Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jewish cemeteries database: JOWBR

The first 2009 update to the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) database includes more than 55,000 new records and some 25,000 new photos from 17 countries. The database now has more than 1.125 million records from more than 2,100 cemteries and cemetery sections in 45 countries.

Although the burial records are now "live,", additional files, maps and overview photos will be posted soon.

This update contains these major groups:

- Maryland: More than 31,000 records from Baltimore-area cemeteries courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

- Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska: Terry Lasky submitted records and photographs personally created or coordinated with other volunteers. The update includes about 2,800 new records and more than 15,000 photographs.

- Indiana: Gloria Green and her team have provided some 2,700 records and 2,700 photos for the Kelly Street cemetery complex in Indianapolis.

- Bayside, NY: Maurice Kessler and his team have provided an additional 1,400 records from the Bayside/Ozone Queens cemetery complex. The original records were documented by Florence Marmor and David Gevertzman.

- Pennsylvania: Susan Melnick has arranged continuing submissions of various state cemeteries on behalf of the Rauh Jewish Archives, John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.

- Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Hymie Reichstein and Bruce Reisch of the JGS of Ottawa (Canada) for the second installment of some 3,800 records and photos.

- Vilnius, Lithuania: Howard Margol submitted some 6,300 post-World War II burials in the Saltonishkiu Cemetery in Vilnius.

- Iasi, Romania: Reuven Singer and his team submitted an additional 1,000 burial records translated from the 1887 Hebrew burial registers.

According to JOWBR coordinator Nolan Altman, the next update should be prior to the 29th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, August 2-7, in Philadelphia. For conference information, click here.

The project appreciates the work done by donors and encourages additional submissions.

Whether you work individually on a cemetery or cemetery section or consider it a group project for your local Jewish genealogical society, synagogue or other group, all submissions grow the database and assist others around the world to locate information.

Nolan encourages those who have already done cemetery indexing to consider having those records included in the JOWBR database.

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