Jewish Genealogical
Society of Illinois

How to Begin Your Genealogical Research

Starting in Genealogy

You can trace your Jewish roots

•    Even if you don't know the names of your grandparents
•    Even if you don't know where your ancestors originated,
•    Even if the town your ancestors came from was destroyed in the Holocaust.

You can discover the sources available by joining the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois
 and learn how to:

•    Start your search
•    Interview and take oral histories
•    Use general research sources around the world
•    Understand photograph and document preservation
•    Locate your family’s ancestral towns
•    Find Jewish community and government records.

Special ways to start (some for free and some for a fee):

Explore this website's features:  The "Overview Tour of the Features Available on the JGSI Website”  is intended to provide a brief overview of the many features available to the general public and JGSI members.  The link is on the home page at the bottom of the menu.

•    JGSI Beginners' Workshops typically in January and in June. NOTE: Schedule may vary yearly.
•    Suggestions at JewishGen
•    Suggestions at Avotaynu
•    Presentation around the area by JGSI members:
        Judith Frazin         Mike Karsen         Scott Meyer         Harriet Rudnit
•    Presentations at the Newberry Library
•    Presentations at Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies
•    A series of articles at

“Tracing Your Family Roots” video collection

The American Jewish Archives

© 2016 JGSI   P.O. Box 515, Northbrook, IL 60065-0515 • 312.666.0100 •