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 an overlooked 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 tens of 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 way 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 ground the vague impressions of the last generation of community members and my own accumulated assumptions of what the community's history looked liked.
I continue to add records to the site, as well as to post new analyses of all the data I've compiled, so please keep checking back.