I began to search out my roots a number of years ago after discovering a file that my dad had put away before his passing in 1988. This file contained some of the original family tree information related to Max Stein and Rose Berkovics Stein and their respective ancestors who lived in Europe in the late 19th Century (1800s) leading up to the second world war.
My search has led me on a number of trails to a number of sources attempting to extract whatever information I could get from those available sources.With the Proliferation of the Web, the amount of data now available is almost mind- boggling.Having said that, this research is still incomplete but recently I have made enormous progress with such powerful tools at my disposal.
One needs to remember that searching for lost relatives in a distant land is like trying to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. Why?Because Europe has undergone an excruciating amount of change over the last 100 years. Its borders have shifted like the desert sands (as you will see) and there is nothing like a few world wars and a holocaust to misplace, displace information and have important records and documentation simply vanish or suffer destruction.Additionally, remember that although the war ended in 1945, Communism kept its iron grip on most of Easter Europe until the early 1990s.Once the curtain came up, what the west found were backwards societies with puppet governments, bankrupt treasuries, and antiquated infrastructures.Archiving old documents and records has not been on the top of these countries priorities lists.
Enter a number of private organizations that along with these governments (and thanks to a lot of guilt) countries like Poland, and Hungary have led the way in making available archived documents like birth records, death records, military service records etc.Unfortunately, the pace is slow and for every record that is available to be seen, there are 1000 records that are not.Additionally, so much of our past in the form of records and archives have been destroyed either in the war years or during the last 50 years.
I hope you enjoy this information and I will continue to update it as new information is obtained.