Homestead Hebrew Data is a project of Tammy Hepps and HomesteadHebrews.com. It combines my experience in historical and genealogical research with my expertise in technology to reassemble the history of a neglected community in a historically important town.
Over the years, I've collected an enormous amount of data about the people in this community. I've transcribed synagogue records from the Rauh Jewish Archives, read through miles of newspaper microfilm, and pinned thousands of genealogy records to the joint tree of all of Homestead's Jewish families. 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. I ended up with far more data about this community than I had ever thought possible, but the sheer quantity far exceeded what I could handle with standard research methodologies. Enter technology!
I began uploading records to this website with a vision of how the software I was writing in parallel might bring the data together to answer questions I could find no other to answer about the composition and growth of the community. Now I am finally seeing results that prove that the process was worth the investment. I am able to pin down the vague impressions of the last generation of community members shared and overturn my own accumulated assumptions of what the community's history looked liked.
I continue to add records to the site, so please keep checking back. But as I am now deep into the analysis phase of the project, I most look forward to sharing with you soon some of the insights this data is now providing.
2017 presenter. Slides here.