Genealogical Research in Argentina. corrections and additons to my previous post #general #latinamerica
Alberto Guido Chester
From time to time people ask me for help or directions on research in Argentina.
This is my updated (and edited) suggestion:
Eighty percent of Argentine Jews live or lived in Buenos Aires (city) or Greater Buenos Aires (city plus part of the province of the same name).
So concentrating in BA is a good choice, unless you know for certain they lived somewhere else in the interior of the country.
Immigration records for Buenos Aires can be found at "Cemla buscador". Note the records are incomplete (due mainly to book losses)and to not have Soundex capability so try different spellings. https://cemla.com/buscador/
Correction: as Yoni Kupchik has pointed out, there were other ports of maritime arrivals not included in this database. There are no online records for them.
The Buenos Aires Kehila at amia.org has a cemetery database for Jewish individuals. Again, no Soundex capability. Only burials for the Greater Buenos Aires. I know they sometimes answer specific questions through their email.
The Argentine Jewish Genealogy Association currently active. It has a Facebook page found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Gen.Judia.AR/ and its email is consultas.agja@.... The association has many projects which are painstakingly carried on by the sole effort of the members. They have a strong record of reuniting long lost families. (Correction suggested by Rolando Gail)
In Argentina, naturalization is a judicial (as opposed to administrative) process. For this reason, naturalization cases are scattered in many federal courts around the country. It is not impossible, but I do not recommend this venue of research.
If you are looking for relatives, use telexplorer.com for mail address and landline phone number (in steep use decline in Argentina)
It has no Soundex capability, so try different spellings. If you try a phone call from abroad, engage someone who can speak Spanish. Most Argentinians studied English at school but find it very difficult to speak it.
My suggestion is to try to get an email address from the conversation and communicate this way. People can google translate.
Argentinians are VERY suspicious of scam phone calls and do not feel comfortable answering cold calls (I have been told this happens in the USA also).
So you have to be patient.
I have been doing this kind of calls on behalf of Jewsihgenners since 1994 and seldom do them now because it requires a lot of patience and energy to prove you are not scamming.
A note on the agricultural colonies founded by Baron de Hirsch in Argentina:
Baron de Hirsch, a Jewish philanthropist, financed the well being of thousands of Jews from Europe by establishing agricultural colonies around the world. From 1891 he did so in Argentina with several colonies. The villages where these colonies were established still exist however most (but not all) of its Jewish inhabitants left them to look for a better future in urban centres.
I understand a small number of colonists´s lists are available online at present time. This can be searched in Jewishgen. I do know that an immense archive of the Jewish Colonization Association is held at the Central Archives of the history of the Jewish people at http://cahjp.nli.org.il/ but not catalogued or digitized.
Another additon from Yoni Kupchik:
"2) The JewishGen database of the agricultural colonies in Argentina is a growing one. We currently have online 20,000 different names from passengers lists and other sources. We are working hard on the actual census records from all colonies and from various years, hopefully a first batch of census records will go online soon.
3) Another very good source for Jewish immigrants in Argentina is familysearch.org. They have scanned and put online two important databases - the Argentina 1895 census and the Civil Registration records for the district of Entre Rios for the years ~1900-1930. Entre Rios was the district where most colonies were located so these records have a tremendous amount of Jewish vital records. The records are in Spanish. According to familysearch.org the data in these records will be searchable soon. Right now most of the data can be browsed but not searched through the search engine. Most books have indexes so it's not a big deal looking for a name."
Hope this helps
Thanks to Yoni Kupchik and Rolando Gail for their kind comments.
Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina