"Insight into FamilySearch and The Wilmette Family History Center" is the topic of a talk planned by Family History Center volunteer Suzanne Hoffman for the Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. Her presentation will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.
The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. for those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, see https://jgsi.org/event-2738308 or phone 312-666-0100. This event is free and open to the public.
When beginning genealogists think about what program to use online, they typically think of Ancestry.com. But other programs and resources don't carry the cost burden associated with an Ancestry subscription, Hoffman says. FamilySearch.org, a program administered and run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, AKA the Mormon Church, is a deep resource pool of vital records and family genealogies that augments and sometimes surpasses the capabilities of Ancestry.
In her presentation, Hoffman will look at FamilySearch.org and the relationship FamilySearch has with JewishGen and JRI Poland. She'll also briefly touch on the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and finish up by talking about the Family History Center in Wilmette and why that is a unique resource for local record searches.
Suzanne Hoffman is a researcher at heart. A tip off to a "fire and brimstone" Methodist preacher in her husband's family led her down the genealogical path in Illinois to compensate for her lack of identifiable ancestors in her own Lithuanian/Jewish immigrant family. For the past 20 years she has doggedly researched all 16 of her great-great-grandparents with varying degrees of success. Some families reach back to the 1700s and one recently-solved mystery stopped in 1962. Suzanne regularly presents on genealogical topics, does for-hire research, and is a volunteer at the Family History Center in Wilmette.
At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, a genealogy "help desk" will operate from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Member volunteers will access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.
The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.