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Jewish Genealogy Books

bookTRACING YOUR JEWISH ANCESTORS: A Guide For Family Historians
by Rosemary Wenzerul

Rosemary Wenzerul's lively and informative guide to researching Jewish history will be absorbing reading for anyone who wants to find out about the life of a Jewish ancestor. In a clear and accessible way she takes readers through the entire process of research. She provides a brief social history of the Jewish presence in Britain, with descriptions of the principal communities all over the country. She gives a concise account of the history of genealogy and looks at practical issues of research - how to get started, how to organize the work, how to construct a family tree and how to use the information obtained to enlarge upon the social history of the family. She describes, in practical detail, the many sources that researchers can go to for information on their ancestors, their families and Jewish history. Vivid case studies are a feature of her book, for they show how the life stories of individuals can be reconstructed with only a small amount of initial information. Her invaluable handbook will be essential reading and reference for anyone who is trying to gain an insight into the life of an ancestor or is researching any aspect of Jewish history.

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Pen and Sword (August 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1844157881
ISBN-13: 978-1844157884

bookWhere She Came from: A Daughter's Search for Her Mother's History (Paperback)
by Helen Epstein

Along with millions of lives, the Holocaust stripped away the official records and family mementos that anchor personal histories. In 1989, after both the opening of Czechoslovakia to the outside world and the death of her mother Frances, a concentration-camp survivor, journalist Helen Epstein made her first tentative efforts to uncover her own history. Armed only with a 12-page letter written by her mother, she retraced family footsteps from the provincial town of Brtnice to Vienna, where her great-grandmother Josephine had killed herself in despair. In Prague, her spirited grandmother Pepi, who had been orphaned at age 8 and left in poverty, rose from those ashes to run a fashionable dressmaking salon. Pepi married a man who repudiated Judaism so completely that their daughter Frances learned of her background only as the Nazis rose to power. Epstein's meticulous research beautifully conjures the drama of their lives and times, carving out the surrounding culture until these three women stand against it in stark relief.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Plume Books (November 1998)
Language: English
ISBN: 0452280184
Product Dimensions: 8.0 x 5.3 x 1.0 inches

bookWhere She Came from: A Daughter's Search for Her Mother's History (Hardcover)
by Helen Epstein

Along with millions of lives, the Holocaust stripped away the official records and family mementos that anchor personal histories. In 1989, after both the opening of Czechoslovakia to the outside world and the death of her mother Frances, a concentration-camp survivor, journalist Helen Epstein made her first tentative efforts to uncover her own history. Armed only with a 12-page letter written by her mother, she retraced family footsteps from the provincial town of Brtnice to Vienna, where her great-grandmother Josephine had killed herself in despair.

In Prague, her spirited grandmother Pepi, who had been orphaned at age 8 and left in poverty, rose from those ashes to run a fashionable dressmaking salon. Pepi married a man who repudiated Judaism so completely that their daughter Frances learned of her background only as the Nazis rose to power. Epstein's meticulous research beautifully conjures the drama of their lives and times, carving out the surrounding culture until these three women stand against it in stark relief.

Hardcover: 322 pages
Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T); 1st ed edition (November 1997)
ISBN: 0316246085
Product Dimensions: 1.0 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches

From Generation to Generation : How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Family History

by Arthur Kurzweil, Elie Wiesel
Since it was first published in 1980, From Generation to Generation has inspired thousands to pursue the unique challenges and rewards of Jewish genealogy.
Far more engaging than a mere how-to reference guide, this landmark book is also part detective story and part spiritual quest. As Arthur Kurzweil takes you along on his own fascinating journey through his family’s past, you’ll learn about the tools, techniques, and the step-by-step process of Jewish genealogical research – including the most current information on using the Internet and the newly accessible archives of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
But even more, after reading this fully updated, revised, and beloved classic, you will undoubtedly be inspired to embark on a genealogical quest of your own!

 

A Dictionary of Jewish Names and Their History

by Benzion C. Kaganoff
Researching the derivations of Jewish names is a complicated task, and one that Benzion Kaganoff takes on with admirable results. He delves into the roots of names from Aaron (and its derivatives Agronsky, Arkin, and Orlik) to Zwirn (German for thread), finding biblical, occupational, and regional origins for nearly 4,000 names. Because Jewish names have been adapted and modified so often over the years, it's all the more a triumph that Kaganoff has traced the history of so many common Jewish names and their offshoots.
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Jason Aronson; 1st Jason Aronson Inc. ed edition (May 1, 1996)
Language: English
ISBN: 1568219539

Tracing Your Jewish DNA for Family History & Ancestry: Merging a Mosaic of Communities

Here's how to trace Jewish DNA specific to Eastern European Ashkenazim through a history of migrations toward a merging mosaic of communities. A perfect book for beginners in interpreting your DNA test results for family history and ancestry and taking a closer look at the founding mothers of Eastern European Jewish communities as well as the fathers.

Where did the women originate? What directions were the migrations in ancient, medieval, and later times? And how did this bring about the particular DNA/genetic patterns we see today in the diverse Eastern European Jewish communities now found all over the world.

Look up the genealogy of Jewish genes/DNA through 3,000 years of history. Here's how to interpret your own results. You don't need a science background to match your DNA to your most recent common ancestor who lived 250 or 100 or 1,000 years ago. Scientists speak out on the founding mothers and fathers of the Ashkenazic Jewish communities.

Scattered Seeds: A Guide to Jewish Genealogy

Scattered Seeds provides you, the reader with the tools to help trace your family tree and discover surprising and interesting facts about your family. The ten fact-filled chapters will easily guide you through your family research project and enable you to creat a family record for generations to come. Included in the book are:
* Maps, Charts and Questionnaires
* Letter Writing Techniques
* Where to Write for What
* Judaic Sources
* Holocaust Sources
* Hebrew GLossary
* Visiting a Family History Library
* Utilizing Government Records
* Using Computers and the World Wide Web

Finding Our Fathers A Guidebook to Jewish Genealogy

by Dan Rottenberg
Most American Jews believe they can only trace their families back for two or three generations. In this work Dan Rottenberg proves that they are wrong and shows how to do a successful search for probing the memories of living relatives, by examining marriage licenses, gravestones, ship passenger lists, naturalization records, birth and death certificates, and other public documents, and by looking for clues in family traditions and customs.

Supplementing the "how to" instructions is a guide to some 8,000 Jewish family names, giving the origins of the names, sources of information about each family, and the names of related families whose histories have been recorded. Other features included a country-by-country guide to tracing Jewish ancestors abroad, a list of Jewish family history books, and a guide to researching genealogy in Mormon records and in Israel.

Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories

by Miriam Weiner, Polish State Archives
Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories, by Miriam Weiner, is a big and beautiful book, in more ways than one. It is illustrated with hundreds of antique and contemporary photographs of Polish cities and towns; and the depth and scope of its genealogical resource lists will help many Jews find amazing truths about their heritage. It's estimated that upwards of 75 percent of American Jews can trace at least one grandparent to Poland as it was defined before the Nazi invasion of 1939. Their search for roots will be inestimably assisted by Weiner's guide to extant documents such as tax rolls and Jewish community records. This book makes no pretense to being a literary triumph, but its practical usefulness makes Jewish Roots in Poland a poignant tribute to the ancestors of today's Diaspora--which means it is also, effectively, an invaluable tool for charting Jewish people's future.

 

Jews in Poland-Lithuania in the Eighteenth Century : A Genealogy of Modernity

Missing from most accounts of the modern history of Jews in Europe is the experience of what was once the largest Jewish community in the world--an oversight that Gershon David Hundert corrects in this history of Eastern European Jews in the eighteenth century.
The experience of eighteenth-century Jews in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth did not fit the pattern of integration and universalization--in short, of westernization--that historians tend to place at the origins of Jewish modernity. Hundert puts this experience, that of the majority of the Jewish people, at the center of his history. He focuses on the relations of Jews with the state and their role in the economy, and on more "internal" developments such as the popularization of the Kabbalah and the rise of Hasidism. Thus he describes the elements of Jewish experience that became the basis for a "core Jewish identity"--an identity that accompanied the majority of Jews into modernity.
 

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