Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

How to Begin Your Genealogical Research   

You can trace your Jewish roots

•    Even if you don't know the names of your grandparents
•    Even if you don't know where your ancestors originated
•    Even if the town your ancestors came from was destroyed in the Holocaust

JGSI holds Beginners' Workshops usually twice a year.

These websites have a wealth of information for the beginner and some have sections dedicated to first-timers.

Finding a Researcher

As genealogists we sometimes come to a point where we need outside help with some aspect of our family research. While JGSI has a number of members who do research for others, in order to be impartial it is our policy not to recommend any specific individual.

Instead we recommend the following process to our members.

1.    Post to the JGSI Members Forum
Make a posting on our Members Forum at Login to your JGSI membership on our website at Then select Members Only and then Member Forum.  This forum allows members to help other members with specific issues.  You can make a posting where you fully describe where you are in your research and what issue you need help with. This should include the specific location (if known) where your ancestors lived and time period.

Other JGSI members can respond with ideas on where and whom might be able to help you. Remember to always ask for references before hiring any researcher.

Read JewishGen’s suggestions
You can access the Jewishgen website at 
for their information on hiring a Professional Genealogist.

Join a JewishGen Special Inerest Group discussion
You can join a Jewishgen Discussion group in one of the SIGS. The Special Interest Groups concentrate on one specific Country/Area. By joining the group for your area of interest and signing up for the daily digest, you can learn what questions people are asking and then you can make a posting of the area where you would like to hire someone to research. To join go to:

Check out information from The Association of Professional Genealogists
The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) has members with expertise in a range of areas. To find information on hiring a genealogist and well as a link to a list of their members go to .

Whatever path you take, remember to have an agreement of the fees to be charged and obtain references of people who have used the researcher for similar research.

© 2019 JGSI   P.O. Box 515, Northbrook, IL 60065-0515 • 312.666.0100 •