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Hidden From History: How to Research Early Multiracial Jewish Families

36th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

Seattle, Washington, USA

August 7, 2016, 4:30-5:45 pm

Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Cedar B


Today multiracial Jews make up 12% of U.S. Jewry, with nearly 87,000 nonwhite, Hispanic, or multiracial Jewish households in the New York area alone. The history of multiracial Jews, however, has often been presented as occurring primarily after the Vietnam War. This emphasis ignores the wealth of resources available regarding early multiracial Jews in the Americas. In this workshop I discuss (1) how definitions of race have changed between the colonial era and today and how this impacts what types of sources you will find, (2) strategies and resources for locating primary sources related to family histories of Jews of mixed African and Jewish descent in the early United States and Caribbean with attention to family history resources prior to 1840, and (3) strategies for interpreting primary sources. Hands-on examples of sources are included in the workshop.





Reading Sample Sources


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