GenTraveling – Researching Canadian Jews


Hello GenTravelers!  I’m back and now, after a longer than expected hiatus, I’m excited to continue blogging about GenTraveling.  I recently returned home from a GenTraveling trip of my own, and so I want to continue spreading the excitement, knowledge and thrill of  traveling where ancestors actually lived again with all of you!

Today’s ancestral spotlight is on Jewish research – but specifically Canadian Jews.  I recently read Debra L. Doppelt Karplus’ March/April 2014 article in the Family Chronicle magazine entitled, Canadians Exploring Their Jewish Roots.  Debra explained that since there are approximately 385,000 Jewish people currently living in Canada, it is likely they would need to understanding some idiosyncratic and specific characteristics pertaining to tracking ancestors who migrated to Canada. Debra did a good job of explaining some of those idiosyncrasies, such as Jewish naming practices and where to find immigration records. The holocaust, known to Jews as the “Shoah” resulted in records being gathered and organized to document the people who perished during the Holocaust, which sometimes included birth dates and next of kin!  Debra referenced a key source for these records as the Yad Vashem ( But ultimately, Debra recommends planning a research trip to visit the ancestral homeland in Canada or Europe and she points out that ‘…it seems that most people have many ethnicities that make them who they are. Genealogists should not be surprised to discover some Jewish ancestors somewhere in their family tree.”

Personally, I’d be ecstatic to find some Jewish ancestors in my tree.  I think I’ll go hunting for some so I’ll have an excuse to dive into some of the records Debra recommended – and then plan a research trip!


So, are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page.  GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!

{photo source in public domain – William James (1866-19480}

2 thoughts on “GenTraveling – Researching Canadian Jews

  1. I am just starting on this branch of the family–Canadian Jewish. Being used to U.S. records and methodology, I am mystified by research Canadian records. It seems quite inhospitable to anyone who is not Canadian, for instance. I am not allowed access to crucial records. Where can I find this article you mention here? Online?
    Also, do you know if there is a good source to research Canadian newspaper articles? I use Genealogy Bank, for instance, and a lot of U.S. newspapers are found through that source.

    Liked by 1 person

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