Nu? What's New?
The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy From Avotaynu

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 12, Number 20 | May 15, 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. Plans To Add Ability to Search Other Sites plans to add to its site the ability to search databases of selected sites outside its realm. It will bring back matching results along with a link to the external site. This will enable users to go straight to the original record. Where relevant, it will include these results with the main search results of all hits in its own collection. There will be free access to these external results; users do not have to subscribe or register with to view these records.

The results will be easily recognized from Ancestry-based collections because the description of the record will be preceded by the word “Web.” Clicking on the description of the collection will give more information including the name of the website. There will also be a link to go directly to the website. When you click on the link, a message displays that you are leaving the website. Depending on the browser, the site will open a new tab or a new window. To avoid the harassment of constantly being informed you are leaving the site, you can turn off the message for future searches.

The company did not announce which sites are now included, but the implication was that the vast collection of the Allen County (Indiana) Public Library was one. They plan to take a cautious approach to this service adding site “gradually so we can learn about how useful they are to users.” Using the common name “Abraham Cohen” I could find no examples in the search results.

Complete information about the announcement can be found at Today and the Future
For those readers who are, Dick Eastman reports on lectures by two managers at given at the recent annual conference of the National Genealogical Society. They provided statistics about where is today and insight into some of the company’s plans. Two of these statistics include:
   • 3.7 billion online searches were performed in 2010
   • 7 million user contributed additions and corrections which have been added to the online databases Eastman commented, “I was amazed at that number. That is a LOT of corrections and we all benefit!” I am more of a pessimist concluding that is a lot of errors that were corrected. :>)

Eastman’s complete report can be found at his “Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter” site Adds More Records, a fee-for-service Jewish genealogy site, has added more than 25,000 indexed photographs of tombstones at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery in New York City. One of the oldest is for Babetta Dickline 1785–1856. The cemetery itself has its own index at, but it does not include tombstone images, Furthermore, Avraham Laber, founder of, claims that the Mt. Lebanon index is missing most of the burials before about 1918.

Laber also announced that his site now contains 10,000 images from the Westlawn Cemetery located in the Chicago suburban cemetery of Norridge. The site states they now have more than 500,000 records from all over the world.

Back Issues of “Nu? What’s New?”
As Nu? What’s New? ages—we are now in its 12th year of publication—I am amazed how I continually find posting to JewishGen Discussion Groups about “new” resources that were mentioned in Nu? What’s New? previously, often years earlier.

There is an archives of all articles that appeared in this e-zine since the first issue on February 6, 2000, at It includes a full-word index courtesy of Google. Because this e-zine is now available only on a paid subscription basis, issues are not included in the index until six weeks after publication.

Reader Comments
Casual Survey of ITS experiences. In the last issue of Nu? What’s New?, we asked people who have used the International Tracing Service to tell us of their experience dealing with ITS. The responses were almost 100% positive. The only negative comments were from one person who felt matters could be expedited if ITS corresponded by e-mail rather than postal mail, and he would have preferred receiving actual documents rather than transcripts. The overall experience could be summed up by one responder who said, “I mentioned earlier that I have done the rounds of the archives of several countries. My visit to Bad Arolsen was not my first trip to Germany for documents. I have to say that I was met with greater kindness, sympathy and efficiency in Germany than in any of the other countries I have visited.” —Eva Ryten Holocaust records. To search Footnote only for the free Holocaust records go to: —David Ockene

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
The announcement of additions to the FamilySearch site for this week focused on records of the state of South Carolina. Of possible interest to Jewish genealogists are South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1732–1964; Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671–1977; and South Carolina Deaths (1915–1955)

The complete list can be found at

Spring Issue of AVOTAYNU in the Mail
The Spring issue of AVOTAYNU was mailed out late last week. The Table of Contents can be viewed at You can subscribe or renew your subscription at

Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
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