Nu? What's New?
The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy
Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 8, Number 1 | January 14, 2007

British Emigration Lists Online
There are plans to have an everyname index and to display emigration lists for all ships that left ports of the British Isles from 1890-1960. Currently only those lists from 1890-1899 are online. They are located at The database will include all long-haul voyages to destinations outside Britain and Europe. Most were to Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.S. Voyages from all British (English, Welsh and Scottish) ports, all Irish ports before partition in 1921, and all Northern Irish ports after partition will be covered.

It is a fee-for-service site. At no charge, the site displays the passenger's name, sex, year of departure, departure port, destination port and country. A transcript of the entry for a specific passenger costs five units. To get a copy of the actual page from the passenger list costs 30 units. You can purchase a minimum of 50 units for £5 (about $10). There are discounts for larger purchases.

A transcript adds to the basic information exact date of departure, age, marital status, occupation, names of other persons traveling with passenger, name of ship and other information about the ship. The actual page from the manifest yields no additional information, but certainly is of value to provide detail for all persons on the page and is also of interest for historical purposes. It also might disclose errors in the transcription.

Mémorial de la Shoah Website
The Mémorial de la Shoah Musée, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (Memorial to the Shoah Museum and Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation) located in Paris has a website of interest to genealogists located at

First it has a searchable database of
* Jews deported from France
* Jews killed in France
* persons executed or who died in the French internment camps
* Jewish resistance fighters who belonged to the network of the Jewish Combat Organization.

In the case of the Jews deported from France, provided are the date of deportation, place of deportation (usually Drancy or Pithiviers), destination (usually Auschwitz), convoy number and details about the individual including, when known, date and place of birth, maiden name, date of death and nationality. In most cases the page from the actual deportation list is displayed and can be saved. The search engine seems to have certain latitude in retrieving names. Searching for "Mokotow" retrieved persons named Mokotovitch.

It is also an educational site. From the home page only, under the "Archives and documentation" drop down menu, there is a topic "Guide to Archives/Selection of Archives" that has links to key Shoah sites on the Internet. Of greater interest might be the "Guide to Archives/Guide to European Guide to Shoah Archives" that provides links to Shoah archives in most countries in Europe.

The site is presented in French or English.

Winter Issue of AVOTAYNU to the Printer
The Winter issue of AVOTAYNU will be sent to the printer this week. Subscribers will find a number of valuable articles in this issue. The two that I found most interesting at first appearance seem to be same old stuff. Neville Lamdan, director of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, writes about his personal journey to Belarus to do research in the archives and to visit ancestral towns. Harry Boonin, founding president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Philadelphia, writes about the immigrant experience of leaving the Old Country and coming to America.

What is unusual about these articles is that Lamdan does not write about the trip as much as informing the reader what can be expected and what should be planned if you want to go to Eastern Europe for research. We have not had that type of "my trip to the Old Country" article in AVOTAYNU for a while and this is sort of an update on the accessibility of archives Eastern Europe.

Harry Boonin's article is very personal, because it is based on the letters still in the possession of his family that were sent from family members in Slutsk, Belarus. Because much of the article quotes first-person accounts of the experience, readers are made to feel as if they were participating in the long journey from czarist Russia to Ellis Island. Recounted is the experience of leaving the town, crossing the border into Germany, arriving at Hamburg, taking a ship to Liverpool, and finally leaving Liverpool. Each part of the trip had its challenges, and Boonin selects portions of the letters to describe them.

Subscribers to AVOTAYNU should also read the "Ask the Experts" column of this issue. Columnist Randy Daitch solves the problem of an inquirer who asks how information can be found regarding relatives left behind in the Old Country whose names were unknown to him. Co-columnist Eileen Polakoff answers the question "How do I find living descendants of immigrants to the U.S." in a manner that is virtually a template on how to do this type of research. Polakoff is the author of the "Methodology" chapter of Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy.

My contribution to this issue originally was planned to be part of Nu? What's New? but what I wanted to say kept growing until it reached the size of an article for AVOTAYNU. It is about backing up your records, not you computer files, but your paper records. Have you ever considered the impact to your years of research if fire or flood destroyed your genealogical documents? My solution was to digitize the documents. It took three pages in AVOTAYNU to describe my experience in dealing with the scanning company, the advantages of digitizing, and how I plan to integrate the images with my genealogical database.

All told there are 21 articles in this issue which is 76 pages rather than the usual 68. Included are the summarization of the newsletters in the regular "U.S. Update" and "From Our Contributing Editors" columns, book reviews and letters to the editor.

If you do not subscribe to AVOTAYNU, you can do it now at

News of the Annual Conference
Some 120 program sessions are planned for the 27th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy to be held in Salt Lake City from July 15-20. The Special Interest Groups (SIGs) were offered by the conference planning committee half-day time blocks to use for their purposes. The Austrian/Czech, Belarussian, Galician, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Litvak (Lithuanian), Romanian, Sephardic and Ukrainian SIGs plan such programs. The groups will organize focused programs and meetings; some have invited specialists or archivists to speak. SIG luncheons will either lead into, or follow the themed slots. Additional information about the conference can be found at

News from the SIGs
SIGs are Special Interest Groups primarily focusing on geographic areas of ancestry. You can subscribe to their Discussion Groups at A log in is required. You can link the SIG home pages from There are also more than 80 Jewish Genealogical Societies throughout the world. A list of societies can be found at

General. A posting to the Hungarian SIG Discussion Group announcing that the Family History Library has document that is a list of words in Hungarian commonly associated with genealogy reminded me that the Library has a number of research aids of possible value to Jewish genealogy. Go to and browse the list. Click the letter "H" and you will find reference to the Hungarian Genealogical Word List. Click the letter "P" and there is a Polish Genealogical Word List as well as a Polish Letter-Writing Guide. Also click the tab "Research Guidance" for an additional list of research aids.

German SIGJudenbuergerbuecher der Stadt Berlin, 1809-1851 (Books of Jewish City Residents of Berlin)is a book published in 1962 that lists Jews who lived in Berlin from 1809-1851. The editor is Jacob Jacobsen. Information about individuals includes place of birth, address, profession, father's name, etc. Sample pages of the book can be seen at Use the keyword "Judenbuergerbuecher."

Hungarian SIG. There are now over 400,000 records in the All-Hungary Database. New information includes updates to the 1869 census and to the birth, marriage and death databases. There are now more than 88,000 census, 38,000 birth, 15,000 death and 5,400 marriage records.

JRI-Poland. Indexing of 45,000 records from 14 towns in the Suwalki region is now complete. Comprised are records primarily from 1826-1880. The towns are (current Lithuanian name is in parentheses) Bakalarzewo, Berzniki, Filipow, Krasnopol, Lozdzeije (Lazdijai), Olita (Alytus), Przerosl, Punsk, Sejny, Sereje (Seirijai), Suwalki, Szaki (Sakiai), Wiejsieje (Veisiejai) and Wizajny. Also eight Polish town indexing projects are now complete: Bialobrzegi, Daleszyce, Jozefow Ordynacki, Konskie, Pakosc, Polaniec and Radoszyce. Additional data has been added for Bytom, Checiny, Gliwice, Gliwice County, Karczew, Ozorkow, Sobkow and Wlosszczowa.

Romanian SIG. The Silesian Digital Library ( has recently placed online scans of three volumes of Ksiega pamiatkowa i adresowa wygnancow wojennych z Galicyi i Bukowiny 1914–1915 oraz Album pamiatkowe (The Memorial, Address and Photo Album Directory of the War Refugees from Galicia and Bukovina 1914–1915). There are few photos of people; most are of places. The volume for Lwow is at
The volume for Krakow is at
The volume for the rest (?) of Galicia and for Bukovina is at There is an excellent description of the contents of these books and how to use the search engine by Logan Kleinwaks in the January 2 edition of Rom-SIG Digest. To retrieve the message, send e-mail to and in the body of the message write "get rom-sig 20070103" (without the quote marks).

New Web Site:
A commercial venture has partnered with the U.S. National archives and Records Administration to make available on the Internet for a fee documents that exist at NARA. At present it has little for post-bellum genealogists—genealogists whose ancestors came to the U.S. after the Civil War (1861-65). These documents consist of indexes to Petitions for Naturalization for some federal courts of Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. Also included are the actual petitions for Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

There are various pricing schemes. One is a $9.99 charge for a one-month subscription to The thumbnails provided for each document are so large that a subscription may not be needed—certainly for the index cards. The information on the thumbnail is readable without getting an enlarged version of the document.

The website is at

Another New York Cemetery Online
Mount Judah Cemetery has become the sixth cemetery in the New York area to place its burials online. It is located at Other cemetery databases are:

Mount Ararat Cemetery,

Mount Carmel Cemetery,

Mount Hebron Cemetery,

Mount Moriah Cemetery, Fairview, New Jersey,

Mount Zion Cemetery,

Help Grow the Shoah Victims’ Names Database
Yad Vashem wants volunteers who are willing to contact local institutions and individuals to grow the Shoah Victims Database whose principal documents are Pages of Testimony. With the aid of promotional materials Yad Vashem has developed, volunteers will reach out to survivors and their families and assist them in registering the names of Jews who they know were murdered in the Shoah. This will be done through synagogues, Holocaust centers, Jewish Community Centers, Jewish student organizations, senior centers and social service agencies. To volunteer send your name, address, phone number and e-mail address to with the subject heading "Names Volunteer"

To submit a Page of Testimony, there is a link on the left portion of the screen from the Basic Search page at Click the words “Submit Additional Names.”

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