IAJGS Conference Online Family Finder

Each registrant has the option of providing surnames and associated towns from family research for a searchable, online database set up and maintained by the IAJGS. Five of those names and towns will appear on the attendee’s name badge.

Update: The online Family Finder is live!

The 2016 IAJGS Conference Online Family Finder is running, with more than 6,000 ancestral surname/town/country listings from those who had registered for the conference by July 1. The final update will be after July 10.

If you haven’t registered for the Conference, you can’t use the Family Finder yet. After you register, your confirmation email will have instructions for getting started.

For those who have registered to attend
To start, go to the URL http://iajgs.org/familyfinder/famfind.html
and enter your surname and your Conference password. That’s the one in your Conference registration confirmation email, something like this: HMQR7842. Your JewishGen login password will not work here. Tip: Be sure “caps lock” is not turned on when you type numbers. Copy/paste may pick up an extraneous space before or after your password.

You can search

  • by surname, using the familiar “starts with,” “is exactly,” “sounds like,” or “is phonetically”;
  • by town, using “starts with,” “is exactly,” or “sounds like”; and
  • by country

You can search for other registrants using “starts with,” “is exactly,” “sounds like,” or “is phonetically.”

Another useful way to search or to browse for alternative spellings is to enter just a few letters of a surname.

Under Affiliation Information you can get a list of everyone, for example, from the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington or from the Ukraine SIG who has registered and has not opted out of the Family Finder.

Important limitations to bear in mind:

  1. Anyone may choose to opt out of the Family Finder, which means some registrants’ names and family data will not appear in search results.
  2. Individual registrants are identified only by name and where they live. You may send a message via the Family Finder asking for their cooperation. The recipient may decide whether to respond, and whether to reveal his or her email address to the person who inquired.

Questions? For technical help or questions about search results, please contact familyfinder@iajgs.org

Important reminders. Make sure your family research and other data are current.

We asked for your SIG and association affiliations in the on-line registration form, as well as any DNA group names you wish to share. To add or update that information, log in to the Attendee Service Center with your Conference password here: https://s4.goeshow.com/iajgs/annual/2016/registration_update.cfm

At the same time, using the same instructions, make sure you have designated which of your surnames/towns/countries you want printed on your Conference name badge.  The deadline for name badge data is June 12, 2016 extended to July 10, 2016! Any changes made after that will appear in the online Family Finder, but not on name badges.

Let us know what you think of the IAJGS Conference Online Family Finder. Happy hunting!

More about the Family Finder . . .

. . . especially for those who have not registered.
Using your registration password, you will be able to search the database for others who are researching the same surnames and towns and to send messages to them seeking collaboration, and even perhaps a meetup in Seattle. The database will remain available online after the Conference.

You will enter your family data using the JewishGen Family Finder, which automatically screens the text you enter for each town for the correct, present-day spelling and country. For example, you will not be able to enter Kiev, Russia, but Kyyiv will be accepted, and Ukraine will automatically pop up. Another example is Warsaw, correctly spelled as Warszawa. Having uniform spellings in the database improves your chances of success in the search, which will return exact matches only.

Why should you do this?

  • If you want your family surnames and towns printed on your name badge.
  • If you want your research priorities available for other attendees to find you in the IAJGS Conference Online Family Finder, which will contain all data you have entered in the JewishGen Family Finder.

The Process

The steps below encompass two main stages:

  • Entering and updating surnames and towns in the JewishGen Family Finder, and
  • Importing the data into the IAJGS Conference Family Finder.

JewishGen Stage

  • First, are you registered in JewishGen? If not, go to Step 1 below.
  • Do you have a JewishGen Family Finder account? If not, go to Step 2 below.
  • Is your data up to date? If not, or you don’t know, go to Step 2 below. If it is up to date, go to the IAJGS stage.

Step 1

  1. Visit JewishGen and click Get Started/First Timer.
  2. Under the middle paragraph, “Register for the JGFF,” click “Click here to register and learn more.” this opens the JGFF page.
  3. Click Enter/Modify. this opens a login page.
  4. Click “I’m a New User and want to register.”
  5. Enter all required information and click “Register as a New JewishGen User.”
  6. Wait for JewishGen’s confirmation email and follow directions to set up your new account.

Step 2

  1. Log in to your JewishGen account. At the top center, click Databases and pull down to select Family Finder (JGFF).
  2. Click Enter/Modify.
  3. Read instructions thoroughly.
  4. Select Modify and Send Request to view data you previous entered. Correct as needed.
  5. Select Add and click Send Request to add new data. You may enter as many surnames and towns and you like on this page.
  6. Continue to the IAJGS stage.


  1. On the Registration Confirmation page or in your Confirmation email, click on the link to the Family Finder.
  2. Enter your email address and your JewishGen password — not your Conference registration password.
  3. Click Get JewishGen Family Finder Data.
  4. If you want to opt out of the Online Family Finder (but still have five surnames/towns on your badge), select the DO NOT SHOW checkbox.
  5. Click the numbers from 1 to 5 on each line to specify which surnames will appear on your name badge and in what order.
  6. If you have DNA data for yourself and family members, you may enter up to four haplogroups into the database.
  7. Click Submit IAJGS Family Finder Data.
  8. Review the information. If anything needs revising, click Go Back and Make Changes, which  will return you to #4 above.
  9. Click Save the Data. Important: If you do not click this final button, none of your data will be saved or included in the IAJGS Conference Online Family Finder.