The Germany where your Jewish ancestors lived is not the Germany of today. Its boundaries have changed several times. Before its unification in 1871, Germany was more of a concept than a state, composed of dozens of kingdoms, duchies and principalities large and small. Each area had its own laws and attitudes toward Jews.
To do research in this historic “Germany” one must know which places belonged to which state at a given time, the legal status of Jews in each place, and the records that were kept in those places. Germany has an enormous wealth of records pertaining to Jews, especially after 1800, but there are no simple, global rules for using them.
Working backwards from today’s Germany to the early 19th century, Lustig will focus on key historical events, their impact on Jewish life, and the way records were kept.
This program is made possible by support from the William M. Lowenstein Genealogical Research Endowment Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation.
This virtual program costs $5 per person. It’s free for Jewish Genealogical Society members. Please register online.
This program is a collaboration between the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh and the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives at the Heinz History Center. The program is free for JGS-Pittsburgh members and $5 for the general public. To become a member of the JGS-Pittsburgh and receive a free membership code, please visit their website.
For more information, please contact Eric Lidji at email@example.com.
Roger Lustig is a genealogical researcher based in Princeton, NJ. Since 2002 he has specialized in the Jewish families of Prussian Poland, especially Upper Silesia and West Prussia. He has done research in archives in the United States, Germany and Poland. As research coordinator for GerSIG (German Special Interest Group) he is developing databases, including NALDEX (Name-Adoption List index), Württemberg Family Registers and the Hessen-Gatermann database. He has also contributed over 25,000 Prussian records to the JRI-Poland database. He has given presentations at 13 IAJGS conferences, scholarly conferences in Germany and Poland, and various genealogical societies in the US and Canada. He moderates the GerSIG group on Facebook, and is one of four admins of the Tracing the Tribe group—the largest Jewish genealogy group on Facebook.