GA Live Special: Jewish Genealogy 101 with Rachel Silverman

Our special guest, Rachel Silverman of Silverman Genealogy, joined us to talk about the basics of Jewish genealogy. Rachel also shared numerous online Jewish genealogy resources.

In this episode, Rachel covered:

  • Eastern European naming conventions – and the history behind this. Plus how to first names as a clue in your research;

  • Changing geo-political boundaries for Eastern European countries & Germany;

  • How surnames changed when Eastern European Jews began to emigrate from Europe;

  • The kinds of records available for Jewish genealogical research; and

  • A myriad of free resources are available to use for your research.

  • And so much more!

Genealogists from different backgrounds can always learn about different research strategies from one another. Jewish genealogy has a myriad of challenges. The strategies, tips, and tricks Rachel will share will be of value to anyone who has groups of ancestors and kin who are difficult-to-impossible to research.

For more information about Rachel, please visit

RESOURCES CITED IN THIS EPISODE: (JewishGen Communities Database, for when we’re talking about moving borders) (YIVO Institute for Jewish Research) (Center for Jewish History, NYC) (When we’re talking about name changes, I’ll mention good resources for accessing US naturalization papers) (Routes to Roots Foundation – when talking about changing borders/different countries & repositories owning documents related to a single town) (a SIG website, like LitvakSIG & JRI-Poland, covering areas in former Austrian Empire/modern day Poland & Ukraine)

Holocaust resources: (International Tracing Service archives) (US Holocaust Memorial Museum) (Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust)

We are available for your genealogy research project!

Whether you’re new to genealogy, don’t have the time to pursue your own research, or have a stubborn brick wall you just can’t break through: you can hire one of our experienced research team who will happily work with you to achieve your genealogy research goals. As the first Black-owned genealogy research company, our African American genealogists excel at African American genealogy! As African Americans with caucasian ancestors – our genealogists are just as experienced in researching European-descended American ancestry.

The short video below covers what we do and how we do it:

How to contact us

For more information about our genealogy research services, our contact form, and our research service contact, please visit:

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