Did you ever notice that our Jewish ancestors had a lot of names? They had Hebrew names, Yiddish names, nicknames and often several American names that can make tracing them rather challenging. Given names have a much longer history than surnames in Jewish history and often contain significant family history due to naming patterns. So how do you work back to their original given name to find them in their ancestral town and how do you identify the name (s) they took in the United States? Then how do you use that information to build out your tree? Join Susan in an exploration of Jewish given names, how to find them, trace them, and use them to expand your genealogy. She will present sources and methods in a variety of cases to make sense of this often-puzzling subject.
Susan Weinberg is an artist, writer and professional genealogist. She enjoys solving puzzles and telling stories and genealogy offers her many opportunities to do so. Weinberg serves as President of the Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society (MNJGS) and is on the board of the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). She is the author of We Spoke Jewish: A Legacy in Stories, a book based on the stories of Jewish elders in Minnesota. Her research has taken her to archives and ancestral towns in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania as well as to Holocaust records in Germany. As a volunteer with Jewishgen.org, she creates websites on ancestral towns and can often be found photographing tombstones in the overgrown cemeteries in Eastern Europe.
The program will take place on-line via Zoom. For more information and to register go to
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Members are free, non-members $5. Payment can be made at
Researching: NOTKIN from Minsk, Hlusk, Gomel, Zlynka and CASSON/CHAZANSKI from Nemencine, Vilnius