Sources of Sephardic and Jewish Genealogy
If you are Jewish and you are planning to trace the history of your Sephardic ancestors, you should know the right links to achieve your goal.
To an amateur genealogist, it is vital to know the best sources. Knowing the right sources will directly link to the right answers. It is like a mathematical equation, you need to know the right formula to get the right answer.
Failing to get the right sources might probably lead to frustration. That is pathetic. It is like getting a flunking grade in a final exam.
Anyhow, don’t get discourage if you think you don’t have a good source to get your goal. Failure and attempts will gradually lead you to the right sources. And instead of being frustrated, you should be the first one to encourage yourself.
The following are the traditional sources of tracing the Jewish and Sephardic ancestry. These sources are frequently applied by the professional genealogists. These are:
Interview. Definitely, this must be started among the eldest family members. Here, you would know the names of your previous ancestors as well as the related generations. You would also know here the places where they used to dwell. Not that alone, you would also get the clues for other possible sources that will strengthen your documentation.
However, the data accumulated through interviewing needs to be verified. You have to be very careful on your documentation.
Marriage registries, old letters, photographs, cemetery records and diaries; these are the classic sources to obtain the information on Jewish genealogy. These sorts of sources are useful for both the Sephardic and Ashkenazim genealogists.
Holocaust records like the records of Arolsen in the International Red Cross including the Pages of Testimony by Yad Vashem are also useful to the Sephardim. This is because many Sephardim suffered on the hands of the Nazis.
Yad Vashem decided recently to produce a list of names of these Holocaust fatalities. And then, he makes it accessible in the so-called electronically accessible database. This was made possible on the first year of the Millennium.
Definitely, this report was very advantageous to genealogists.
Unfortunately, the records of Arolsen in the International Red Cross are deprived to the searching of their families. The records are only made available only if the family can give the precise first name and surname.
Some other sources for a Sephardic researcher are the following:
Ketubbot. This is the marriage contract of the Jewish. Certainly, this is a significant part of Jewish genealogy. The wonderful thing in this source is that it usually presents numerous generations of two sides. Ketubbot is regarded as a bonanza for genealogists.
Archives of Alliance Israelite. This documents found in Paris beholds a marvelous data regarding the Jewish genealogy. This is because during the period of 19th century the Alliance Israelites created an immense effort in building schools and helping the Jews located in North Africa.
Lastly, the Internet, this is the easiest and most accessible form of accumulating data regarding the genealogy of any race.
However, you should also be cautious in getting the data. You can verify it by checking various sources.
Mnay people interested in Jewish genealogy will be attending the International Family History Conference being held in Nottingham, England in 2009. At less than $500 and including ensuite accommodation and all meals has to be the best value four day family history event that you will ever attend!