23 March 2007

Have you recreated your shtetl?

Nancy Holden is editor of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles's journal, Roots-Key.

She is planning a special issue focused on "Recreating Your Shtetl." It will be an analysis of the ways genealogists tell the story of a family or group of families in one place at one time. This issue will focus on Belarus.

Not all archives in Belarus are easy accessed as primary records, so secondary sources must often be used to recreate our family shtetls. Happily, many researchers have created family trees, conducted surname searches and built Web sites to encourage networking with others whose families lived in the same areas.

Roots-Key is soliciting articles on the techniques used in putting together the socio-economic culture, the history and the life and times of your Belarus shtetl. Did you:

  • Create Excel spreadsheets from collected family trees?
  • Search the Internet to create and analyze lists of resources, records, and record groups?
  • Form a common interest group? Collect archival data together?
  • Put up a Web site? What information did you want to share and what information did it bring to you and others?
  • Create a cousin tree from South Africa or South America to Southern California?
  • Use the JewishGen Family Finder and online White Pages, search passenger lists or create common surname data?

Nancy would like to hear from you if you have made the transition from your family story to documenting the common story.

If so, here's an opportunity to share your work in unraveling the mysteries of recreating your family in time and place.

Send all enquiries and articles to Nancy Holden.

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