Learning a single family secret can set us on discovery road. Author Steve Luxenberg had just that experience.
Steve ("Annie's Ghosts") will present "Genealogy From the Inside Out: Tracing a Family Secret From a Single Clue," at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington on Sunday, September 19.
Discovering a family secret – a hidden relative, marriage, divorce or cause of death - may change dramatically our understanding of our family tree. How do we - how can we - pursue that single clue?
Steve is one of my favorite people and I highly recommend attending his programs. His career as a professional journalist has provided the tools and experience to investigate and interview. Tracing the Tribe believes that a good genealogist or family historian must develop the same tools as those of investigative journalists.
If you haven't read "Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret" - now in paperback - do read it before this meeting.
The meeting starts at 1pm, with the program at 1.30pm, at B'nai Israel, 6301 Montrose Road, Rockville, Maryland. It is open to people of all faiths and guests are welcome. A book-signing is also scheduled.
In 1995, Steve, an associate editor at the Washington Post, discovered that his mother (in her 70s) had been hiding the existence of her then-deceased sister. This was the impetus for his odyssey to unravel the rest of the story, including his aunt's 30 years in a psychiatric institution.
Steve's PowerPoint presentation will bring attendees along on his journey down discovery road as he wrote his award-winning book.
Following clues and leads, the process includes burial records, birth certificates, hospital records, immigration documents and wartime records, to develop a fascinating paper trail. One result of his investigation was a significantly changed understanding of his family history and societal stigma regarding mental health.
For more information and directions, see the JGSGW website.
NOTE: Mark your calendars as the JGSGW will host the 31st IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, 14-19 August 2011, in Washington DC.