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Historical Group Completes 94, 000 Microfilms of Jewish Documents

The American Jewish Historical Society announced here today the completion of a project to microfilm 94, 000 pertinent documents of Jewish interest in the New York County archives. Requiring 15 months to finish, the program resulted in the acquisition of 65 reels of microfilm and the compilation of an index of 17, 000 entries. In addition, bound positive photocopies of the documents are now available for research.

Covering the period from 1685 to 1920, these papers deal with a wide range of New York and American history. Included in the collection are documents dealing with the Mayor’s Court and insolvent debtors, as well as intention of naturalization and incorporation papers. All the prominent New York Jewish families for two-and-one-half centuries are represented. Such famous names as the Franks, Levys, Schiffs, Seixas’ and Strauss’ are frequently noted. Even such prominent non-Jews as John Jay, Aaron Burr, and Duncan Phyfe, the famous cabinetmaker, are recorded as having Jewish contacts.

Among the most interesting documents, according to the society, are the intention of naturalization papers which by indicating nativity, show the paths of immigration of Jews to the United States, first from the West Indies, then from Western Europe and finally from the East European areas.

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