IAJGS Conference Family Finder

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What Is The IAJGS Conference Family Finder

If you want to find Conference attendees who are researching towns and families in your personal history, this is where you can do it.

The IAJGS 2018 Conference Family Finder is supported by JewishGen, a separate organization that often works closely with us. More than 111,000 genealogists worldwide who are registered in the JewishGen Family Finder have submitted 585,000 entries, listing more than 140,000 different surnames and 18,000 ancestral town names.

Our portal into this database allows us to search data submitted by other Conference attendees, provided they have agreed to be found from from the Conference Family Finder. To participate, you need to do two things:

  1. On JewishGen: Establish your own JewishGen account if you do not already have one (see instructions below). In the JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) enter all of your research surnames and places or, if you already have an account, make sure your information is up to date (see instructions below). Make a note of your JGFF ID number for the next step.
  2. In Your Conference Registration: Make sure that you have entered your JewishGen ID in your registration record. Go to the Attendee Service Center), look for the survey question about the Family Finder, and enter your JGFF ID (the item is on the second page, “Additional Information”, toward the bottom of the page, after the DNA questions and before the Daily Minyan question). This is how you agree to be found. (If you don’t want to participate, don’t enter your JGFF ID.)

Important Note: Search results may not reveal the name of the person who entered the data, but you may use JewishGen’s anonymous messaging service to get in touch (details are covered below). In your message, you may give the other person your name and direct email address, and it will be up to him or her to decide whether to respond. Most people are delighted to make new contacts. And, after all, the whole point of this exercise is to meet up in Warsaw to pursue the discussion. Good hunting!


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How to Use the IAJGS Conference Family Finder

  1. To use the Conference Family Finder, you must be registered for the conference, and you must log into the ATTENDEE SERVICE CENTER under the REGISTRATION tab. You will then see the “FAMILY FINDER ACCESS” item. Click on it to go to the special page on the JewishGen website.
  2. Log in using your JewishGen account information. (Important: Your Conference login will not work here unless you set your two passwords to match, which is NOT recommended.)
  3. In the search form, enter the surname and/or town for which you are searching in the blank area on the right. For each field there is a pull-down menu on the left that allows you to select a search method (see the explanations below the search form). After you have entered all your choices, click on the “Search” button.

         Search form for JGFF
  4. If you want to contact a person in the results displayed, use the “Click HERE” link at the right to send a message to the submitter.

         Contacting submitter

Notice that for some people you see their full postal addess in addition to their JewishGen ID, as in the first match above. For others, you see only their name and ID, as in the second match above. For others, you will see only their ID. We recommend that you show your name so that people at the conference can find you without having to send an email message through JewishGen. To see how you have that set for your JewishGen account and/or to make changes, see the section of this page called How to Edit Your JewishGen Profile.


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How to Create a New JewishGen Account

  1. Go to the JewishGen site: www.jewishgen.org.
  2. Click on the “Click here to get started” link or move your mouse over the “GET STARTED” tab and click on “First Timer”.

         Step 1 to open JewishGen account
  3. At the end of the “Step 3” paragraph, click on the link “Click here to register and learn more”. This opens the JGFF page.

         Open a JewishGen account
  4. The JGFF page is now open. Click on either the “Modify” or the “Enter” box (for now, it doesn’t matter which one). This opens the JewishGen login page.

         Open a JewishGen account
  5. Click “I’m a New User and want to register”.

         Open a JewishGen account
  6. Enter all the required information and then, at the end of the page, click “Register as a New JewishGen User”.
  7. Wait for JewishGen’s confirmation email and follow the directions to complete the set up of your new account. You can then proceed to entering your surnames and towns into the JGFF.

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How to Create or Revise Your JewishGen Family Finder Entries

  1. Log into your JewishGen Account. In the tab bar at the top, move the mouse over the DATABASES tab and click on “Family Finder (JGFF) ”.

         Open a JGFF
  2. To add new entries, click in the “Enter” box; to change existing entries, click in the “Modify” box.

         Open a JewishGen account
  3. Read the instructions thoroughly. After entering new data or changing old data, click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page to save the new entries.

         Save JGFF data

         Save JGFF data

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How to Edit Your JewishGen Profile

  1. Log into your JewishGen Account. At the top right corner, you will see the following:

         Accessing Your JewishGen Profile
  2. Click on the “My Profile” link. On the page that opens, you will see the “Contact Information” block at the top.

         JewishGen Profile Page Contact Information Block
  3. Click on the “Change your Contact Information” link. On the page that opens, scroll down to the “Privacy Options” section. Under “Display Options”, choose one of the three options. We recommend option 2. Option 1 makes it very hard for people to identify whether they have already contacted you previously and discourages communication. Option 3 was more appropriate in the days when many people did not have email, and one needed to communicate by postal letter. Nowadays, it just takes up unnecessary room in the list of JGFF matches.

         JewishGen Privacy Options
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