JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)

(Vicki’s note – this suggested Posting is from the website JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR).  See also 4 previous Postings (that I put on the BLOG within the last 3 months) with the Category “Jewish Ancestors”.  Also click here  for ““.

This Posting is worth reading for it’s “For hints on photographing tombstones” in red below.):

JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)

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The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) aims to catalog data about Jewish cemeteries and burial records worldwide, from the earliest records to the present.
JOWBR is a searchable database of names and associated information, including photographs of gravestones.

As of June 2016, JOWBR contains more than 2.88 million burial records from 6,300 cemeteries in 123 countries.

What is JOWBR?

The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) is a database of names and other identifying information from Jewish cemeteries and burial records worldwide, from the earliest records to the present.  It is a compilation of two linked databases: a database of burial records, and a database of information about each particular cemetery.  JOWBR’s aim is to catalog extant data about Jewish cemeteries and burial records worldwide.  Photographs of the gravestones (matzevot) are also included in this database.

JOWBR is a searchable database on JewishGen, and the data is also incorporated into the relevant JewishGen “All Country” Databases.

For more information on donating information to JOWBR, see our page “Why Submit Burial Records to JOWBR”.

You can watch JewishGen’s screencast series
“How To Submit Data To JOWBR”

How does the JOWBR project work?
The indexing of burial records is the responsibility of a large team of volunteers, coordinated by Nolan Altman.  The technical aspects of the project are guided by Warren Blatt, JewishGen’s Managing Director; and Michael Tobias, Vice President for Programming.

To help accumulate burial data, JewishGen has initiated an “adopt a cemetery” program, to encourage Special Interest Groups (SIGs), local Jewish genealogy societies (JGSs), synagogue youth groups, Jewish Federations, and other interested parties to adopt a cemetery or a landsmanschaft plot and index its records for submission to the JOWBR project.  We hope to appoint coordinators for cities, states, and countries outside the United States who will organize efforts to collect data for their areas.  Those people who wish to become coordinators should contact Nolan Altman.

We regret that we cannot accept individual family burial data.  JOWBR only accepts data from an entire cemetery or an entire landsmanschaft/organization plot within a larger cemetery.

All forms and explanatory material are available online, using the links below: a Donor Agreement, a template for data entry (an Excel spreadsheet), and an explanation of the fields used for data entry.

The fields for data input for each burial are:

Plot Location
Given Name(s)
Place of Birth
Date of Birth
Place of Death
Date of Death (English)
Date of Death (Hebrew)
Age at Death
Date of Burial
Hebrew Name
Spouse’s Name
Father’s Name
Mother’s Name
Other Surnames
All Towns
Photo Filename
For more information about these fields, please see the JOWBR data entry instructions.

If for some reason you are unable to enter the data yourself, please contact us and we will arrange to have this done by one of our volunteers.  Please also remember that we are not accepting information on individual burials, only information for complete cemeteries, landsmanschaft or synagogue plots.

All contributors of burial data are asked to submit a Donor Agreement giving permission for this material to be put online.

Working Documents:
· JOWBR Template (Excel Spreadsheet)
· JOWBR Template Instructions
· JOWBR Donor Agreement
Completed datafile spreadsheets are to be sent to as e-mail attachments.  Photos can be sent by postal mail on a CD-ROM or DVD to the address below, or can be transferred using a third party file sharing service (e.g. DropBox).

Nolan Altman
3817 Oceanside Road East
Oceanside, NY 11572

Completed Donor Agreements are to be returned to JewishGen at the address on the Donor Agreement.
For any questions, please contact Nolan Altman.
Photographs and Translations:
For hints on photographing tombstones, please see this file.

If you need the Hebrew inscriptions of tombstones to be translated, place the JPEG images of the tombstones (of an entire cemetery or landsmanschaft plot) on a CD-ROM disk or disks and mail them to JewishGen at the address above.  Please indicate on the Donor Agreement that the photographs have been submitted on a CD-ROM disk.

If you would like to volunteer to be on the team of translators, please contact Nolan Altman.

Last Update: 17 Jul 2014   WSB

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