Details about the new Jewish Family History Collection on Ancestry.com will be unveiled today at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
"Ancestry.com, the JDC and JewishGen are committed to the preservation of important Jewish historical records, and we're honored to be working with these well-respected organizations to help in this effort," said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of The Generations Network, Inc. "For the millions of people interested in discovering more about their Jewish heritage, these new partnerships make researching family history easier than ever before."
Many documents digitized as a part of this agreement have never before been available online, including two important JDC collections:
-- Jewish Transmigration Bureau Deposit Cards, 1939-1954 (JDC), a collection of records showing the amount of money paid by American Jewish citizens to support the emigration of friends and relatives from European countries during and after WWII.
-- Munich, Vienna and Barcelona Jewish Displaced Persons and Refugee Cards, 1943-1959 (JDC), a collection containing records of displaced Jews who were provided with food, medical care and clothing and emigration assistance by the JDC.
"Since 1914, JDC has helped revitalize Jewish communities throughout the world and has helped save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jews," said Steve Schwager, Chief Executive Officer for JDC. "We are excited to partner with Ancestry.com, providing descendants access to rare new information about their families and themselves. JDC and Ancestry.com are opening up a wealth of previously inaccessible information through the digitization and dissemination of 125,000 records of those who were helped and of those who helped provide relief to others during and directly after WWII."
More than 300 databases from JewishGen will also now be available on Ancestry.com. These JewishGen databases represent 14 different countries and contain more than 5 million records, such as:
-- The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry, an invaluable collection with more than 1 million names of Jews represented in nearly 2,000 Jewish cemeteries around the world.
-- The Yizkor Book Necrology Database, a list of the names of those murdered in the Holocaust which directs users back to the Yizkor Books themselves - memorials which offer vivid, first-hand accounts of the Holocaust and its aftermath.
-- Jewish Given Names Database, which enables one to learn possible European, Hebrew and Yiddish translations of an ancestor's given name.
-- A Holocaust Database of 2 million names such as Schindler's List, which includes names of 1,980 inmates in Oscar Schindler's factories in Plaszow, Poland and Brunnlitz, Czechoslovakia.
-- Jewish Records Indexing (JRI-PL) Poland and All Lithuania Database, representing more than 2 million indexed names from databases in Lithuania and Poland containing vital information on the regions.
"JewishGen began as a volunteer community devoted to gathering and sharing Jewish records," said David G. Marwell, Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage. "We are excited that, through this new relationship with Ancestry.com, we will be able to broaden our reach and extend our invaluable resources to a much larger group of researchers around the world. The entire community benefits when more people get involved in the fascinating and rewarding activity of researching their family history."
In July 2008, JewishGen entered into a groundbreaking partnership with Ancestry.com that provides Ancestry.com with significant resources in the Jewish genealogy world. Under the agreement, not only will Ancestry.com eventually receive access to well in excess of 10 million records, some of which date back to the 1700s, but JewishGen's user base of more than 250,000 will be alerted to Ancestry.com's rich resources. Ancestry.com will also provide technical support to the JewishGen site.
The JDC and JewishGen databases included in this release will be searchable for free in a new Jewish Family History experience on Ancestry.com at http://www.ancestry.com/JewishFamilyHistory. These databases can be searched in combination with millions of other invaluable records documenting Jews available on Ancestry.com, including census records, passenger lists, military records and more.