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Researching our Families: Three Case Studies

Sunday, June 23, 2024, 02:00pm - 05:00pm

Speakers: Alex Calzareth, Emily Garber, Renee Steinig

For our third annual members’ talks, Alex Calzareth, Emily Garber, and Renee Steinig will each present a case study that demonstrates how they solved a genealogical problem and made new discoveries in their own family research.

Alex Calzareth: Alex's grandfather was born in Czechoslovakia, but the family story was that his grandfather's grandmother, Bertha Jacobsen, was actually from Hamburg, Germany, about 400 miles away. That family story was confirmed but another mystery quickly emerged: what happened to Bertha's mother, Rebecca? Alex will detail his search for Rebecca in records of three different countries using census, newspaper, probate and other archival records. 

Emily Garber: Sometimes patience and preparation are key to linking to new branches of the family tree. An unusual surname; a recently indexed and digitized record collection; and a spreadsheet filled with possibilities in Vienna, Galicia, and Bukovina led to a previously unknown brother for Emily’s great-grandmother, Bertha (Breine) Wenkert Liebross.

Renee Steinig: Cousin Solamon Rosenbaum is a poignant figure on Renee's Weitzner family tree. In late 1938, his family sent Sol, 16, from their village in Poland (now Ukraine) to what was expected to be the safety of the United States. He escaped the fate that met his mother and siblings at the hands of the Nazis, but ironically, he too died during World War II -- of wounds suffered at the Battle of Normandy.  Renee will describe her efforts to learn more about Sol, to identify the woman he married before shipping out, and to locate a photo of him -- efforts aided recently by some newly available records and by a remarkable "small Jewish world" experience.


Alex Calzareth is a genealogist focusing on Southwest Germany, the Czech Republic and Southern Italy who began researching his family roots twenty-five years ago. He is a board member of Reclaim The Records and the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island, serving as JGSLI's webmaster. Alex is also the JewishGen Research Director for Germany. He lives in New York City and works as a CPA.

Emily H. Garber is a family history writer, researcher and speaker who has been studying her Jewish ancestry since 2007 both in the USA and in Europe. She holds a certificate from Boston University's Genealogical Research program, is on the board of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, and chairs the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group.

Renee Steinig began to do genealogical research in the 1970s, inspired by a cousin who made it look easy. Many family trees and some 18 years later, she began to accept client work. Her specialties include New York research, Jewish roots in Galicia, locating lost family, and due diligence for probate cases. She is member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and has testified as an expert witness in several New York City Surrogate's Courts. A past president and longtime trustee of the JGS of Long Island, Renee is also a director of Gesher Galicia and its discussion group moderator and Family Finder editor.

Location : Zoom

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