29 December 2010

JewishGen: Worldwide Burial Registry update

JewishGen has added to its Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) database with 171,000 new records, 32,700 new photos, 360 new cemeteries, updates/additions to another 213 cemeteries in 21 countries.

Total holdings now include more than1.57 million records from more than 3,050 cemeteries or sections in 47 countries.

To check the database, click here. Learn how to use it here.

Donors of material include individuals, Jewish genealogical societies, historical societies and museums, including dedicated transliteration by JewishGen volunteers. Here are the highlights:
  • Lodz, Poland.  Added some 39,000 making a total of some 50,000 records from the “Organization of Former Residents of Lodz in Israel” burial registers. The next update will include surnames beginning with K, P, R and S. These will also be added to the JRI-Poland database.
  • Melbourne, Australia.  The Melbourne Chevra Kadisha submitted more than 29,000 records from 49 cemeteries in Melbourne and environs.
  • Wisconsin, USA.  The Jewish Museum Milwaukee submitted some 27,000 records from 50 state cemeteries
  • South Africa.  Stan Hart submitted nearly 17,000 records from more than 135 cemeteries, and hope to add photos in future updates.
  • Virginia / Maryland, USA.  The Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, Inc.  (DC) and a volunteer team (coordinated by Marlene Bishow, Ernie Fine and Harvey Kabaker) for 5,000 records and 4,800 photos from Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,500 records from the B'nai Israel Congregation Cemetery (Oxon Hill, Maryland).
  • Ontario, Canada.  Allen Halberstadt (lead contributor, Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada, Toronto’ Cemetery Project) submitted and updated some 120 cemeteries with 5,000 records from Bathurst Memorial, Lambton Mills, and Mount Sinai cemeteries. More than 4,000 photos from Dawes Road Cemetery are included.
  • Georgia, USA.  Ruth Einstein (special projects coordinator, The Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum; Atlanta, Georgia) submitted 4,000 new and updated records from 17 Atlanta area cemeteries.
  • California, USA.  Peggy Hooper (California Genealogy and History Archives) submitted 3,400 records with photos from sections of Eden Memorial Park, Temple Beth Israel, Home of Peace (LA), and Home of Peace (San Diego) cemeteries. Eden Memorial photos were taken by Dr. William A. Mann.
  • Czeladz – Będzin, Poland. Jeff Cymbler submitted more than 3,200 records and 3,100 accompanying photos.
  • Florida, USA.
    • Susan Steinfeld (cemetery project coordinator, Jewish Genealogy Society of Broward County) and her team submitted more than 3,000 record and photos from selected sections in Miami's Star of David Cemetery.
    • Ina Getzoff (JOWBR coordinator, Jewish Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County)  submitted 150 new records and 450 photos from the South Florida National Cemetery.
  • Petah Tikvah / Segulah, Israel.  Gilda Kurtzman refined records and added 3,000 new photos. Current holdings for this cemetery are now nearly 60,000 records and 17,000 photos. .
  • Sighetu Marmaţiei, Romania. Vivian Kahn (H-SIG coordinator) for 2,950 records from the Sighetu Marmaţiei cemetery register, with more to come.
  • Roman, Romania.  Claudia Greif and Rosanne Leeson submitted 2,100 records from the Roman cemetery register from Roman (Moldavia region, Romania).
  • El Paso, Texas, USA.  Sandy Aaronson updated and photographed B’nai Zion and Temple Mt. Sinai cemeteries with 450 records and 2,100 photos.
  • Ferndale, Michigan, USA.  Stuart Farber submitted 2,000 records from Beth Abraham Cemetery Association.
  • St. Joseph, Missouri, USA.  Deena Sandusky submitted more than 1,700 records from Adath Joseph and Shaare Sholem Roches cemeteries.
  • Latvia / Lithuania / Ukraine.  Christine Usdine permitted JOWBR to include various Latvian, Lithuanian and Ukrainian cemetery records and photos from her site at http://usdine.free.fr/ Translations are by Sarah Mages.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.  Eileen Wegge (eighth grade public school teacher) who during her Holocaust history curriculum coordinated a cemetery indexing project with her students at Chesed Shel Emes Cemetery.
  • Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. Gene Baruch indexed and photographed 1,000 stones at the Greensboro Hebrew Cemetery.
  • South Carolina Cemeteries. Ann Hellman (president, Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina) for 1,000 additional records from various South Carolina cemeteries.
Without dedicated volunteers in all spheres of Jewish genealogy and history, researchers would have many fewer records to work with.
If you live in or near a Jewish cemetery or section that has not be catalogued, researched, photographed, now might be the time to start a project, either on your own or in conjunction with a local genealogical or historical society. These types of records and photos are invaluable to researchers living around the world who may never make it your town, city, state or country. Your contribution of material can potentially help thousands of researchers globally.

You might even belong to or know of a local group or organization which may already have such records or photos in their own archives. Perhaps they may wish to donate that material so that a wider audience might find it useful.

For more information, check out the JOWBR link above or contact JewishGen's vice-president of data acquisition (and JOWBR coordinator) Nolan Altman through that link.

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