Monday, May 19, 2014

Don't Be Misled By the Index

Often when researching, you find a family member listed in an index. It is tempting to just accept the information in the index and continue researching. That is never a good idea. Whenever possible, it pays to look for and examine the record that is indexed. Besides the additional information that you will learn from the record, there are often errors in the index that can only be found by looking at the actual record. Check to see if the names are spelled incorrectly or reversed or just completely incorrect, genders are incorrect, ages or dates are wrong, place names are wrong or if there are other major errors in the indexing of your record before you copy your family's information into your files or program. Indexes are very useful, but they are only a guide to finding the actual records. The actual records are the real source of information for your tree. Sometimes the original records are complex because of format, language or handwriting. That is when you need to hire a professional to examine the records and extract and synthesize the vital information for you.

Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers  helping you grow your family tree.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Profiting from Birth Records

We were searching through the LDS microfilm of Philadelphia birth records looking for our grandmother's birth certificate. Instead of finding her birth certificate, we found an unexpected treasure. We stumbled upon the birth certificate of one of her siblings, previously unknown to us. This clue led us to her death certificate. She was born and died in between U.S. Census years, so she does not appear in any other records. Searching birth records can often be genealogically profitable. They often lead to clues that lead us through a trail of other records and help us grow our family tree.

Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers
Jewish Genealogy Researchers in Boca Raton and online.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Galician Record Images are Online

Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers have posted a new article on our website. Please visit to read it and learn about the Galician Record Images that are Online. Indexes of Galician Jewish records have been online for many years. This article tells you how to find images of Jewish Galician vital records through JRI-Poland. Free images of your family history could be just a click away. Here's the beginning of the article, to get you started: For more than ten years JRI-Poland has been indexing records for towns formerly in eastern (Austrian) Galicia, now Ukraine. The original records are held in the AGAD Archive in Warsaw, Poland. JRI-Poland has online searchable indexes of births, marriages and deaths for more than 90 Galician towns. Please visit to read the rest of the Jewish Genealogy article.

Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers
specializing in Jewish Galician Genealogy Research.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Puzzle Pieces in a Tree

When we were younger we used to spend a lot of time doing jigsaw puzzles. Searching for the right piece to fit into the empty spaces and filling in all of the holes are so fulfilling, challenging and addictive. Sometimes doing genealogy is like working on a family puzzle. This week we have been searching through an index (brief abstract) of records from our grandfather's town in Eastern Europe (Galicia). Our search has helped us find more information about relatives that we already have in our family tree. We have been able to add marriage, birth and death information and source citations for many relatives. This led to us finding additional children for many couples already in our family tree. This has helped us flesh out the family tree even more. Most importantly, we found the name, birth year and death year of our grandfather's youngest sister. Before starting our research, our grandfather told us that his parents had eight children but he only knew the names of three. Now we know the names of all eight. Filling in all of these pieces of the puzzle is not only intellectually stimulating, it is genealogically important. These people are family and they deserve to be documented and remembered.

Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers
specializing in Jewish Genealogy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Tree of Knowledge?

Collaborative genealogy is a hot topic right now. People who are related to each other build a family tree online that connects in all directions. The goal is to create a huge global family tree including and linking everyone. The pros include connecting with new family and gaining more information about relatives. The cons include losing control of the information on your tree and possibly incorporating inaccurate information in your tree. We have a family tree on One of the more interesting things about the place is that it is a cross between a social networking site and a collaborative genealogy site. Some of our cousins are very interested in expanding their family tree. Others are more social and use it as a place to connect with each other. They write messages and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. It is really fun to meet new cousins on (we also get tons of photos, old and new) and we do our best to avoid the cons of collaborative genealogy. We make sure our family tree information is on our computer in a separate genealogy program that we control so it cannot be changed by others or lost on the internet. We vet all information before adding it to our family tree so we can reduce the amount of inaccurate information in our tree. Additional research is always needed; collaborative genealogy is incomplete genealogy. We try to find as many copies of applicable original US and European records as possible to back up our information.

Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers
helping you grow your family tree.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scan Yourself

We spend so much of our time collecting the photos of our ancestors and other relatives; we tend to neglect photos of ourselves and our immediate family. These photos sit and rot. Who will document us? We decided to take some time out and scan our childhood photos to preserve and organize them. This was not as easy as we expected. Some photos have already begun to deteriorate and it was important to scan them before they fade away or fall apart. Some photos, like school photos and Bar Mitzvah photos, required a search for the best available copy. Many photos were unlabeled, so we had to estimate their date. Others were ruined by their markings. We can now see how we grew and how our family changed through the years over the Pesach table. We were able to turn a disorganized mess of photos into a conceptual themed collection of scanned images. Scan yourself before it is too late.

Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers
Jewish Genealogy Researchers in Boca Raton and online.