Category Archives: Announcements

Thank You All

We’d like to thank everyone for your participation in the conference.

Thank YouThank you to the UJGS members who served as committee chairs, and the others who helped out in various ways as volunteers.

Thank you to the non-local committee chairs, because UJGS is too small to run a conference like this ourselves.

Thank you to the attendees who volunteered as facilitators or helped out in other ways.

Thank you to the speakers who brought the educational aspect; there would be no conference without you.

Thank you to the exhibitors who brought their products and services to our attention.

Thank you to our platinum sponsors: FamilySearch, sponsor of LIVE!, and Ancestry, sponsor of the keynote and the app. And to both for providing tours of their facilities.

Thank you to our bronze sponsor, JewishGen, and FamilyTreeDNA for their lanyard sponsorship.

And thank you to the many people who stopped me in the hallways (and I’m sure many other committee chairs) to thank us for a job well done. We put a lot of work into planning and executing the conference and, even if we seemed in a hurry to get other things done, enjoyed every time someone appreciated our efforts.

Hoping we didn’t miss a major thank you that we should have made here, we’ll see you
Next Year in Jerusalem!

Conference Suggestions

Jan Meisels Allen, a 16-year conference attendee, shares her annual suggestions that she has found to be helpful to everyone, including first timers. [With a few additional notes from the conference blogger.]

1. Remember to bring your registration confirmation with bar code – it will expedite the registration process. You will be able to register starting Saturday 4-8pm in the Alpine Ballroom. Visit the conference FAQ; virtually any question you may have will have been addressed there. [Additional information can be found on other pages on the site, including additional topics under the About tab and under the Hotel/Travel tab for Travel Information and Parking.]

2. Be comfortable. Dress in layers. It is notoriously difficult to manage room temperature to everyone’s liking, especially in a hotel conference area with hundreds of attendees and other hotel activities. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Remember that Salt Lake City will be hot in the summer climate. The current ten-day projected forecast is for mid to high 90s (F) in the daytime and low to mid 70s (F) in the evening with a few days listed “with low possibility of rain”. Before you leave, check with for the 10-day forecast.

Leave extra time to take the elevators to the meeting room floors. if you are going to walk to the Family History Library a few blocks away, bring comfortable walking shoes. [SLC blocks are 660 feet, seven blocks is a mile. You may also take TRAX, our light rail. Both the hotel and library are in the free fare zone. Or a taxi will only cost about $5.]

3. Seats in the front row are reserved for those with hearing and vision disabilities that have notified the conference of their disability. Do NOT run for a seat in the front row, especially if you have a book bag on wheels as you may hit someone. Avoid the temptation to save the seat beside you just to give yourself more room.

4. If you use a rolling book carrier for your belongings, or use a walker or other walking aide, put them aside, out of the aisle so that others can walk safely.

5. Be considerate of the speakers and other attendees. Turn off cell phones and other noise-making devices during sessions. Do not talk to others during a program. Do not open candy or gum wrappers during the session as the crinkling sound disturbs the others sitting near to you.

6. Look to see if a session is being recorded. You can be in two, three, or four places at once by subscribing to LIVE! or purchasing conference recordings. [The complete list of sessions being recorded should be available at the beginning of the conference. The LIVE! schedule is posted.]

7. Familiarize yourself with the conference layout to know where the Exhibitor Hall, Resource Room, Hospitality, and especially the Restrooms are located. [Floor layouts will be posted on signage by the elevators. They are also available through the conference app in the Maps section.]

You MUST wear your conference badge at all times while in the conference area or security will not permit you to enter. No exceptions.

8. Even if you are a veteran of the IAJGS conference, introduce yourself to the people sitting nearby. What surnames are they searching? What areas of the world? Always network, network, network.

9. If this is your first conference, it is an experience you will never forget. [Don't miss the New Attendee Welcome and Orientation session Sunday morning.]

Bring a USB drive with you or have your family tree information on your laptop/tablet and other documents you may wish to share with others who are researching the same names and ancestral towns.

10. Look at the rich program in advance and highlight which sessions you want to attend and which speakers you want to listen to. You can use the conference app, or print from the web site, to plot your personal schedule. When you register, you will also get the Daily Planner that includes the full schedule with room assignments. Remember that we all have multiple areas of interest so we have to prioritize due to the concurrent sessions. Look at the programs sponsored by the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for the geographic areas of interest, and don’t forget to attend the SHARE Fair on Sunday afternoon.

11. Look through the conference tote bag. There will be flyers for some of the database companies on the Resource Room computers, and exhibitors, as well as other items of interest.

12. The Resource Room will have links to subscription databases available at no charge. On Wednesday only, remember the Resource Room will be open late so everyone can take advantage of ProQuest Day, where conference registrants will have access to the ProQuest Historical Newspapers and more. Other subscription databases are available in the Resource Room throughout the conference, only on the conference computers. You may NOT use your laptop to access the databases [unless you have your own subscription], nor will you be permitted to acquire the passwords or users IDs for your personal use on your computer. This is an excellent reason to bring a USB drive [or use the one provided by the conference] to make copies of any records from the subscription databases.

13. There is free shared-access to Wi-Fi in selected conference areas. Those who booked hotel rooms in the conference block will also get free Wi-Fi access in their rooms. Finally, the hotel always provides free Wi-Fi access in the lobby area.

Above all, keep your sense of humor and flexibility! Sometimes there are last minute schedule changes outside of the control of the conference co-chairs or a technical glitch with the audio/visual equipment. The conference committee members will do everything possible to prevent such occurrences, but they do happen.

Enjoy the conference… looking forward to seeing many friends who I haven’t seen since last year’s conference!

Announcing the Conference App

Navigate this year’s IAJGS Conference like a pro with the mobile app. With the app, users can:

  • Sync their agendas across multiple devices,App Ad
  • Browse speakers and bookmarks sessions,
  • Locate meeting rooms from the event listings,
  • Reference local area resources,
  • Network with fellow attendees through the Friends feature, send direct messages, and share schedules,
  • Access social media to keep up on the buzz about the conference,
  • View the speakers’ handouts right on your device (for a limited time — these will be removed after the conference).

More content will continue to be added before the conference is through.

App QRThe app can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play by searching for “IAJGS”, scan the QR code in this post, or follow the link: All devices, including Blackberry or any web-enabled computer, can access the app via the link.

Once you’ve downloaded the IAJGS multi-show app, be sure to select the 34th IAJGS International Conference to gain access to this year’s conference data.

Note: We are aware of the current problem with Android devices showing blank screens for events with handouts attached. The app programmers are working on it. All other parts of the app should be fine.

Our Sponsors –

Ancestry.comWe’d like to thank for their generous support of our conference. Ancestry is a Platinum Sponsor, the sponsor of our Keynote session, with speaker David Laskin, and the conference app.

The conference App was such a success in Boston, we could not miss the opportunity to offer it to our attendees again. Visit your smartphone app store and search for IAJGS to download the multi-show app, where you will be able to access past, present, and future conference apps all in one place. From the app, you can view the schedule, speaker information, other conference information, and we will even have the speakers’ handouts available from within the app for a limited time surrounding the conference. More information will continue to be added to the app leading up to and during the conference. The app is also accessible through a web interface, so anyone can use it on any computer.

In addition to their sponsorships, is bringing an extra booth to our Exhibitor Hall this year. The World Memory Project is one of their archiving projects that is powered by volunteers. Working with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the World Memory Project is working to index the records of the USHMM. The index is available online, and since it’s created by volunteers, it is absolutely free to search.

We thank for their generous support of the IAJGS 2014 Conference.

Our Sponsors – FamilySearch

FamilySearchWe’d like to thank FamilySearch for their generous support of our conference. FamilySearch is a Platinum Sponsor, our most generous category. They are sponsoring IAJGS LIVE!

Did you know that you don’t have to be at our conference physically to participate? Continuing from our Boston conference, we are providing up to two sessions at a time streaming LIVE! online. FamilySearch is not only sponsoring LIVE!, they are also providing LIVE! Their employees will be bringing the equipment and running the LIVE! broadcasts with the expertise they have acquired from their own RootsTech broadcasts.

In-person attendees can also purchase LIVE! at a discount rate (add it to your registration) and view the sessions for up to three months after the conference. It’s the best way to “be in two places at once”.

Additionally, FamilySearch is coordinating with us at the Family History Library. They have been training their volunteers to know more about Jewish research so they will be able to better assist our attendees’ needs at the Library. They will have more translators than usual on-hand to help and they are also sending additional translators to our conference to assist in the Resource Room.

And there’s even more happening behind the scenes where they are assisting our conference.

We thank FamilySearch for their generous support of the IAJGS 2014 Conference.

Family Finder is Online

Did you notice that this year’s conference is having an online Family Finder? Instead of receiving a printed book when you register at the conference, we have put all the Family Finder data online.

What does that mean? It means you can search the Family Finder well in advance of the conference, contact the people you want to contact, and even arrange to meet them at the conference. No more need to scrounge through the material the night before the conference and then scramble all week to find someone you might be related to.

So if you’re registered, go ahead and search for matches. If you’re not registered, now is a good time to do so. If you didn’t enter your family names, get on that so people can find you. And if you made any spelling errors, you can fix them now. (There are a few in there.) The Family Finder will be updated a couple more times before the conference begins, once more during or just after the conference (to be sure we include late registrations), and then not again until next year’s conference is ready to replace the data with their attendees.

Only registered attendees can log in to the Family Finder and send messages to other attendees. You should have recently received an email with your login password again; it’s the same one as your registration.

So head on over to the conference Family Finder and maybe find some potential cousins.

IAJGS LIVE! Preview Video, Take 2

Well folks, it looks like FeedBurner didn’t send the embedded video to your email. If you visited the blog, because you noticed something was missing, then you were able to watch the video there. If you didn’t see it, here is a link to the video on YouTube.

And if we embed a video again, we’ll know to include a link to it for our email readers.

IAJGS LIVE! – Preview Video Available

Interested in attending the conference but you can’t be there in person? Or going to the conference in person but you know you can’t attend all the great sessions that interest you? You can attend IAJGS LIVE! from the comfort of your own home.

If you haven’t heard of LIVE!, then you’re missing out. Over 60 of the sessions at the IAJGS conference will be broadcast LIVE! over the Internet, and then will be available for another 90 days after the conference. At most times, two different sessions will be broadcasting LIVE!, so you can always go back later to watch the other session that you missed, or rewatch a session you enjoyed.

Below is a preview of what you can expect from LIVE!, created from our LIVE! broadcast at last year’s Boston conference.

So don’t forget to register for LIVE! at We have quite the line-up of sessions this year.

LIVE! is only $149 for all 60+ sessions, including access to the recordings for three months to watch them at your leisure. (Daily LIVE! attendance is also available. Check the conference schedule to find which days interest you.) Ask your local JGS how you can get a discount off the full price of LIVE!

Or add LIVE! onto your regular conference registration for only $99.

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,