Graveyards Tell Geneaological Stories Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay April 18, 2010
Graveyards are not just a resting place for the dead.They have stories to tell.
Today, you will learn … • What makes a cemetery “Jewish” • The important role of Jewish burial societies and “landsmanschaft” • How to locate the cemetery where your ancestor is buried • How to read a Jewish tombstone and what the symbols on Jewish tombstones mean • What JOWBR is and how to use it • The resources that are available to help you research Jewish cemeteries
And, most importantly, you will have a live demonstration by one of our members of how and what she learned about her ancestors through cemetery research.
What makes a Jewish cemetery Jewish? 1. Has physical boundaries that set the cemetery off from its surroundings, holy for Jews. 2. Is considered consecrated ground where Jewish burial practices and customs are observed. 3. Is owned by the Jewish community; has rules and regulations authorized by a Board of Directors. 4. Only Jewish symbols are permitted on a Jewish cemetery. 5. Only Jewish clergy or lay people may officiate at a burial services or any other service in a Jewish cemetery. 6. Perpetual care funds are managed by and for the care of the Jewish cemetery 7. Closed on Shabbat and all major Jewish holidays
What makes a Jewish Cemetery more Jewish? The purchase contract stipulates that the area of the plot is designed exclusively for Jews. Burials are permanent; the cemetery corporation does not have any authority over graves in the cemetery. All facilities for Jews and non-Jews are absolutely separate – with separate entrance gates and sections.
What was the role ofJewish burial societies and landsmanschaft?
LANDSMANSCHAFTENPurpose of the organizers Benefits Membership Makeup Origin of Info: Surprise origin Sources for info of above Demise of Landsmanschaften. Reasons for demise
Locating the Cemetery Where Your Ancestor Is Buried • Make sure you have the right cemetery. • Determine who has administrative responsibility for the cemetery. • Make contact with the responsible agency or person. • Request copy of all records.
Make sure you have the right cemetery! Family Stories Death Certificates Obituaries Memory Cards Websites
Websites http://www.internment.net http://www.cyndislist.com http://www.findagrave.com http://www.daddezio.com/records/vital/interment.html http://www.accessgenealogy.com/cemetery http://jewishgen.org
How To Read a Jewish Tombstone and What the Symbols on Jewish Tombstones Actually Mean(Tombstones Are Not Always Accurate)
VOVThe vov is the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Vov is the name of the letter.
YUD The word ‘yud’, is pronounced yood as in ‘good’. The Yud is the eleventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
NUNSounds more like ‘noon’ than ‘none’. The Nun is the sixteenth letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.
JEWISHGEN ONLINE WORLDWIDE BURIAL REGISTRY (JOWBR) What is it? Combination of 2 databases Burial records Information about each particular cemetery What does it contain? Over 1 million cemetery and burial records worldwide Names and other identifying information Photographs of gravestones Data accepted only for entire cemetery, landsmanschaften, or organization within a larger cemetery
What is in the database?Names of deceasedPlace of birth/deathDate of birth/deathHebrew nameAge/burial datePlot identifierName of spouseName of father/motherCommentsCemetery name/city/county
These are the gravestones of the known daughters and sons of my great grandfather Woolf (Zev Dov) Goldblatt. They are buried in different cemeteries within 2 blocks of each other.