Anne Byrne at Boulder Jewish Festival Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado
Local Programs and Mentoring for Tracing Jewish Family History Worldwide

How to Get Started

How to Begin Your Jewish Genealogy Research Project
  1. Write down as much as you can about your family history.
  2. Ask the eldest members of your extended family to help fill in the blanks.
  3. Ask family members for copies of all photos and documents pertaining to vital life events, immigration, naturalization, and education.
  • Include:
    • All name and spelling variations: Hebrew name, maiden name, nicknames
    • Every place they ever lived 
    • Birth dates 
    • Birth places 
    • Marriage dates
    • Marriage places
    • Death dates
    • Death places
    • Any information about when they immigrated to America
    • Any information about what town or country they came from.
    • Any information about what port of entry or how they traveled to America.
    • What was their occupation or livelihood?
    • Were they a member of a landsmanshaften, Jewish fraternal organization, or organized trade group?
    • What languages did they speak? Write?
    • Were they literate? Educated?
    • Did they have any significant medical conditions?
  1. Attend a free beginner’s class held at the Denver Public Library on the 2nd Saturday of each month to get started with American resources such as vital records, census, passenger manifests, and naturalizations.
  2. Join the JGSCO for $30 per individual or $40 per household and ask for a GenMentor to be assigned to assist you (member benefit!).
  3. Attend a monthly Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado (JGSCO) meeting held in Denver or Boulder. Check the website for the current program calendar.
  4. Explore genealogical resources online.
    1. Consider a subscription to
    2. Register on JewishGen at and post your research questions to a JewishGen Discussion Group.
    3. Surf around JewishGen and check out the Family Finder to identify others researching the same surnames or ancestral towns as you.