Milton Rubincam Biography

Milton-Rubincam -Biography Claim to Fame: Known as "Dean of American Genealogists"
DOB: March 26, 1909
Date of Death: September 9, 1997
Diabetes Type: 1

Milton Rubincam, often called ``the dean of American genealogists'' by the Smithsonian Institution, was a leading genealogist and a well-known author who began the trend of pursuing the histories of families.

Rubincam, who primarily taught himself, attended Temple University in Philadelphia and American University in Washington, D.C., He never graduated but still established himself as a genealogical authority.

He had a respectable career in government, working in a succession of Federal posts from 1939 until his retirement in 1972 as chief of security for the foreign operations office at the Commerce Department.

Rubincam traced his interest in genealogy to childhood tales told by his Uncle Al about the illustrious Rubincam family and its descent from Charlemagne. The name Rubincam was French, his uncle said, and meant ''field of blood.'' It was not until Rubincam began investigating his ancestry that he learned the name was German and meant something like ''field of turnips.''

In the 1960s, he was the president of the exclusive American Society of Genealogists, which was limited to 50 members. Along the way he became a landmark at the National Genealogical Society, serving four two-year terms as its president in the 1940s and 50s and editing the society's quarterly journal, spending 25 years as its book review editor and turning out 2,000 reviews of his own.

Milton Rubincam, at the age of 88, died at Washington Adventist Hospital of complications related to diabetes and vascular disease. He was survived by his wife, Priscilla, and three sons – John, Milton 3rd, and David. There was also one grandson.

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Last Modified Date: June 26, 2014

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by Brenda Bell
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