Project: Jewish Roots

Categories: Jewish Roots | Judaism | Ethnic Roots Projects

artwork by Barbara Colby



• We aim to make a substantial contribution by Jewish Roots Project members to WikiTree’s One-World Family, as discussions about a collection of search areas posed by us WikiTree-ers. Being a JRP member means you’ll be linked to our ongoing conversations to keep you "in the know." The biggest reward is finding your Jewish Ancestors and Living Relatives."

• Members of Jewish Roots Project are focused on adding to our knowledge bases (genealogy and Jewish culture) and, through research, on finding Jewish ancestors or living relatives. They are logically and historically part of specific, coherent trees of Jewish, mixed-religious, or mixed-cultural families, and often fully supported by genetic testing through the appropriate DNA tests. These methods all lead to clarity within their family trees and the researcher's possible inclusion in others’ already-compiled family trees. We would also like to make a record of places of burial for each person who is in our family trees. We ask for the name and location (city, state or province, nation). If the headstone contains Hebrew writing, we would like it to be translated. (Please see Tasks list.)

While we acknowledge fully the results of the Holocaust, it's an unspoken but ever-present fact that Jews have added much to those in the highest standings in all areas of contemporary life, such as World Leaders in mathematics, the sciences, all the widely varying Arts and Humanities, & Entertainment, politics, jurisprudence, and more. WikiTree has in 2018 responded to the newly developed a now annual memorial for all Jews living and dead, National Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27. We will thereby contribute to the understandings of ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!

JRP members are encouraged to place our project LOGO on your Jews' profile pages, seen on this project page as this shining sun, by the late artist Barbara Colby of Arizona. It was her last art work.


  • The Jewish Roots Project was first envisioned and established by ROBERTA BURNETT with our thanks.

Join us ! jewish_roots.gif

Are you interested in the Jewish Roots Project?


Our members of Jewish Roots Project are focused on adding to our knowledge base and on finding Jewish ancestors and/or living relatives. Individuals research logically and historically to discover their roots in genealogically specific, coherent trees of Jewish, mixed-religious and/or mixed-cultural families, in all available mediums, and through DNA tests. Ultimately, such findings lead to a clarity in their family trees, and they’ll often find themselves included in others’ already-compiled family trees through their formerly unknown cousins.

General interest and a modicum of reading in the culture and politics of Jews clears away misinterpretations and cultural misunderstandings, making a One-World Tree a living and workable idea. Many prime movers in a multiplicity of arts, nations, new discoveries are Jews. The numbers of Jews in leadership roles are observably disproportionate to the numbers of Jews in the general population because this family-centered culture lifts higher education and intellectual achievement as supreme human values. Our Logo/Template, designed for us by Barbara Colby*, demonstrates the pride we feel having our own Jewish roots.

––Roberta Burnett, June 2017

To Do

Project Tasks support our searches. We could definitely use a volunteer to manage each item below.

  • Ongoing: Research RESOURCES (Please add the best you know and have used): Could include various research tools, from the most common (, a Jewish-genealogy web site) to the smallest regional archive; books about a family line or on-line tools for genealogists; a website for DNA for research.
  • Create a list of MAPS OF LOCALES -- with dates of the maps and clarifying information (such as name changes of the regions).
1. MAPS showing locations in any country where Jews had and/or have Residence indicated by these places having synagogues, temples, schools, graveyards.
2. MAPS worldwide where Jews re-located around the world AFTER the Holocaust, such as those resulting from diasporas.
  • Well-informed, back-to-basics DNA Explainers, who will answer questions and explain to DNA novices the more sophisticated comments about DNA to all members and the simply stumped. One person is shown below.
  • Create a LIST of historical POGROMS, world-wide (see Wikipedia entry ) and other deterrents for Jews (weather events; geo-political events; epidemics; perhaps including international laws relating to persecution).
  • For those DNA-interested-BUT-unsure of their genetic relatives and relationships: "The quickest way to find answers : take the auDNA test at one of the most used sites (23 and Me,,, My, and if you're further interested please transfer those dna results to the site giving the most frontal scientific results, For the most thorough way: take the most expensive and encompassing DNA tests for both Y-DNA and mtDNA. this will give you more information, especially if you are "100% Jewish." If your link is through paternal or maternal lines, choose the gender-appropriate tests, not the auDNA test.
  • STATE your STEPS: These are the steps used to find your now known (but once missing) DNA-Jewish ancestors and relatives. Shadowing someone's steps can be very useful to those who are beginning their searches. Find the "STATE your STEPS" headline and list yours.

(Note: NO DNA TESTS ARE REQUIRED, but they offer a level of accuracy and removal of doubt; they don't decrease personal interest. Note:, developed for and used frequently by 23 and Me, has features that the usually used does not have. With, trees can be downloaded into directly. Also applicable to any other websites?)

Jewish Roots Resources

Substantial Resources are Welcome! Please add them below.


  • Wikitree has its own useful collection of Jewish Genealogy Resources
  • JewishGen A free, easy-to-use genealogy website featuring thousands of databases, research tools, and other resources to help those with Jewish ancestry research and find family members.
    • Communities Database information about 6,000 Jewish communities in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East
    • Online Education JewishGen's online interactive courses in Jewish genealogy, to help you organize your information and begin to trace your ancestral roots.
    • JewishGen's Yizkor Book Project seeks to translate Yizkor books, memorials to Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust. Yizkor books contain descriptions and histories of communities, biographies of prominent individuals, lists of people who perished, etc.
    • JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) is a surname and town register to contact other researchers with common interests. Why not invite them to WikiTree?
    • Family Tree of the Jewish People is a searchable database of individual family trees.
  • FamilySearch: Jewish Records These include vital records (births, marriages, divorces, and deaths) prepared by or for Jewish communities, registers of name changes, account books of congregations, circumcision records, and burial records.
  • fully searchable database of Ashkenazi Synagogue records, with the emphasis on pre UK civil registration, to help you trace your Jewish genealogy
  • RTR Foundation: A Genealogical and Family History guide to Jewish and civil records in Eastern Europe.
  • Gesher Galicia Gesher Galicia is a non-profit organization carrying out Jewish genealogical and historical research on Galicia, formerly a province of Austria-Hungary and today divided between southeastern Poland and western Ukraine. Search free ‘All Galicia Database’, ‘Map Room’, and archival inventories.
  • The Open Databases Project from the Museum of the Jewish People in Beit Hatfutsot, Israel. Millions of pictures, family trees, music pieces, stories of communities and more.
  • Genealogy Indexer lets users search 904,000 pages of 1,816 historical directories (business, address, telephone, etc., mostly from Central and Eastern Europe), 114,000 pages of 256 yizkor books (memorials to Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust), 32,000 pages of military lists (officers, casualties, etc., mostly from the Russian Empire and Poland), 45,000 pages of community and personal histories, and 24,000 pages of Polish secondary school annual reports and other school sources. New genealogy sources are added weekly.
  • Jewish Genealogy on AncestorCloud covers areas such as immigration/emigration, the effects of boundary and border changes on Jewish family history research, Eastern Europe and North American Jewish genealogy research, and advice for those researching families of Ashkenazi heritage.
  • AncestorCloud lets you post genealogy research tasks/projects and name your own "reward price" you'll pay to someone who helps you. They have on-the-ground researchers worldwide who then submit proposals for helping with your requests, and you choose who - if anyone - you want to help you. It's a great way to overcome distance and language barriers when international research is needed.





  • Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association extensive archive about Rhode Island Jewry. Its abundant collections include more than 5,000 photographs, manuscripts, a complete run of the Rhode Island Jewish Herald and Federation Voice, congregational and organizational records, city directories, oral history recordings, and a large number of artifacts.
  • Institute of Southern Jewish Life Six departments (Community Engagement, Education, History, Museum, Programming, and Rabbinic Services) cover thirteen states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
  • List of Genealogy Links: By five-time author Bill Gladstone, a Toronto Canada journalist and genealogist. He is publisher of Now and Then Books. This site supports a list of links to mostly Canadian genealogical sites.


  • Jewish Encyclopedia This website contains the complete contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901-1906. The Jewish Encyclopedia, which recently became part of the public domain, contains over 15,000 articles and illustrations. This online version contains the unedited contents of the original encyclopedia. Since the original work was completed almost 100 years ago, it does not cover a significant portion of modern Jewish History (e.g., the creation of Israel, the Holocaust, etc.). However, it does contain an incredible amount of information that is remarkably relevant today.


  • Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy(2004) by Sallyann Amdur Sack (Author, Editor), Gary Mokotoff (Editor) ISBN-13: 978-1886223165 ISBN-10: 1886223165
  • Handbook of Ashkenazic Given Names and Their Variants (English and Yiddish Edition) (2009) by Alexander Beider
  • Where Once We Walked (full title: Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in The Holocaust),(1991) compiled by Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack,. 37,000 town names in Central and Eastern Europe focusing on those with Jewish populations in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries and most of whose Jewish communities were almost or completely destroyed during The Holocaust. ISBN-13: 978-0962637315 ISBN-10: 0962637319


  • International Jewish Cemeteries Project A good resource for Jewish cemeteries worldwide, but it's not comprehensive. For example, Elyria Jewish Cemetery (found in the Military Challenge) is not listed on that site.
  • By typing "Jewish" in the cemetery search function on, the site returns over 300 cemeteries worldwide.
  • Jewish Cemetery Wikipedia entry for Jewish Cemeteries, including a list of cemeteries by country.


  • Yad Vashem the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, the central database of victims’ names and of those that did all they could to save Jewish people acknowledge by Yad Vashem.
  • How to Document Victims and Locate Survivors of the Holocaust: Documenting Victims, Locating Survivors (Avotaynu Monograph,1995) by Gary Mokotoff ISBN-13: 978-0962637384 ISBN-10: 0962637386

  • Avotaynu - publisher of the Anthology of Jewish Genealogy
  • Genealogy Indexer: Search 1,326,000 pages of 2,571 historical directories (business, address, telephone, etc., mostly from Central and Eastern Europe), 114,000 pages of 256 yizkor books (memorials to Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust), 32,000 pages of military lists (officers, casualties, etc., mostly from the Russian Empire and Poland), 45,000 pages of community and personal histories, and 24,000 pages of Polish secondary school annual reports and other school sources.
  • Judaism 101 A site map for Judaism 101, an encyclopedia of information about Judaism, Jewish practices, holidays, people and beliefs. For beginners, intermediate or advanced readers.
  • Jewish Virtual Library An online resource on Jewish history, politics, and culture "from Anti-Semitism to Zionism"

Recommended Items of Cultural Interest

The Cultures Within: Know how your ancestors lived, prayed, thought, and died. You'll also know more about WHY.


A suggestion to add Jewish Y-DNA subclades (if they are already not on Wikitree.)” Submitted by Skye Driggs.

  • Morts en déportation by Legifrance a series of official decrees with list of people who have the "Mort en Déportation" mention. It provides full birth details which may be helpful. (Not all of them were Jewish, but most of them).

Resource People

Our DNA Unraveler is Peter J. Roberts of Wikitree’s DNA Project.

Star Kline, is the manager of at least one Jewish Cemetery profile. The last part of it is a chart that is a Table of Internments with Headstone photos .,_Clarksburg,_Maryland .

Lynn Gazis is the coordinator for a Yizkor book project for Thessaloniki.

Rachael Brown offers assistance with researchers interested in Kfar Saba and surrounding areas of Israel.

Jewish Roots Sticker and Category

Add the Jewish Roots Sticker to any records for profiles of persons of Jewish Heritage by cutting and pasting the following into the bio section:

{{Jewish Roots Sticker}}

Alternatively, you may use the Jewish Roots Category:

[[Category:Jewish Roots]]

Sometimes this is preferred if there are multiple templates or stickers on a profile. it is not necessary to add this when the sticker is used.

Related Projects and Groups

There may be overlap between profiles in this project and in the following other projects:


  • Kat Venegas - 22% - 40% Ashkenazi , Moroccan Jew and Sephradic Jew. I am working on recording the history of the Jewish Jacobus and Salomon family lines. I am the originator of the Jacobus Name Study
  • Joel Layman - Original spelling of my last name appears to be "Lehman" or even "Lehmann". In German, it seems to denote Askenazi ancestry; however, in Switzerland, it seems to denote more of "a place or location". DNA evidence, once tests are completed should help tremendously. I converted to Reform Judaism in 2010.
  • K Bloom - Researching Ashkenazim from Russia - Poland - Lithuania - Belarus - Ukraine.
  • Lynden Raber Rodriguez - I look forward to this project. With 1-2% Jewish DNA, I hope to find out more about my own roots, or at least determine how far back I need to go in order to pick up a lead.
  • Bob Hvitfeldt - As my mother's family is/was 100% Jewish, I've been pretty lucky in finding ancestors. All four great grandparents are well-attested and sourced. A first cousin and I have found 7 of our 8 great great grandparents and 5 of 16 great great great grandparents.
  • Tanya Peyton Jacobberger Sephardic Jew < 2%
  • Roberta Burnett My father's unknown father and those family lines are the source of my 21% Ashkenazi lineage. I'm persistent but unsuccessful in finding those in the gap between my father (LNAB RUDOLF BERG) and Betty Berman Kirshner and her brother Samuel Philip Berman, We are a "centimorgan-match" in an ftdna auDNA test in 2014. Betty and Sam died in 2016. THIS relationship is based on auDNA test at Roberta is the originator of Jewish Roots Project.
  • Lynn Gazis - I have 4% Sephardic Jewish DNA on FTDNA, and a 3% Iberian on 23andMe that I suspect represents the same ancestral line. I have a particular interest in Thessaloniki/Salonika.
  • Christine Hills My roots are in the Sephardic Jewish Community, Bevis Marks Synagogue, London, England.My 4 x Gt. Grandfather circumcised there, 5x Gt. Grandparents married there. 3 x Great Grandmother married a Christian and appears to have left the Jewish community, but all the family were aware of her Jewish connection. I am also researching the Jewish family of Edith Stein, philosopher (Phenomonologist) & Catholic Saint who died at Auschwitz, as did other members of her family.
  • Youri Lacan-Bartley - I am researching the possibility that I might have Jewish ancestors and also looking to trace a friend's family members.
  • Nicolas LaPointe - My maternal grandmother's patrilineal heritage is most likely Ashkenazi. According to a DNA test, I am approximately 2% European Jewish.
  • Herman Overmars- I AM very interested in the Jewish History of Mokum(Amsterdam) and the Family Citroen Koblenz, Metz and Citroen Meijer.
  • Amy Utting - I am researching possible Jewish ancestors based on my surname (which is Yiddish), likely to be Ashkenazi of German or Swedish occupation.
  • Levi Martínez My FTDNA test shows that I have 12% Sephardic Jewish DNA, and 28% of my European (44% overall) ethnic makeup comes from Iberia.

For a full list of participants, see the badge report.

This page was last modified 12:21, 30 May 2022. This page has been accessed 11,715 times.