About the Presentation: Jewish genealogy is focused on finding records, but not necessarily what to do with them once you find them. What do you do when records show your grandfather with six different birthdates? When you have contradictory data, what should you believe? Is it possible to infer facts in the absence of definitive records?
All of us have been faced with research dilemmas and evidence that leaves us scratching our heads. This presentation will focus on questions to ask about the records you find and how to build a case to prove identities, ages, residence and other facts about your ancestors. The speaker will discuss how to analyze record types (original, derivative and authored), record information (primary, secondary and unknown) and evidence (direct, indirect and negative), and how to weigh the reliability of the documents you find based on these criteria. Together we will analyze examples of actual Jewish records and show how to ask the right questions to help us create sound genealogical research. We will also discuss the challenges unique to Jewish genealogy as we attempt to apply general genealogical principles to our work.
About the Speaker: Marion Werle began her family history research over 20 years ago, researching family from Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus, who settled in the US, Canada, UK and Israel. She has been on the boards of JGSLA and JGSCV (Conejo Valley), and is a past president of the Latvia SIG. She has master’s degrees in both European History and Library Science from UCLA. This year, Marion completed a history of her paternal grandmother’s family, The Skuders from Skud, tracing the family from its Lithuanian origins. During her research for this project, she discovered previously unknown cousins in four different countries. Her interests in genealogy include technology, methodology and family history writing.