Home Events Town Counsel: Finding Your Ancestor’s European Town of Origin


Apr 18 2021


3:00 pm

Town Counsel: Finding Your Ancestor’s European Town of Origin

April 18, 2021 – 3 PM CST

One of the most important building blocks of Jewish genealogy research is determining our ancestors’ communities of origin, especially where those places are on today’s maps. Discovering an ancestor’s town of origin (either birthplace or last residence) may be one of our most exciting research findings because it could be the portal to allow us to push our family tree back several generations.

Because records were (and are) often kept at local, municipal level or regional levels, successful genealogical research depends upon knowing our ancestors’ correct communities of residence. One cannot successfully jump the pond to Eastern Europe with one’s research until one has established location information from immigrant ancestors’ and relatives’ records in their adopted countries.

Bio of Emily Garber:

An archaeologist by training (B.A., Vassar College; M.A., University of New Mexico), Emily Garber is a professional genealogy researcher, writer and speaker who specializes in Jewish genealogical research.  She has researched both Eastern European and German Jewish communities and immigrants to the United States and Great Britain. She has toured family shtetlach (communities) and explored archives in Ukraine.

After retiring from her 30+ year career in natural resources management, Emily earned a certificate from Boston University’s Genealogical Research program. She has spoken at eight International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies conferences and at the National Genealogical Society’s virtual conference. She has presented talks and seminars throughout the United States, and in Israel and Poland. In the summer of 2020, she coordinated the week-long seminar at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, “Introduction to Jewish Genealogy.” She has authored three articles published in Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy and, for a client, completed two privately published volumes chronicling the 300-year history of a German Jewish family. She writes a family history blog, The Extra Yad  (https://extrayad.blogspot.com/).

Emily serves on the board of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. She is also Chair of the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group and is on the boards of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society as well as JewishGen’s Ukraine and Romania Research Groups. She was one of the moderators of the JewishGen Discussion Group for about 10 years.

Non-members: Registration will open on March 29.  To RSVP starting March 29, click here. To become a member, click here.  To attend a specific presentation, we ask that you make a donation by clicking here.

Town Counsel: Finding Your Ancestor’s European Town of Origin

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