We have a wide variety of databases to *assist* you in your research. Remember that JewishGen (as an organization) does *not* "do research"; we provide resources for you. Have you looked at our JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF)? Even if you don't find anything now, someone else may find *you* next week. Have you tried our ShtetlSeeker (JGSS)? One of our newest databases is the Family Tree of the Jewish People (FTJP). A major new addition is the American Jewish Historical Society's Manuscript Catalog. You can also search our Discussion Group Archives for events, names and/or towns that interest you. All messages posted after September 1993 can be found at: http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/archive.htm You can search any of our data bases at no charge. I suggest you also check out some of our Special Interest Groups (SIGs); new ones are often getting started. These focus on specific geographical areas of Russia, Poland, etc and/or background, eg Sephardim. Most of the general questions asked by newcomers to our site are answered in the JewishGen FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), available at: http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/faq.html> or by e-mail for those without Web access. For instructions on how to obtain copies of the FAQ or other InfoFiles by e-mail, send an e-mail to: index@mail.jewishgen.org Of particular interest, you'll find definitions of geographic divisions of Russia/Poland, explanation of "western" vs yiddish names, a lots of "how-to" and "where" to get you going. We strongly recommend that all readers of the JewishGen Discussion Group and users of the other resources of JewishGen read the FAQ. Informed contributors make the Discussion Group a more useful resource, and knowledge of the information contained in the FAQ will help you in your own research. If you post a search request to our Discussion Group, please use all CAPS for surnames and for nothing else. Also, send *any* postings as plain text. If you use MIME or HTML format, it will be rejected by the moderator. I hope you found *something* useful during your visit with us and will stop by again. Please keep in mind that the information available from the JGFF and the FTJP has been provided by other individuals researching those names. If you, like me, have some very "rare" surnames (and no one else in your family has submitted any genealogical data) you may not find those in these two resources. However, you may find some collateral names (eg., married into your family) that are out at the end of the limb of your tree. Try as many as you have the time and patience for. Our Discussion Group is very active and a helpful source of all sorts of information. We average more than 80 messages daily. If you aren't already automatically receiving these on a daily basis, I invite you to subscribe. You can "just listen in" for a while by reading what others are asking and have learned. Just in case you didn't bookmark it, to subscribe to the JewishGen Discussion Group, visit our homepage at http://www.jewishgen.org and under the category LEARN click on the hyperlink JewishGen Discussion Group. This will take you to a complete description of what *our* electronic mailing list is all about. Or simply send an e-mail to listserv@lyris.jewishgen.org with the command SUBSCRIBE jewishgen Good luck in your quest. If you have not yet submitted your family tree to JewishGen, please consider doing it soon. Remember that, for security reasons, most of the data on *living* people will NOT be published. You can always update it as you gather new information. This may become the most effective way for others to find you based on a relative that is *not* one on whom you are really focused (eg, one who married into your family). The best way for others to find *your* tree is to submit your data as a GEDCOM file (eg., yourname.ged) _directly_ to us. Now you'll have another reason to justify this research. Just follow the directions for uploading, and be sure to read the FAQ which will probably answer all ...well, at least most... OK, a few of your questions. Proceed at your own pace. If you have any comments or questions get back to me or any member of the support team. 613 Steven Chall in Minneapolis, MN =[;-) for the JewishGen Support Team