30 January 2008

Maryland: Jewish Museum and genealogy

The growth of Baltimore's historic Jewish community was spurred on by a bustling port, the second largest port of immigration in the United States.

Researchers should remember to check Baltimore passenger arrivals for elusive ancestors. Not everyone came through Ellis Island in New York, and the ports of Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore should also be searched using online databases.

That said, The Robert L. Weinberg Family History Center at the Jewish Museum of Maryland offers a wide range of primary source materials:

--Records of Greater Baltimore Jewish cemeteries (with online burial listings for Rosedale, Southern Avenue and four others)

--Baltimore Jewish Times obituaries, 1919-to-present

--Jack Lewis Funeral Home records, 1924-1939, 1956-1965

--Published and unpublished genealogies, Maryland Jewish families

--Baltimore City directories, microfiche/film, 1752-1930 (some years missing)

--US manuscript census, Baltimore and other parts of Maryland, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930
--Passenger index for arriving ships, Port of Baltimore, 1820-1952

--Passenger manifests of arriving ships Port of Baltimore, 1840-1920

--Memoirs of Jewish Life, Maryland and Europe

--Records of Jewish cemeteries, Greater Baltimore area

--Circumcision (1836-1870, 1940-1967), midwife (1892-1919), and marriage (1850-1944) records of individual Baltimore-area mohels, midwives and rabbis

--HIAS arrival records (1911-1914, 1938-1953)

--Historical Database, Baltimore Religious Personnel

--Yizkor (Memorial) books, East European towns

--Hebrew Orphan Asylum records, 1873-1917

--Registries of Maryland military personnel, World Wars I and II

Additional resources include several area synagogue archives; records of local Jewish institutions and businesses; personal papers; locally published books; and files of biographical, institutional and subject topics related to Baltimore and Maryland Jewry; and oral histories of Maryland Jews.

Periodicals: Baltimore Jewish Times (1919-to-present), Jewish Comment (1895-1918), Jewish Chronicle (1875), Jewish Exponent (1887-1888), Sinai (1856-1860), Generations (1978 to present) and American Jewish Year Book (1899-1985).

Photographs: A collection related to immigration, Maryland Jewish life and Baltimore Jewry's many institutions.

Library: Jewish genealogy books and journals, and a collection of publications and newsletters from genealogical societies.

I tried a database search, but there appears to be a glitch, with the search page marked "a work in progress."

I plan to check back soon as I'm interested in finding what information may be available for my great-uncle, Dr. Louis Tollin (Leib Talalay), who lived in the Sparrow Point area for decades.

A curious note: For a center focusing on genealogy, why is it spelled "geneOlogy" in the URL?


  1. Anonymous5:26 PM

    To date, I have been to three conferences, Las Vegas, New York, and Salt Lake City.

    At each conference I met new researches and learned a great deal of useful information. And the conference has given our Program Chair ideas for future speakers.

    I am so looking forward to Chicago, Greater Washington, Paris, etc.

    I need to say that the PR published in my local paper made no or little mention of the vendors, the available tracks of information, and the speakers and their topics. The events scheduled such as the luncheon and BOF are important; however, imho they were mentioned as the highlight of the event rather than the speakers etc.

    We each plan for the annual conference in advance and some travel a great distance to attend this premier Jewish genealogy event.

    With all due respect to the IAJGS board, Schelly Talalay Dardashti has done a wonderful public relations for the Conference in past years. Please let her resume what she knows and does best!

    Thank you so much Schelly for the on-line classes, TracingTheTribe, and the manner in which you publicize genealogy and family history!

  2. Readers should know that I have no idea who Anonymous is, but thank him or her for these kind words.

    I strongly encourage and hope that Tracing the Tribe's readers will enthusiastically support and attend Chicago in 2008, Philadelphia in 2009 and future conferences.

    Those who have attended past events understand the magnitude and range of important programming covering so many topic, and certainly appreciate the collaboration and networking among international researchers, experts and archivists.

    It is a truly unique conference that annually offers unique research opportunities.

    I look forward to meeting readers in Chicago in August.


  3. Anonymous12:08 AM

    Oh my; you are a relative of our beloved Dr. Louis Tollin of Edgemere, Maryland? There are thousands of us from coast to coast that he delivered and took care of our whole lives out of his office in the front of his home on North Pt Rd. He would come to our houses in the 1950's in what I remember to be a Nash Rambler. I was a child then, but remember him pulling up. He was so funny, always telling jokes to keep us from being scared as he stitched us up in his office or gave us a shot, examined us for eyeglasses or made our medications himself in the little back room. His son Max I believe worked at "Four Roses" distillery in Dundalk. Mrs. Tollin was his nurse and had red hair. When I go back home and drive past the home that used to also be his office, it is sad. He was and is a legend in our town. Dr. Louis Tollin will always live on in the Sparrows Point/Edgemere/Fort Howard area of Maryland through the hearts of generations of patients.

  4. Hi. I was curious of my family history and typed in the name of my great grandfather Louis Tollin on Google and found this. Max Tollin was my grandfather.

  5. Anonymous6:47 PM

    My son came across your site. Dr. Louis Tollin was my Grandfather. I so enjoyed reading the former patients post.
    I know this was posted a couple of years ago but was wondering if you were still looking for info on my Grandfather?

    Baltimore Maryland