Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - World Memory Project

This is the headstone for my husband's great-grandparents, Jack and Mollie (Fond) Shapiro.   Jack was born on March 11, 1884 in Romania, immigrated to the United States with his parents, Max and Ida (Solomon) Shapiro, about 1890.  They lived in Philadelphia for some time, his youngest two siblings were born there, and in 1900, Ida and her children were living in Chicago.  Jack and his brother, Benjamin, were naturalized on September 26, 1906. Jack's brother, Benjamin, stayed in Chicago and married.  Ida and the rest of the family moved to Los Angeles.  There, Jack met and married Mollie Fond, daughter of Marco and Sarah (Schwartz) Fond.

Mollie Fond was born October 9, 1890 in Menes, Arad Megye, Hungary.  Her family immigrated in 1895.  She and Jack were married on January 25, 1913 in Los Angeles, California.  Their daughter, Marian, was born in 1917, and soon after, they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah.  There, they had three more children:  Morris, born in 1918, Sam, born in 1920, and Beverly, born in 1926.  Jack ran the Shapiro Grocery Markets until 1947.  He and Mollie were members of Congregation Montefiore.  They are buried in the Montefiore Cemetery in Salt Lake City.  Jack died on November 28, 1957, and Mollie died on November 6, 1974.

Their son, Morris, is my husband's grandfather.  He went by "D" Morris so as not to be confused with another, unrelated, Morris Shapiro in Salt Lake City (their mail would get mixed up.)  I'll write more about him another time, but he was an amazing man.  He went blind at a young age and it never slowed him down a bit, he married, had nine children, and worked his entire life to support his family. 

In honor of our Jewish ancestry, I would like to talk about a new and exciting project.  The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Ancestry.com are teaming up for the World Memory Project.  Volunteers, like you and me, can transcribe digital images of millions of documents that have information about survivors and victims of the Holocaust.  These records will be made available in a free searchable online database.  This is an amazing undertaking and will give faces and humanity back to the 6,000,000 Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the Nazis, who tried to erase their memory.  To learn more about this and to participate, go to the World Memory Project.

It's very easy to start - you just download the software, download an image batch, and transcribe the information into data fields.  I can't change the past, but I can help families reconnect and find out what happened to their loved ones.

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