06 October 2007

AJC Archives: Names from the past

Reeva Kimble of Eugene, Oregon finds interesting items and gives me the opportunity to inform Tracing the Tribe's readers.

By chance - at the American Jewish Committee Archives online site - she found the 1918-1919 report of the Jewish Publication Society of America, which includes the names and addresses of all members. More than 14,500 members are listed, most in the US, but more than 500 from other countries.

President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Willamette Valley, Reeva found four relatives. In the volume she notes, the JPS president's comments included:

This year alone we have printed and reprinted about 180,000 books, bringing the total copies distributed by the Society to about 1,200,000. While we are far from our goal, it is noteworthy that our ratio of membership to Jewish population would represent in one of the dominant churches fully 100,000 to 125,000 members.

Beginning on page 427 is the list of members in the US and internationally, most with addresses.

International members included Australia (37), British West Indies (2), Canada (487), Costa Rica (1), Cuba (12), Denmark (1), Egypt (2), El Salvador (1), England (31), France (2), Germany (1), India (1), Mexico (1), New Zealand (1), Philippine Islands (1), Portugal (1), Russia (1), Scotland (1), South Africa (73), Vancouver Island (1), Virgin Islands (1).

Canada listed 487 members spread across the provinces, with the expected major contingents. The listing for Canada is alphabetical by town, not by province, so you'll see a listing for Medicine Hat, Alberta followed by Montreal, Quebec.

The largest U.S. membership contingents were California (315), Colorado (133), Connecticut (275), DC (112), Georgia (141), Illinois (1,044), Indiana (170), Kentucky (113), Maryland (774), Massachusetts (563), Michigan (305), Minnesota (118), Missouri (303), New Jersey (838), New York (3,717), Ohio (971), Pennsylvania (2,467), Texas (290), Virgina (229). The smallest were, with one member each: Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire and Nevada; with two members each: Idaho, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Read the PDf report here. For more information on the Jewish Publication Society of America, click here.

I searched through the older volumes - those online range from 1899-2000. It is well worth checking through these names for your families. In my perusal of the site, I found interesting items.

In the volume's published book list I saw "Jews in Many Lands," by Elkan N. Adler ($1, 259pgs). It is important to the Dardashti family as it lists Haji (an honorific signifying a visit to Jerusalem) Eliyahu Dardashti as a leader of the Teheran, Iran, Jewish community in 1898, when Adler visited. It is the earliest printed mention of the family and demonstrates one of the first Iranian Jewish families using a fixed family name.

For an earlier report, click here for for the membership roll for 1909-1910. This offers members in Jerusalem, Greece, Guatemala, as well as the major Jewish population centers. Names are on pages 287-346.

To see all the Year Books, click here. All volumes since 1899-2000 are available. The books have been sub-divided by sections. To see the lists of names, generally click on Report of the JPS.

These resources are well worth the time it takes to scroll through all the pages. The Year Books also contain noteworthy news, events, articles on topical issues, upcoming books and advertisements.

No comments:

Post a Comment