Gary Mokotoff, EditorVolume 12, Number 10 | March 13, 2011
Every government puts value on preserving its history. That is why we have national archives. Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records, just as historians cannot preserve a nation's history without access to records. It is a greater good than the right to privacy. It is a greater good than the risk of identity theft.
Not much news this week but a few good ones.
List of Jewish Genealogy Mailing Lists
Philip Trauring has posted to his blog a list of more than 100 Jewish genealogical mailing lists (discussion groups) that exist on JewishGen, RootsWeb and Yahoo. It is located at http://tinyurl.com/6ckzs7h. Most readers are familiar with the JewishGen Discussion Groups which focus primarily on country of ancestry. The RootsWeb/Yahoo groups include other topics (shown with an example) such as region (Grodno), town (Sanok), surname (Feldman) and Jewish Genealogical Society (Sacramento). There are three Sephardic forums on Yahoo. When visiting the blog site, look at the other topics Trauring has written about. Some may be of value to your research.
Finding Living Persons in the UK
The UK arm of Ancestry.com has announced a partnership with PeopleTracer.co.uk that provides information about persons living in the UK. They state the source of the data includes electoral rolls, telephone directories and land registry records. Perform the search at https://www.livingrelativesearch.co.uk/content/family-tracing.
Minimum information provided is name, postal code and telephone number. Although they claim telephone books as a source, I found no case in a search where the source was “TB” (telephone book) and the phone number was displayed.
The system allows only 10 free searches in a 24 hour period. There are unlimited searches if you purchase the service. To test the full system, I purchased a minimum order of 10 results in a three month period. The cost was £11.95 (about US$19.00). There was great difficulty making the payment because address information is totally slanted towards a UK address. It refused to take my American postal code, so I used my English cousin’s postal code of “BN3 4PE.” If you are planning to subscribe to this service and live outside the UK, it is OK with me if you use the same postal code.
I searched for my cousin in “BN3 4PE” and he was in the database. Using one of my 10 results, it provided me with his address and “residency” and the years he resided at the address. It also named other residents which were his wife and son. This is valuable to assure you have found the right person. There was no telephone number, and it is unlikely that the database now includes telephone numbers. It is a new system and they may not have completed loading the database.
Finding Living Persons in the U.S.
For years I have used Peoplefinders.com to locate living persons in the U.S. It provides at no charge the person’s name, towns of residence, names of persons associated with the person, and, usually, age. For only $1.95 per result, they will add to that information addresses, telephone numbers, and possibly date of birth and e-mail address.
My most recent use of Peoplefinders.com was this past Saturday when I attended the bat mitzvah of the granddaughter of a close friend of my wife. She mentioned that her mother has always kept her age a secret. I determined she was 93 years old by using Peoplefinders.com. It was confirmed by finding her in the 1930 census on Ancestry.com.
You can find additional information about Peoplefinders.com in the March 2, 2008, issue of Nu? What’s New? at http://www.avotaynu.com/nu/V09N05.htm
List of Burial Societies in Israel
The Israel Genealogical Society has a list of all 122 burial societies (chevra kadisha) in Israel at http://tinyurl.com/aoglzj. It includes the name of the society, contact person, address and telephone number.
FamilySearch Additions for the Week
Some additions to FamilySearch for this week include:
U.S., North Carolina Deaths, 1931–1994
U.S., Vermont, Vital Records, 1760–1954
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 for West Virginia and New Jersey
These are the only additions that I have concluded may be of interest to Jewish genealogists. The complete list can be found at https://familysearch.org/node/1120.
Announcement: Improvements to Family Tree Maker for Mac
Ancestry.com has announced that the latest version of Family Tree Maker for the Mac is now available in the United Kingdom supporting Ancestry.co.uk, and is available in Australia supporting Ancestry.com.au.
Reminder: Renew AVOTAYNU at a Discount
If you received a yellow form with the Winter issue of AVOTAYNU, you must renew by March 30 to receive the renewal discount. Furthermore, you will be part of a drawing that has valuable prizes. We will be awarding a copy of any book published by Avotaynu to three winners of a drawing to be held on April 15, 2011. Renew for three years and have three chances to win. Renew for two years and you will be entered in the drawing twice. One year, once.
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