A little bit about me. My name is Philip Trauring, and I was born in Brookline, MA. I’ve also lived in Palo Alto, CA, New York, NY, Jerusalem, Israel, and I am now in Modi’in, Israel. Professionally my field has been high-tech, and I’ve worked for companies in California, New York, Massachusetts and here in Israel.
I’ve been working on my personal genealogy for over 20 years. My father’s family originates predominately from Western Galicia, a region of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire that is now located in Poland. My mother’s family’s origins are a bit more spread out, with family coming from Poland, Latvia, Ukraine and Belarus. Both of my parent’s families have resided in the US in some form for more than a hundred years, although a considerable number of family members either fled Europe during the Holocaust, or perished there.
This blog started in November 2010, as a way to share what I’ve learned about genealogy in general, and Jewish genealogy in particular. I occasionally stray into more technical topics, software reviews, etc. although that will mostly be handled on my other blog, Lexigenealogy, going forward. In 2016 the B&F Compendium of Jewish Genealogy, with now over 25,000 resources covering over 200 countries, was added to the site.
In 2011 I founded the Modi’in branch of the Israel Genealogical Society (IGS), and in 2012 helped found the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA), where my primary role was developing the web site. I’ve also been the Gesher Galicia Town Historian for the town of Kańczuga, Poland since 2011. In 2016 I was elected President of the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) for a two year term, and in 2018 I was re-elected for a second term.
I’ve lectured since 2011 on various topics of interest to the genealogical community, including genetic genealogy, preserving photos and documents, and in 2011 I lectured in Washington, DC at the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy on the topic of Utilizing Belgian Archives for Jewish Research. The main resources from that lecture are available on my Belgium page.
I lectured in 2015 at the IAJGS conference in Jerusalem, Israel on the topic of preserving photos, negatives, slides, scanning them and backing them up digitally. I gave an updated version of that lecture at the IAJGS conference in Warsaw, Poland in August 2018.
As for the name of the blog and the domain name it uses, let me explain a bit. The full name of this site has long been Blood and Frogs: Jewish Genealogy and More. Blood and Frogs is a reference to the Hebrew phrase Dam v’Sfardaya, which are the first two plagues inflicted on the Egyptians during the Exodus story in the Bible. While Blood has an obvious connection to genealogy, I think we all have a few frogs in our tree. However, the goal in using the name has always been to be easily remembered by people who heard about the blog.
In October 2013 I switched from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress, and for the moment the blog title has been shorted to B&F: Jewish Genealogy and More. This was initially a space consideration. As I have not developed a specific masthead for the blog yet, this allowed the name to fit better. In the future, depending on what I design and what feedback I receive, I may go back to putting the full name at the top of the web site. In any case, the domain name remains the same, bloodandfrogs.com.
I also run the web site Kanczuga.org: Virtual Rebuilding Jewish Kańczuga, which is a site dedicated to the former Jewish community of Kańczuga, Poland (formerly part of the the Austrian region of Galicia).
If you have a question about some aspect of Jewish genealogy, or if you need to reach me directly, please use the form on the Contact page, which is the best way to insure I see your message.