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Beginner's Guide

Finding family – First Steps
1. Begin by gathering as much information as possible from family members, including stories and documentation.
2. Where did the family come from? Consult “Jewishgen” (free) 
3. Search by country & town first. Use the various aids provided at
Jewishgen - InfoFiles
Jewishgen - KehilaLinks
4. For Eastern Europe, check whether there a web page for the town or region. What records exist? What has been transcribed? What is available? Choose a country and follow the links.
e.g. Poland
5. For Sephardi communities, see Jewishgen - Sephardic choose the c​ountry and follow the links.
Examine the various references:
6. Find out about cemeteries in the your family's place of origin
7. If the family is from Eastern Europe, find out whether there is a community register or Yizkor Book. Look for other books about the town that might contain names and possible information about the family.
Jewishgen - Yizkor
Jewishgen - Holocaust
8. Search the Yad Vashem central database for surnames –
9. Find other people searching for people in the same town or by the same name at
Search for your family name in family trees
Additional Suggestions
1. What was life like where the family came from? Look up information & background:
Virtual shtetl Poland
2. Other Places: Do a Google search for the place name + Jewish community or consult Wikipedia.
3. What's next? Join a Jewishgen discussion group (free) or one of the SIGs (Special Interest Groups) and receive a daily digest of postings
4. Join a genealogy group, register your family names and search the group's sites for family connections:
My heritage English/Hebrew 

 Genealogical Items in The National Library of Israel