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Friday, December 19, 2014

JGSCV December 21 Meeting Reminder: Crista Cowan: Smarter Searching Tips and Genealogy Methodology on And Chanukah/Membership/ Annual Meeting

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) will hold a general meeting, co–sponsored with Temple Adat Elohim, on Sunday , December 21,  2014 1:30-3:30 PM  at Temple Adat Elohim 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA.

NOTE: Yes, we are meeting later in the month than normal due to the Temple’s meeting room availability but in January  we return to Sunday afternoon meetings earlier in the month. With Chanukah parties and other festivities we hope you make time next Sunday for JGSCV—the meeting is well worth it with the fabulous Crista Cowan, the Barefoot Genealogist © and fantastic genealogy prizes eligibility for those who join or renew their JGSCV membership by or at the meeting.  Remember that JGSCV is a 501(c) (3) corporation and therefore your annual dues are eligible for tax deductibility—it’s best to check with your tax advisor.

The Topic:   Smarter Searching Tips and  Methodology on

Are you still searching, after all these years, for that same elusive record about one particular ancestor?  Come spend the afternoon with Crista Cowan, The Barefoot Genealogist.  She will demonstrate some of her favorite tips for searching the 15 billion+ records available on  She will use specific examples in the census and immigration records collections to demonstrate both smart search habits and best genealogy methodology practices.

Speaker:  Crista Cowan “The Barefoot Genealogist” has been employed at since 2004. Crista has been involved with family history research for over 20 years and is the owner of Legacy Family History Services, specializing in descendancy research, Jewish immigration, and sharing family history with the genealogically challenged.

Genealogical Prizes For Those Who Renew or Join by this Meeting: Everyone is eligible for the drawing of fantastic genealogical prizes for those who renew their JGSCV membership or join for 2015. You must be present to win!  Light refreshments will be served celebrating Chanukah and our membership drive.

The grand prize is an annual worldwide membership to—(value is $300) Other prizes:  Subscription to;; Findmypast (both a 6 month and 12 month subscription); FamilyTree Maker, Legacy Family Tree Deluxe, Legacy Webinar Subscription, Mocavo Gold and more!  Each one of these fantastic prizes are worth more than the annual subscription to JGSCV (whose annual dues are only $25/$30)  so what are you waiting for? There are special benefits to being a member of JGSCV and more to come in 2015 with the new special member-only discounts to a variety of genealogy programs.

The Schmoozing Corner: which is held starting 1:10PM will be facilitated by JGSCV founding member  Hal Bookbinder. The Schmoozing Corner is available if you would like individual insights for your genealogical pursuits from an experienced JGSCV member 20 minutes before each meeting.

Our traveling library will be available starting at 1:00PM. To see which books are in our traveling library see our website under library- traveling ( )
Annual elections:  Each year one-half of the JGSCV board is up for election. This year there are five people running for the board-and as no one came forth at the November meeting from the floor the Nominations Committee recommendations will be by acclimation.  Hal Bookbinder, the chairman of the JGSCV Nominations Committee will run the election.  Those running for the board are:  Jan Meisels Allen, Rosalie Bell, Debra Kay Blatt, Karen Lewy and Helene Rosen.
The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County is dedicated to sharing genealogical information, techniques and research tools with anyone interested in Jewish genealogy and family history.  There is no charge to attend the meeting.  Anyone may join JGSCV.

The 2015 Membership Drive is well on its way. Annual dues paid now are good through December 2015. Forms are available at the meeting, on the JGSCV website—under Membership- and in the JGSCV newsletter, Venturing Into Our Past.

Chanukah Gift- Gift Membership to JGSCV: Looking for a Chanukah gift? JGSCV will provide a lovely Chanukah certificate made out to the person of your choice when you purchase a gift JGSCV membership

For more information, including directions, please see the JGSCV website:

 Light refreshments will be served.

Jan Meisels Allen
President, JGSCV

(European Union) Issues Guidelines That Would Expand "Right To Be Forgotten" Worldwide

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The  European Union (EU) issued guidelines that would expand their “Right to be Forgotten” to all countries where the search engines operate—another words worldwide.  The non-binding guidelines are now available to the public and may be accessed at::
Original url:

The EU Court of Justice recognized that the affects from the results obtained from searches made on the basis of a person’s name and did not require the deletion of the link other indexes and that the original information would still be available from other sources. Therefore, the guidelines address that the EU ruling cannot be circumvented as researchers could use the search engine in countries outside the EU.  The search engines operate outside of the EU and someone could do a search on the non-EU websites and obtain the information that was removed in the EU—such as (US) vs. (Germany) or (France). 

Past postings on  the European Union and the proposed data privacy regulation and more on the recent Parliament vote on unbundling Internet search engines may be found in the IAJGS Records Access Alert archives : [ ] . You must be a registered subscriber to access the archives. To register go to:   and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which JGS/JHS/SIG/JewishGen is your affiliation   You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

(US) NTIS Reinstates Limited Access Death Master File (LADMF) Subscriber Certification Form

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB)  required a cessation of applications for certification for the Death Master File (DMF) access effective September 30, 2014. ( See IAJGS Records Access alerts: November 5, 2014 September 30, 2014 and September 18, 2014).  IAJGS was informed by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) a branch of the US Department of Commerce that the Limited Access Death Master File (LADMF) Subscriber Certification Form, OMB Control Number 0692-0013, has been reinstated effective 12/17/2014.

If you are already certified by the NTIS you do not need to recertify now.

If you are interested in applying for certification the form is available for download at  along with instructions for filling out the form and the Subscriber Agreement or Licensee Agreement. Those who are not certified and wish to receive the LADMF through the NTIS Temporary Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File under the Interim Final Rule (15 CFR Part 1110; 79 Fed. Reg. 16668, 3/26/2014), may now apply for certification to receive it.  To do so you must pay the $200 certification fee and fully fill out, sign and submit the Limited Access DMF Certification Form.  You will also be required to sign and submit a Subscriber Agreement or Licensee Agreement.

If the instructions for filling out the form and choosing the appropriate agreement don’t fully answer your questions, you may also call the NTIS Customer Contact Center at  1-800-553-6847.

The $200 certification fee does not provide access to the restricted DMF. It is only for certification. There is another fee for accessing the actual restricted Death Master File.  For those considering certification in order to access the restricted Death Master File I strongly encourage you to read the article by Dee Dee King (see below) , the first forensic genealogist to be certified.  Not only is the access to the information very costly, the restricted database no longer provides many of the data elements we were used to in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI)—the commercial version of the DMF, nor does it have a search engine that the genealogical firms used that facilitated the search.

Dee Dee’s article :

Original url:

 IAJGS replied to the proposed OMB Paperwork Reduction Act about these issues and the November 5 IAJGS Records Access Alert includes the NTIS response.  The genealogical community under the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) of which IAJGS is a sponsoring member, is intending to try to get amendatory legislation to address these issues in the 2015 Congressional session.

If you want full details of the postings please go to the Records Access Alert and access the archives—   You must be a registered subscriber to access the archives. To register go to:   and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which JGS/JHS/SIG/JewishGen is your affiliation   You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

(Ukraine) IHRA Project to Study Killing Sites In Krements Region of Western Ukraine

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) initiated a project to study Holocaust-era killing sites in the Kremenets region of western Ukraine. They are scanning the area while they still have survivors who can tell them where to search. IHRA’s report ruled out conducting archeological digs in killing sites as it violates Jewish law.

Nazis had thousands of killing sites in the Ukraine. This is but one of them-that is part of a larger project funded by the German government. The team is led by Meylakh Sheyket, director for the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union which is using geophysical imaging to delineate the area where in 1942 Nazi’s buried thousands of Jews who they had murdered.

To read more on this see:
Original url:

IHRA is an intergovernmental body whose purpose is to place political and social leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research both nationally and internationally. To learn more about IHRA see:

In full disclosure I was an invited speaker on access to holocaust records this June to an IHRA committee.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

(US) Who Do You Think You Are Returns February 24

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen


The season for genealogy shows is upon us. Last week I mentioned Genealogy Roadshow which starts in January. Now the new season for Who Do You Think You Are!

The new season of Who Do You Think You Are has been announced by The Learning Channel (TLC). It begins on February  24 at 10PM E/9C. There will be eight episodes but on the TLC website promo they only give a glimpse to the first four: Julie Chen, Angie Harmon, Sean Hayes, and  Bill Paxton.  To see the preview go to :

Who Do You Think You Are is produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky.  The series is sponsored by who provides the research on each of the celebrities and the research is used to build the research for each story.

It will be shown on TLC which is part Discovery Communications. Check your local cable provider for your local TLC station.

I have no affiliation with TLC, or Who Do You Think You Are and am posting this solely for the information of the reader.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee