Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 12, Number 31 | August 7, 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.
No Issue Next Week
There will be no issue of Nu? What’s New? next week. We will be at the annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. If you plan to buy books from Avotaynu at the conference and live outside the U.S., send your order now to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will reserve copies of the books for you. Shipping costs to places outside the United States are very high so there will be a substantial savings.
Will You Be at the Conference?
Next Friday starts the pre-conference activity at the 31st International Conference on Jewish Genealogy being held at the Washington Grand Hyatt on H Street in downtown Washington, DC. If you do not have plans to attend the conference, have never attended one, and live within 100 miles of Washington, plan a day trip to see what it is all about. It will be a remarkable experience.
It is estimated than about 1,200 genealogists from more than 20 countries will attend.
FamilyTreeDNA Accepting Other Companies Y-DNA Results
If you have Y-DNA test results from other companies and would like to be part of the Family Tree DNA pool, you can do so for a small fee. Family Tree DNA is accepting 33 and 46-marker Y-DNA test results from Ancestry, GeneTree and Sorenson’s SMGF. There is a fee of $19 to import the results. This fee will be credited to upgrades or add-ons. For an additional $39, customers who transfer their third party results can have additional markers tested so that they receive matches to Family Tree DNA’s 25 or 37-marker level. Additional information can be found at http://www.familytreedna.com/faq/answers.aspx?id=41.
War Graves Photographic Project
The original aim of the War Graves Photographic Project was to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, Ministry of Defense grave and family memorial of serving UK military personnel from WWI to the present day. They now have expanded to other countries. They are now working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and assisting the Office of Australian War Graves, Canadian Veterans Affairs and the New Zealand Ministry of Heritage and Culture. Their site at http://www.twgpp.org/index.php currently has a searchable database of more than 1.6 million graves and memorials located in 90 countries. Information provided about the individual includes military rank, unit, date of death, cemetery name and location. Sometimes it includes the names of parents and/or spouse. The actual tombstone may also be shown. For a nominal fee of £3.50, they will provide a photo of the tombstone by e-mail.
Summer Issue of AVOTAYNU
The Summer issue of AVOTAYNU should go to the printer this coming week. It has articles about Jewish double surnames, Romanian research, DNA testing, a special Google feature and the Jews of Livorno, Izmir and Maine. AVOTAYNU editor Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus describes what she discovered on her annual trip to Israel by visiting the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Yad Vashem and the Israel Genealogical Society. She notes, for example, that the L’viv Archives in western Ukraine holds the largest collection of Jewish birth, death and marriage records of any known archive—and CAHJP has now microfilmed virtually all of them.
Neville Lamdan, Director of the International Institute of Jewish Genealogy, gives his annual report on the progress IIJG has made in its five years of existence. My contribution is “Who Were the First Jews in America?” Hint: They were not those who fled Recife, Brazil, and landed in New Amsterdam—today’s New York City.
All told there are 16 articles plus the usual columns of Contributing Editors, U.S. Update, As the Experts, Book Reviews and From Our Mailbox.
The front cover with its Table of Contents can be downloaded at http://www.avotaynu.com/2011SummerPage01.pdf. You can subscribe to Avotaynu at http://www.avotaynu.com/journal.htm.
News from the SIGs
SIGs are Special Interest Groups primarily focusing on geographic areas of ancestry. You can subscribe to their Discussion Groups at http://lyris.jewishgen.org/ListManager. A log in is required. You can link to the SIG home pages from http://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen/sigs.htm. There are also more than 80 Jewish Genealogical Societies throughout the world. A list of societies can be found at http://www.iajgs.org/members/members.html.
Austria-Czech SIG. The updated article "Getting Started With Czech-Jewish Genealogy" is available for viewing at http://www.jewishgen.org/austriaczech/czechguide.html
German SIG. Ancestry.com now has an “Index of Jews Whose German Nationality Was Annulled by Nazi Regime, 1935–1944” at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2027. Non-subscribers can search the index and view digital results (name, date and place of birth, last residence) but they cannot view the original cards, which include exact addresses, dates naturalization was annulled and maiden names.
Mormon-Jewish Controversy: The Problem That Won’t Go Away
Last September, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City proclaimed that a breakthrough has been possible in the problem of individual Mormons posthumously baptizing Holocaust victims “because of new computer systems that change the way in which such names are submitted.” At that time I made a note to myself to check on the matter this September. Well September is still a few weeks away so I am jumping the gun a bit, but the fact is the problem has not gone away. Here are some Jewish Holocaust victims found by Helen Radkey that have been posthumously baptized in the past two months. They are the very same Dutch Holocaust victims that were posthumously baptized more than 20 years ago and removed from Church records.
Hartog Bollegraaf, died: July 23, 1943, Sobibor, baptized: June 25, 2011
Samuel van Coevorden, died: July 23, 1943, Sobibor, baptized: July 1, 2011
Eva Cohen, died: May 28, 1943, Sobibor. baptized: July 15, 2011
Schoontje Davidson, died: September 17, 1942, Auschwitz baptized: June 15, 2011 Salomon From died: January 25, 1943, Oswiecim, Poland baptized: June 22, 2011
Salomon Kisch died: February 28, 1943, Oswiecim, Poland, baptized: June 24, 2011
Jacob Kropveld died: September 30, 1942, Oswiecim, Poland baptized: June 11, 2011
Abraham de Leeuw died: October 8, 1942, Auschwitz, Poland baptized: June 28, 2011
Salomon de Leeuw died: October 8, 1942, Auschwitz, Poland baptized: July 1, 2011
Levie De Levie died: February 28, 1943, Oswiecim, Poland baptized: June 24, 2011
Helen states there are many, many more.
Apparently, their new computer system is not sophisticated enough to catch these entries. I was in the computer software business for 34 years and hold two certifications, so I thought I would give them a hand in refining their improved system. Unfortunately, I stopped programming computers 20 years ago so I am a bit rusty, but I do offer this sophisticated suggestion that might reduce the number of Holocaust victims slipping past their new computer system. It is written in COBOL, a programming language of my day:
IF PLACE-OF-DEATH IS EQUAL TO “AUSCHWITZ” GO TO RED-FLAG-ROUTINE
I am available for further consultation.
FamilySearch Additions for the Week
Below are the only additions of images and/or indexes to FamilySearch that I have concluded may be of interest to Jewish genealogists. The complete list can be found at https://www.familysearch.org/node/1269
To search indexes, use the search engine at https://www.familysearch.org. To view images, go to the same web page and then click the appropriate “Browse by Location.” Narrow it down to the country or state and then click the appropriate record collection.
U.S., Indiana, Marriages, 1811–1959 Additional index records
Italy, Civil Registration, 1806–1940 Additional images
U.S.,California, Collections of the California Genealogical Society, 1700–1942 New image collection.
U.S.,California, San Mateo County Records, 1856–1967 Additional images
U.S.,Louisiana, First Registration Draft Cards, 1940–1945 Additional images
U.S.,Louisiana, Second Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1948–1959 Additional images
U.S.,Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792–1983 Additional images
U.S.,New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787–1938 Additional images
U.S.,New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1899–1921 Additional images
U.S.,North Carolina, County Records, 1833–1970 Additional images
U.S.,North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800–1909 Additional images
U.S.,Ohio, Montgomery County, Probate Estate Files, 1850–1900 Additional images
U.S.,Washington State County Records, 1885–1950 Additional images
U.S.,Washington State, Army National Guard Records, 1880–1947 Additional images
Index and images
U.S.,South Dakota State Census, 1945 Additional images and indexes
U.S.,Utah, Salt Lake County Birth Records, 1890–1915 New images and index
U.S.,Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908–1949 Additional images and indexes
United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 Added images and indexes
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