(This post is back dated)
My interest in family history begins with my father, Michael Louis Jaron. For as long as I can remember he has been researching his familial roots. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA surrounded by family. I, on the other hand had grown up just being around my brother, my parents, for about ten years my aunt, and my grandmother. Every Thanksgiving we would go to Philadelphia to visit his family and sometimes my grandmother’s cousin Connie’s family, but it wasn’t the same, I didn’t really get to know where I came from since most of my mothers side was in Israel (and now I know in the Netherlands, England, and Canada amongst other places.)
One of my earliest family history memories of my mothers side having been told to me was actually a farce told to me by my great uncle Alfred when I visited them in Israel for my Bar Mitzvah in 1992. It all began with me asking about a painting they have in their house of my great-great grandfather Barend Polak. He told me that Adah brought it into the marriage and she told him it was her grandfather. He then told her that it was his great uncle and that is how they figured out they were second cousins. I was later told by my mother that Alfred was pulling my leg and that they always knew. What really lit a spark in my interest though was due in part because of a Spanish course I took in the summer of 2007. We had to make family trees so we could learn how to say various relatives in Spanish. A few months later I revisited the tree I had made and decided to Google some of the names listed just to see what, if anything, would pop up. What I found was a site based out of Israel called Akevoth that dealt with Dutch Jewry. Within the site I found a digitized version of “The Book” – “Geneologie Van Cleeff.” After more digging on Akevoth I found more family related pages, adding more family lines and expanding our collective tree. Since then I have found even more information, even finding a few living relatives we did not know existed.