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Reader’s Guide to Jewish Genealogy

Guides |  Cemeteries  |  Archival Resources  |  Genealogies  |  Will Books  
Journals  |  History & Biography  |  Holocaust  |  Names  |  Military History  |  Forms


Discovering your Jewish ancestors / Barbara Krasner-Khait
GEN 929.1089924 K89d
Concise guide to discovering family history from "the old country" and chronicling immigration to the U.S. Guides the reader through the myriad publications, archives, institutions and Web sites that hold the keys to locating even the most hard-to-find ancestors in towns that have been destroyed - along with all town records.
Getting started in Jewish genealogy / Gary Mokotoff and Warren Blatt
GEN 929.1089924 M716g
Written by two experts in Jewish genealogy, clearly explains the techniques and resources for doing Jewish genealogical research and points to more advanced areas to continue research.
From generation to generation : how to trace your Jewish genealogy and family history / Arthur Kurzweil ; foreword by Elie Wiesel
GEN 929.1089924 K96f
Inspirational and informative, provides step-by-step advice on discovering and understanding family papers, finding holocaust research, immigration and naturalization records, and more. Includes techniques for online genealogical research and for investigating the newly opened archives of Eastern Europe. Incorporates the most recent technological advances and innovations into his information-gathering guide. Although much of the information provided can be applied to any ethnic group, the author painstakingly outlines how Jewish genealogy substantially differs from all other genealogy.
Scattered seeds : a guide to Jewish genealogy / Mona Freedman-Morris
GEN 929.1089924 F853s
Explains where and what information is available,how to access the information and extract hidden clues. Brief background of the Jewish people, from the Twelve Tribes through the Pale of Settlement of Eastern Europe. Step by step lessons on how to utilize federal and state records, use supplemental resources such as tombstones, synagogue records, and more.
A student's guide to Jewish American genealogy / by Jay Schleifer
GEN 929.1089924 S341s
A comprehensive treatment of genealogy as a subject, and an in-depth survey of Jewish history. Information on tracing Holocaust victims.   All chapters followed by lists of annotated resources, containing books, organizations, and on-line services.
A guide to Jewish genealogical research in Israel / by Sallyann Amdur Sack and the Israel Genealogical Society
GEN 929.1 S121g 1995
Comprehensive catalog of genealogical resources available in Israel, written before the internet.   Much of it is still relevant, although not complete. A companion update of the addresses and phone numbers can be found online at
Finding our fathers : a guidebook to Jewish genealogy / Dan Rottenberg.
GEN 929.1089924 R851f 1995
Advice on tracing the roots of Jewish families with names and addresses of organizations that could aid the search.   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.
How and where to research your ethnic-American cultural heritage / Robert D. Reed
GEN 929.1028 R325h v.7
A concise resource guide to addresses of associations, libraries, embassies, etc.   Also includes a bibliography of sources and publishers of Jewish interest material.   Out of date but still useful.
Avotaynu guide to Jewish genealogy / edited by Sallyann Amdur Sack & Gary Mokotoff
GEN 929.1072 A962
The definitive guide to Jewish genealogical research. Written by more than 60 authors, each an expert in their own field. More than 100 chapters covers all important aspects of the information available to do Jewish genealogical research.
Sephardic genealogy : discovering your Sephardic ancestors and their world / Jeffrey S. Malka
GEN 929.108924 M251s
How to trace Sephardic ancestry through archives as ancient as 12th century Spanish notarial records or as recent as today's country repositories. The author discusses Sephardic history, their various diasporas, where to find records, the origins of Sephardic surnames and clues derived from their origins and meanings. An extensive bibliography provided for additional study.
The Encyclopedia of Jewish genealogy / edited by Arthur Kurzweil and Miriam Weiner
GEN 929.1089924 E56 v.1
First of a projected three-volume guide for helping the Jewish family historian find source material (vols. 2 and 3 will focus on non-North American sources and topical issues). After a section of articles on immigration and naturalization, descriptions of institutional resources are arranged by state and city in the US and in Canada. Appendices provide additional data.
Jewish genealogy : a sourcebook of family histories and genealogies / David S. Zubatsky, Irwin M. Berent
GEN 929.1089924 Z93j
Comprehensive bibliography of published and unpublished Jewish genealogies, family histories, and family names in archives and libraries in the United States and abroad.   Introduction explains the scope and content of the book, describes how to use it, and provides a descriptive explanation of variant names. Detailed annotations and descriptive cross-references.


Woodlawn Cemetery, West Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County, Florida : index of burials, January 1905 through December 1994, comprising Woodlawn Cemetery, Jewish Cemetery & Woodlawn North Cemetery / compiled & produced by Palm Beach County Genealogical Society, West Palm Beach, Florida.
GEN 929.375932 W891
Each cemetery indexed individually; alphabetically by last name and numerically by block and lot number.  Includes date of burial.
Jewish cemeteries of the Delmarva Peninsula : a burial index for Delaware & Maryland's Eastern Shore / by Julian H. Preisler
GEN 929.3751 P92j
Combined index for all Jewish cemeteries on the Delmarva Peninsula.   Each cemetery chapter begins with informational and historical introduction.   Contents include index of burials in alphabetical order with date of birth or age, and date of death.
Confederate dead buried in Evergreen Cemetery, St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Temple Jewish Cemetery. / Children of the Confederacy. Emily Broward Chapter
GEN 929.375912 C536, D983c
Names indexed alphabetically for each cemetery with inscriptions from gravestones, and lot and section of plot.

Archival Resources 

Jewish roots in Poland : pages from the past and archival inventories / by Miriam Weiner in cooperation with the Polish State Archives
GEN 929.3438 W423j
In depth  guide to extant documents such as tax rolls and Jewish community records in Poland. Illustrated with hundreds of antique and contemporary photographs of Polish cities and towns.
Shtetl finder : Jewish communities in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the pale of settlement of Russia and Poland, and in Lithuania, Latvia, Galicia, and Bukovina, with names of residents / Chester G. Cohen
GEN 929.004924 C678s 
Gazeteer of Jewish communities in the 19 th and early 20 th centuries in the Pale of Settlement of Russia and Poland, and in Lituhuania, Latvia, Galicia, and Bukovina with names of prominent residents.


Americans of Jewish descent; a compendium of genealogy. Compiled by Malcolm H. Stern
GEN 929.10973 S839a 1960a
First American Jewish families : 600 genealogies, 1654-1977 / compiled by Malcolm H. Stern
First American Jewish families : 600 genealogies, 1654-1988 / compiled by Malcolm H. Stern
GEN 929.2 A1S839f 1991
Family trees of every family of Jewish origin known to have been established in America prior to 1840.   Non-Jewish descendants are included.

Will Books 

Wills of early New York Jews, 1704-1799. With a foreword by Isidore S. Meyer
GEN 929.3747 H572w
Forty-one wills first published in three installments in the American Jewish Historical Quarterly," vol.55, no.3, 1966 and vol.56, nos. l-1, 1966, respectively.


Toledot : Journal of Jewish Genealogy
GEN 929.1089924 T649 v.2-3 1978-81
Toledot is the Hebrew word for genealogy or generations.   The journal is no longer in publication.              

History and Biography 

The Jews of South Carolina from the earliest times to the present day. / Elzas, Barnett A.
GEN 269.0975 E52j, 1905a 
History of the Jewish community in South Carolina from 1670 through 1980.   Information researched from primary sources such as newspapers, tax records, wills, cemetery records and other documents.   Several biographies of prominent men.
American Jewish biographies / by Lakeville Press, Inc.,
GEN 973.04924 A512
In depth studies of the lives and careers of more than 500 American Jews who contributed to American society in the fields of science, medicine, business, politics, education, sports, law religion, communications, performing and fine arts.
The house of Jacob / Sylvie Courtine-Denamy
GEN 929.2089924 C864h 
Courtine-Denamy traces her family's exile after their expulsion in 1492 at the time of Spanish unification. Powerful and moving history of one woman's family will strike a chord with those who have experienced exile and displacement. Presents Sephardic culture as a counterpoint to the perceived prevalence of Ashkenazi culture in forming Jewish identity.
Life and times of Judah Touro; tercentenary address by David C. Adelman, esq., delivered before the officers and members of the Touro fraternal association, May 13, 1936. / Adelman, David C.
GEN 976.305092 A229 
Biorgraphical and historical address by the founder and first president of the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Society.   Includes enclosed replicas of correspondence by and to Judah Touro with important figures of the period.   Touro’s famous will is reproduced.
Mordecai, an early American family / Emily Bingham
GEN 929.20973 B613m 
Biography of three generations of a family of southern Jews during America's first century becomes a remarkable window on the struggles all Americans were engaged in during the early years of the republic.


Where once we walked : a guide to the Jewish communities destroyed in the holocaust / Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack
GEN 917.70003 M716w
Identifies more than 23,500 towns where Jews lived before the Holocaust. Includes 17,500 alternate names. Includes soundex index and "nearby town" index.
Benjamin and Vladka Meed registry of Jewish Holocaust survivors 2000.
GEN 940.5318 B468 v.1-4
Registry is a computer database listing more than 170,000 names of Holocaust survivors and some family members.   First established in 1981 to document survivors who came to the United States after WWII.   Volumes I-II lists survivors alphabetically by name.   Volume III is a listing by place of birth and town before the war, and volume IV lists survivors by location during the Holocaust.
How to document victims and locate survivors of the Holocaust / by Gary Mokotoff
GEN 940.5318072 M716h 
Written for the beginning researcher, annotates principal sources worldwide for Holocaust information, various types of documents, and explains the steps necessary for accessing that material. Appendixes include a bibliography on generic genealogical searching, statistics about Jewish victims, lists of towns that published memorial books to commemorate victims, more than 4,000 European towns for which there is documentation at Yad Vashem in Israel, and Holocaust resource centers.


A dictionary of Jewish names and their history / Benzion C. Kaganoff
GEN 929.4024296 K
Delves into the roots of names from Aaron to Zwirn, finding biblical, occupational, and regional origins for nearly 4,000 names.
A dictionary of Jewish surnames from the Kingdom of Poland / by Alexander Beider
GEN 929.42 B422d
More than 32,000 surnames.  Information on where within the Kingdom of Poland the name was prevalent at the turn of the 20th century, all likely etymologies of the name, spelling variants and derivatives of the name.   Soundex index makes it simpler to locate a given surname with its proper Polish spelling. Introductory portion of the book describes the origins and evolution of Polish-Jewish surnames.
Jewish family names and their origins : an etymological dictionary / by Heinrich W. Guggenheimer and Eva H. Guggenheimer
GEN 929.42 G942j 
Analysis of name use and derivation of names, followed by a dictionary of surnames listed alphabetically according to modern Polish spelling. Includes soundex index of all surnames mentioned in the dictionary.
Jewish personal names : their origin, derivation, and diminutive forms / by Shmuel Gorr ; edited by Chaim Freedman
GEN 929.44089924 G673j 
Shows the roots of more than 1,200 Jewish personal names. It shows all Yiddish/Hebrew variants of a root name with English transliteration. Footnotes explain how these variants were derived. An index of all variants allows you to easily locate the name in the body of book. Also presented are family names originating from personal names.


American Jews in World War II; the story of 550,000 fighters for freedom. / Kaufman, Isidor
GEN 940.5404 K21a v.1-2
Prepared and published by the Bureau of War Records and the National Jewish Welfare Board. Volume I tells the stories of some of the military personnel in every branch of the service in all areas of the fighting front.   Volume II is an alphabetical listing, not complete, of personnel by state, and awards.   Indicates those who died in action or non-combat death.
Fighting for America, an account of Jewish men in the armed forces, from Pearl Harbor to the Italian campaign. / National Jewish Welfare Board.
GEN 940.5315 N277f 
Brief stories and photographs of men in all branches of the Armed Services.   Part II is an Honor Roll of servicemen either wounded in action or who have won awards for heroism.   Included are names of those who died in service if recipients of the Purple Heart and other awards.


Documents of our ancestors : a selection of reproducible genealogy forms and tips for using them / Michael J. Meshenberg
GEN 929.1 M578d 
Reproducible forms and replicas of forms for obtaining documents of vital records, naturalizations, census forms, passenger arrival records and more.   Valuable information for all genealogists, but particularly beneficial to Jewish genealogists whose ancestors lived in New York City or State.