29    Aug 20120 comments

Family History: Challenges of immigration

Many families are descendants of immigrants or refugees. It is a part of our unique histories.

As our ancestors – or more recently, ourselves, parents or grandparents – traveled thousands of miles to find safety in another country for various reasons, the process of adapting to life in a new place is often challenging.

My great-grandparents came from Belarus to Newark, New Jersey, in 1905. While they barely ever learned English themselves, they made sure that their children learned English and that they did well in school. Their children and grandchildren went on to college and became doctors, engineers or entered other professions. Perhaps it was easier for them as the Yiddish-speaking immigrant community in Newark of that time was so large. There was always someone – who had arrived much earlier and learned the system - to help out with the language or whatever problem needed to be solved.

It is different when an immigrant is part of a new, smaller group of people who have only recently arrived. The community support system is not yet that well-established and the immigrants or refugees rely on the wider community to help them.

A recent study by sociologists at the University of Dayton (Ohio) indicates that adjusting to linguistic and cultural differences is a daunting task. They presented the new research at the 107th meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

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30    Sep 20090 comments

Daniel Horowitz – Genealogy and Translation Manager of MyHeritage.com – August genealogy USA tour. Part II of II

Read part 1 here.

Laurence Harris, Schelly Talalay Dardashti and Daniel Horowitz
Photo by Nancy Adelson

In addition to my work at the IAJGS Philadelphia conference and keeping up with MyHeritage.com responsibilities, I was also happy to meet our newest MyHeritage team member Laurence Harris, the Genealogy Advisor UK.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti (who writes the MyHeritage Genealogy Blog) also attended the conference and both of us enjoyed talking with Laurence over the six-day event.

Laurence was very helpful during my workshop and we three got together to exchange ideas, talk about the genealogy field and even managed a quick lunch out of the hotel in spite of the hectic conference schedule. Laurence will be working from London, where he lives with his family.

As part of my theoretical family vacation - there is no such thing for a workaholic genealogist addicted to the computer - we went to Pennsylvania State University to visit my brother-in-law, who's studying for his master's degree. The Blair County Genealogical Society, in Hollidaysburg, PA kindly re-scheduled their usual meeting day to fit in with my travel plans.
Continue reading "Daniel Horowitz – Genealogy and Translation Manager of MyHeritage.com – August genealogy USA tour. Part II of II" »

14    Sep 20090 comments

Daniel Horowitz – Genealogy and Translation Manager of MyHeritage.com – August genealogy USA tour. Part I of II

Daniel Horowitz at Bernards Family History Interest GroupAfter a month and a bit more on the road, I'm now back home. It's time to take a break before my interview on Sep. 15 with Susan E. King and tell you all about my genealogy tour in the US during the month of August.

My first stop was in New Jersey where I spoke to the Genealogical Society of Bergen County in Ridgewood. More than 50 people heard about the latest MyHeritage.com tools to help genealogists with their research and families to better stay in touch.

The public library where the society meets has a large genealogy section with old phone books, genealogy magazines (old and new), a nice collection of books with family information, and many computers, printers and copy machines. The library is about to redesign the space to give researchers more space and to access additional materials.
Continue reading "Daniel Horowitz – Genealogy and Translation Manager of MyHeritage.com – August genealogy USA tour. Part I of II" »

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