Homestead Hebrew Data is a project of Tammy Hepps and HomesteadHebrews.com. It is an exercise in bringing together my experience in technology and genealogy to reassemble the history of a neglected community in a historically important town.
I've collected an enormous amount of data about the people who lived in this town. I've transcribed synagogue records from the Rauh Jewish Archives, read through miles of newspaper microfilm, and pinned thousands of genealogy records to my tree. I've collected real estate records from downtown Pittsburgh, tax records from Harrisburg, business records from the Library of Congress, bankruptcy records from Philadelphia, and on and on and on. Having all this data in one organized place will make it possible to answer questions there is no other way to answer about the composition and growth of the community. All these individual data points aggregate into statistics, and the statistics chart forgotten history.
But before I get ahead of myself, I have a long way to go just to upload all the data I've already collected offline. More than just writing scripts to import my hodge-podge of spreadsheets, text files, and iPhone pictures, I need to go through all of this data to link each record to the person or people it concerns, which requires a lot of care. Not only are people's names spelled inconsistently, but but multiple individuals who lived at the same time shared the same names! While it will never be possible to match every record to the exact individual(s) each concerns, I'm doing the best I can to represent the certainties and uncertainties of this data in a way that makes it as meaningful as possible without claiming too much.
So, stay tuned for more—both the data and functionality of this site remain a work in progress!
2017 presenter. Slides here.