Genealogical Research

Ackman and Ziff Family Genealogy Institute

While AJHS can provide you with basic information regarding our collections and other repositories that may help in your family history search, we cannot provide birth and death records or records from United States, local, or foreign vital records collections. We suggest that your first stop of inquiry be the Ackman and Ziff Family Genealogy Institute located at the Center for Jewish History. Their Research Guides are an excellent place to start your family history research!

AJHS has several archival collections that may help in uncovering basic information regarding your ancestors. These include our Family History Databases, which focus on our Manhattan and Brooklyn orphanage records; our immigration-related records from the Industrial Removal Office (IRO), the Jewish Immigration Information Bureau (JIIB), and Baron De Hirsch Fund collections; our benevolent society (Landsmanschaften) incorporation records; our World War I and World War II service records; and several marriage and divorce records collections.

Our collections also contain many family trees and self-published family histories. You may search for these collections through our research catalog by searching the family name.

AJHS at one time actively collected histories, newsletters, and collections related to local synagogues, and various other organizations. While our collections on local history in the United States are not comprehensive by any means, you may search through our catalog for the name of your particular town or synagogue or organization and its location in order to uncover potential information. You may also take a look at our Subject Files collection containing hundreds of files regarding local Jewish life in the United States.  Contact your local or nearest historical society or Jewish history-related historical society in your area or your local government offices for more information as well.