Late notice: German-Texan Heritage Society 2018 Annual Conference

Friday & Saturday, Sept. 14 & 15, the 40th Annual Conference will be held at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, Texas.  The theme is “Galveston – Port of Entry for Germans in the 1800’s.”  For more information, see:

www.germantexans.org/events/annual-conference,

or call 512-467-4569, where over-the-phone registration is offered, if calling Weds./Thurs. from 10 am to 4 pm.

or write to:  office@germantexans.org

What catches one’s attention here is that “Museum visits and tours of points of interest will be available for attendees.”  The announcement sent carried the full program and speaker bios.  So, if any of your people came through Galveston, and your reasonably close, you might want to consider driving or flying in for this….

Presentation: Documenting the Vilna Ghetto Library

September 16, 2018 1:30 pm

Location – American Jewish University, Burton Sperber Jewish Community Library

Speaker – Judy BastonDocumenting the Vilna Ghetto Library

VILNA– known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania – had a strong cultural tradition that endured and flourished even after the Vilna Ghetto was established in 1941. Perhaps the most important cultural institution in the Ghetto was the Vilna Ghetto Library; it was considered the only fully-functioning library in a Holocaust-era ghetto.

When Judy Baston discovered that her three young cousins in the Vilna Ghetto had been on the list of Ghetto Library patrons, she was stunned to realize that the grimness of their daily lives had been brightened even a bit by the stories in the books they read. Further research led her to uncover additional documentation from the Vilna Ghetto Library in the Lithuanian State Central Archive.

She will cite from reports from two Ghetto librarians that provide a detailed look at which authors and titles were read by different kinds of Ghetto Library patrons.

JUDY BASTON is a longtime Board member and former Vice President of LitvakSIG. She coordinates LitvakSIG’s Lida District and Oshmiany District Research Groups and is also on the the Executive Committee and Board of JRI-Poland. For nearly 20 years, she has moderated the Discussion Groups of LitvakSIG and JRI-Poland, and she also moderates the BialyGen and Lodz discussion groups. She has been involved with the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco for 26 years and coordinates their monthly Genealogy Clinic. In July, 2015, Judy received the IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s conference in Jerusalem.

The JGSLA Traveling Library and Mentors Corner will be available starting at 1:00 pm.

Program begins at 1:30 pm. JGSLA MEMBERS FREE ~ GUESTS $5.00.

Our Ralph’s Community ID has changed!

Well, darn!  When you think you’ve completed something, and then someone pulls the rug out on you, that’s pretty much all you can say….

We thought we were being so good to get our yearly reminder out to you early — in the September newsletter where it belongs.  And so just less than a week ago for printed copy newsletter recipients, and this weekend for those getting the IGS Newsletter by Email delivery, our front page announced that it woud be time again on September 1st to sign up again (or for the first time) in Ralph’s Community program.  This is the program that refunds a small percentage of your grocery purchases at this Southern California subsidiary of the Kroger grocery chain as income to the Immigrant Genealogical Society (as well as scores of other non-profits).

And, naturally, it was just about this time that our president got an announcement from Ralph’s saying that our program ID had changed from the number we’ve seemingly always had to something new — HW858, if I heard the message correctly.  I’m presuming that this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if one chooses the option of typing in the name of the preferred organization until that desired organization’s name pops up in a window.  Then one merely selects that choice, and the registration is good for another year.  And since we all have to wait until September 1st is here to sign up again, no one has been able to enter a wrong ID yet anyway.  We just ask that those of you who participate be extra cautious this time around.  THANKS!!

Ahnenforscher Stammtisch Unna

Yesterday’s announcement of the unveiling of the Research Assistance Request (RAR) program of the International German Genealogy Partnership (IGGP) brought an emailed letter today from Georg Palmüller.  He says that the group of German genealogists in Unna has chosen not to take their share of the $30 fee collected from request submitters.  Here are some excerpts:

“We will do it like we always did since 2001: free and without any kind of fee!  We love to help from our hearts to the hearts of the genealogists who need help.  We never took any money from help seeking genealogists except when there were fees to pay for needed documents.

“So we ask the IGGP to keep the complete fee of $30 when the Ahnenforscher Stammtisch Unna is asked for help via RAR submissions….

“We always tried to help in an easy kind of way.  Just by eMail, quick, modern, fast and uncomplicated without any kind of forms at all to fill out.  But we can live with the decision of the IGGP board who is believing that forms are really needed.

“We can’t wait to receive RAR submissions to help our genealogist friends in the US and elsewhere in the world and we will enjoy to help them.”

It should be added that from their webpage it is stated that the genealogical interests and research areas of participants in this monthly “Stammtisch” meeting are quite broad.  So even if your research problem is not associated with their home area, these kind-hearted individuals will help if they can.

As theirs is not a society with expenses to meet, they feel they can make this offer, as Georg says, from their hearts.  We should all make special efforts to return the favor, if asked!!

IGGP Research Assistance Requests

On a trial basis, the International German Genealogical Partnership (IGGP) has introduced its Research Assistance Request (RAR) program.  Participation in this program is optional for member societies, and Australia and Brazil have not opted in at this time.  Four German societies are joining in: Ahnenforscher Stammtisch Unna und Umgebung (an informal group in Unna, Germany), Roland zu Dortmund (an organized society nearby), the Oldenburgische Gesellschaft für Familienkunde and the Verein für Computergenealogie.  U.S. societies and groups will be coordinated according to three regions: Western, Central, and Eastern States.  There are also Coordinators for Canada and the U.K.

The RAR process, as currently established, may have some flaws.  But the IGGP Executive Committee is introducing it now because of its great potential to provide member societies and their membership an invaluable service.  Your IGS will soon begin to pay annual dues to the IGGP in order for our members to have access to this developing network of researchers.  It is an additional benefit of belonging to our society.  Not a member of IGS?  Please consider joining us!!

Participation in this RAR program is, however, not free to requestors.  There will be a $30 fee for submitting an RAR.  Half of this fee goes to IGGP and half to the society assigned to respond to the RAR by the Coordinator(s).  The assigned researcher(s) will put forth a “reasonable effort” to find answers to the RAR question.  However, requestors need to be aware that there is no guarantee that a solution will be found.

Please find attached the English-language version of the instructions and forms, and a list (with map) of the RAR regions for the United States.  The Submission Form should be filled out as completely as possible, but it is not required that all questions be completed.  Just provide what information you have (and as much as you know) and submit it according to the directions.  There will be a tracking process utilized to ensure that RAR Team Leaders are aware of the status and results of a request, and to assist in improving the process.  Your feedback on the strength/weakness of the RAR program is welcomed, and may be directed to Mr. Delbert Ritchart at:  dritchh37 [at] gmail.com.

RAR Instructions and Form

USA RAR Region Assignments

Ventura County August 18th

The Ventura County Genealogical Society is presenting a Family History program on “Finding Online Resources from Lineage Societies.”  The date is Saturday, August 18, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. It is a free event, open to all. For more information, visit their web site: https://venturacogensoc.org/.

Upcoming Local Events!

Looking Forward to another great SCGS Jamboree May 31 & June 1-2!

(Pre-Registration ends Tomorrow, May 20)

Stop by our table in the exhibit hall!

Also… Check out the VCGS Free Family History Presentation!

Saturday, June 16 at the Camarillo Library

See their flyer for more details…

SOLD OUT!

Our Handwriting Workshop with Dr. Fritz Juengling on June 9th is now sold out.  There is a waiting list, but we do not expect that we’ll have too many cancellations.  So, while we’re always willing to add names, it’s probably unwise to get one’s hopes up.

The good news is that this encourages the IGS to offer more programming in the future.  We used to be very active in this regard, until the internet and decreased membership made it seem unwise to continue offering programs — while paying speakers and presenters to come for declining audiences.

This workshop represents the first time in years that we’ve been able to pay a presenter for their work and cover transportation costs.  That being something of a gamble, we did not want to add more risk by contracting for a hall somewhere for this event.  The result is that we’re squeezing as many as we can into limited space at SCGS and IGS, but having to turn away those for whom we just have no available room.  We hope you understand.

We’re pleased — VERY pleased — at the turnout, however.  This means we’ll try to “think bigger” next year.  Please keep us in mind!

Two Announcements

  1.  It is important that any members who can attend, do attend the Annual Meeting on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the IGS Library.  For reasons of illness and injury, the officers cannot be present.  Still, our Bylaws require a certain level of participation in the election of the new Board.  You need not stay long, but your presence will be appreciated!
  2. For reasons of illness, the December newsletter will be late.