Genealogical research in Argentina #latinamerica

Alberto Guido Chester

From time to time people ask me for help or directions on research in Argentina.
This is my updated 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.
The Buenos Aires Kehila at 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 is not working any more. But some members (including myself) are on this list and usually answer questions.
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 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 but not catalogued or digitized.
Hope this helps 

Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Libre de virus.

Yoni Kupchik

I would like to add to what Alberto Guido Chester wrote on research in Argentina - 

1) covers only arrivals at the Buenos Aires port. It does not cover any other port (for example the port of La Plata through which many immigrants arrived to Argentina)

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 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 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.


Ruben Weiser

Hi to all
About the magnific explanation of alberto about argentinian genelogy
I can add that i can search for specific queries in the guide of argentinian jewish of year 1948

Hope it helps

Ruben weiser
Buenos aires

Enviado desde mi iPhone


Hola Rubén:

Me interesaría buscar info acerca de mis abuelos: 1) Israel & Luisa Liberman
2) Bernardo Dardik & Sofía Stisman
3) Miguel Dardik & Sara Grinspun (Bisabuelos)

Cómo se puede acceder a la base de datos?

Muchísimas gracias.
Gabriel Dardik 
Weston FL USA

Michele Lock

I would appreciate it if you could look for my great uncle Meir Colonis (or Colon). His first name might also be spelled Mejer. He came to Argentina in the 1920s, and he was likely born about 1897-1907. He was married to a woman named Felicia. He came from Zagare, Lithuania, where the original family name was Kalon or Kolon.

Thank you
Michele Lock
Alexandria, VA

Looking for
Lock/Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Rabinovitch in Papile, Lithuania
Leapman/Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Lithuania
Levin/Lavine in Minsk


So helpful, Alberto!  Thanks!

Do you (or anyone else on the discussion list) happen also to have suggestions for searching for individuals who emigrated to Venezuala?  I have relatives from Hungary who settled there after 1956.
Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey

Rolando Gail

I want to clarify at least one point of Mr. Chester letter. He stated that AGJA is not working anymore.
I think that this should be expressed otherway. I'm the last secretary of AGJA's board. All the mandates are overdue, and some of the members (including me, of course) decided to continue with AGJA's activities, researches and help. We discontinued the memberships, in order to avoid all the paperwork and complications. So, we refused to manage money. The immediate consequence was that some people preferred not to continue on these conditions, so, a few members are actually involved on supporting AGJA and our friends.
Under this limited way of doing things, we did the following: 
a) We signed a couple of agreements with the IWO foundation at Buenos Aires. They enabled a place for our meetings, and they keep safe our library, enabling public searches on it.
b) We preserved our web site, at although actually only a few people use it. Most preferred Facebook, so
c) We created a page at Facebook for AGJA. 
d) And we also created a Facebook group, in order to have better interaction with and between all friends.
e) We make a new e-mail address available for the requests from public from all around the world: consultas.agja@... 
f) during all these years, we continue with the agreement with Jewishgen project JOWBR, updating the databases of Argentine jewish cemeteries.
g) We began a new project: taking the matzevoth photos of our oldest cemeteries and adding it (and it's information) to the Jewishgen database. Till now, more than 4000 burials were incorporated to the gallery. It's a work in progress.
h) We began another project using Google Earth, a large map with the places of interest of our friends, like old cemeteries, old Colonies borders, historic train stations, etc. Also a work in progress.
i) And we helped, with our poor, only human resources to reunify dozens of families, our favorite activity.
If you still think that AGJA is no more active, just take a tour over all of these, and let Us talk about it
Warmes regards from Argentina
Rolando D. Gail


Hola a todos,
Here is the website of The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) in Jerusalem. Last month they reopened their doors and it is possible to do personal research there with some restriction because the Covid19. I recommend you to look in their online catalogue (Search Holdings) to learn about the kind of information from different countries that is possible to find there. Some of the archives are digitazed, but as I know there are not online.
May be one of the most interest files accesible online to Latin American researchers is the list of individual files from JCA colonists in Argentina. Pay attention that it is only a list of surnames by Colony, and may be some mispelling of them, but it is a good start point if you have not much information about your relatives. The list includes only those colonists that arrived to the Colonias and sign any kind of contract with the JCA. Those people that arrived to the Colonias (even with JCA help) but didn't had contracts are not registered in an orderly way, if any. The individual files are accesible only at the Archives in Jerusalem and include all the contract interaction along the years between each colonist and the JCA.
I have not any personal relationship with the archives. If you need more information you can contact me privately and I will try to answer according my experience.
Hope this is of help to you,
Cesar Yeudkin
YEUDKIN/YUDKIN, SCHEIMAN from Gomel area, Belarus



Barbara Ellman

The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP)  also has the census books for the Baron de Hirsch colonies.  These hold a wealth of information, but are only viewable at the archives.
In looking at my Hirschhorn family who lived in the San Antonio colony I found:
 - the ship and date of arrival 
 - the wives were coming later, so their arrival info
- Year of Births and Deaths
- Marriages
My family was already there in 1895 and I viewed census books that went up to 1910.  Not a lot of years, but a great deal of info.
Barbara Ellman

Barbara Ellman
Secaucus NJ USA
ELLMAN, COIRA, MAIDMAN - Minkovtsy, Ukraine
KAGLE, FASS - Ulanow, Poland

Marcel Apsel

For the Argentinians,


There is also a memorial book about Galicia ‘Pinkos Galitzia – Libro de Galitzia, published in Argentina after 1945 and handling Galician life and is written in Yiddish


Marcel Apsel



Here is another helpful site:
Semion Sucholutsky