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Sun, Aug 20

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via Zoom

Researching Criminal Ancestors

What about the criminals in our families? Join us when Ron Arons, author of a book about the Jews of Sing Sing, gives us techniques for researching the “black sheep” in our family trees.

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Researching Criminal Ancestors
Researching Criminal Ancestors

Time & Location

Aug 20, 2023, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM CDT

via Zoom

About The Event

In this presentation, “Researching Criminal Ancestors: Finding the Hidden Stories,” Ron Arons demonstrates how to research “black sheep” ancestors, relatives who might be difficult to research for a variety of reasons. Building a foundation with “standard” genealogical records (census, vital records, city directories, etc.), Ron then moves into the more unique records that exist for likely lawbreakers. He will give specific recommendations regarding the methodology of researching such characters. Research like this enlivens family history as we follow our ancestors off the straight and narrow to a perhaps more crooked but colorful path.

Born in New York, Ron Arons was reared a goodie-two-shoes. Aside from five moving violations, he has never been afoul of the law. Ron worked for many years as a marketer at many high-tech companies, including Texas Instruments, Ashton-Tate, and Sybase, before deciding to work full time on his first book, The Jews of Sing Sing. Ron became interested in understanding his roots after he lost both his parents to cancer. In the process of researching his criminal ancestor’s past, Ron has traced his roots to England, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. In 2005 Ron won a Hackman Research Residency Award from the New York State Archives to continue his research of New York Jewish criminals. In January 2008, Ron appeared on the PBS television series The Jewish Americans as the acknowledged expert on Jewish criminals of New York’s Lower East Side. He tours the country giving educational and entertaining presentations on Jewish criminals and Jewish genealogy. Ron earned a B.S. in Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.


The program, which will take place on-line via Zoom, is free for members, $5 for non-members. Payments can be made at https://www.mnjgs.org/support-us. Questions can be emailed to MNJGS at https://www.mnjgs.org/contact.

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