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Old 07-17-2013, 08:04 AM   #1
aristocatz
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Any European Jewish Descent Do Ancestry.com??

I am considering signing up for Ancestry.com, but I'm not sure if I should do the international one or the local US one.

My family moved to the US from Poland shortly before WW2. We are a Jewish family & they came here through Ellis Island.

My mom thinks that their archives from Poland were likely destroyed in the war from libraries & buildings being destroyed.

I just wondered if anyone who came from similar past to mine had any luck with ancestry.com, in terms of finding any international documents or anything? Or maybe I should just stick with their lives from arrival to the USA....

Any feedback/experiences would be appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:12 AM   #2
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I'm not Jewish but I would always recommend doing the international one otherwise you can only go so far back. Even if there aren't records for everything you may link up with other family members, there can also be grave stones and photographs and stuff collected by other people.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:33 AM   #3
aristocatz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizabu View Post
I'm not Jewish but I would always recommend doing the international one otherwise you can only go so far back. Even if there aren't records for everything you may link up with other family members, there can also be grave stones and photographs and stuff collected by other people.
Thank you for your feedback Could I ask, how is this stuff collected? Photographs, gravestone sites, etc... is it at the mercy of other family members who uploaded it onto Ancestry.com or do the Ancestry.com people find this stuff? Sorry if these are dumb questions, I know very little about the website/service except that my brother-in-law had great success finding info about their family (my DH's family-lived in the US longer than mine, totally different background).
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aristocatz

Thank you for your feedback Could I ask, how is this stuff collected? Photographs, gravestone sites, etc... is it at the mercy of other family members who uploaded it onto Ancestry.com or do the Ancestry.com people find this stuff? Sorry if these are dumb questions, I know very little about the website/service except that my brother-in-law had great success finding info about their family (my DH's family-lived in the US longer than mine, totally different background).
I don't know specifically abt Jewish genealogy but in general the following should give you a place to start.

Before you buy a membership, check to see if your library has a genealogy department. These departments often have free access to ancestry at the library. You could try it and see what you can find before you pay.

Ancestry is a depository of info from around the world which has actual government, places of worship records as well as info individuals have compiled and much more. Be careful about what you find. There is inaccurate info out there at any website.

Familsearch from the Latter Day saints is a free site with info, too.
Findagrave is a free website where people document graves at cemetaries with pictures and info of the deceased. You don't have to go to the library for the last 2 websites.

Genealogy is not easy. I have been at it in my spare time for many years and still have lots of unanswered questions. Just takes a little time to get to know the websites.

Last edited by Southernmiss; 07-17-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:50 AM   #5
Lorelei Lee
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I haven't gone international and I've only been able to trace our family back to my immigrant grandparents.

It's my understanding they didn't keep detailed records in the shtetl.

However, I have a friend who is a semi-professional Jewish geneologist, and she's been able to find a lot of information about European ancestors through resources available to her.

I don't know how much of that information made it onto websites like ancestry.com, though.

You won't know until you try, right?
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aristocatz View Post

Thank you for your feedback Could I ask, how is this stuff collected? Photographs, gravestone sites, etc... is it at the mercy of other family members who uploaded it onto Ancestry.com or do the Ancestry.com people find this stuff? Sorry if these are dumb questions, I know very little about the website/service except that my brother-in-law had great success finding info about their family (my DH's family-lived in the US longer than mine, totally different background).
It's all people adding this stuff. Photographs of people, gravestones, family castles and churches. Scanned newspaper clippings, stories written from the recollection of someone in the family and so on. Like for an example even if many government documents were destroyed as you say there may be some great aunt or cousin out there with photos or family stories. Sometimes these things can help you put the pieces together.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
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I'll be watching this thread as I am the child of survivors - my parents came to the US in 1949. I'd be interested to see if you find anything!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:10 PM   #8
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don't know how good these sites are, but

http://www.jewishgen.org/

http://www.partnersintorah.org/signup/green


http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/

http://www.archives.com/genealogy/fa...ge-jewish.html
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:55 PM   #9
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I was just going to mention JewishGen.

Yad Vashem and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum are also possible resources for pre-WWII Jewish communities in Eastern Europe (even though your family came here before then, you're bound to find information on relatives or former neighbors, etc.) Yad Vashem has some online searchable resources. Both museums are contact point for the ITS (International Tracing Service) out of Germany - the Nazi document archives started by the Red Cross after the war. I found my grandparents' UN DP documents through them.

As far as the Ancestry.com subscription, you can always start with the U.S. edition, then pay the difference to upgrade to the World membership later on.

P.S. Jewish Gen's holdings are also available to Ancestry members.
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