04 December 2007

Maryland: German Jewish records, Dec. 16

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington will present a two-part program at B'nai Israel Congregation (Rockville, Maryland) on Sunday, December 16.

The Beginner's Workshop - for members only - is set for 11am-1pm and will feature resources, tips and more, as well as a free copy of "Jump Start to Jewish Genealogy. Presenters are Marlene Bishow and Jeff Miller; advance registration is recommended.

At 1:30pm, Ralph N. Baer will present "Researching Pre-World War II German-Jewish Genealogy."

According to the JGSGW announcement:

Jewish research in Germany can best be divided into three eras: prior to about 1800, from about 1800 to soon after German unification in the 1874, and post-unification. It is simplest to start from the most recent and work backwards. Copies of vital records starting in 1876 can be obtained from the local Standesamt (registrar's office) but are currently only available to direct descendants.

In the middle period, vital records usually started to be kept at approximately the time permanent family names were adopted in the Kingdom, Principality, Duchy, etc., of interest. This date depends upon the place but is usually prior to the 1830's. The content and form of these records greatly vary.

In some regions, Jewish records were kept separately from Christian records, and in some cases they are together with them. Prior to this day there is even more variability, and almost every town has different types of records available. Examples of records will be shown and methods of obtaining them will be discussed.

Born in New York City in 1948, Dr. Baer's parents, grandparents and great-grandparent fled their native Germany in the 1930s. He has a doctorate in mathematics and has worked as a research scientist in Naval Research Laboratory's Acoustic Division in Washington, DC, since 1974. His interest in personal genealogy was piqued by a 1977 vacation in Germany, and he has conducted additional research on his family there. He is a JGSGW charter member and has given several previous presentations. He is the author of articles in Stammbaum: the Journal of German-Jewish Genealogical Research, Avotaynu and Mishpacha.

For address, directions and more, click here.

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