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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 12, Number 48 | December 11, 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.

Past issues of Nu? What's New? are archived at
Not very much to report this week claims it has information about 72 million graves throughout the world. Information provided may include dates and places of birth and death, place of burial, biographical information, cemetery and plot information, photographs (grave marker, the individual, etc.), and contributor information. It even includes people who were cremated and have no grave. Sources include information provided by individuals as well as government agencies (example, U.S. Veterans Department).

Interesting Map Creator
F!ind Personalise your Map at has the ability to create custom maps that could be placed on a website or in a family history book. It uses Google Maps as a basis to which can be added text and graphics such as map pins, numbered pointers, arrows and other symbols. After completing the customization, a PDF file is created to capture the image, The system has a flaw. If you search for a locale that it cannot find, there is no error message; the system just produces no results.

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. Most of the non-U.S. additions are church records. The complete list can be found at

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.

Indexes and Images
U.S., Alabama, County Marriages, 1809-1950 Added to existing collection.
U.S., Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954 Added to existing collection.

Browsable Images
Canada, Saskatchewan Judicial District Court Records, 1891-1954. Added to existing collection.
Canada, Quebec Notarial Records, 1800-1900. Added to existing collection.
Canada, Saskatchewan Provincial Records, 1879-1987. Added to existing collection.
U.S., California, San Mateo County Records, 1856-1967. Added to existing collection.
U.S., Illinois, Cook County, Maywood, Maywood Herald Obituary Card Index, 1885-2002. New collection.
U.S., Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970. Added to existing collection.
U.S., Maine, Aroostook County, Probate Records, 1837-2007. New collection.
U.S., Maine, State Archive Collections, 1790-1966. Added to existing collection.
U.S., Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1881. Added to existing collection.
U.S., New Hampshire, Hillsborough County, Manchester, Cemetery Records, 1800-2007. New collection.
U.S., New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787-1938. Added to existing collection.
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1899-1921. Added to existing collection.
U.S., North Carolina, County Records, 1833-1970. Added to existing collection.
U.S., Washington State County Land Records, 1852-1935. New collection.
U.S., Washington State County Probate Case Files, 1832-1950. New index collection.
U.S., Washington State County Records, 1885-1950. Added to existing collection.
U.S., Wisconsin, Fond du Lac Public Library Records, 1848-1980. New collection.

Chanukah Sale – 25% Discount on Selected Books for Three Days Only
For three days only—today through Tuesday, December 13, Avotaynu will offer selected books at a 25% discount. Here is an opportunity to acquire some of the greatest reference works for Jewish family history. When checking out, use the coupon code CHANUKAH. For any book described below, click “Order here” to place an order or get additional information such as Table of Contents and/or sample pages. The books are as follows:

Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy. Award winning definitive book on Jewish family history research. Written by more than 60 authors, each an expert in their own field. Its more than 100 chapters cover all important aspects of the rich body of information available to do Jewish genealogical research.  $85.00. $63.75.
Order here

Where Once We Walked. Award winning gazetteer of 23,500 towns in Central and Eastern Europe where Jews lived before the Holocaust. An additional 17,500 alternate names for these towns.  $85.00. $63.75.
Order here.

Every Family Has a Story. Human interest stories published in AVOTAYNU in the past 20 years—72 in all—about how genealogy affected people's lives. Excellent light—sometimes emotional—reading. A perfect gift for a friend or yourself. 
$37.00. $27.75. Order here..

Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust. This exceptional 3-volume, 1,824-page work provides information about more than 9,000 towns in almost every country of continental Europe (exceptions: Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland). Special shipping costs because of weight. $395.00 $99.00. $74.25.
Order here.

Jewish Personal Names. Roots of more than 1,200 Jewish given names showing Yiddish/Hebrew variants with English transliteration. $15.00. $11.25. Order here.

Grin-ealogy. 100 snippets of genealogy humor. Example: Woman: “Please take my uncle’s name off the family tree.” When asked why, she replied, “Because he died!” $12.00 $9.00. Order here.

Independent of the 25% discount offer, don’t forget the sale is still on for Google Your Family Tree. There will be a revised edition in about three months and included with the book will be a coupon that entitles to bearer to a free copy of the new edition when published. Purchaser only pays for shipping. $34.95. $29.95. Order here.

The following books are regularly discounted.

Russian Jewish Given Names. Based on a book published in Russia in 1911, this work presents to the English-speaking reader a comprehensive collection of Jewish given names used in Russia at the turn of the 20th century--more than 6,000 names in all. $35.00 $19.95. Order here.

Biography of Canadian Jewry. Births, bar mitzvahs, marriages and deaths, as well as information concerning communal and synagogue activities of Canadian Jewry. Taken from the pages of The Canadian Jewish Times. $35.00 $15.00
. Order here.

Contribute to the Success of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy
Help support a dynamic institution that in its brief existence already has been the catalyst for such benefits to Jewish genealogy as the Beider-Morse Phonetic Matching System,  Sephardic DNA and Migration project, inventorying the Paul Jacobi Collection of 400 prominent Ashkenazic lineages, the Proposed Standard for Names, Dates and Places in a Genealogical Database, and a system for Integrating Genealogical Datasets.

Visit the IIJG website at and read about these developments, as well as  ongoing and proposed projects.

Make your tax-deductible contribution by credit card or PayPal at Click the Donate link. If you prefer, mail it to the Friends of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, 155 N. Washington Ave., Bergenfield, NJ 07621. Make the check payable to “Friends of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy.” Donations are tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
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