Danny

Ruby family tree is posted on Geni

I signed up with a new genealogy social networking site called Geni and have uploaded a recent version of my Ruby Family GEDCOM file, which now includes 325 names of our ancestors and living relatives.

Geni appears to be a really cool system with loads of great features for displaying information about the family as well as connecting with living family members. To get it rolling, I invited immediate family members and so far Walter, Joanne and Twyla have now signed up. I hope they will be active users by updating their profiles and adding new information to the tree.

If that happens, then let's start inviting various cousins to join in and see what kind of network we can create. If you want to get started on your own, go to www.geni.com and create a free account. Then do a search for any family member you can think of. Once you find the person, you should also be able to find yourself in the Ruby family tree. Link your account to that listing and you will become part of our social network.

Or here's a simpler solution: Write to me at druby@sprynet.com and I will sent you an email invitation to join.

To give you an idea how the program works, here is a sample screen shot:

My genealogy calling card

I needed something other than my Festival Preview business card for meetings like today and for my upcoming Chicago trip, so I put this together this morning before going to the meeting.

I couldn't find the more recent headshot I have been using, so this one is my old New Media column photo. The research names and towns are meant to make it easier for people to connect me with researchers interested in the same subjects.

More photos for Harriett

I have promised to supply Harriett with more family photos. Here's a few to start. First the three conspirators in this project. Then some of Stan's sister Joan Ruby Felenstein Myers.

Joanne, Walt and Dan at Jo's house in January 2009 celebrating Walt's birthday.
At Joanne's wedding in Chicago in 1983: Joan and Ruby Myers are flanked by the bride's happy parents.

Joan descends the staircase at the loft apartment where the wedding was held.

Combined 75th birthday celebration for Stan and Helga, held at mountain winery in Saratoga CA in 1999. From left: Mel Brenner, Sandy Brenner, Bill Rehm, Twyla Ruby, Dan Ruby, Lani Rehm, Zach Rehm, Stan Ruby, Joanne Ruby, Helga Ruby, Gene Ruby, Ludmilla Ilishaev, Kate Eilertsen. Walter was out of the country and could not attend.

Germany and restored citizenship

Joanne and Walter have been talking for some time about the possibility of Helga's descendants having the option of obtaining dual German citizenship based on Helga's status as a displaced former citizen. I have regarded that possibility with skepticism, but prompted by my latest health insurance woes my two siblings have gone to the trouble of learning the German law.

Walter spoke with an official at the German consulate in New York and found that all the relevant information is here. The applicable law reads: "Former German citizens who between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945 were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial, or religious grounds, and their descendants, shall on application have their citizenship restored."

The information page continues with the following explanation:

Between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945 there were basically two laws pertaining to the loss of German citizenship. With the 'Law on the Revocation of Naturalizations and the Deprivation of the German Citizenship' of July 14, 1933, some persons were deprived of their German citizenship individually. Their names were listed in the Reich Law Gazette ('Reichsgesetzblatt') and with the publication of the particular Reichsgesetzblatt they lost their German citizenship.

The main group of former German citizens, however, lost their citizenship with the 'Eleventh Decree to the Law on the Citizenship of the Reich' of November 25, 1941. This stipulated that Jews living outside Germany could not be German citizens. This mainly affected Jews who had left Germany in the years before or shortly after the beginning of the Second World War.

I recently came across a listing of our Aunt Hilda, Elly's sister, having her citizenship revoked by name, but the second paragraph is the one that would apply to Elly Ringel and her daughter Helga. Walter writes that the official told him that if we have the proper documentation (and we do), then we could become citizens of Germany and of Europe within a year of filing the application.

What that means for any of us Rubys remains to be fully considered, but it is certainly interesting to understand that acquiring European citizenship (presumably without renouncing U.S. citizenship) is a realistic option for any of Helga's children and grandchildren.

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