Author Archives: Banai Feldstein

LIVE! Schedule Posted

Live LogoIf you’ve been holding off on your registration to know what sessions will be broadcast LIVE!, your wait is over. The online schedule has been updated with this information.

Visit, type “LIVE!” into the session code field, then click on Search to see the full listing of LIVE! sessions.

Our keynote speaker, David Laskin, will be broadcast LIVE! for two of his sessions, the opening keynote and From Family History to History: Bridging the Gap Using Genealogy, a presentation focusing on how he wrote his book.

Following one of our main topics, Ellen Kowitt will present Tracing Jews Who Coughed Their Way West, and Rochelle Kaplan will present Jews in Utah – Not an Oxymoron.

One of our co-chairs, Banai Feldstein, has two presentations broadcasting LIVE!, including Insider’s Guide to the Family History Library.

D. Joshua Taylor, the president of FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies), will present Essential Technology for Genealogists.

Genie Milgrom will present From the Spanish Inquisition to the Present: A Search for Jewish Roots about her own genealogical journey.

Lots of popular speakers from many of the past IAJGS conferences will be broadcast including Avrohom Krauss, Ron Arons, Pamela Weisberger, Rhoda Miller, Bennett Greenspan, Gary Gans, Israel Pickholtz, Warren Blatt, Mike Karsen, Schelly Dardashti, Marlis Humphrey (President of IAJGS), and so many more.

With over 60 sessions being broadcast LIVE!, there are sure to be many that you will find relevant to your genealogical interests. And don’t forget that LIVE! access will continue for three months after the conference, so if you can’t watch LIVE!, you can always watch it later.

Sign up today at Get all of LIVE! for $149, or add it to your in-person registration for only $99.

ProQuest Day – Wednesday

ProQuestWednesday, 30 July, will be ProQuest Day at the conference. We will have special access to a large number of databases that most of us usually have little or no access to at all. ProQuest cannot be purchased by individuals, only libraries and universities, so get your research queries ready.

These databases will only be available on the conference computers in the Resource Room, which will have extended hours from 9am to 10pm. Biff Forsyth, the ProQuest Director of Product Management, will be in the Resource Room (hours to be determined) to help everyone get the most out of the databases.

We anticipate a lot of interest in using these databases. Keep in mind that the Resource Room will impose a time limit when people are waiting, so please prepare before you arrive, know what you want to look for, be gracious when other people are waiting, and be prepared to come back later in the day if required.

Here is a list of what will be available:

ProQuest Historical Newspapers – US and International (listed alphabetically)

    • The American Hebrew & Jewish Messenger (1857-1922)
    • The American Israelite (1854-2000)
    • The Arizona Republican (1890-1922)‎
    • The Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945)
    • Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003)‎
    • The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988)‎
    • The Baltimore Sun (1837-1988)
    • Boston Globe (1872-1982)
    • Chicago Defender (1910-1975)
    • Chicago Tribune (1849-1990)
    • The Christian Science Monitor (1908-2000)‎
    • The Cincinnati Enquirer (1841-1922)‎
    • Cleveland Call and Post (1934-1991)‎
    • Detroit Free Press (1831-1922)‎
    • The Guardian (1821-2003) and The Observer (1791-2003)‎
    • Hartford Courant (1764-1988)‎
    • Indianapolis Star (1903-1922)‎
    • The Irish Times (1859-2012) and The Weekly Irish Times (1876-1958)‎
    • The Jerusalem Post (1932-2008)
    • The Jewish Advocate (1905-1990)‎
    • The Jewish Exponent (1887-1990)
    • Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005)‎
    • Los Angeles Times (1881-1990)‎
    • Louisville Courier Journal (1830-1922)
    • The Nashville Tennessean (1812-1922)
    • Newsday (1940-1985)
    • New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993)‎
    • The New York Times (1851-2010) with Index (1851-1993)‎
    • New York Tribune (1841-1922)‎
    • Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003)‎
    • Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001)‎
    • Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002)‎
    • San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922)‎
    • The Scotsman (1817-1950)‎
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1874-1922)‎
    • The Times of India (1838-2004)
    • The Wall Street Journal (1889-1996)‎
    • The Washington Post (1877-1997)‎
    • plus, the ProQuest Civil War Era newspapers collection (1840-1865)
      • Southern Titles: Richmond Dispatch (Virginia), Charleston Mercury (South Carolina), New Orleans Times Picayune (Louisiana)
      • Northern Titles: Boston Herald, New York Herald, Columbus State Journal (Ohio)
      • Border State/Mississippi Valley Titles: The Kentucky Daily Journal, Memphis Daily Appeal

But wait, there’s more. We will also have…

ProQuest History Databases

  • Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War‎  (1914-1919)
  • Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Series A: Subject Correspondence Files:
    • Part 3: Ellis Island, 1900-1933
    • Part 4: European Investigations, 1898-1936
    • Part 5: Prostitution and White Slavery, 1902-1933
    • Part 6: Suppression of Aliens, 1906-1930
  • Voices from Ellis Island: An Oral History of American Immigration
  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I‎

 ProQuest Map Databases

  • Historic Map Works Library Edition
  • ProQuest Digital Sanborn Maps (1867-1970)
  • ProQuest Sanborn Maps Geo Edition (1867-1970)
  • ProQuest U.S. Serial Set High Resolution Maps (1789-1969) (This is part of the Congressional database where you can search by name to see if any of your ancestors testified in Congress.)

ProQuest Genealogy Databases

  • HeritageQuest Online
  • ProQuest Obituaries and Death Notices
  • Atlanta Constitution (1868-1922)
  • Boston Globe (1872-1922)
  • Chicago Defender (1921-1975)
  • Chicago Tribune (1852-1984)
  • Los Angeles Times (1881-1984)
  • New York Times (1851-1994)
  • Washington Post (1877-1950)

And finally,

Announcing – The Resource Room and its Databases

This year’s Resource Room Coordinator is Beth Long, a Utah JGS member. The hours for the Resource Room are as follows:

  • Sunday, 1 July : 1pm – 6pm
  • Monday, 28 July: 9am – 6pm
  • Tuesday, 29 July: 9am – 6pm
  • Wednesday, 30 July: 9am – 10pm (ProQuest Day)
  • Thursday, 31 July: 9am – 6pm
  • Friday, 1 August: 9am – 12 noon

If you’re new to our conference, you may be asking yourself, “What’s the Resource Room?” Glad you asked! The Resource Room will be located at the center of our conference, in the Topaz room on the second floor of the Hilton. It will contain 30 computers, printers, and will be available for attendees to use. Some attendees may use the computers to check email or print syllabus pages, but most will sit down and use the free access to the many subscription databases that we offer.

Database LogosJan Meisels Allen, our Database Coordinator, has announced the line-up of databases with free access that we will have available:

  • Ancestry family of genealogical web sites (includes,, and
  • FindMyPast (includes the British Library newspapers, among others)
  • Forward
  • GenTeam
  • Getty Images-BBS
  • Godfrey Memorial Library (Gold subscription)
  • Library of Canada
  • London Gazette
  • Mocavo
  • MyHeritage family of web sites (includes,, World Vital Records, and the Jewish Chronicle)
  • New England Historic and Genealogical Society
  • ProQuest (Wednesday only)

In addition, the Resource Room computers will also have links to over 250 other free genealogical sites that will be accessible by topic, ex. Canada, Europe, Israel, Holocaust, Immigration and Naturalization, USA, and more.

Several IAJGS members will offer access to their members-only databases as well: Cercle de Généalogie Juive, Israel Genealogical Society (IGS), and Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA).

Stay tuned for more details about ProQuest Day. There will be so many databases available, it deserves its own blog post.

Using the FHL – High Density and Vault

Rolling Shelves in High Density

A great number of the cataloged microfilm are available at the Family History Library at any given time, but some items are not as readily available. When the catalog states that an item is in the Vault it means that no one has ordered it to the FHL or that it has been sent back.

(Sending items back is a very recent occurrence. Previously, once an item was in the FHL, it stayed there forever.)

The Granite Mountain Vault is exactly what it sounds like. FamilySearch built a vault in the side of a mountain to secure the original microfilms and, more recently, to store the digital images of records that they collect.

The Vault is not accessible to patrons, but any item in the Vault can be ordered to the FHL. If you are planning a trip to Salt Lake City, you can order the films you will need online. If you are already in SLC, you can order a film from the Vault at the Access Services window on the appropriate floor of the Library. Vault orders generally take one day to arrive, except for late Friday and Saturday when the Vault is closed.

On the other hand, if something in the catalog says that it is Restricted, at Access Services, or in High Density, these can all be found at the Access Services window. Restricted items may require you to volunteer a government-issued ID while using the materials. High Density items are all on the B-1 floor, regardless of the geographical location of the material. These items generally take only a few minutes to retrieve. Patrons are not allowed in the High Density area.

Ancestry Tour Filling Up

Ancestry Offices

Did you know that Early Bird Registration ends this week? Saturday is your last chance to register at the discount rate of $295 for the full conference.

And the tour of the facilities is filling up fast. We expect registration to pick up quite a bit this week, as many people put off their registration until this time. If you want to go on the tour, don’t delay. There are less than 15 seats left.

Visit for more about the conference, or go directly to to register.

Memorial Day

Graves at Arlington on Memorial Day

Today, May 26th, is Memorial Day in the USA. It is a federal holiday, designated to remember the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces.

While some will celebrate with parades, fireworks, and barbeques, as the day marks the start of the summer vacation season, others will visit cemeteries and memorials, to remember those who have given their lives for their country. At national cemeteries, volunteers place American flags at every gravestone.

As genealogists, many of us will use some of the time to do our research. (Several web sites are offering free access to their military collections.) While your family members may not have given their lives while in the service, you may still know their stories. Consider submitting your World War I Story to be included in our collection. Your story need not be about the war or someone who was in the military, but it can tell the story of what your relatives did during the war.

There’s no better way to memorialize our ancestors than to tell their stories.

Jewish Utah – Temple Har Shalom

Har ShalomTemple Har Shalom, “Mountain of Peace”, seems appropriately named for the synagogue in Park City. Originally the Park City Jewish Center formed in 1995 with an ad in the local newspaper saying “the time has come!”, the PCJC became Temple Har Shalom in 1999, a Reform congregation.

Rabbi Joshua Aaronson joined as the first full-time rabbi to Har Shalom in 2002. They have weekly Friday night services.

Temple Har Shalom is located at 3700 North Brookside Court. More information can be found on their web site at

Conference Schedule Released

The schedule for IAJGS 2014 is now online. If you’ve been waiting to see what presentations we will be offering before you register, now is the time. Early bird registration ends on May 31st. Visit for more details.

Registration is open for attendees and IAJGS LIVE! You can reserve your seat for various additional fee items, such as Breakfast with the Experts, computer labs, SIG luncheons, and the Gala Awards Banquet.

The first two Breakfasts with the Experts, Monday and Tuesday, feature Joe Everett and Heidi Sugden, FamilySearch consultants, who will answer your questions about researching at the Family History Library. Friday’s breakfast is especially for those planning to attend next year’s conference in Israel, with Michael Goldstein answering your questions.

On Friday morning, we are offering a tour of the Ancestry facilities at their headquarters in Provo. Ever wanted to know what happens behind the scenes to bring you so many digitized and indexed records online? Now is your chance to find out.

If you’ve already registered, you can update your registration with these items. Seating is limited for everything, so don’t wait for the last minute to sign up if you’re interested.


Keynote Speaker Announced

David Laskin, photo from

We are proud to announce that the keynote speaker at IAJGS 2014 will be David Laskin. His award-winning books are especially relevant to our family experiences and to the World War I era.

Laskin’s book, “The Family”, tells the story of the three paths taken by his family. Descended from a Torah scribe in the Pale, some came to America, some went to Palestine as pioneer farmers, and some remained in Europe to face the horrors of the Shoah.

In his previous book, “The Long Way Home”, he describes the experiences of a dozen European immigrants who returned to Europe as part of the American expeditionary forces in World War I.

His presentation will be given during the opening session on Sunday evening, 27 July. More information about David Laskin can be found on his web site,

Jewish Utah – Congregation Brith Sholem

Brith SholemCongregation Brith Sholem was founded in 1890 in Ogden as Ohab Sholem. It reformed in 1916 as Brith Sholem and dedicated the synagogue at their current location in 1921.

Brith Sholem is the oldest continuously operating synagogue in Utah. It affiliated with the Reform Judaism movement in 1996 which most notably brings a student rabbi one weekend a month to lead services and classes, among other duties.

Friday evening services are held most weeks and occasionally there are Saturday morning services.

More information can be found on their web site at