Ted Gostin

Professional Genealogist

Welcome to the home page of Ted Gostin! I am a professional genealogist with 40 years experience.  Regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced genealogist, I may be able to help you reach your research goals.   I am available for research on families from all geographic regions, but my specialties include Jewish genealogy, Central and Eastern European research, and Southern California resources.  I am also the the owner of Generations Press, and the heir search firm Gostin Research Associates. I am a longtime member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.  This site provides some details about my services, as well as some examples of the types of records I work with and can obtain for clients. It also contains links to other parts of my business, including my publishing company, Generations Press.

View a "Who Do You Think You Are" segment featuring Ted Gostin.



 

relij069.gif (1374 bytes)   Jewish Genealogy  

Have you ever wanted to trace your Jewish roots, but weren't sure where to start?  It is possible! As a professional Jewish genealogist, I can help you:

  • Document your family's arrival and early years in the U.S.
  • Learn where your family came from in the "Old Country"
  • Trace your family back through foreign records

Check out my Jewish Genealogy page for more information about how a professional genealogist can help you trace your family history.

 

los_ang.GIF (3185 bytes)  So. California Research

Since I live in Southern California, I naturally specialize in genealogical research in this region.  I can help clients research their family histories in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties.   Check out this section for more information on what to expect from genealogical research here in Southern California.

 Generations Press Books 

BOOK029.GIF (2293 bytes)My publishing company, Generations Press, publishes books on Jewish genealogy, Southern California resources, and immigration research.  We also sell new and used books from other publishers in the same subject areas.

 

Research Rates

Click here for information on current research rates, minimum charges, reimbursable expenses, billing procedures, etc.

 

2020 Speaking Engagements

Ted Gostin lectures frequently throughout Southern California.  His lecture schedule is listed below.  Information on his lectures and lecture topics can also be found on the website of the Genealogical Speakers Guild.

  • Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 6:30 p.m., Los Angeles Public Library - Sherman Oaks Branch.  "Tracing Your Roots at the Los Angeles Public Library."  This lecture reviews the various genealogical databases available to LAPL card holders through the library’s website, as well as the additional resources available at the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles. Some of these databases can be used from any computer with an internet connection; others have to accessed on a library computer at any branch of the library; and still others can only be accessed from the Central Library’s computers. In addition to the online resources (which include Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest.com, FindMyPast.com, American Ancestors, JewishData.com, AccessNewspaperArchives.com, and others), the wealth of genealogical books, journals, newsletters, microfilm and microfiche at the Central Library make LAPL one of the largest genealogical libraries in California.  Los Angeles Public Library - Sherman Oaks Branch, 14245 Moorpark Street, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.  Free Admission.

  • Saturday, February 15, 2020, 10:30 a.m., Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society, "What To Do When There Are No Vital Records."  This lecture reviews the available sources where one might find a record of births, marriages and deaths when public vital records are not available. Sources reviewed include early published newspapers; probate and divorce records; church & synagogue records; cemetery records; local city and county histories and personal memoirs; census records; and voter registration records. Many examples focus on California as a case study, since the public recording of vital records did not begin right away when California became a state in 1850.  First Presbyterian Church, 21 East Constance Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93105.  Free Admission.

  • Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 7:00 p.m., Los Angeles Westside Genealogical Society, "Effective Online Search Strategies - Tips & Tricks."  While all genealogists use online databases these days, poor searching techniques result in many researchers missing things that are actually available in these databases. This lecture focuses on improving search techniques, such as using wildcards, phonetic matching options, searching selected fields only, etc. Many examples from Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org are used, with scattered examples from other databases, as well.  Los Angeles FamilySearch Library, 1631 East Temple Way, Los Angeles, California 90024.  Free Admission.  Cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

  • Saturday, May 16, 2020, 1:00 p.m., Ventura County Genealogical Society.  "Effective Online Search Strategies - Tips & Tricks."  While all genealogists use online databases these days, poor searching techniques result in many researchers missing things that are actually available in these databases. This lecture focuses on improving search techniques, such as using wildcards, phonetic matching options, searching selected fields only, etc. Many examples from Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org are used, with scattered examples from other databases, as well.  Camarillo Public Library Community Room, 4101 E. Las Posas Rd., Camarillo, CA.  Free Admission.  Cancelled due to coronovirus restrictions.

  • Saturday, June 20, 2020, 10:00 a.m., South Orange County California Genealogical Society.  "Using Maps and Gazetteers for Genealogy."  All genealogists want to see where their families came from on maps, but often look in the wrong places or on the wrong type of maps. This lecture discusses three ways of finding your ancestral homes: 1) locating the place in gazetteers or similar sources; 2) finding it on maps of the appropriate scale using the gazetteer information; and 3) searching for the town on maps of appropriate scale if it can’t be found in gazetteers. Map scales and levels of detail are discussed, along with historical border changes and the history of map-making itself. Sources for useful maps and gazetteers are summarized.  LDS Church, 27978 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo, CA.  Free Admission.  Cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

  • Saturday, October 17, 2020, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Fresno County Genealogical Society Annual SeminarFour lectures:
    1) "Finding Vital Records Online - Beyond Ancestry and FamilySearch."  While many genealogists will stop their search for online vital records after reviewing the commercial site Ancestry.com and the Mormons’ FamilySearch website, there are a multitude of other places on the internet where one might find birth, marriage and death information. This lecture reviews and illustrates the breadth of other vital records sources available, including other online genealogy sites; local, county, and state level public agencies; and from public, university and college libraries, and historical and genealogical societies
    2) "Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor Online."  This lecture presents an overview of American passenger arrival records. It outlines four basic periods of arrival records: the Colonial/Early National Period, 1607 - 1819; the Customs Lists Period, 1820 to about 1891; the Immigrations Lists Period, about 1891 - post WWII; and the Post WWII period. The types of arrival records available from each period are discussed, as well as available finding aids. A short bibliography is provided of key works on passenger arrival records.
    3) "Effective Database Searching."  While all genealogists use online databases these days, poor searching techniques result in many researchers missing things that are actually available in these databases. This lecture focuses on improving search techniques, such as using wildcards, phonetic matching options, searching selected fields only, etc. Many examples from Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org are used, with scattered examples from other databases, as well.
    4) "Breaking Down Brick Walls: Three Case Studies."  All genealogists eventually run up against a “brick wall” in their research; that is, a research problem that they just can’t seem to solve. This lecture reviews three cases studies where brick walls were successfully overcome, and from those experiences draws out a series of research strategies that might be applied to your own tough research problems. The three case studies involved 1) trying to determine the parents of an early, post-revolutionary American ancestor in New York State (Metcalf); 2) trying to determine Juaneño Indian ancestry (from Mission San Juan Capistrano) in a California Latino family (Mireles); and 3) trying to find any trace of a Polish-Jewish immigrant tailor in England in the mid-1800s (Stargatt/Stargratt). The cases are both informative and entertaining, with surprising results.
      Cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 10:00 a.m., North San Diego County Genealogical Society, "Finding Vital Records Online - Beyond Ancestry and FamilySearch."  While many genealogists will stop their search for online vital records after reviewing the commercial site Ancestry.com and the Mormons’ FamilySearch website, there are a multitude of other places on the internet where one might find birth, marriage and death information. This lecture reviews and illustrates the breadth of other vital records sources available, including other online genealogy sites; local, county, and state level public agencies; and from public, university and college libraries, and historical and genealogical societiesCarlsbad City Council Chambers, 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008Changed to webinar through "Go To Webinar."


E-mail Your Research Question  mailbox.gif (1311 bytes)

If you'd like to know more about my research services, please send me an e-mail by clicking on the link above.   Include a description of type of research you're interested in, as much background about your family as possible, and the details of research you've already done.  I'll put together a research proposal letting you know what my fees are and how I might be able to help.   Please be sure to include your full name (I don't generally respond to people who don't sign their correspondence) and let me know where you are located.  Because my work load may prevent me from getting back to you immediately, please allow 1-2 weeks for a response to your inquiry.

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This site was last updated on August 2, 2021.

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