Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Local genealogist helps cousin find her birth family

 

April 26, 2019

Dave Rowitt

Hear a compelling story of a woman's search to find her birth family, and succeeding with the help of a dedicated Orlando Jewish genealogist at the next Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando meeting, Wednesday, May 8. The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando treasurer, Dave Rowitt, will explain how he helped a cousin find and meet her relatives.

Rowitt is a talented genealogist, who has compiled much of his family history. Working with his cousin, he has discovered and located the vast majority of his family-nearly 3000-that live in the U.S. His research has led to interesting discoveries and intriguing family reunions, and led him to contact a second cousin, Elliot, which eventually led to quite a genealogy detective story. Elliot's wife, Lynne, was surrendered to child welfare authorities in 1950, months after she was born. New York City's Free Synagogue Child Adoption Committee soon found a foster family for Lynne, and that family adopted her, resulting in new first and last names for Lynne.

While Lynne's adoptive parents provided a wonderful life for her, she frequently wondered if she had any siblings. Years after Lynne's adopted parents died, Elliot and Lynne sought Rowitt's help to find her blood relatives. Rowitt encouraged Lynne to do a DNA test, which provided essential clues to learning about her family. Using the DNA data, Dave applied his years of genealogy knowledge, the majority of it gained from attending JGSGO meetings, to find Lynne's birth relatives, and arranged for Lynne and Elliot to meet these relatives, including her cousins in California from her birth mother and birth father. After joyous meetings with newly-found family, Lynne learned that some of her relatives had also been trying to find her.

This fascinating genealogical research that Rowitt will demonstrate is intended to help you in your quest to build your family tree. And you will get to meet Lynne and Elliot, New Yorkers who will be here for this important presentation.

Elliot and Lynne (last names not used for privacy reasons).

The JGSGO is a non-profit organization founded in 1990, dedicated to sharing genealogical information, techniques and research tools with anyone interested in Jewish genealogy. The JGSGO has helped hundreds of people find and share their family history. For more information visit http://www.jgsgo.org and "like" us at http://www.facebook.com/jgsgreaterorlando. The JGSGO voicemail line is 407-494-4230.

The meeting is May 8, at 7 p.m., in the Senior Lounge of The Roth Jewish Community Center, 851 North Maitland Ave., Maitland. Admission is free for members. There is a $5 charge for nonmembers, which can be applied to the annual membership dues.

People who can't attend in person can watch a live feed of the meeting on the Internet. Pre-registration for the web feed is required to watch the presentation. The URL is: http://jgsgo.org/programs-jgsgo.

 

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