ANCESTRY.COM EXPANDS ONLINE JEWISH FAMILY HISTORY RECORD COLLECTION
Collaboration with the American Jewish Historical Society and the Routes to Roots Foundation offers online access to more than 200,000 Jewish records
PROVO, Utah, August 2, 2009 -- Ancestry.com, the world's largest online resource for family history, today announced an addition to its Jewish family history record collection through collaboration with two leading organizations committed to the preservation of Jewish heritage.
Ancestry.com has aligned with the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), which maintains millions of records that bear witness to the contributions of the American Jewish community to life in the Americas from the 16th century to the present, and Miriam Weiner’s Routes to Roots Foundation (RTRF), an internationally-known firm that specializes in Jewish research in the archives of Eastern Europe. Through relationships with these two organizations, Ancestry.com is digitizing and putting online a unique collection of records that can now be searched alongside the large collection of Jewish records already accessible on Ancestry.com.
“Ancestry.com built the largest online collection of Jewish family history records last year, through its collaboration with JewishGen and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee,” said Gary Gibb, Vice President of Content for Ancestry.com. “Now with the addition of records from the AJHS and Routes to Roots, Ancestry.com will be able to offer an even more diverse collection of Jewish-related documents that will help people discover their life story.”
The American Jewish Historical Society documents that have been digitized as part of this relationship include six remarkable collections:
· Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records, 1878-1934 - applications for admission; and discharge ledgers
· Selected Naturalization Records, New York City, 1816-1845 - declaration of intention for New York County; contains name, age, birthplace, nationality, place of emigration, occupation and place of intended settlement
· New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records, 1860-1934 - applications for admission; and discharge ledgers
· Industrial Removal Office Records, 1899-1922 – records of Jewish families and individuals who were assisted in moving from harm's way in various countries
· Selected Insolvent Debtor’s Cases, 1787-1861 - approximately 2,000 cases, some containing an inventory of assets
· Selected Mayor’s Court Cases, New York, 1674-1860 - 6,000 selected briefs that include summons, complaints, affidavits, and jury lists
“We believe the value in the American Jewish Historical Society’s extraordinary holdings lies not only in what we have, but in how we make it accessible,” said Evan Kingsley, executive director of the AJHS. “Ancestry.com provides a new and important online access point that makes AJHS’ archives that much more valuable. The more our collections are used, the better we’re fulfilling our mission.”
Ancestry.com has also put online Miriam Weiner’s Routes to Roots’ Eastern European Archival Database, a significant historical collection that includes references to Jewish and civil records from archival holdings in Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine.
“The Eastern European Archival Database is the result of a twenty-year journey to help record and preserve Jewish materials from five countries,” said Miriam Weiner, founder of the Routes to Roots Foundation. “Through this important collection people will be able to discover a variety of documents including property records, census lists, vital records and Holocaust records, which will help them walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.”
Along with the records from AJHS and RTRF, Ancestry.com will also launch two new collections from JewishGen, including Lithuania: List of Donors of Charity from HaMagid (1871-1872), the Persian Famine donation list printed in the Hebrew newspaper HaMagid, and Hungary: Jewish Census (1848), a survey of Jews in Greater Hungarian countries including Hungary, parts of Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine and Romania, among others.
To search through all the new Jewish record collections and Ancestry.com’s entire Jewish Family History experience visit http://www.ancestry.com/JewishFamilyHistory.
About the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS)
Founded in New York City in 1892, the American Jewish Historical Society’s holdings include 20 million documents, 50,000 books, paintings and other objects that bear witness to the remarkable contributions of the American Jewish community to life in the Americas from the 16th century to the present.
About the Routes to Roots Foundation
The Routes to Roots Foundation was established in 1994 with the goal to survey, study, research, inventory and document Jewish material, archives and Judaica in Eastern European archives. The organization fosters and promotes the study and preservation of Jewish genealogical material and assembles, catalogues, publishes and disseminates information from research and study of Jewish materials and compiles, maintains and updates library and/or archive of collections of Jewish historical, cultural and genealogical information.
Ancestry.com is the world's largest online resource for family history and has digitized and put online over 4 billion records over the past twelve years. Ancestry users have created over ten million family trees containing over one billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries, and more than 8 million unique visitors spent more than 5 million hours on an Ancestry Web site in May 2009 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide). For more information on Ancestry.com and its other family history resources, visit http://corporate.ancestry.com.