rules and procedures #general

shirley pencer <scpencer@...>

Dear Fellow Group Members:
Being a relatively recent researcher, I would appreciate hearing about some
guidelines. I realize that the JewishGen site is staffed by volunteers,
which implies minimal intervention.
1) When I first signed on, I entered family names in the Jewish Gen Family
Finder database. I see that most of the group letters are concerned with
just that. If we have the JGFF data base, shouldn't the searches be
conducted principally through its auspices? There seems to be some
redundancy here.

2) I looked up all my posted family names and contacted the people
responsible for their insertion. I received two replies out of a possible
I was *overjoyed* to find my late father-in-law's name listed as search
results for Reinblatt- Standard spelling:
Joseph Reinblatt b .1878 Russia. Wrong date s/b 1887, so I contacted the
person who inserted the name, stating the correct details and precise place
of birth.
After some time I received an answer that the researcher was fishing for
ROTHBLATT , and knew absolutely nothing of Reinblatt, but posted it as it
was similar. In my books Joseph ROTBLATT does not equal Joseph REINBLATT. If
we have D-M Soundex, does this not defeat its purpose?
If we specify Soundex, then our results include similar names, but with
their correct spellings.
I am aware that it is transliteration is a haphazard and imperfect way to
render a name into the Roman (or Phoenician) alphabet >from Hebrew. However,
if we use a name totally unrelated to our family name it is misleading and
confusing to others I knew the difference, but would younger researchers be
confused and believe that their ancestor died at 98 instead of 89? I was
deeply disappointed!
I believe that we should try to stay as close to the truth as we know it to
be so that our postings can form a reliable data base. Unfortunately we who
have survived to this day form but a fragment of a greater entity of the
Jewish people. Accuracy as far as possible should be the order of the day
if we are truly to preserve our history for future generations.

Your comments would be appreciated, thank you for hearing me out,
Shirley Pencer

MODERATOR NOTE: JewishGen and it's volunteers have no control on
the personal information entered in JGFF. All entries are
done by individuals and only they can enter add , remove or change
their personal information.

Hilary Henkin <propper@...>

Dear Shirley,
I, too, have wondered the same question about readers posting the
surnames they're looking for, when such excellent services as the
JGFF and FTJP exist.
Once I asked a fellow researcher why he did so, and he explained
to me that it enabled a search of those names by www.deja-com
(which searches newsgroups), and the JGen Discussion Group
Archives. However, one doesn't have to make a separate posting
to enable those searches - one only needs to include the surnames
under their signature when posting or responding to a message.
I have successfully used to find living cousins, but
they were participants in other newsgroups, not JGen.

My other thought is those people who post their "laundry lists"
of surnames have _not_ listed in either the JGFF or the FTJP, or
they're beginners who see it being done, and think it's the most
efficient way to find family. I doubt it is.

As for the lack of response to your queries, I can offer no
excuse. I'd hope someone who made the effort to post surnames
would respond to queries about those surnames. I _always_ respond
to such messages - even if, for example, they're looking for
_propper_, which is my career, not my family name <g>. A lack of a
match is no excuse for rudeness.

Since clearly, not everyone has listed their names in either the
JGFF or FTJP, I suppose posting surname laundry lists will

Hilary Henkin
Researching: BERLIN >from Mogilev, HENKIN-GENKIN, KATZ from

Jane Reifer <cluttercontrol@...>

Good point! Let's all try and use the JGFF more; after all, it's there
to serve us in precisely the manner that will provide the most results.
A lot can be gleaned >from contacting previous researchers, and, while
you're at it, don't forget to add your own name to the list. I can't
tell you how many valuable connections I've made that way.

Of course, it's understandable that people would want to post their
queries to this group, (and I understand that some people reach this
site >from outside of JewishGen) but we're all missing out if people
don't ALSO connect with the JGFF.

Regarding FTJP, there are two philosophies: wait till you have all
correct information before posting to ensure as much accuracy as
possible, or post as soon as you can, to allow people to start making
connections sooner, even though some will turn out to be in error. I've
come to agree with the second philosophy. If I had waited to get
everything correct, I _still_ wouldn't have anything posted. Every few
months I re-post to correct known mistakes. In line with Shirley
Pencer's concerns, though, I wonder if it's possible to more clearly
state, maybe on the actual results page, that the FTJP is a working,
in-progress, _unverified_ database. Anyone who believes that they are
looking at factual information is certain to be disappointed. I believe
there is no avoiding the occasional disappointments, if we are to get as
much information disseminated as possible. Of course, I completely agree
with Shirley's appeal to posters to at least TRY to have good

By the way, one inconsistency I notice over and over again on the FTJP
is people listing their female relatives by their married names. The
general rule is to list women by their birth (maiden) names. This causes
a huge amount of confusion, so I guess you just have to expect it, and
allow for it...

Jane Ehrlich Reifer
Fullerton, California, USA

Researching: REIFER (Banilov, Davidovka, Monastyriska, Roshch,
Vizhnitsa, Storozhinets, Chernivtsi [all in Ukraine], Israel, USA);
REISCH (Revna & Chernivtsi, Ukraine); ROESSLER / RESSLER (Chernivtsi &
Zhadova, Ukraine, USA); HOROWITZ (Horodenka, Zhadova & Chernivtsi [all
in Ukraine], USA); SPASSER (Panka & Storozhinets, Ukraine); HERZ,
DAVIDSON, SCHOEN (Hungary, USA); EHRLICH (Hungary, Vienna Austria, USA)