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Exploring Genealogy: Belarus and Newcomer MyHeritage.com

myheritageJournalist, speaker, and instructor Schelly Talalay Dardashti will give two lectures to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado at Congregation Har HaShem, 3950 Baseline Road in Boulder, on Sunday, April 27th.

Dardashti (Rio Rancho, New Mexico) is the US Genealogy Advisor for MyHeritage.com and editor of the MyHeritage Blog. Her articles have appeared in Avotaynu, NGS Quarterly, The Forward, Hadassah, JTA and other media. The former Jerusalem Post genealogy columnist (“It’s All Relative,” 1999-2005) is an award-winning pioneer Jewish genealogy blogger (Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog; since 2006), and contributed the Jewish genealogy chapter to the Family Tree Guidebook to Europe (Family Tree Magazine, 2013). She has spent more than 25 years tracing her family across Eastern Europe, Spain and Iran.

At 10 AM, Dardashti will talk about MyHeritage.com, a relative newcomer to the genealogy research field which has grown to 5 billion historic records. They offer free Family Tree Builder software that has syncing capabilities with your free online tree, a photo organizing tool, DNA matching tools, consistency checker to ferret out inconsistent facts in ancestor profiles, privacy settings that you control, smart matching technology that points you to records, easy to use and build, and the ability to build a private family website. MyHeritage partners with BillionGraves.com for cemetery photos and transcriptions. A variety of documents and records are available to be searched with a flexible search tool. The basic site is free and there are two premium and premium plus levels as well.

At noon, Dardashti will lecture about resources for tracing family history in Belarus. Of all the eastern European countries, Belarus has been notoriously difficult to research. While travel and tourism to Minsk, the capital, has become easier in the last decade, researching records has not, and gaining access is only one of the challenges to conducting research in Belarus. Schelly Talalay Dardashti will offer some tips and current contacts in Belarus and will show us how her research in Belarus led her to find evidence of Sephardic roots.

These lectures are free and open to everyone. Please attend one, or bring a dairy or pareve bag lunch to stay for both. Each session is appropriate to a range of researchers from beginner to more advanced. They are also appropriate no matter what part of the world you are researching as the information and techniques to be discussed will not only be useful updates on the world of genealogy, but should also be useful for personal research.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado is a nonprofit organization fully run by volunteers. For information, visit www.jgsco.org or email info@jgsco.org.

About Ellen Kowitt

Marketing and Communications Professional. Genealogist. Jewelry Artist. Kehillah Builder.

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