Volume 6, Number 4 | March 27, 2005
London Gazette Now Online
The London Gazette is one of the official newspapers of record in the United Kingdom. In it are published legal notices. Of greatest interest to genealogists are notices of naturalizations. All copies of the London Gazette from 1900 to 1997 are now available on the Internet with a full-word search engine at http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/generalArchive.asp?webType=0. The actual naturalization documents are also identified online at the National Archives Catalogue at http://www.catalogue.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search.asp. If privacy laws permit, you can request the actual documents.
From the first site, I was able to retrieve the naturalization dates of the two persons named Mokotow who immigrated to England. The information included the naturalization date and address at time of naturalization. In one case, it included the birth date. Going to the National Archives site demonstrated that the actual records were available only by written request and good cause because they were less than 100 years old.
Searching Eastern European Directories
There is a full-word index to a number of directories of Eastern Europe located at http://www.kalter.org/search.php. They are:
* 1923 Poland and Danzig Commercial Directory
* 1912 Galicia Telephone Directory
* 1901 Galicia Industry Directory
* 1925 Romania Business and Organizational Directory, Vol. I (Bucharest)
* 1924/1925 Romania Business and Organizational Directory, Vol. II (rest of Romania)
* 1938/1939 Warsaw Telephone Directory
All feature searches by exact spelling or Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex.
Deadlines Looming for Avotaynu Offers
April 1 is the deadline for taking advantage of a number of discounts offered by Avotaynu.
1. If you currently subscribe to our journal, AVOTAYNU, and received a renewal notice with the Winter issue, you must respond by March 31 to take advantage of the renewal discount offer. Persons outside the United States can renew online at http://www.avotaynu.com/renew.htm. Subscribers in the U.S. must send in a check to our offices or, for three-year renewals, they can renew online at the above address.
2. April 1 is the deadline to purchase the Genealogical Gazetteer of the Kingdom of Hungary at the special price is $34.95. Thereafter the price increases to $46.00. That is almost a 25% discount. The 532-page book provides information about more than 12,000 towns within the 19th-century borders of the Kingdom of Hungary that today comprise regions of Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine. Additional information is available at http://www.avotaynu.com/books/hungary.htm. The site includes the table of contents, a sample page from the gazetteer, and a sample page from the appendix that provides contemporary names for towns in the former Kingdom of Hungary.
3. April 1 is the deadline for the pre-publication discount for A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames at either $69 (AVOTAYNU subscriber) or $79 (non-AVOTAYNU subscriber). Thereafter the price will be $89. The 824-page book identifies more than 13,000 German-Jewish surnames from the pre-World War I Germany. From Baden-Württemberg in the south to Schleswig-Holstein in the north. From Westfalen in the west to East Prussia in the east. In addition to providing the etymology and variants of each name, it identifies when and where in Germany the name appeared. Sample pages from the book, its table of contents, and ordering information can be found at http://www.avotaynu.com/books/menk.htm.
About the All-SIG Databases
If your Jewish ancestors came from Eastern Europe, one of the first stops on the Internet should be any of a number of country-oriented databases at JewishGen. They are the All-
The largest is the All-Poland database whose major component is the Jewish Records Indexing-Poland project that has indexed more than 2.4 million birth, marriage and death records. I have never researched my father's mother's family. Within a half hour of using the JRI-Poland index, I was able to take my ancestry back from four generations to eight generations; back to the late 18th century.
Most collections contain data from varied sources. Typical is the All-Lithuania Database that includes revision, family and census lists (all forms of censuses); lists of merchants, craftsmen, and farmers; vital records, and specific lists, such as 15,507 people interned in the Vilna Ghetto.
Future plans call for "All Ukraine", "All Germany" and "All USA" databases.
In early March, the number of items in each database was:
New at the Stephen P. Morse Site
The following has been addeed to the Stephoen P. Morse site at http://www.stevemorse.org.
1. Ellis Island Additional Details (in the Ellis Island section of the website). This feature allows you to see all the transcribed details of a particular passenger or a set of passengers on one screen. The results page generated by the White, Blue, and Gray form show only the name, age, year, and town. The Additional Details function adds port, ship, marital status, ethnicity, and full date of arrival. Furthermore, the new tool will find any traveling companions of the passengers in the list and will show the details for these companions as well. This is useful to the researcher who wants to see all the details in one place. It is most useful to those who want to copy the data to a spreadsheet. With a single copy and a single paste command, you can transfer the complete set of details.
2. 1930 Enumeration District (ED) Definitions for Small Towns (in Census section). The Morse site already has an ED finder that converts street addresses to ED in large cities. Now it interfaces with the National Archives website to find the ED for smaller towns. After selecting a state, key in a town name or portion of the name, and it will display the county and ED for the town(s).
3. Queens 1915 AD/EDs (in the New York Census section). Previously Morse's New York City Census AD/ED Finder had the tables for 1915 Manhattan, 1915 and 1925 Brooklyn, and 1925 Bronx that allowed conversion of a street address to the necessary AD/ED. A table for 1915 Queens has been added.
4. Codes on 1930 Census Records (in Census section). The 1930 census has codes that represent language, birthplace and Indian tribe. The Morse site provides a utility to decipher these codes.
New from Ancestry.com
An index to the 1900 census for Massachusetts has been added. For the record: I only report new databases added to the Ancestry.com site that I judge might be of interest to Jewish genealogists. In reality the company adds many more databases daily.
Spam Filters and Nu? What's New?
There has been an increase in the number of complaints from subscribers who claim they have stopped receiving Nu? What's New?. If in the future, you stop receiving this e-zine, the most likely reason is a change in how spam is being filtered by you or your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Last week I replied to such an inquiry with my standard "check your spam settings" and my reply bounced with the following message: "Your mail to the following recipients could not be delivered because they are not accepting mail from email@example.com" No wonder the person was not receiving this e-zine. He set his spam settings so that he refuses all e-mail except from those addresses he has selected. If you set up such a system for yourself, be sure to include "firstname.lastname@example.org" as an acceptable recipient.
Just ten minutes ago, I responded to another complaint and received the following reply: "I apologize for this automatic reply to your e-mail. To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand." No wonder the person is not getting Nu? What's New?
In the two cases above, the villain is the subscriber itself. Sometimes this e-zine is blocked by an ISP because its own spam filters think Nu? What's New? is spam. To combat this, before any issue is sent, the issue goes through a spam analysis detector to determine if the use of certain words gives the appearance of spam. This problem actually occurred a few years ago when an edition of Nu? What's New? commented that genealogy web sites are the second most-visited sites on the Internet; the most common being p--- sites. Use of the P-word caused some ISPs to reject the message.
If you use a popular ISP, I have the ability to monitor this problem because the service I use to send Nu? What's New? provides me with a list of all bounced messages to subscribers. I analyze this list to see if there are many occurrences for a specific ISP. It is a signal that the ISP is blocking distribution of Nu? What's New? If you use an uncommon ISP, it is likely I will not detect that your ISP has rejected the e-zine. The largest category of ISPs that fall into this group are college and university sites. The most common reasons I receive from ISPs that the e-zine was rejected is "Connection refused", which probably means the ISP considers the message spam; and "Too many concurrent connections." This second case is an attempt to control spam by assuming that the identical piece of e-mail going to many clients of the ISP must be spam.
The Internet industry is trying to combat this problem by creating black lists and white lists. The black list is sites where unconditionally all e-mail is rejected. The white list is sites from which all e-mail is unconditionally accepted. Nu? What's New is white-listed.
If your e-mail address is rejected for two consecutive editions of Nu? What's New? you name is automatically removed from the subscriber list.
Is There Such a Thing as a Beautiful Picture of the Holocaust
The theme for the Jewish Genealogy Month poster this year is Holocaust related. You can see the poster at http://www.avotaynu.com/poster.htm. I have received a number of compliments from Nu? What's New? subscribers as to how beautiful it is.
This reminds me of an incident that occurred a number of years ago. I was in the offices of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in New York, and I saw a beautiful painting that depicted some aspect of the Holocaust. Admiring it with me was one of the organization's volunteers, a Holocaust survivor. I turned to him and queried, "Leon, is there such a thing as a beautiful picture of the Holocaust?" His reply was, "Gary, let me tell you a story."
"A dear friend of mine who was Christian died. I went to the funeral home to pay my respects. As I entered the room, the widow of my friend spied me, came over to me, grabbed my arm, and ushered me over to the open casket where my friend was in public view. We both looked down at the corpse and she said 'Doesn't he look beautiful?' I thought for a moment and uttered, 'Yes, he does look beautiful.'"
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