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Sunday, August 10, 2014

IAJGS Conference: Austria, Poland & Ukraine: 3 Countries, 5 Archives & 12 Wonderful Days of Discovery

Map of the Kingdom of Galicia, 1914CC BY 3.0
Some of the important functions of a conference such as the International Association of Jewish Genealogies Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 27th through August 1st, 2014 is to make the attendees aware of research resources and provide interaction between researchers so that they can share experiences about where and how to find important research sources. This was the purpose of the presentation entitled "Austria, Poland & Ukraine: 3 Countries, 5 Archives & 12 Wonderful Days of Discovery." The presentation was described as follows:
In April 2013, Gesher Galicia’s president, Pamela Weisberger, and board member, John Diener, traveled to Austria, Poland, and Ukraine. Over twelve days they visited archives in Vienna, Warsaw, Przemysl, Lviv and Ternopil. In Warsaw they attended the opening of the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews, followed by an incredible dinner with Count Peter (Piotr) Pininski, great grandson of the magnate nobleman who once owned the Galician town of Grzymalow where John’s father and Pamela’s grandfather were born. Later they visited Grzymalow, Ukraine and its ruined synagogue, cheder and decimated Jewish cemetery. Learn about the trip’s preparation and highlights, the challenges of archival research in different locales (from white gloves to burnt documents and moldy dust), the difficulties and rewards of venturing into “shtetland,” and the exceptional opportunity to connect past to present through investigative genealogical research AND travel.

The Presenter was Pamela Weisberger. Here is is a summary of her background:
Pamela Weisberger is a professional genealogist, serves as president of Gesher Galicia and as the 1st vice president/program chair for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles. She also co-chaired the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Los Angeles in 2010. She conducts research in Polish, Ukrainian, German, Hungarian and Israeli archives and speaks internationally on many topics. Her areas of expertise are 19th - 20th century directories, newspapers, methodology, court records and cadastral maps. She holds a B.A.. from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.S. from Boston University and lives in Santa Monica, California.
Pamela is part of a organization that is called Gesher Galicia with a website called The All Galicia Database. Galicia was located in East Central Europe and was once a small kingdom. You might find this description from Wikipedia interesting:
Galicia (Ukrainian: Галичина, Halychyna; Polish: Galicja; Czech: Halič; German:Galizien; Hungarian: Galícia/Kaliz/Gácsország/Halics; Romanian: Galiția/Halici;Russian: Галиция/Галичина, Galitsiya/Galichina; Rusyn: Галичина, Halychyna;Slovak: Halič; Yiddish: גאַליציע, Galytsye) is a historical and geographic region inCentral Europe,[1][2][3] once a small kingdom, that currently straddles the border between Poland and Ukraine. The area, which is named after the medieval city of Halych,[citation needed] was first mentioned in Hungarian historic chronicles in the year 1206 as Galiciæ.
You could have ancestors from Galicia and not even be aware of the fact that the country existed. The All Galicia Database contains the following from the website:
This search engine currently features 306,046 records from 125 different data sources, covering everything from birth, death, marriage and divorce records to phonebooks, school and landowner records, all from the former Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia, which today is part of eastern Poland and western Ukraine. Although Gesher Galicia's focus is researching Jewish roots in this region, the diverse community sources of information in this database also contain names that span all the ethnic and religious groups who lived in the area, so not everyone listed in this database will necessarily be Jewish.
It seems like every day, I learn about a new helpful resource for research in a different part of the world.

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