bad
for the first 24 hours. That's 1.125 per hour, so if we can keep up
that pace, we'll have 810 members by this time next month. OK, so
that might be a bit optimistic. In any case, welcome to all of you
"pioneers" who signed up right away. I set up the beginnings of a web
site a few weeks ago, and I know that some of you have looked at it
already and given me feedback. If you haven't yet, please do so. It's
at My plan is to have a
separate page for each state that somebody is researching, since the
resources and methods for research will differ somewhat by state. I
did a sort of "dummy" page for Kentucky to start with. Once we get
rolling I will redesign the pages so they look a little nicer.

What can you do to help, you ask? Several things:

1. If you have a lot of information about a particular state (or even
a semi-lot) such as URLs for state information, information about the
oldest Jewish communities, synagogues, cemeteries, etc., volunteer to
be that state's "mentor". I will be happy to put your material on a
web page and you would be the contact for anybody supplying new
information or needing guidance with research in that state (you
don't have to live there). I suggest looking at your state's GenWeb
page to get some idea of the kinds of information that might be of
use, although in a lot of cases we can just put a link to the GenWeb
page instead of duplicating what they've already done. If you don't
know what GenWeb is, maybe we need to write an infofile on that.

2. If you know anything about putting a web page together (a la
ShtetLinks), let me know. I could use some help on all these state

3. Volunteer to write up a FAQ or infofile on any topic you're
familiar with (Civil War? American Jewish Archives holdings?
Migration patterns? Early ship manifests? Making friends with the
librarian at the county historical society?)

In the meantime, send a message introducing yourself to the list
(earlyamerican@...). Please give your full name, the
city (and state for US) and country where you live, and the names
cities or counties and states along with the eras you are researching.

Here's a suggested format:

Rachel Unkefer
Charlottesville, Virginia
KAHN, Missouri 1870-present
KAHN, Ohio County, Kentucky 1850-present
KAHN, Evansville, Indiana 1850-present
KAHN, Memphis, Tennessee 1860-present
GOLDSMITH, Pennsylvania 1856-?
GOLDSMITH, Memphis, Tennessee 1850-present
KRONENBERGER, Indiana 1860-?
KRONENBERGER, Cincinnati, Ohio 1870-?
SELIGMAN, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 18??
WEIL, New Orleans, Lousiana 1853-?

States that I know pretty much about: Tennessee (particularly
Memphis--have a few contacts there), Ohio (grew up there), Kentucky
(medium amount).

Again, welcome, and thanks for joining.

Rachel Unkefer
Charlottesville, VA

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