Every now and then courses and seminars are offered for those wishing to learn more about Hungarian gene methods.

Monday, February 16, 200919:09:48 CET
Listen to win two GenClass tickets!

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I read about this promotion on Schelly Talalay Dardashti's Tracing the Tribe blog: as a listener of Lisa Louis Cooke's Genealogy Gems Podcast one now have a chance to win admission to two GenClass courses.

Lisa Cooke in the podcast has an interview with Lisa Alzo, one of the teachers at GenClass. Lisa Alzo does Eastern Europe research classes at GenClass, her upcoming course is: Eastern European Genealogy Research: Part 2 (Intermediate).

filed under: Education

Monday, July 2, 200716:08:04 CET
Family history contest for 7th graders

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A primary school in Tatabánya organized a genealogy contest for its 7th grade students, according to the site of the (Hungarian) Association of History Teachers. The winner student could trace back the family roots to 1853, after obtaining documents from the grandparents that had not been known to the parents.

filed under: Education

Monday, July 2, 200715:57:08 CET
Paleography reader for 16-17th c. Latin, German and Hungarian scripts

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The collection of the Hungarian Electronic Library is growing its holdings day by day. I noticed an educational PDF format ebook reader packed with Latin, German and Hungarian texts from the 16th and 17th centuries. Facsimiles on the left pages are transcribed on the right ones. This 120 pages book contains 56 texts, compiled and edited by a team of historians from various Hungarian universities. All the tricky abbreviations are resolved.

This book is a great tool if you would like to build some routine in reading old scripts or just want to challenge your skills.

filed under: Education

Saturday, June 30, 200723:08:37 CET
Family Memory Program - paused

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Reading about the pause of the Family Memory Program of Hungary's Ministry of Education in an article about the growing popularity of online genealogy research (Hungarian) prompted me to visit the site. Only to find out that "on May 17, 2007 the operation of the Family Memory Program has been suspended for an unknown period". So what? Is this the end of that service?

The news item of June 29, 2007 on the Hungarian National Archives site offers the relief: the Archives started to fix the technical troubles and they hope to resume to normal operation by 1 August or earlier.

filed under: Online resources Genealogy in the news Education

Sunday, November 5, 200615:44:34 CET
Jordan Auslander - the man of the street on RootsTelevision

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RootsTelevision was launched a few weeks ago. They offer clips to help genealogy research. Family history promoter, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (the lady with Rusyn ancestry) is one of staff behind RootsTelevision.

It was refreshing to discover Jordan Auslander as one of the people in the clips. He actually has two clips on the site as of today. (I'm sure there are more to come.)

I know Jordan's name as an ocassional poster on the listserv of H-SIG of Jewishgen, and also for his book Genealogical Gazetteer of the Kingdom of Hungary. Put the surname Auslander and Hungary into the search form of your favorite online bookshop to find a copy of the book. Jordan has ancestry in the Zakarpattia part of the Ukraine, the former NE part of Hungary.

Both of his clips on RootsTelevision were taken in a busy New York street. He talks about how to approach relatives and how important it is to interview them.

To find his appearances go to RootsTelevision, click on the Roots Living tab, then to the Shorts: Heir Jordan, Extreme Genealogy and Extreme Genealogy 2.

Hey, there is even a backdoor to RootsTelevision:
Extreme Genealogy (1), and Extreme Genealogy 2.

filed under: Online resources Genealogy in the news Education

Wednesday, August 17, 200522:09:34 CET
Basic Slovak genealogy research class - online course by

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You have the opportunity to join an online research course that would cover a region adjacent to Hungary: Slovakia. As up to the end of WW1 both regions were part of the Habsburg empire, chances are that the course is useful for people interested either in Slovakia or Hungary.

These classes are offered by, with select experts being the instructors. The Slovak class is hosted by Lisa Alzo.

The upcoming Slovak beginner class is scheduled to start on Aug 25, 2005. Every week two lessons are provided. There are 8 lessons to be taken. Cost is $29.95. Sounds interesting? Basic Slovak Genealogy Research Class

You don't want to miss the information on other available classes. Lisa is going to host part 2 of the Slovak genie course (Slovak Intermediate Research Class, from Oct 13), as well as beginners' (Sept 1) and intermediate (Nov 3) classes on Eastern Europe research.

filed under: Slovakia Education

Sunday, August 14, 200507:14:24 CET
Family Memory Program - some thoughts

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As mentioned here, the Family Memory Program was launched late June this year. In short, the core of the program is a web application that allows registered users to enter their ancestry data along with related files, like pictures etc. The program would be promoted in secondary schools to encourage students to collect their family memories.

I'm not sure what direction it will take, so far it seems like a "botched" project. Here are my three reasons why.

Communication. The program received wide media coverage at its launch here in Hungary. The news was met with the latent interest of many (adult) people in their family history. So, instead of the expected audience (secondary school students), many and many fellows from older generations visited the site, registered and started to use it. The site missed its target, at least this is how it looks now. OK, let's give it some time, Autumn might bring students to the service.

Word from the ombudsman. One of the main reasons of the late launch of the project was that the ombudsman (employed to protect privacy) entered the scene and expressed his concerns about handling of the information to be entered into the software. Finally, the Hungarian National Archives was appointed as the repository for the database. So far, so good. But. During the talks between the ombudsman and the National Archives the ombudsman was reportedly adamant in his privacy concerns. As of now, a registered user can only see what he/she enters into the software. Several people on the site's message board voiced their wish to see if there are any connections between the data they entered and that of others. Now they get the distressing answer: not allowed, not possible. Wouldn't it be a major benefit to connect families? Probably would. In my eyes, this could be achieved by a simple step: information related to, say, 4 or 5 generations, or 100 years back might be released, while newer data could be protected. I don't think the ombudsman would oppose it. Of course, making the software capable of that would require further Forints to be passed to the contracted developer.

Technical things. Not counting the minor glitches people report on the site's message board, the main shortage of the software is that it is not gedcom friendly: one can't import and export data in the gedcom format. In this closed system the user is bound both in data entry and then in processing and displaying of the records.

On the bright side: during the first month more than 10,000 people registered for the service, and the director of the National Archives would like to sit down with the ombudsman and seek the solution for the privacy issues.

After all, the above bashing nothwithstanding, I wish good luck for the program and hope to report positive developments in future.

filed under: Online resources Genealogy in the news Education

Monday, July 4, 200517:42:23 CET
Family Memory Program on its 5th day

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As mentioned here, the Family Memory Program here in Hungary finally went online this last week. Family Memory Program is an initiative to foster family history research in Hungary with the main target group of secondary school students. The tool it provides is an online family tree building application with the abilities to attach documents to family members on the tree.

While not 100%, I feel somewhat inclined to call a fiasco - so far. Here is the timeline, an account of what has happened so far.

Having passed the years (2003, 2004) of promise, the program was opened by Hungary's minister of education on June 29, 2005. As almost all the media had some coverage of the event, the server of the project became unavailable after its announcement. (There are still hiccups in its availability.)

I've collected a bouquet of news entries dealing with the subject. Here they come, in no particular order: Magyar Nemzet Online (rightish daily), MTV (Hungarian Public Television), PrimOnline (major Hungarian tech site), Terminal (another larger Hungarian tech site), (Hungarian Public Radio), Múlt-kor (Hungary's most developed popular history site). Surprisingly, one of the sponsors of the project, the Association of History Teachers covered it only on its 3rd day, and what is even stranger is that the sites of the two other main sponsors: Ministry of Education and Hungarian National Archives don't have a shear mention of the project in their news sections.

Apparently the creators wanted to take off before the major summer vacation season would kick off - at offices. School has been over since mid-June, so, not many students might have been hit by this opportunity. Maybe the timing is good, considering that the server is already overwhelmed. Don't know how it'll be able to handle the crowds coming back in September.

OK, 'nugh said for this entry, will continue soon.

filed under: Online resources Genealogy in the news Education

Wednesday, June 29, 200520:27:13 CET
Breaking news... Family Memory Program started

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Just saw it on a news program of the Hungarian Public Television (MTV): the Family Memory Program sponsored by the Hungarian Ministry of Education is finally taking off. It's called "Családi Emlékezet", and is a part of the National Memory program.

The Family Memory Program was first announced in Jan 2003. It was planned to be started in September 2003, followed by several postponed dates.

The homepage of the program is not available at the moment. It might be overwhelmed, or not yet functioning.

I'm watching its development and also the news covering it and will blog about it probably several times these following days.

filed under: Online resources Genealogy in the news Education

Saturday, June 26, 200400:39:56 CET
Eastern Europe Intermediate Research Class

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brought to you by This is an online course lead by Lisa Alzo, available for $36.95. Scheduled to start on Sept 14, 2004.

filed under: Education

Friday, March 5, 200420:11:42 CET
Hungary genealogy class in L.A. Family History Center

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According to Marianne5061 of the Czech and Slovak Republic genealogy forum on DelphiForums the Family History Center on L.A.'s Santa Monica Blvd. offers a (repeated) class on Hungarian genealogy research on 10 March 2004. It's tailored for beginners in the field.

filed under: Education

Sunday, February 29, 200416:54:15 CET
Presentation on Austro-Hungarian and Burgenland research in Cranberry, PA

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Anna Kresh (Internet editor of Burgenland Bunch, and now elected to the Board of Directors, Austrian American Cultural Society (Pittsburgh)) will have a presentation on Austro-Hungarian and Burgenland research at the Cranberry Genealogy Club meeting on 20 March.

filed under: Austria Education

Sunday, February 29, 200415:43:04 CET
Croatian genealogy seminar in Denver, Co.

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Robert Jerin of the Croatian Heritage Museum will visit Denver to host a one day seminar on 20 March. More information can be found here.

filed under: Croatia Education

Wednesday, December 3, 200316:55:52 CET
National Memory Program in Hungary - going ahead slowly?

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It was back in January 2003 when the Hungarian minister of education announced the start of the National Memory Program (Nemzeti Emlékezet Program). Part of it would be a family memories (családi emlékezet) program (website). Participating students would collect genealogy info about their families and would draw family charts - according to a radio broadcast with the minister back in late August - early September 2003.

Its website had claimed that it would start in May 2003. Now November 2003 is displayed as the starting date. Will have to keep an eye on its progress.

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