Next Meeting: Wed 1 March 2023 @ 7:30pm

Canadian Jewish Genealogical Resources
by Judith Comfort

While we love the behemoth genealogy databases ...JewishGen, Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast & My Heritage, this workshop will focus on the Canadian microcosm, for one basic reason - in spite of the tough journeys our families took over the centuries, we are the lucky ones, who ended up in Canada.

Honest research necessitates that we start with what we know, and build on that - one step at a time, creating an historical thread backwards in time, comparing bubbe-meises with hard evidence to come up with the truth. What family issues, historical events, or social injustices caused your ancestors to leave their homes and start a chain of actions that conspired to bring us, their descendants, to this place and time? Fortunately, Canadian memory institutions collected traces of our Baba's and Zaida's lives when they crossed a border to go to a TB clinic in California; when they fomented a tax scandal in the fur business, or gossiped to a Yiddish newspaper columnist.

This workshop will hopefully not only lead you to some new resources, but also to understanding of your family in a wider context of the time and place.

Judith Comfort is a retired high school teacher-librarian and writer, who like many of us, came to genealogy after the loss of her parents and their generation. Her mother and father's people immigrated from Ukraine and Bessarabia to Winnipeg about 1900 with a whole bunch of kids, who proceeded to people the Western Provinces.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of British Columbia (JGSBC), a non-profit organization, brings together people who are interested in pursuing their Jewish ancestry or family history. Together with the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC we try to restore the history and family links that time has erased.

While there are many resources available on the internet, their use does require some skill and training. Many traps await the unwary: name changes, spelling errors, the same name for two different people, the many vagaries of census takers, clerks and other takers of record. The difficult task of digitizing the records has led to other errors creeping in. We will help you to avoid those pitfalls and develop an accurate and descriptive family tree. If you are interested in joining us, you can pay for a yearly membership here. Any questions? – send us an email.

This site also has links to resources (including Jewish newspaper archives) that we have found useful in our research.

JGSBC is a member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies