Workshop: Eastern European Research – April 12, 2008

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CGS is rolling out a series of research workshops in 2008 that will focus on specific ethnic groups and geographical regions.

The first, “Eastern and Central European Research,” will be held Saturday, April 12, 2008, from 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., at the California Genealogical Society Library. CGS members, Stephen J. Danko, author of Steve’s Genealogy Blog and Jeremy G. Frankel, President of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, will be on hand to lend their expertise.

The workshop will consist of two lectures (with handouts) by our specialists, a lunch break and a “hands-on” session so attendees can share ideas, do some computer research and talk one-on-one with Jeremy and Steve. Members are encouraged to bring laptop computers; the six CGS computers may not all be available for the program.

Jeremy will discuss Don’t Reinvent the Wheel:
“Before researching for original documents in faraway repositories, try finding other people who have done what you are attempting. Is there a special interest group for your geographical area of interest? Can you find someone who has already visited East European archives? Can they tell you what the date range, condition, access issues are? As with all foreign research, start by digging around in your own backyard. You might be surprised at what you find.”

Steve will present Finding ancestors amidst the changing map of Europe:
“Finding the place of origin of an immigrant is crucial to finding historic records for that immigrant’s ancestors. Complicating matters are the changing borders in Europe during the past two centuries as the territorial acquisitions obliterated some nations from the map. Border changes in Europe affected not only the map of Europe, but also the records on which genealogists depend to document their ancestors’ lives.”

The workshop is free for CGS members but is limited to 15 people. Reservations are required; no walk-ins will be permitted. There will be a sign-up fee of $10 for non-members. (The fee can be applied toward membership on the day of the workshop.) There will be a sign up sheet at CGS. Please call (510) 663-1358 to reserve a space.

Jeremy Frankel was born in London and trained as a cartographer and surveyor. He has been investigating his East European roots in Poland and Lithuania for over 20 years. Frankel joined the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society after moving to the Bay Area in 1993. He has been the Society’s President since 2003. Jeremy has studied San Francisco and California Jewry and their history. His current projects include a San Francisco-born Jewish boxing glove manufacturer, and a Polish Jewish anarchist who co-founded the first sailor’s union in San Francisco. Jeremy is also a professional genealogist, able to research families who lived in the U.K., U.S. and parts of Eastern Europe.

Stephen Danko is a native of upstate New York. In the course of writing his daily genealogy research blog, Steve has reconnected with lost cousins in Poland, the U.K., and the U.S. He began seriously researching his family history nine years ago and has conducted research on location in Poland and Lithuania and has visited the villages in which his immigrant ancestors lived. In addition to research on his own family, Steve has conducted client research in records from the U.S., Poland, Italy, and Canada. He has formally studied Latin, German, and Polish, and has acquired a working knowledge of several other languages. Steve is currently studying for a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in Toronto.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn new strategies and meet other members with similar research interests.

Update: Check out the books that Steve Danko has recommended.