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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 12, Number 32 | August 21, 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.
1940 U.S. Census To Be Free on Ancestry.Com has announced that both the images and indexes to the 1940 U.S. Federal census will be made free—through the end of 2013—to search, browse, and explore in the United States when this important collection commences streaming onto its website in mid-April 2012. When complete, more than 3.8 million original document images containing 130 million plus records will be available to search by more than 45 fields, including name, gender, race, street address, county and state, and parents’ places of birth. It took the company nine months to index the 1930 census a number of years ago, and an official told me, with new technology and expertise, they hope to have the complete index done in less time. As was true with the 1930 census, the 1940 census will be made available in pieces as sections are completed. claims it now has online 7 billion digitized historical records, 26 million family trees, and nearly 1.7 million subscribers.

The complete news announcement can be found at

Annual Conferences
The 31st International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is now history. It was a great conference, and the members of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington who ran it or volunteered to help should be commended for making it a great event. What impressed me was, despite the enormity of the program, they kept on adding additional activities at the last minute.

Paris, 2012. The 32nd International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held at the Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel and Conference Center from July 15–18.

Boston, 2013. Park Plaza Hotel. August 4–9.

Salt Lake City, 2014. This ends a three-decade tradition of having the annual conference in Jerusalem in the year that ends in the digit “4.” The conference for 2014 was originally planned for Jerusalem, but there are new leaders of the Israel Genealogical Society and they concluded they did not have the knowhow to run a conference.

2015 and beyond. It is not unreasonable that the 2015 conference will be held in a major city of Eastern Europe.

IAJGS Annual Awards
Michael Tobias, vice president of programming for JewishGen, was given the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies at the annual conference in Washington, DC. As noted in the last issue of Nu? What’s New?, I was in the computer software business for 34 years. Tobias is one of the most productive, skillful computer programmer/analysts I have ever met. I recall in the early days of JewishGen, a company volunteered to implement the Family Tree of the Jewish People. After the company spent six months trying to put into operation the application, JewishGen took back the project and Tobias had it running in less than a week. Every time you use a JewishGen search engine—with all its flexibility—you are benefitting from the handiwork of Michael Tobias. He has been programming for JewishGen for more than 15 years.

Phyllis Kramer, vice president of education for JewishGen received for her efforts in creating the JewishGen online education program, the IAJGS Outstanding Contribution to Jewish Genealogy via the Internet, Print or Electronic Product. The Columbus (Ohio) Historical Society received the Outstanding Project Award for their "Legacy 2010: 170 Years of Jewish Life in Central Ohio" project. Information about the project can be found at
A new site,, provides information about more than 200 concentration camps, Jewish synagogues and cemeteries in Poland. It appears to be the brainchild of Jacques Lahitte (based on a lookup of the domain name owner). The site is in French, but the home page provides a link to Google Translate so that it can be read in any language. The list of locales (French version) is at To read the list in your native language, invoke the language conversion feature on the home page and then click the words “All Sites” on the black bar near the top of the page. The list of locales is not in alphabetical order, so an alphabetical list appears below.

Annopol, Auschwitz, Bedzin, Belzyce, Biala, Biala Podlaska, Biala, Bialystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Blechhammer, Bochnia, Bojanowo, Buk, Byczyna-Biskupice, Chelm, Chelmno, Chrzanow, Czeladz, Czerniejewo, Czestochowa, Dabrowa Tarnowska, Debica, Drawsko Pomorskie, Elk, Gdansk, Gliwice, Glogowek, Glubczyce, Gogolin, Goleniow, Gryfice, Jarocin, Jaworzno, Jedwabne, Karczew, Katowice, Kazimierz Dolny, Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Kepno, Klimontow, Konin, Kornik, Koscian, Koszalin, Kozmin, Krakow, Krapkowice, KraSnik, Krasnystaw, Krotoszyn, Kuznica, Lancut, Leczna, LeSnica, Leszno, Lodz, Lomza, Lublin, Majdanek, Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Mikolajki, Milowka, Miroslawiec, Mosina, Mszczonow, Niezdrowice, Nisko, Nowy Dwor, Nowy Sacz, Opatow, Opole Lubelskie, Orla, Ostrow Wielkopolski, Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Oswiecim, Otwock, Ozarow, Piaski, Piotrkow Trybunalski, Plaszow, Pobiedziska, Pogorzela, Polczyn Zdroj, Poznan, Prudnik, Przeworsk, Przysucha, Pszczyna, Pyskowice, Radymno, Radzyn Podlaski, Ropczyce, Rozwadow, Rymanow, Rzeszow, Sandomierz, Sanok, Sawin, Sedziszow Malopolski, Sejny, Skoczow, Slomniki, Slupca, Smigiel, Sobibor, Sokolow Malopolski, Sosnowiec, Stary Sacz, Strzegom, Strzegom, Strzelce Opolskie, Stutthof, Sulawki (sic), Swarzedz, Swidnica, Swidwin, Szczebrzeszyn, Szczucin, Szczuczyn, Szydlow, Tarnobrzeg, Tarnow, Tarnowskie Gory, Toszek, Toszek, Treblinka, Trzebinia, Tuczno, Tyczyn, Tykocin, Ujazd, Ulanow, Uzarzewo, Warszawa, Wieliczka, Wlodawa, Zabrze, Zamosc, Zary, Zator, Ziebice, Zyrardow.

For those not familiar with the term “shabbos goy,” see

Beginner’s Guide to Genetic Genealogy
Dick Eastman, author of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, recommends an introduction to the subject DNA and genealogy on the International Society of Genetic Genealogy's website at The site also has a page devoted to “Genealogical DNA Testing Myths” at is a site that focuses on records of France. It claims to have online an index to more than 169 million civil records (birth, marriage death); 162 million people on family trees; 15 million historical archives records including census, naturalizations, passport, military and others; and 22 million records from Departement archives. I found three naturalizations for Mokotows who immigrated to France. It is a fee-based site. The minimum charge is €20 for one month’s access. The site is in French.

Dutch Naturalizations Online
Information about more than 11,000 Dutch naturalizations from 1850–1934 are available online at Information provided is date of naturalization, name, occupation, place of birth (town and country), birth date and location (place of naturalization?). The site is in Dutch.

FamilySearch Additions for the Past Two Weeks
2.3 Million Images Added to Its Hungary Collections
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 lists can be found at and

To search indexes, use the search engine at 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.

Images Only (no index)
Austria, Upper Austria, Linz Citizen Rolls, 1658–1937 New image collection
Hungary Civil Registration, 1895–1980 2.3 million images added
U.S., Louisiana, First Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1940–1945 Images added
U.S., Maine, State Archive Collections,1636–1964 Images added
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1899–1921 Images added
U.S., North Carolina, County Records, 1833–1970 Images added
U.S., Washington State, Army National Guard Records, 1880–1947 Images added

Education Course on Breaking Brick Walls in the U.S.
JewishGen is offering what it considers to be an intermediate-level course on breaking down certain brick walls in American research. The lessons will cover naturalizations, passports, death records (probate, obituaries, cemeteries), newspapers, city directories, immigration ports other than Ellis Island, major archives and libraries (including the Mormon microfilms), military records, Internet research and miscellaneous state and federal government records.

There are eight lessons online twice weekly. Tuition is $80. The course starts September 1. Complete information is available at

Online Yearbooks
Don Krieger has placed online a potpourri of yearbooks from 17 states and Canada at There are a good number from the Pittsburgh area and Jewish schools in New York City. I had difficulty navigating the site with Firefox, and some of the links did not work even with Internet Explorer.

The Jewish institutions of New York City can also be found at Included are yearbooks from Yeshiva College for Men (Masmid) and Stern College for Women (Kochaviah), from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (Cardozo School of Law Yearbook), from the Teachers Institute for Men (Nir), a program for training Hebrew teachers, and from the University’s affiliated boys and girls high schools (Elchanite and Elchanette). Changes Focus and Name has changed its name to The company also announced it will now focus primarily on U.S. military records. They claim to have 74 million images of historical documents and photos. These records include collections from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World Wars I and II and America’s more recent engagements in Vietnam and elsewhere. Fold3 will continue to operate as a subsidiary of The complete news release can be found at

Australians Opt Out of Public Access to Census Information
I find it incredible that countries such as Australia and Canada created laws that give its citizens the right to opt out of making their census information publicly available in 100 years. Perhaps their Parliaments should consider a broader law that allows its citizens to opt out of having made public any information about themselves including records of the military, judicial, medical, probate, education, social organizations, etc. In this way, 100 years from now historians can say, “In 2011 there were 22 million people living in Australia. We know nothing about them.”

Statement on a Jewish Funeral Chapel’s Website
Statement on a Jewish funeral chapel’s website: “We ship to Israel.”

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