Eastern Europe SIG

The Eastern European Special Interest Group encompasses Slovakia, Poland, Russia, and Bohemia. The leader of this SIG is Karen Melis (EasternEuropeSIG@NorthHillsGenealogists.org). Meetings will be held on the third Monday of each month at 06:00 PM in the Northland Public Library boardroom (GoogleMap). Meeting times and dates are subject to change.  Please check our website Events calendar or Meetup.com (http://www.meetup.com/North-Hills-Genealogists/) for additional details to confirm dates and times of  upcoming meetings.
Below please find notes from recent meetings:
In the April meeting, member Jennifer Silk spoke about Geneteka, database of indexed Polish records of births, marriages, and deaths. Some 18 million records have been indexed, primarily from parish records. They are organized by region within Poland, and then by parish. Many of the original records are accessible online through links to scans. Geneteka is an invaluable tool to build one’s Polish family tree if the ancestral village is known and has been indexed. The site is free to use: http://www.geneteka.genealodzy.pl. In addition, the FamilySearch Wiki also provides information about using the site: https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Geneteka_database.
In the March meeting, the members discussed various questions about their genealogical research. One member was interested in finding an elusive passenger list. Other members suggested alternate spellings for her ancestor’s given name… turns out the member found it when she went home that evening! (That’s what we like to call SIG success!) Member Jen Silk will do a presentation on Genetika, a website for searching Polish databases, at the next meeting.
The members discussed their top ten genealogy goals for 2016.
At the November meeting, the group members shared success stories from their own research. One member, whose grandfather had been interviewed for a book, wrote to the author to ask about additional notes from the author's interview with the grandfather... In return, the author provided her with copies of the tapes of the interview! Another member had success in finding a lost newspaper article on Google News Archive. She contacted the newspaper, who referred her to a library, who had copies of the article sent to her the next day. Other members discussed the graves of their ancestors in their villages in Europe, and paying for new gravestones.  
The group walked through how to use Familysearch.org and discussed orderign microfilms from the Family History Library. The group also discussed in detail a proper process for using and becoming acquanted with microfilms they use for research. The differences between the search capabilities for ship manifests on Ellis Island vs. Ancestry were discussed, as was the private or public nature of family trees on familysearch.org
The discussion in the September meeting was about working methodically through records. The SIG talked about capturing a generation in its entirety, including all of the vital events for both parents and children, and mining records for other clues like house numbers, godparents, etc. Alternative names of Polish villages of origin was also a topic of interest.