Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

"Comparing Jewish Resources on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage and JewishGen” and “What Would Nancy Drew Do in the Quest for Missing Family" by Ellen Kowitt

  • 26 Jul 2020
  • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • From the convenience of your home computer. - Guest Speaker 1:00 pm

Genealogist Ellen Kowitt to give two talks at July 26, 2020, JGSI meeting

Ellen Kowitt, past president and current outreach chair of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado, will give two live streaming online lectures at the Sunday, July 26, 2020, Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois meeting: “Comparing Jewish Resources on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage and JewishGen” at 1 p.m., and “What Would Nancy Drew Do in the Quest for Missing Family” at about 2:30 p.m. 

This event, which is free and open to the public. For more information about this meeting, see https://jgsi.org/event-3605842 or phone 312-666-0100.

The 1 p.m. presentation, “Comparing Jewish Resources on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage and JewishGen,” provides a comparative overview of the global powerhouse websites referred to as “Genealogy Giants.”

For each site, Ellen will provide a subscription cost analysis, description of free access options, and comparison of Jewish record collections and research tools that can be especially helpful for documenting Jewish families. She will also offer tips on when it might be better to search on one site over another, and explain each site’s best features or challenges, including how JewishGen collections found on Ancestry.com differ from comparable collections originating on JewishGen.org, both in content and in the search experience. All levels of genealogists will leave better prepared to answer the question “Which genealogy websites should be I be using right now?”

The 2:30 p.m. talk, “What Would Nancy Drew Do in the Quest for Missing Family,” is an entertaining “then and now” lecture that showcases genealogy resources found in the text of the classic Nancy Drew series and journeys through contemporary online records, photographs, and maps found in digital libraries, as well as archival collections, cemeteries, and newspapers. This adventure around the world explores old and new tools of the genealogical trade including tackling foreign languages and finding clues and records in untraditional places.

Ellen Kowitt is past president of JGS Colorado and JGS Greater Washington, D.C. She has served on the IAJGS board of directors and been recipient of IAJGS Program and Stern Awards. Ellen publishes articles in Avotaynu: The International Journal of Jewish Genealogy and lectures often.

She is currently vice president of the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and accepts clients when she isn't volunteering as project manager for the JewishGen Yizkor Book Project, KehilaLinks; or Ukraine SIG Lyubar town leader research projects, which she has coordinated for 23 years. Ellen has indexed naturalization and probate records at the Colorado State Archives, memorial plaques, gravestones, mohel records, and patient applications of the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS) in Denver, Colorado. Last summer, Ellen travelled to Ukraine as part of the Protecting Memory project. For an upcoming list of lectures or more information, visit www.EllenKowitt.com,

For more information about the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois or the JGSI schedule of future events, visit http://jgsi.org/ 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 50 presentations from past JGSI events, valuable informational handouts from past speakers, access to past Morasha newsletters containing informative articles about Jewish genealogy, and more. To learn about the benefits of joining the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, go to http://jgsi.org/membership_benefits.

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