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Autumn Leaves is a unique Jewish family history book, hardback, 400 pages, that reaches beyond the confines of the author's family and includes three major sections:

1) A genealogy journal. The adventure of discovery; struggles and triumphs, and a technical discussion of cruial research issues, including tackling Polish and Russian language vital records and breakthroughs in new techniques to handle changed surnames and more.

2) The family history. This section describes the local history of the area of Russian Poland that had previously been West Galicia, and includes maps, surname usage surveys, occupation distributions and mortality studies (surveys and studies all derived from original research) in addition to a window to life in the towns of Radom, Checiny, Kielce, Krasnystaw, Izbica, Szczebrzeszyn and Turobin from circal 1700 through immigration to America and Palestine and ultimately the Holocaust era, including photographs and old family letters.

3) The family tree itself, including the Manela dynasty of Checiny, Poland.


Frank McCourt, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book Angela's Ashes
"I'm overwhelmed - because of the scope and ambition of your work on the family history. I am in awe of your achievement. the book is massive: scholarly, intriguing, passionate [and] will surely stand as a landmark in family history. Your work on the book is an inspiration to me."

Lisa Thaler, Jewish genealogist and author of Look Up: The Life and Art of Sacha Kolin
"I loved the book that you have done. I greatly appreciate your detailing the art of the process. So much of our work as genealogists appears as the weightless grand jette - disguising years of hard work. It was poignant - motivated by personal loss, lore about immigration woes and family separation - and very insightful and original. The layout is beautiful with interspersed vignettes... some humorous, some sad. You have done a tremendous job - a tour de force - honoring your ancestors for your family and setting a new standard of research methodology for the Jewish genealogical community."

Warren Blatt, Managing Director of JewishGen, the authoritative online community for Jewish genealogy
"What sets this book apart from others in its class is the focus on the research process. It is extremely well done. It just grabbed me; I couldn't put it down."

Dr. Alexander Beider, author of A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland, which received the Association of Jewish Libraries award for Best Reference Book of the Year, 1996
"There are many aspects [of Autumn Leaves] that represent a general interest for historians and genealogists. The methods of treating occupations are completely new and they clarify Polish terms which are completely obscure. Many contributions are completely independent of the author's proper family. I think it is the example book for someone who wants to make his genealogical studies seriously: names, family trees, occupations, extensive extracts from civil records, pictures, copies of records, etc. It is extremely rare to find in such personal publications data of general interest which are not due to other authors. You did it. Your statistics on mortality, as well as the surveys on occupations and the use of several surnames by the same individuals are based on your own work. I will certainly suggest my copy for reading to members of Paris' Jewish Genealogical Society who are interested in Eastern Europe."

Reviews of Autumn Leaves

Critiques of Lauren Beth Eisenberg Davis' family history book Autumn Leaves from notable reviewers