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Online Jewish genealogy resources to be focus of Jewish Genealogical Society talk on 23 May 2021 #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Eli Rabinowitz
 

Online Jewish Genealogical Society Talk

 

Online Jewish genealogy resources to be focus of Jewish Genealogical Society talk on 23 May 2021

Eli Rabinowitz, a board member of the IAJGS who lives in Australia and is from South Africa, will speak on “Journeys from Shtetl to Shtetl” for the Sunday, 23 May 2021, virtual meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. His live streaming presentation will begin at a special time: 7:30 pm CST.

8:30 pm ES 5:30 pm WST

Monday 24 May 2021: 10:30 am Sydney, 8:30 am Perth, 3:30 am Israel, 2:30 am South Africa, 1:30 am UK

Registration https://jgsi.org/event-3988686

After you register, you will be sent a link to join the meeting. This webinar will be recorded so that JGSI’s paid members who are unable to view it live will be able to view the recording later.

For more information, see https://jgsi.org or phone 312-666-0100.

In his presentation, Rabinowitz will explain how to trace our past and plot our future, using 88 KehilaLinks, over 800 WordPress blog entries, Facebook posts, and other social media. He will also discuss heritage travels in the actual and virtual worlds.

In his talk, Eli will describe special events including commemorations and reunions of descendants. “An important activity is to visit a local school—either physically or online, to engage with students, especially in towns where a few buildings with Jewish symbols, or cemeteries that often contain illegible matsevot, are the only tangible memories of a once thriving community,” he said.

It is also important that family histories should be documented and shared at the same time as the special events, Eli said.

Examples of such recent ceremonies were the Bielski partisans’ descendants’ reunion in Naliboki and Navahrudak, Belarus; the new memorial for victims of the massacre that took place near Birzai, Lithuania; and the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lost Shtetl Museum in Šeduva, Lithuania.

Eli Rabinowitz was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and has lived in Perth, Australia, since 1986. He has researched his family’s genealogy and associated Jewish cultural history for over 30 years. Eli has travelled extensively, writing about Jewish life, travel, and education on his website, Tangential Travel and Jewish Life (http://elirab.me). He writes and manages dozens of JewishGen KehilaLinks and more than 750 WordPress blog posts. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy. Eli has lectured internationally at educational institutions, commemorative events, at IAJGS and other conferences, and online.

He is a board member of the IAJGS—The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, an independent non-profit umbrella organization that coordinates an annual conference of 84 Jewish genealogical societies worldwide.

Eli also advises on Litvak and Polish heritage tours.

He writes and manages 88 KehilaLinks—Jewish websites for JewishGen.org, the world’s largest Jewish genealogical organization, with a database of 500,000 followers. His KehilaLinks include sites in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Germany, Russia, China, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa and Australia.

The Jewish Genealogical Societyof Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 300 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 65 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

New Memorial Orla Poland 2021

 
 
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Morgen Zhournal #yiddish #usa

flmillner@...
 

The first five years (1901-1905) of the New York Yiddish newspaper Morgen Zhournal are apparently lost.  The Library of Congress and the NY Public Library and other libraries have microfilm copies of 1906-1970(?).  My great-uncle, who died young in 1905, wrote articles and poems for Morgen Zhournal per his obituary.  I periodically ask if anyone has any sources for the early years.  I keep hoping they turn up in someone's attic.  Or in the archives of an old synagogue.  Since they weren't holy documents, they probably got thrown out.
Thanks!
Fred Millner
flmillner@...


Re: Need Assistance with Genealogy Databases - Not finding names #names #ukraine

mvayser@...
 

On Fri, May 21, 2021 at 12:28 PM, Michele Lock wrote:
Greenfield was most likely originally Grunfeld or Gruenfeld.

Michele,
I think Greenfield might be correct as well, although I see your point as the notes say the father is from Austria.  I would look for Grinfeld in the manifests.
This might actually simplify things.  Born in Austria, which really means Austria-Hungary at that time (prior to birth of Julius in NYC in 1892).  According to the notes, there was travel to Poland in 1939, presumably to the area that was formerly Austria-Hungary.  You would have to do some research on the pre-WWI vs pre-WWII borders to determine possible origin.  Also, wouldn't the ship manifests from NYC to Europe for Jan 1-Sep 1 1939 be easily available?

Mike Vayser


Re: Why Would Patronyms be Used Well After Formal Last Names Were Required?: Michalowicz vs. Leurie #names

Frank Schulaner
 

Russians of all persuasions came up with a great compromise: Given name + patronymic + family name.


Re: What does the abbreviation "MZ" or "M3" mean in the Creed column of the 1897 Russian census? #translation #russia #records

Ilya Zeldes
 

You're welcome, Ben!
 
Yes, I, too, screened many pages of the 1897 All-Russia Census and only once or twice run into this MZ. I have no explanation for this...
 
 
Ilya Zeldes
North Fort Myers, FL

--
Ilya Zeldes
North Fort Myers, FL


Re: Was it proper for a nephew to marry his aunt? #general

Susan Lubow
 

One of my great-grandfathers, b. 1817 in Bavaria, was the 11th of 12 siblings.  He married his niece, b. 1837; she was the daughter of his oldest sibling, who was born in 1798.

Susan Lubow
SCHWARZ, Floss, Bavaria
ABELES, Petrowitz, Bohemia


Maybe I’m a member already? #ukraine

Marlene Krantz
 

I’m looking for relatives from Kherson before 1913. I’m also wondering if any trips may be planned for the future. I know my grandfather came from Kherson and his name was Picus Chykov. He was a Russian soldier. How can I find his Shetle? His papers say he was from Kherson. He came to Ellis Island in 1913 with my grandmother Sarah.
Thanks
MarleneKrantz
Maprilk@...
Miami, Florida


Re: Need Assistance with Genealogy Databases - Not finding names #names #ukraine

Stanley Diamond
 

 Dear friends:
 
Renee Steinig's detailed response to Glenn Mantel's post with the subject line 
"Need Assistance with Genealogy Databases - not finding names" deserves a
hearty Yasher Koach.  And that's not only because of the detailed nature of her 
response, but for generously devoting her time and knowledge to ferret out each 
piece of information.  Renee's efforts certainly speaks to the generosity of spirit 
in the world of Jewish family history and the way we share our expertise with our 
fellow researchers.
 
JRI-Poland is naturally proud that Renee has served as our Mielec Town Leader
for many years and I know that those who share roots in Mielec have benefited
from her expertise built up over many years as a professional researcher.
 
And talking about getting expert help...
 
In a recent JRI-Poland "For the Record" newsletter, we shared some tips as to
"How to improve your requests to JRI-Poland for help."  While much of it pertains
to suggestions on writing JRI-Poland Town Leaders, there are relevant tips that
apply to mailing list posts or private emails to those from whom you are requesting
assistance of one type or another...making it easier for those you are asking to 
provide answers...often as detailed and useful as those in Renee's post.
Please see:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/13DzqMln4eEdhQvM_lJFcDMy_fYp4AXoa/view
 
Stanley Diamond, M.S.M. 
Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc.
 
 
 
8a. 
Re: Need Assistance with Genealogy Databases - Not finding names #names #ukraine
From: Renee Steinig
Date: Thu, 20 May 2021 22:05:59 EDT
 
Glenn Mantel <glennmantel@...> asked his Coopersmith, Nierenberg, Zaslovsky, Greenfield, Birnbaum, Satz and Mantel relatives.
 
It's important to learn what you can about immigrants from their U.S. records before attempting to search in Europe. There are so many sources to turn to for more information -- vital and cemetery records, immigration and naturalization records, censuses, draft records, etc. etc.  
 
Two of the sources that would be helpful to your search:
 
1) The online databases that exist for a number of New York area Jewish cemeteries. Searching on these sites will often lead you to additional relatives. It will also show you the societies on whose grounds these relatives are buried -- often clues to place of origin. So, for example...
 
o Solomon and Golda (Gussie) Coopersmith can be found on the Mount Zion Cemetery site (http://www.mountzioncemetery.com/search.asp?type=interment), on the grounds of Congregation Agudath Achim Misode Lovon.  A number of Nierenbergs are also buried in that section, and a Nurenberg.
 
According to the JGSNY's Burial Society Database (https://jgsny.org/searchable-databases/burial-society-databases), this society (or synagogue?) was associated with the town that's now Bila Tserkva, Ukraine -- https://www.jewishgen.org/Communities/community.php?usbgn=-1035624 . This town is about 50 miles from Kiev and was once located within Kiev Gubernia (province) -- hence the references you have found to "Kevguberna" and the like.

o Wellwood Cemetery's site (http://wellwoodcemetery.com/search/) lists, in addition to Meyer, these Coopersmiths buried on the grounds of Congregation United Brethren of Sodah Loven: Michael, William, and Louis (his brothers?) and Anna (a sister-in-law?). Also in the section: Rose Rappaport (Meyer's sister?). This organization is also associated with Bila Tserkva.
 
o Mount Ararat Cemetery's online listings (http://www.mountararatcemetery.com/search.asp) include the adjacent graves of Bertha and Michael Birnbaum, who died in 1977 and 2004. They appear to be in a private plot.

o The Mount Hebron Cemetery site (https://www.mounthebroncemetery.com/#search) shows that Julius Greenfield is buried very near Etta -- perhaps his wife. They also are in a private plot, not on society grounds.

2) Also, since I'm JRI-Poland's town leader for Mielec, some comments on Michael Birnbaum....
 
Indeed, his U.S. WWII draft card says that he was born in Mielec in 1913. 
No Jewish vital records survive for Mielec -- just a relatively small number of civil records that reference vital events. But Jewish Records Indexing - Poland (JRI-Poland.org) has a large collection of army draft registrations for Mielec, including what appears to be Michael's -- Meilech Birnbaum, son of Abraham Chaim Birnbaum and Schifra Thaler. These parents' names match those on Michael's Social Security record on Ancestry.
 
For information on more recent Mielec records, please contact me directly.
 
Renee

Renee Stern Steinig
Dix Hills NY
genmaven@...
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May 25: CJH Genealogy Coffee Break #names #events

Moriah Amit
 

What's in a name? Next Tuesday (5/25) at 3:30 pm Eastern Time, tune into the Center for Jewish History's Facebook page for the next episode of Genealogy Coffee Break. CJH genealogy intern, Aaron Hirschhorn, will teach you how about the complicated story of given names and surnames in Jewish genealogy. We welcome you to pose your questions to Aaron and our librarians during the live broadcast. There is no registration or link. To join the live webinar, click "Follow" or "Like" on the top of the Center's Facebook page to be alerted when the video starts and return to this page at 3:30 pm ET. Note: If the alert doesn't appear or if you don't have a Facebook account, you can still watch the webinar on our Facebook videos page once it goes live. Catch up on the entire series here.
--
Moriah Amit
Senior Genealogy Librarian, Center for Jewish History
New York, NY
mamit@...


Re: Plagai, Lithuania - I'm lookin' for it, You got it? #lithuania #poland

Arthur Sissman
 

Hi 

I would like to give a big SHOUT out to Peter, Jeanne, Phil and Giannis for emailing/calling me with wonderful info about Plegai, Lithuania and the Plager family.  Thanks to you all.   It was approximately 20 min from the time I posted; it was approved for posting; before recieving a direct Google map link for Plegai from Giannis in Greece.  Very Cool!  Several others followed!!! Wonderful, and thanks to the JewishGen Discussion members of their service.............Location exactly identified! Complete!!

Hope all of you will join me for the next meeting of the JGSIG.  If I have you email addresses, you will get an invite.
--
Regards,
Arthur Sissman
Jewish Genealogy SIG of Naples/Collier Co FL

genresearch13@...

954-328-3559

Join our FB page at Jewish Genealogy SIG: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hellojewishgen

Genealogy Wise page: http://www.genealogywise.com/profile/ArthurSissman


Re: Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa

Sherri Bobish
 

Jeffrey,

There is no reason why a cemetery would have the name of a congregation.

However, the landsmanshaftn can be a source of further research.  You can check for NYC landsmanshaftn incorporation records.  I have obtained some, and they can provide more names to search, and some of the more wordy ones are quite interesting.
https://jgsny.org/?view=article&id=21:index-to-incorporations&catid=34

https://archives.cjh.org/repositories/3/resources/461

Also try YIVO's Landsmanshaftn Collection:
https://jgsny.org/searchable-databases/indexes-to-jewish-organizations/yivo-landsmanshaftn-collection

You may find more info on the landsmanshaftn by searching old digitized newspapers.  One free site to search is:
https://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html

You may have to try different spellings, as the names of landsmanshaftn often got spelled in many different ways.

Also look at JGSNY's database here:
https://jgsny.org/searchable-databases/burial-society-databases/burialsoc-joodb
Many landsmanshaftn had plots in more than one cemetery.

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish


Re: Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa

Michele Lock
 

If your relatives died prior to 1949, their NYC death records are likely on FamilySearch.org. If you find the extracted record there, the image (front and back) of the actual death certificate will be available, for persons who know how to download the images. The folks at the Facebook Group 'New York City Genealogy' are able to get the images for those who request them, if a death record is found on FamilySearch.

On the images that I have, the funeral director's names are written, along with their address. If you can somehow locate those individuals, perhaps you can find out more about the congregation that your family members belonged to.

On the other hand - since funerals did not take place at synagogues, there might not be a reason to write such information down in any sort of record.

One other way to figure out what congregation your family belong to - on a marriage certificate, the name of the rabbi will be written. If your great grandparents had children who married in NYC, you might be able to get a rabbi's name that way, and then figure out the corresponding synagogue. The images of NYC marriage certificates I have show both the rabbi's name and address. A newspaper wedding announcement or an obituary might also help you out, though it is my understanding that these were not so common for NYC. 

--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


Re: Need Assistance with Genealogy Databases - Not finding names #names #ukraine

Michele Lock
 

Likewise, Greenfield was most likely originally Grunfeld or Gruenfeld.

When your family members traveled to the US, they would have been listed on the ship passenger lists under their old surnames, and not the Americanized versions of them. The first names would most likely have been the Yiddish versions of their Hebrew names.
--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


Re: Need Assistance with Genealogy Databases - Not finding names #names #ukraine

Sherri Bobish
 

Glenn,

What you have written here are nice family stories, but it is not documentation.  For instance, you write: 
"Solomon came to America as a translator; he returned to Russia to bring his wife and two children, Mike and Myer here in 1901."

However, you also write that Myer was born in 1903 in Russia.

I believe that Mike, Myer & their Mom arrived in NY in 1906.  Husband Solomon was not on the ship with them, so he apparently did not return to Russia to bring them here.

The names are:
Kuperschmidt, Golde, b. circa 1880
Kuperschmidt, Meier, b. circa 1905
Kuperschmidt, Meisch, b. circa 1903

Arriving May 22, 1906.

They are from "Bialyczerkow" which I believe may be
Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, which was in Kiev province prior to WW1.
https://www.jewishgen.org/Communities/community.php?usbgn=-1035624

They were bound for Golde's husband - S. Coopersmith in NY.

Manifest can be seen at:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9PT-XKRQ?i=46&cc=1368704&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AJFC5-12N

Begin your research with what you know, and go back slowly generation by generation.  Document everything with vital records, census, ship manifests, naturalization papers, etc.  After doing all that you can begin to search for records from the town of origin.

For instance, the family is easily found on the 1925 NY State census, and Solomon Coopersmith's court of naturalization is filled in there.

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish


Re: What does the abbreviation "MZ" or "M3" mean in the Creed column of the 1897 Russian census? #translation #russia #records

Jules Levin
 

The Russian government was not adverse to having official subdivisions
within minority groups [after all, Russians themselves were officially
subdivided by class].  For example, in the annuals published in
Lithuania on the local ethnogeography, there are 3 official Jewish
religions:  Hasidim, Misnagdim, and Karaites.  [The orphanage organized
by the Vilna Gaon also included the Karaim as a Jewish branch.]  By 1897
there existed a Russophone wealthy community that built the Choral
Synagogues in the large cities, including St. Petersburg.  They used a
bilingual siddur--Russian and Hebrew.  There were Jewish newspapers
published in Russian.  It was a peculiarly Russian Reform movement. 
"Mosaic Law" might be referring to membership in such a synagogue.  
Russia had no tolerance for unofficial splinter groups, especially if
they originated in the Orthodox Church. Evangelical Christian sects were
never tolerated and were treated worse than the Jews.

Jules Levin, Los Angeles


On 5/21/2021 8:43 AM, ben.zitomer@... wrote:
Thank you for that explanation, Ilya. Do you know why only the first
four Volodarsky family members were listed with "Moses' Law", while
the the other four members were listed as Jewish with the notation
"Iud/Yud"? What is the difference between "M3" and "Iud"? I've gone
through thousands of census pages, and this is the only record I've
seen that used the abbreviation "M3".

Thank you,
Ben Zitomer
ben.zitomer@...


Isaac Luria genealogy #general

Peter Cohen
 

Is anyone aware of credible trees regarding the ancestry or descendants of Isaac Luria (1534 - 1572)?  I have seen multiple trees that have him as the son of Solomon Luria, the Maharshal (1510 - 1573 or 74).  That seems unlikely. Biographies of Isaac Luria say his father died when Isaac was a child and Solomon Luria died after Isaac died. In addition, Isaac was born, lived and died in Jerusalem, Safed and Egypt, and Solomon was born and died in Poland.

I ask because I recently found a picture of the 1887 gravestone in Vilna of a relative (Zlata Hinda Luria Rotkovitz) that says she is descended from Isaac Luria.  I don't know if any of Isaac Luria's descendants ever lived in Eastern Europe.

Peter Cohen
California


Re: Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa

Robert Hanna
 

I would try the cemetery one more time.  You might get a different person who will be more helpful (if they even have the information).  You might also try the Center for Jewish History in NYC.  They may have information on the burial society that is more extensive.

Robert Hanna
NYC


Re: Plagai, Lithuania - I'm lookin' for it, You got it? #lithuania #poland

Peter Lobbenberg
 

Hi Arthur, It's Plégai for sure.  See https://www.centropa.org/photo/berl-plager-his-wife-beile-plager-and-their-friend 
(14km SE of Shakki/Šaklai)

Best wishes
Peter Lobbenberg, London
peterlob@... 


Re: Online list of emigrants from Germany - translation #germany

Peter Lobbenberg
 

https://apertus.rlp.de/

Peter Lobbenberg, London, UK


Re: Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa

David Harrison
 

I have read many letters in this series.  It seems that your systems in the USA are very different to the systems in these islands and elsewhere in Europe for which I have searched.  Always historic records of BMD are kept nationally.  In various towns cemeteries are owned by (groups of) Synagogues or the town or a church etc.  If I am searching in any area of which I have no local knowledge, I contact the local Information Office for advice on where to search.  If I am lucky in the UK, there may be a Local History Society .   More than once, if searching in person, the owner of the B&B might know which person would have the knowledge, in one case her mother, who came over the following evening and told us much about the family of the great grandparents.  In another a member of the local history society did a pile of research in their files going back a couple of hundred years for a very small fee.  In Europe, archivists have trolled through their records.  The big problem is Victorian Railway Engineers who in one case drove a line through a graveyard which then became the town wharf and now houses the Registrar Office for BMD and Civil marriages are made there..  But in old graves there may be just a plot without a stone, but the town has a record of the plot.

David Harrison
Birmingham, England


From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of A. E. Jordan via groups.jewishgen.org <aejordan=aol.com@...>
Sent: 21 May 2021 12:51
To: mrme1914@... <mrme1914@...>; main@... <main@...>
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Jx. Gx. <mrme1914@...>
I contacted the NYC cemetery where my ggf and ggm are buried and asked if they could check the burial file for my ggf and tell me the name of the congregation that he belong to because I'm certain it would be included in the actual original folder. The guy refused to give me that information.


I have done a lot of work at the NYC area cemeteries and the level of cooperation varies greatly between cemetery and even the individual you are dealing with, and of curse the day. However, I think from my experience people way over estimate the amount of information the cemeteries have in their files. Pre-pandemic I had the opportunity with my work to "go behind the wall" so to speak at some of the offices. Recently for one of the research cases I was working on when I got to the grave it was a double stone for husband and wife but no one had ever had the wife's information completed after death so it only had her name. We needed more information so I decided to write the office, not call, and explained only in basic terms that I needed to document the grave and could they send me the file or something. I expected a letter but instead they also sent a copy of the individual's burial card.

Based on a lot of hours spent working with cemeteries I believe they know the name of the person, age, who made the arrangements or who was considered "responsible" for the grave in the sense of a contact for care.Some record where the person died and that is about it. If there was a contract for the purchase of the plot or grave they have that and a lot of them have notations if or when a stone was set. They mostly record the date of burial versus date of death.

Cemeteries for the most part have the contract for the grave if it was purchased from them and not via the society. They have the burial permit (different than the death certificate) and that's about it. They are going to know the name of the funeral home although that often does not get transferred into their files either.

They do not collect voluminous amounts of details about the deceased person ... they have no need for it. Basically they need to know what grave to open, when it will be used and the permission to do the burial.

I have seen into those "magic" files and they just are not a complete as people hope. Add in the number of years and the information that survives declines further.

The older cemeteries have one other tool that hey do not publicize which is the burial books. They are strictly by date or some also have them by society plot. In those cases they are nothing more than name, date and location. One of the cemeteries I work with at least in the old days occasionally made notes specifically if someone was removed from their grave in the burial book. I was looking for a grave last Sunday at that cemetery and could not find it and the office after checking the computer went and pulled the burial book and it showed the person was removed and they had the date and where the person was transferred.

Specifically in response to the individual question ,,, why would the cemetery have collected the name of the person's congregation if it was different than the burial society? Who would they have kept that all these years later?  They simply do not need those type of details to do their business. A better question might be if they know anything or have any details or contacts for the burial society. That might lead to the congregation if there was a connect but a lot of the societies were independent social organizations. Often if you find they are still in business at all, the society is maintained by the oldest member out of a shoe box or a ledger book and not much else.

The location in the process that collects the information is the funeral home. They have a role in the death certificate. They act as the go between setting up the burial. They have contact with usually family members. They often arrange for the burial notice or the obit. Of course the first challenge is finding the name of the funeral home, the second does it still exist, and the third being the age of the record. I have found a lot of them to be very cooperative if I can find them and the records still exist. I have gotten them to read details off to me on the phone or I ask questions such as I say I assume such and such was the next of kin and they confirm. If you can not find the grave they can be a great source to find the burial. I always ask them did they arrange an obit and if it is in the file they know where and when it ran.

As for the last question about legal resource .... this is not a public institution where you can use FOIA. It is a private business. You have to remember they get inundated with phone calls from people doing genealogy. A letter saying you are trying to resolve family matters (don't say genealogy) might get a response but don't assume they have kept detailed information on the person's life.

Allan Jordan
New York






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