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Family History Today: Illegitimacy in the Jewish Communities Galicia

Hosted By: The Center for Jewish History

The Austrian Empire imposed many punitive and restrictive laws on the Jewish communities of Galicia to curtail their size and create boundaries between them and their non-Jewish neighbors. However, Galician Jews found ways to circumvent these laws, some of which can be deduced from the paper trail they left behind. For example, it’s not unusual to find your Galician ancestors described as “illegitimate” or listed with multiple or even hyphenated surnames in civil birth, marriage, and death registers. In this lecture, Dr. Janette Silverman, a Senior Genealogist and Research Team Manager at AncestryProGenealogists®, will explain the underlying meaning of these clues and discuss what they reveal about our ancestors’ lives.

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