02 August 2009

Ancestry.com: New Jewish collections added

Ancestry's content vice president Gary Gibb, at tonight's Philly 2009 conference, announced the expansion of the site's online Jewish family history record collection.

The two new collections are the American Jewish Historical Society and the Routes to Roots Foundation for online access to more than 200,000 Jewish records.

Ancestry.com has aligned with the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), which maintains millions of records that bear witness to the contributions of the American Jewish community to life in the Americas from the 16th century to the present, and Miriam Weiner’s Routes to Roots Foundation (RTRF), an internationally-known firm that specializes in Jewish research in the archives of Eastern Europe.

Through relationships with these two organizations, Ancestry.com is digitizing and putting online a unique collection of records that can now be searched alongside the large collection of Jewish records already accessible on Ancestry.com.
AJHS digitized documents include:

Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records, 1878-1934 - applications for admission; and discharge ledgers

Selected Naturalization Records, New York City, 1816-1845 - declaration of intention for New York County ; contains name, age, birthplace, nationality, place of emigration, occupation and place of intended settlement

New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records, 1860-1934 - applications for admission; and discharge ledgers

Industrial Removal Office Records, 1899-1922 – records of Jewish families and individuals who were assisted in moving from harm's way in various countries

Selected Insolvent Debtor’s Cases, 1787-1861 - approximately 2,000 cases, some containing an inventory of assets

Selected Mayor’s Court Cases, New York, 1674-1860 - 6,000 selected briefs that include summons, complaints, affidavits, and jury lists

“We believe the value in the American Jewish Historical Society’s extraordinary holdings lies not only in what we have, but in how we make it accessible,” said Evan Kingsley, executive director of the AJHS. “Ancestry.com provides a new and important online access point that makes AJHS’ archives that much more valuable. The more our collections are used, the better we’re fulfilling our mission.”
Weiner’s Routes to Roots’ Eastern European Archival Database includes references to Jewish and civil records from archival holdings in Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine.

“The Eastern European Archival Database is the result of a twenty-year journey to help record and preserve Jewish materials from five countries,” said Miriam Weiner, founder of the Routes to Roots Foundation. “Through this important collection people will be able to discover a variety of documents including property records, census lists, vital records and Holocaust records, which will help them walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.”
Ancestry.com will also launch two new JewishGen collections including:

Lithuania: List of Donors of Charity from HaMagid (1871-1872) - the Persian Famine donation list printed in the Hebrew newspaper HaMagid.

Hungary: Jewish Census (1848)- a survey of Jews in Greater Hungarian countries including Hungary, parts of Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine and Romania, among others.

To search the new Jewish record collections and the complete Jewish Family History collection, click here.

The AJHS was founded in New York City in 1892, and its holdings include 20 million documents 50,000 books, paintings and other objects that bear witness to the remarkable contributions of the American Jewish community to life in the Americas from the 16th century to the present.

The Routes to Roots Foundation was established in 1994 to survey, study, research, inventory and document Jewish material, archives and Judaica in Eastern European archives. It fosters and promotes the study and preservation of Jewish genealogical material and assembles, catalogues, publishes and disseminates information from research and study of Jewish materials and compiles, maintains and updates library and/or archive of collections of Jewish historical, cultural and genealogical information.

Check out the Jewish collections at Ancestry.com at the link above.

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