Jewish Genealogy > Minorties
From the time of the Diaspora to the creation of the Jewish state of Israel, Jews have been considered a religious minority wherever they lived. When they left their homelands, they were also considered part of the ethnic minority of the place they immigrated from. It is important to learn the history of the ethnic groups your ancestors belonged to. For example, you might study a history of the Russians in New York, Germans in Wisconsin, or the Poles in Canada. This historical background could tell you where your ancestors lived and when they lived there, where they migrated, the types of records they might be listed in, and other information that would help you understand your family’s history.
For some minorities there are unique records and resources available, including histories, gazetteers, biographical sources, settlement patterns, and handbooks. Examples of resources for minority studies that include information about the Jews are:
- Arkin, Marcus. South African Jewry : A Contemporary Survey. Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1984. (FHL book 968 F2am.)
- Hagen, William W. Germans, Poles and Jews: The Nationality Conflict in the Prussian East, 1772–1914. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. (FHL book 943 F2hw.)
- Hardwick, Susan Wiley. Russian Refuge: Religion, Migration and Settlement on the North American Pacific Rim. Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, c1993. (FHL book 979 F2h.)
- Kuropas, Myron B. The Ukrainian Americans: Roots and Aspirations 1884–1964. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991. (FHL book 973 F2mb.)
The Family History Library has many records of minorities. Check for these records in the Family History Library Catalog.