Monday, May 18, 2009

Michigan: Jewish Cemetery Index

Are you looking for family members who may have been buried in a Jewish cemetery in Michigan? This resource may help your quest.

The Irwin I. Cohn Michigan Jewish Cemetery Index provides burial information for more than 64,000 Jews who died between the mid-1800's and 1999.

While many cemeteries were very helpful in allowing access to their records, old, damaged, incomplete or missing records made the task of compiling a complete index impossible. As a result, the database does not contain every name.

This database is considered a "first stop" for researchers. If you can't find a specific individual, he or she may have been buried in another Jewish cemetery in the state.

Here's a screenshot of what a search retrieves:

The index is a work in progress and information is added as received.

Since your ancestor might have been buried at a different cemetery, there is a list of cemeteries at the site. There are 36 cemeteries, each with a link. Contact them for more information.

For more information, visit the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registration site.

For information on individuals who may have died more recently than 1999, visit the Detroit Jewish News obituaries.

Matilda Brandwine is the founder and honorary chair of this effort. Thanks to her incredible insight, she began researching Jewish residents buried in Detroit metropolitan cemeteries.

She and her volunteers gathered names, walked through cemeteries, recorded names from deteriorating headstones. The goal was that no one would be forgotten. Genealogists from around the world, with links to Detroit, are happy that this inspiration has provided a searchable database accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

For more Michigan assistance, contact the Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan here.

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