Doing Genealogy, Doing History

In our own voices

Genealogists (those tracing their family members) and social historians (those investigating the history of groups of people) can use some of the same tools in their research. In databases available through the library like Jewish Life in America, c1654-1954: Sources from the American Jewish Historical Society and Ancestry Library Edition, records of individuals, families, and groups can be found.

In the files of the Industrial Removal Office (1899-1922), letters document the move of the Louis and Bessie Goldberg family from New York City to Flint, Michigan. Fire insurance maps place Louis Goldberg's rooming house adjacent to the Buick Motor Company auto factories. This family was part of larger patterns of migration that have been described by scholars, including Jack Glazier in Dispersing the Ghetto: The Relocation of Jewish Immigrants Across America (1998).

Dispersing the ghetto: the relocation of Jewish Immigrants Across America

Gazetteers like Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust (2002)Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust and historic map collections like Proquest Sanborn Maps Geo Edition can help locate a person or group geographically. Your library can help you find maps from a particular place and time, whatever your ethnic background or research interest.

Related Resources

JewishGen, an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Doing Genealogy, Doing History in the Nazi Camps, resources selected by Kenneth Waltzer, historian, MSU Jewish Studies.

The Telling Family Stories online exhibit grew out of a year-long initiative (2011-2012) by the Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University. The Telling Family Stories initiative was made possible by the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project, directed by the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Support for the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project is generously provided by Legacy Heritage Fund Limited.

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