Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

“Cadastral Maps as a Genealogical Resource” by Alex Feller

  • 22 May 2016
  • 12:30 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook

Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois’
Sunday, May 22, 2016, meeting

“Cadastral Maps as a Genealogical Resource” will be the topic of a presentation by Alex Feller at the Sunday, May 22, 2016, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. His presentation will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate those 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, visit or phone 312-666-0100.

Also planned for this meeting is a short presentation by JGSI webmaster Ron Miller, who will discuss JGSI’s online Jewish burial databases.

The main speaker for this meeting, Alex Feller, a board member of Gesher Galicia, says “Cadastral maps and landowner records are sources of information useful to a genealogist interested in creating a fuller picture of a family's life.” 

House numbers found in vital records and property lists can help confirm connections between families and aid in tracking the movement of families through time, he says. When used in conjunction with cadastral maps, house numbers can show the location where a family lived.  The cadastral maps also show locations of Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, and schools.

“These maps can be compared with current satellite images of the town to show where a family’s house would have stood. All this information also helps the genealogist to imagine how families within a town may have interacted with each other,” Feller says. 

Feller has been researching family history since 1996.  A trip to an ancestral town in Ukraine in 1998 strengthened his desire to research family history more seriously. Attending the 2008 IAJGS conference in Chicago gave him the desire to start an online group for researchers of his ancestral town of Rohatyn in 2009. It is the Rohatyn Shtetl Research Group, which now has over 250 members, a website, and heritage projects.

He gave presentations on “Overlaying Cadastral Maps on Current Topography” at the 2010 IAJGS conference and on “Rohatyn's Tombstone Recovery Project” at the 2011 IAJGS conference.  He became a board member of Gesher Galicia in 2012. 

In his professional life, he is a board certified anesthesiologist and is head of the anesthesiology department at the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery in Mokena, Ill.  

At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, its “help desk” will operated from 12:30 to 1:50 p.m. Member volunteers will access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:30 to 1:50 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.

For more information about the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois or the JGSI schedule of future events, visit or phone 312-666-0100.

While this program is free, those who join the society have access to several valuable members-only resources on the JGSI website. They include video recordings of more than a dozen presentations from past JGSI events, valuable informational handouts from past speakers, access to past Morasha newsletters containing informative articles about Jewish genealogy, the syllabus from the 2015 JGSI conference, and more. To learn more about the benefits of joining the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, go to


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