26 August 2006

At the ICJG: Power of the Net

At ICJG, JewishGen, www.jewishgen.org, the world’s largest Jewish genealogy website, presented some impressive statistics about their growth, and by extension the growth of online Jewish genealogical research.

* Some 205,000 registered users from 179 countries are joined by 5,000 new people every month, with 50% from outside the United States. Many subscribe to the general discussion group or one of 30 specialized groups, such as Belarus, Sephardic or rabbinical research.

* In 2005, more than 78,000 researchers performed 8.3 million searches in JewishGen’s databases. The JewishGen Family Finder holds about 400,000 entries.

* The site's Family Tree of the Jewish People has 3.5 million records submitted by 3,000 researchers.

* The Jewish Online Worldwide Burial Registry has 600,000 records from 1,450 cemeteries, including more than 36,000 images of gravestones.

A new feature, unveiled at the conference, provides satellite images and maps. I accessed Mogilev, Belarus and by using the arrows, was able to locate my ancestral shtetl of Vorotinschtina, southwest of the city.

Volunteers are always needed in areas of data entry, quality control, project coordination and technical support. If you’d like to help, check www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen/Volunteer.html.

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