10 January 2011

Ancestry.com: New Jewish collections added

Searching Jewish ancestors? Have an Ancestry.com subscription? The subscription website has added four record groups from the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS).

You'll need a subscription to Ancestry.com to view the records, although a name search is free.

What other Jewish records are on the site? View the entire collection here. [NOTE: This may take a long time to load; be patient]

Here are the new records:

-- WWI Serviceman Questionnaires, Jews and Non-Jews, 1918-1921, and Undated,
-- WWII Jewish Serviceman Cards, 1942-1947

Some 550,000 Jewish Americans served in WWII. The Bureau of War Records collected records on 106,000. There was also additional documentation from War Department records, newspapers, Anti-Defamation League, manuscripts, correspondence, POW lists and other documents. Remember that not all servicement may have filled out a card or questionnaire.

-- Jews in Colonial America, Brazil, and Surinam (1650-1850) (Oppenheim Collection),

Samuel Oppenheim took research notes from primary sources on Colonial American and  Brazilian  Jewry. Data includes names, dates, residence places and spouse data.

-- The New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records, 1860-1934 

These records were indexed by Ancestry to make them more accessible to researchers.

Do let Tracing the Tribe know if you've found records of interest in the new groups. This encourages researchers to check out new or updated resources.

Another relatively unknown record group on Ancestry is the Industrial Removal Office Records. The images are online, but there is no index ... yet.

The IRO helped immigrants through relocation efforts to find them work. Among its tools were networking with successful Jewish businessmen to offer the newcomers jobs. Some communities wanted specific trades, sometimes no trade was specified. Families went to towns all over the US. The records illustrate immigrant life and the road to assimilation.

The original records are at the Center for Jewish History's website and readers can search here for names of interest. This will show the box, page and entry number and then search here on Ancestry for those relevant images.

As we look for our relatives, the mantra should be "leave no stone unturned." Search whatever you can search and you might find some interesting information.

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