Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

“Making a Family Tree Coffee Table Book” by Zalman Usiskin

  • 22 Feb 2015
  • 12:30 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook
Program: Sunday, February 22, 2015
Program starts 2:00 p.m 
at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook.

Zalman Usiskin, who has been interested in genealogy for more than 50 years, will speak on “Making a Family Tree Coffee Table Book” at the Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook. In his presentation, which will begin at 2 p.m., he will explain how to collect, collate and organize one large family tree into a handsome volume worthy of calling a “coffee table book.”

Zalman Usiskin

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate members who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites, or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information phone 312-666-0100.

There are many ways of letting people on a family tree know of their ancestors and cousins.  Some people put the information online.  Others have gedcom files that they distribute to interested relatives and friends. 

In this talk, Usiskin, a mathematician, will describe how he created a book, printed in 2010, that is centered around a tree of descendants of one couple born in the early 19th century, Velvel and Chaya Rachel Marinker, great-great-grandparents of the speaker.  This presentation will deal with such questions as how to organize 1,150 direct descendants and over 2,200 total names in a coherent way, what features to consider adding to a tree to make it more interesting, how desired information might be obtained, and how to make the book “look nice.”

The speaker is not a professional genealogist but has been interested in the genealogy of the various branches of his family for over 50 years.  In 2002, he spoke to JGSI about writing and distributing a family tree.  His work on the tree, which is the subject of this talk, began in 1975.  The design of this tree book was created and implemented by Shira Epstein, one of the descendants on the tree.

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