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Hi, I'm Brooke Schreier Ganz. I'm the founder and president of the 501c3 non-profit organization Reclaim The Records. I'm also a big genealogy nerd.

About 95% of my family lived in New York, which is the focus of most of my research. The other 5% lived in New Haven, Connecticut, plus a few people who briefly wandered around Massachusetts. Prior to my family's arrival in the US, mostly in the big late 19th century and early 20th century wave of immigration through Ellis Island, my family lived in Eastern Europe. On a modern map, the countries they came from are Poland, Moldova, and Ukraine, but back then they would have self-identified as the Austro-Hungarian Empire (mostly the province of Galicia, but also a few from Bukovina), the Russian Empire, Romania, and Prussia.

Basically, you can draw a rectangle on a map with one boundary in western Poland near Silesia, the northern border up in Warsaw, over to central Ukraine just south of Kyiv, and then down to northern Moldova, and that should roughly cover the area my family was from.

My hobbies include filing Freedom of Information lawsuits against government records repositories (such as municipal archives, libraries, city clerk's offices, and departments of health) who don't share their records nicely with the rest of the class.