Saturday, September 06, 2008

Ethnic Based Genealogical Society Meets With Its Foreign Counterpart

Jonathon Shea conducted what is believed to be the first "cooperative activity between a U.S.-based Polish American genealogical society and one based in Poland". There's a nice article about it on the Polish American Journal web site. There are photos from the event on the PGSCNE web site. Jonathon, President of the PGSCNE, is an experienced genealogist and is fluent in Polish, Russian, and other languages.

Isn't it wonderful to hear of this sort of thing happening between a U.S. based ethnic genealogical society and one in a foreign country? It would be even better to hear that it was happening on a regular basis using video conferencing technology. Does anyone know of this sort of thing going on with other U.S. based ethnic genealogical societies and their foreign counterparts?


  1. Hi, Jasia,

    The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies has more than 70 society members in North America, South America, Europe, Israel, Eastern Europe and Australia.

    While the main method of communication is networking at our annual conferences and in online discussion groups and special interest lists, the conferences are where it really happens, where announcements are made and where a lot of Jewish genealogy business takes place among researchers, experts, archivists, authors and others.

    For example, once a decade the event is held in Jerusalem (next in 2014) and other venues have included Paris, London and Toronto, in addition to US cities such as New York (2006), Philadelphia (2009), Los Angeles (2010), Washington DC (2011), Boston (1996), Las Vegas (2006), Salt Lake City (2007) and Chicago (2008).

    With best wishes
    Schelly Talalay Dardashti

  2. Hi Jasia,

    Great article about Jon. Thanks for posting a link.

    I might add that the United Polish Genealogical Societies (UPGS) Seminar, hosted by the Polish genealogical Society of Michigan (PGSM) held what is believed to be the first virtual "cooperative activity between a U.S.-based Polish American genealogical society and one based in Poland" during it's April 2008 seminar in Salt Lake. We conducted three lectures with Polish genealogists.

    Genealogist and techie Tomasz Nitsch, owner of the Polish genealogical site GenPol site, arranged for us to have a real time lecture and Q&A with conference with Adam and Ewa Kaminski of the of the Pomeranian Genealogical Association (Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne) Tomek calls Adam and Ewa " the most genealogical family in Poland". They lead a group of researchers in indexing Catholic and Evangelical vital records.

    Using the software known as SKYPE, we listened to Dr. Marek Jerzy Minakowski, a Polish philosopher, historian and genealogist. Currently Minakowski is focused on building the database of descendants of all members of the Great Sejm.

    Our last virtual lecture and Q&A was with Lukasz Bielecki and Kasia Grycza. Owners of Discovering Roots, they have helped many North Americans find records and visit Poland. Lukasz is head of the extraction database Poznan Project, and will be the guest speaker at the PGSM seminar this October. Our other featured speaker is Thaddeus Radzilowski, Ph.D.

    Please see United Polish Genealogical Seminar Wrap Up at
    A printed story about the conference is in the current PGSM Polish Eaglet journal.