03 August 2014

IAJGS2014: Day 3

Since my conference presentation ("Beyond the Manifest: Methods for Confirming One's Ancestral Origins") was scheduled for the third morning slot on Tuesday, 29 July, at 10:30, I used the first two slots to prepare. Most of the prep was just prodding my brain (and mouth) to recall a presentation I last gave in January in Florida and making sure that there were no typos or other possible misfires in my updated PowerPoint presentation.

Unfortunately, that meant missing a couple of sessions that I would have liked to have attended. In particular, I was interested in "Sticking to the Union: Using Labor Union Documents for Genealogical research" by Jane Neff Rollins. Nearly all of my father's family and a huge number of others from their little community in Russia  became glaziers when they arrived in the United States. I have been conducting some research into their participation in this profession and the union angle on the story should be a good one. I will listen to the audio recording of her presentation when it becomes available. 

I believe one may still purchase recordings of one or all conference presentations. However, the IAJGS2014 conference webpage has not had any mention of this opportunity (they seem to be stressing LIVE! - the video recordings - to the exclusion of audio). I suggest they fix that problem if they are interested in actually selling any recordings after the conference.

Daniel Jurca: "Jewish Genealogy Research in Romania"

Having now attended three IAJGS conferences, as well as Rootstech and NGS conferences, I believe the hallmark of IAJGS conferences is learning about newly discovered or accessible resources. 

Jurca spoke about resources in formerly Hungarian areas, as well as Moldova and other portions of today's Romania. Among the record collections mentioned: local Jewish community records as well as Translyvanian birth, marriage and death indices; administrative civil status registers at local county archives and more recent versions at city halls; and Citizenship collection, 1924-1945. 

Since I have family from Radauti, Romania, I perked up when he discussed birth, marriage and death records (6 books and 402 files) dating from 1857-1887.

Daniel Horowitz: "Conducting Webinars: Broadcasting lectures around the world"

Most Jewish genealogy societies struggle to find funds to bring in interesting speakers. IAJGS to the rescue!

Daniel Horowitz presented information and a how-to on the GoToWebinars system, which allows societies to broadcast lectures from far-away locations without great expense. The system also allows one to broadcast lectures via the Internet to members who may not be able to travel to meeting venues.

Daniel recommended that each webinar include not only a speaker, but also an additional person to handle the technical issues of the GoToWebinar application during a presentation. 

IAJGS has purchased a license that allows its member societies to use this system for their events. A society reserves the system for a specific time and date. For further information, see the IAJGS Webinars System section of the IAJGS website. If a society wishes, it may record their webinars and store them for future viewing in the IAJGS Webinars Library.

Dr. Ekkehard Hubschmann: "From Germany to North America in the 19th Century - The Bavarian Example"

I don't know much about German Jewish immigrants to America. And, unfortunately, due to a commitment to the Ukraine SIG Board, I had to leave this presentation before it was completed. 

Historian Hubschmann is quite obviously knowledgeable, and has done his own research into the push and pull factors of German Jewish emigration/immigration.

Many Hessian soldiers who's fought in the Revolutionary War stayed in the new United States. A large volcanic eruption in the South Pacific, was a significant cause of the "year without summer" in 1816. Disastrous crop failures ensued as well as famine.

Most of the Jewish population in the Bavaria was in the Franconia Province. Up until about 1840, the Bavarian government did not support Jewish emigration, although they did tolerate it. 

An economic crisis is 1846-7 changed that. Several communities and even some Jewish communities paid the way for people to emigrate. Criminal elements were some of the ones more likely to be sent away. 

The Bavarian Emancipation Edict of 10 June 1813 granted freedom to Jewish subjects. They had to adopt family names and pledge loyalty to Bavaria. Registers of these new names were created and these records may be accessed (although there is no finding aid).

Ron Arons: "What's in a name? Trouble!" 

Ron, always an engaging and amusing speaker, was given a prized schedule slot (8:30 P.M.) within which to make this presentation. He outlined the sordid criminal career of his great-grandfather, Isaac Spier. But then, he went on to document the interesting, and sometimes criminal, careers of several others with the same name (he acknowledge that some of the records found may refer to the same individual, but some are clearly from different people). 

Ron also introduced use of mind-mapping as a technique for data analysis. His new book covers this in depth.


  1. Hi Emily, Thanks for the shout out. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have after seeing the recording of my presentation "Stickin' to the Union."

  2. Will the presentations be available for sale individually? The only presentation I wanted to see was the one you mentioned about the unions (because, of course, Emily, I saw your wonderful presentation last year in Boston :-). I was wondering if I needed to pay for the entire Live session or if I could purchase just a single session. My family was VERY active in the unions and I'd love to find out how to research that.

    BTW, thanks for the wrap up. Really nice to read about what went on; couldn't swing a trip to Salt Lake this year.

  3. Thanks for the comments, Jenny. Sorry you couldn't make it to SLC. As far as I can tell, the video presentations are only available (for 90 days) for all the taped sessions - not individual ones. Check the LIVE! page at http://conference.iajgs.org/2014/doc/IAJGS_2014_LIVEv2.pdf

    You might want to check with Jane Neff Rollins and see if she'd be willing to share either her audio version and/or handout with you. I believe the audio will be available to speakers in about two weeks.

  4. Thanks, Emily. I looked at the schedule and there were a handful of programs available on LIVE! that looked interesting, so I went ahead and signed up for the taped sessions. I'll binge watch them next week. :-)


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