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Eliyahu's Branches: The Descendants of the Vilna Gaon (Of Blessed and Saintly Memory) and His Family Hardcover – September, 1997

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After decades of research, a noted Israeli genealogist has produced a book about the Vilna Gaon that contains a rare portrait of the illustrious 18th-century Eastern European sage, a discussion of his substantial influence on the Jewish world and a thoroughly-documented family tree listing more than 20,000 descendants of the rabbi and his siblings. A small portion of the tree--the first four generations--is available on the Web. For Chaim Freedman, who has lived in Israel since 1977, the compilation of Eliyahu's Branches: The Descendants of the Vilna Gaon and His Family was more than just a scholarly obsession that took hold of him as a child in his native Australia. Freedman is an eighth-generation descendant of the Vilna Gaon who was spurred into researching his own roots after growing up hearing countless tales about his many cousins in Russia and their celebrated common ancestor who died in 1797.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 685 pages
  • Publisher: Avotaynu; First Edition edition (September 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886223068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886223066
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 7.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,081,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nadene Goldfoot on October 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eliyahu's Branches has become an important book in my library. I found out after I bought and quickly started using it that my Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon of which I was on the steering committee also had this in our library. However, it's a book that I turn to many times throughout the week, so am glad that I have it at my disposal. I'm the family genealogist and handle all our DNA testing results, so it's nice to have this book. I had found out that we are supposed to be related to the Vilna Gaon. My grandfather had come from Telsiai, Lithuania, and that's the story my 3rd cousin, Stanley Goldfoot, told me when we met in Jerusalem. The book has 685 pages, and wouldn't you know it but our surname, Goldfoot, or Goldfus, the original name, was not listed. However, as I find more surnames through dna testing and it's resulting matches to my dna, I have started checking in this book. For one man to undertake all the reported relations to the Vilna Gaon is quite a project. I have found definitely through dna triangulation, etc, that I have matches with the Rabbi of Worms, (Germany) who is connected to RASHI whose oral tradition was that he was connected to King David, so I would not doubt that somehow a branch came to Lithuania and the Vilna Gaon could be on their tree as well.
As for the book, it is very easy to use the index of names which refers you to pages where the surnames are listed. Every Jewish genealogy group should purchase this important book.
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