Since the fall of communism in the former Soviet Union in 1991, the world has gained greater access to Eastern European archives. This emerging historical field still poses serious research problems for genealogists seeking ancestors in this part of the world. Some countries forbid access to and duplication of their historical treasures. Genealogists often have to learn to read several foreign languages in order to trace single pedigrees. The Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) is committed to sharing the latest genealogical research developments for Eastern and Central Europe with the public and facilitating the usage of these sources.
FEEFHS serves as an umbrella organization over more than 100 family history societies from all over the world who are interested in genealogical research in Eastern and Central Europe. Led by professional researchers, translators, and Family History Library record acquisitions' employees, FEEFHS stands at the head of this dynamic field. If you have ancestors from Eastern Europe, you should join this organization.
Each year FEEFHS publishes a scholarly journal replete with groundbreaking information from the pros that can help you trace your Eastern European ancestry. The most recently released 2003 edition (Volume 11) contains a variety of articles ranging from transportation in the Austrian Empire in the 19th century to learning how to reconstruct the lives of Finnish women in Russian Alaska. Last year's authors included a professor at the Diaspora Research Institute of Tel Aviv University, the current president of FEEFHS, an Accredited Genealogist, and other professional researchers, lecturers and writers. To give you a taste of what you can find in FEEFHS journals, last year's article topics were:
• Local history in Eastern Europe
• How to read Latin documents from Hungary
• The origins of Jewish surnames in Belarus
• How to read Catholic metrical registers from Galicia
• Research in Ukraine
• How to trace Slovaks in North America
• How to research Germans in Bukovina
• How to research Czechs in Volhynia
FEEFHS 10th International Convention will be held at the Crowne Plaza near Detroit, Michigan from October 1st through October 3rd 2004. Knowledgeable lecturers will address issues confronting Eastern European genealogists such as reading foreign languages, understanding diverse record types, and applying foreign research methodologies.
Annual membership for FEEFHS costs $25.00. Members will receive a free copy of the FEEFHS Journal and discounts on admission to the convention. To learn more about the organization and upcoming events, visit the FEEFHS Web site at www.feefhs.org.
Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2004.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.
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