Lecture descriptions Dr. Janette Silverman, FEEFHS 2021

Written in Stone: When Gravestones Lie (Jewish track)

When researching Eastern European Jews it is necessary to identify the names they used when they immigrated to the U.S. and elsewhere, prior to researching in European repositories. As Jewish genealogists, we depend on gravestones to provide certain information which might not appear anywhere else: the Hebrew names of the decedent and his/her father. What happens when the information on a gravestone is incorrect? What if we can't find the gravestone? This presentation will focus on two case studies and the research involved in finding the correct information in one case and why the gravestone in the second case could not be found.


Challenges in Jewish Ancestral Research (Jewish track)

Jewish genealogical research has unique challenges. It is often very difficult to determine our Eastern European ancestors' names because the spelling is inconsistent from document to document. After immigration going beyond the changes in spelling, their names are often changed and sometimes they change more than once. The places they were born or resided in are also recorded in various ways and determining where the place(s) were is often elusive. Dates also are often inconsistent and seem to change from document to document. This presentation will discuss and describe some of the challenges and resources which will aid in resolving the inconsistencies.