Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 12, Number 33 | August 28, 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.
Information Available About Paris Conference
The Cercle de Généalogie Juive, host of the 32nd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, has provided additional information about the conference which will be held July 15–18, 2012, at the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel. The conference will be bilingual—French/English. They are already accepting proposals for lectures or workshops. Submit a 10 to 20 line abstract with a short biography. The deadline is April 30, 2012. The Committee will make its decision by May 30. The conference website already shows a planned lecture, “New Resources on Jewish Genealogy in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia,” to be given by Aleksandrs Feigmanis, a Latvian professional genealogist who is also AVOTAYNU Contributing Editor for Latvia.
Rooms at the Marriott are €119 (at today’s rates US$171 or ₤104) These rates will apply from three days before the conference until three days after.
The conference website is http://iajgs2012.org.
Record Access for Family History Research
As stated at the top of the page of every edition of Nu? What’s New, “Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records.” To represent our interests in record access, the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) has a Public Records Access Monitoring Committee (PRAMC). Its latest report is available at the IAJGS website, http://iajgs.org. At the site, hover your mouse over the “Legislation” button and then click on “Annual Report.” It will download the report in Microsoft Word. IAJGS is also a member of the Records Preservation and Access Committee, a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, and IAJGS. Their website is at http://www.fgs.org/rpac/index.php.
Israeli Cemetery Online Databases
Miriam Bulwar David-Hay posted to JewishGen a list of online Israel cemetery databases. She notes that there is no national database and each city's chevra kadisha (burial society) runs things in its own way, so some cities have databases online while others do not.
Haifa area: http://www.kadisha.net/kadisha/contentpages/search1.aspx
Hod Hasharon: http://www.datithodhasharon.co.il/search.asp?Flag=False
Petach Tikva: http://www.sgula.org
Tel Aviv-Jaffa area: http://www.kadisha.biz
International Jewish Genealogy Month
This year, International Jewish Genealogy Month will be the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, from October 29 to November 26. To support the event a poster is created annually in a competition. This year’s winner was created by Jillian Beroza of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Long Island. Copies of the poster will be distributed to Jewish genealogical societies for placing in synagogues and other Jewish institutions in their area. Some societies plan events in conjunction with Jewish Genealogy Month to encourage other members of the Jewish community to research their family history. Previous posters can be seen at http://www.iajgs.org/jgmonth.html.
CEMLA in Argentina Provides Immigration Database
Occasionally there are postings on JewishGen Discussion Groups of “new” resources that were announced in previous editions of Nu? What’s New?—sometimes years ago. There was a posting to the JewishGen Discussion Group that CEMLA (Centro de Estudios Migratorios de Latinoamerica) has made the transcription of their Argentina passenger arrival lists available at no charge. In the November 16, 2009, edition of Nu? What’s New? there is reference to the CEMLA online database, but the JewishGen announcement implies additional information about each passenger is now available at the CEMLA site. Each search result shows full name, age, marital status, profession, religion, nationality, ship name, port of origin, arrival date, place of birth. The database is located at http://www.cemla.com/busqueda.php#. They have the silly requirement that you provide a range of dates for the search. Just specify January 1, 1882 through December 31, 1960 as the range of dates to search the complete database.
Special Offer on Beider Books
At the recently ended annual conference, we had a special offer on the name books of Alexander Beider. It was sufficiently popular that we are now offering it to the general public. For four days only—until September 1—you can buy any three of Beider’s four books for only $199 plus shipping, a potential savings of $89.00. Recognizing that some readers may already have copies of some of the books, any two books can be purchased for only $145.00 plus shipping, a potential savings of $58.00.
The fours books are:
A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames form the Russian Empire – $118
A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland – $69.50
A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia – 85.00
A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names - $85.00
Go to http://avotaynu.com/books/beideroffer.htm to take advantage of this offer.
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. The Austria-Czech SIG is considering donating money to the Czech State Archives to assist in completing projects of value to Jewish family history research. The projects include finishing the Prague conscription database, publishing the recently completed 250,000 pages of scans of Jewish vital records (birth, death and marriage records from Bohemia and Moravia), and scanning and publishing the Familianten records held in Prague. The archives indicates the total cost is about $25,000. Persons interested in contributing to the project can do so at http://tinyurl.com/3so5qol. Indicate the amount of the donation on the fourth line: Austria-Czech SIG General Fund.
Courland Area Research Group. There is now a 1912 Courland Directory online at http://www.jewishgen.org/courland/verkehrsbuch_1912. The directory is arranged according to city, village and estate.
Sub-Carpathia. The latest JewishGen Special Interest Group is for the Sub-Carpathian region. This is the western-most portion of today’s Ukraine. They already have an attractive and educational website at http://www.jewishgen.org/Hungary/Sub-Carpathia. The group held an organizational meeting at the recently held annual conference.
Ukraine. The Russian Red Cross will search their documents, some of which are unique documents of World War II. They include:
• File for the evacuees during the World War II
• Materials for persons deported during the war for the purpose of forced labor in Germany or detained in concentration camps
• File for orphans of the war period
Their website is http://www.crirkk.ru/about/arhives.html. Their e-mail address is email@example.com.
JewishGen Reports on Itself
JewishGen has published a 2011 update, which highlights the accomplishments of thousands of JewishGen volunteers throughout the world. Topics include Fundraising, Communications, and general JewishGen features, along with a special section dedicated to the accomplishments of JewishGen's Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The update can be viewed at
ITS Annual Report
In its annual report, the International Tracing Service indicated they spent €15 million in 2010 to operate their organization of which 80% was for personnel. Much of the remaining €3 million was associated with the project to digitize their records. More about ITS can be found at http://www.its-arolsen.org/en/about_its/funding_and_legal_basis/index.html.
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://familysearch.org/node/1325.
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.
Mexico, Jalisco, Civil Registration, 1832–2000 New images
Nicaragua, Civil Registration Added images
Peru, Civil Registration, 1874–1978 Added images
US, Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792–1983 Added images
US, Montana, Cascade County Records, 1888–1945 Added images
US, New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787–1938 Added images
US, North Carolina, County Records, 1833–1970 Added images
US, North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800–1909 Added images
US, Ohio, Stark County Coroner's Records, 1890–2002 New images
US, Virginia, Winchester, Evening Star Obituaries, 1899–1909 New images
Indexes and images
US, North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762–1979 Added indexes and records
US, Tennessee County Marriages, 1790–1950 Added indexes and records
US, Vermont, Vital Records, 1760–1954 Added indexes and records
Findmypast.com Lowers Prices
Findmypast.co.uk has lowered its prices. An annual full subscription is now £109.95 (US$179.00), down from £129.95 (US$212.00). The annual Foundation subscription is now down from £91.95 (US$150.00) to £79.95 (US$130.00). Both include the complete 1911 census for England & Wales. Findmypast.co.uk states they now offer access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 1538.
Ancestry.com Adds More U.S. Yearbooks to Collection
Ancestry.com has added nearly 25,000 new yearbooks to its collection, which now totals over 35,000 and carries 155 million records encompassing the years 1884 to 2009. The U.S. Yearbook Collection provides candid photos and insight into a relative’s appearance and extracurricular activities during their school years. The information and images also reveal historical and cultural trends about fashion, style, politics, sports and social beliefs over the past 125 years of U.S. history. The database is located at http://www.ancestry.com/yearbooks.
Clarification of Why No Israel Conference in 2014
In the last edition of Nu? What’s New? I reported that the Israel Genealogical Society withdrew their offer to host the 2014 IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, because the society felt it did not have the knowhow to run a conference. IGS underwent a leadership change shortly before a major deadline imposed by IAJGS for the 2014 conference. The new leadership has stated they backed down from the 2014 conference, because they did not have enough time to complete the work required by IAJGS. They plan to have a proposal ready in time to apply for the 2015 conference.
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