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Frequently Asked Questions
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1 Why should I do genealogy?
2 How do I start researching my Sephardic genealogy?
3 Is my name Jewish?
4 How do I get around and find things on the "Resources for Sephardic Genealogy" website?
5 How can I move around in the "Resources for Sephardic Genealogy" website?
6 Why is my family name not included or found on your website?
7 What does my family name mean and where does it come from?
8 Where can I find MY family tree? Can you send me my Family tree?
9 How do I find out the name of the town where my ancestors came from?
10 Where are the records for my town or country?
11 My family immigrated to the US. Where can I find the records about them?
12 My family immigrated to France. Where can I find the records about them?
13 Why is there not more information about certain countries or places?
14 Where can I learn more?
15 Where can I ask questions?
16 How can I organize my genealogy research and records?
17 How do I create and print pretty family Tree charts?
18 How do I preserve documents and photographs?
19 Can I do something about damaged photographs?
20 How do I avoid all my research getting lost after I am gone?

Answers

1. Why should I do genealogy?
" To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child ". (Cicero)
Once you start you will soon realize why it is so addictive. It is not just about learning who your ancestors are and where they came from. It is about learning about the worlds they lived in and about Jewish history and a great many other things you never thought you be interested in. Genealogy makes you grow as a person.
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2. How do I start researching my Sephardic genealogy?
Read Help with getting started in Sephardic genealogy

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3. Is my name Jewish?
I frequently receive emails asking "I have the following names in my family tree. Are these Jewish names?"
In most cases there is no way to definitively answer that question. There are certain names that are traditional Jewish names. The most obvious are names like Cohen or Levy, or names of Hebrew or Aramaic origin (Nahman, Sarfati, Malka, Gabbai, and the like). But other names, such as those of Spanish or Arabic etymology were carried by both Jews and non-Jews and therefore cannot be said to definitively indicate Jewish or non-Jewish ancestry. Some were more common among Jews while others were rarer among Jews. But further research is needed to determine if your particular ancestors were Jewish.
Reading the section on Jewish Names and genealogies could be helpful.
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4. How do I get around and find things on the "Resources for Sephardic Genealogy" website?
A) Start by carefully noticing the main website sections listed on the home page :
  1. Sephardic Genealogy: Articles about the basics of Sephardic genealogy
  2. Sephardic History: History of the Sephardim
  3. Websites by country: Websites and resources for many countries where Sephardim lived
  4. Sephardic newslists: Sephardic genealogy newslists on the internet that you can subscribe to and where you can ask your questions.
  5. Archives: Information and links to archives containing Sephardic records.
  6. Ladino: Articles and links about djudio-spanyol and haketia, now often called Ladino.
  7. Books: Books about Sephardic genealogy or Sephardic history by type and countries.
  8. How to start: Introduction to Sephardic genealogy.
  9. Sephardic Family Trees: Websites various Sephardic families have created about their own families.
  10. Sephardic Surnames: Resources about many Sephardic surnames, their meanings and origins.
  11. Genealogy forms: Forms to organize your research and avoid duplicating effort.
  12. Search the Site: Could be useful, though because of the many possible name variants it often is not. Remember to look at the Site-Map (next item).
  13. Site-Map: most of the major topics on the website.
B) Look at the Site-Map: .
C) At the top of each page is a navigation bar (highlighted in yellow) that allows you to go back to the main sections you can from.
D) At the bottom of each page is a collection of links (highlighted in yellow) to rapidly go to the main sections of the website.
E) Both the navigation bar at the page top and the Links at the page bottom have links to immediately go to the main home page of "Sephardic Genealogy Resources" .

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5. How can I move around in the "Resources for Sephardic Genealogy" website?
A) At the top of each page is a navigation bar (highlighted in yellow) that allows you to go back to the main sections you can from.
B) At the bottom of each page is a collection of links (highlighted in yellow) to rapidly go to the main sections of the website.
C) Both the navigation bar at the page top and the Links at the page bottom have links to immediately go to the main home page of "Sephardic Genealogy Resources" .

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6. Why is my family name not included or found on your website?
It is impossible to include all possible Sephardic families nor have I attempted to. You may have to search for additional information about your specific family.
Be sure to check the Family sites and the section about Sephardic Surnames . Also check out JewishGen's Family Tree of the Jewish People database for other genealogists who might be researching your family or ancestral towns and be sure to add your own name and interests for other researchers to find you and share information with you.

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7. What does my family name mean and where does it come from?
See Sephardic Surnames section.
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8. Where can I find MY family tree? Can you send me my Family tree?
Read " A Jewish Genealogic Fable"

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9. How do I find out the name of the town where my ancestors came from?
Start by:
-Asking your oldest relatives
-Discover it in immigration records which you uncover
-Look in old letters, postcards, and family papers

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10. Where are the records for my town or country?
Look in section in the Websites by country section.
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11. My family immigrated to the US. Where can I find the records about them?
Look in section Sephardic Sites in the United States and on JewishGen's website
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12. My family immigrated to France. Where can I find the records about them?
See Sephardic Sites for France.
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13. Why is there not more information about certain countries or places?
It is impossible to include all possible Sephardic genealogy resources nor have I attempted to. I have tried to provide as much information as I could, but of course it is incomplete. As you start on your research you will learn of additional resources. Be sure to email me, JeffMalka@SephardicGen.com , and contribute your discoveries to help other genealogists.
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14. Where can I learn more?
By reading (see Books section), asking questions on various newslists (see Sephardic Newslists), doing your own research. Join a Jewish genealogy Society and attend their meetings and lectures.

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15. Where can I ask questions?
Join a Sephardic newslist.
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16. How can I organize my genealogy research and records?
Although it could all be done on paper it is better and easier to use a genealogy software program. There are many good genealogy software programs and few cost more than $30-50. My personal preference of the current crop is Millennia's Legacy program which is both easy to use and very powerful, but there are many others. See also Genealogy Forms.
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17. How do I create and print pretty family Tree charts?
Most genealogy software programs make this easy to do permitting a large variety of formats. Some are better than others at this and there are even specialized graphic programs though these are rarely necessary.
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18. How do I preserve documents and photographs?
In preparation.
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19. Can I do something about damaged photographs?
Most graphic software programs allow you to do this very nicely. An inexpensive but very powerful one is PaintShopPro.
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20. How do I avoid all my research getting lost after I am gone?
Genealogy software programs allow you to easily produce and print charts, family histories, and share your data with relatives and others. Sharing family trees with relatives is an excellent method to preserve the data and incidentally to transform uninterested relatives into interested relatives willing to share information and jog their lost memories.
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