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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 13, Number 3 | January 15, 2012

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.

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100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites
GenealogyInTime Magazine has compiled a list of the 100 most popular genealogy websites. As one would expect, came out on top. Surprisingly, the Israeli-based came in second, significantly ahead in traffic ranking to the Mormon Church’s which came in third.

Other popular sites for Jewish family history research and their rank were:
4.   FindAGrave
5.   Geni
13. FindMyPast
19. Eastman’s Genealogy Newsletter
22. FamilyTreeDNA
27. JewishGen
28. WorldVitalRecords
30. Cyndi’s List
47. SteveMorse

Traffic ranking, monitored by, was used as the criterion for creating the list. Alexa ranks 30 million websites worldwide. For example, the 100th site on the list, Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild, is ranked by Alexa as 380,841. Avotaynu is ranked 678,378.

A discussion of the subject plus the complete list can be found at

World Memory Project Approaches One Million Entries
The World Memory Project, a joint effort of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and to index the museum’s collection of information about individuals caught up in the Holocaust, now has nearly one million entries. More than 2,300 people have contributed their time to the indexing project. The index can be searched free of charge at

Additional information about the project can be found in a back issue of Nu? What’s New at The project’s website is at

Israel Genealogy Research Association Plans Webinars
The newly formed Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) may become the first Jewish genealogical society to focus heavily on online programming. This will permit it to have an international membership. For example, they plan to regularly have webinars. The first webinar will be on Sunday, February 5, 2012, live from the RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City. It will be run by IGRA member, Daniel Horowitz, chief genealogist of The time is 8pm Israel time (1pm New York time).

There will also be videos at their website. The current video about Jewish Pirates is given by Professor Steven Plaut, a lecturer in the Graduate School of Management at Haifa University. It is at Not all videos will be in Hebrew or English. There is a video about Jean Pierre Stroweis and genealogy in Israel from, the video magazine of the Francophone community in Israel. Titled “Pourquoi la Genealogie?” (Why Genealogy?), it is given in French and is located at Stroweis is a past president of the Israel Genealogical Society and a member of the academic committee of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy.

To date there is no evidence of membership dues. You can register at the site to receive announcements at

An Outsiders View of the Genealogy Industry
Global Industry Analysts, a business strategy and market intelligence firm, has produced a report on the genealogy industry which claims that genealogical enthusiasts are spending between $1,000 and $18,000 a year to discover their roots. It states that the emerging interest in genealogical research has resulted in a genealogy products and services industry exhibiting promising growth. The trend is expected to continue, they state. The detailed report can be purchased for $1,450. Read their press release at

It’s Not Genealogy But..., which I use to find the address and telephone number of people in the U.S., has an interesting feature at Key in any address in the U.S. and the result is a satellite picture showing the name, address and (listed) phone number of every home in the immediate area. There actually is a potential genealogy application. In the past I have tried to locate people using an old address for an individual by phoning the neighbors who invariably know where people moved.

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
FamilySearch, the genealogy website of the Mormon Church, starts the year with having online 1008 historic record collections with 2.58 billion searchable names and 466 million digital images of historic documents.

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

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.

New Indexes and Browsable Image Collections
England and Wales Census, 1871 with links to
U.S., Florida Marriages, 1830–1993
U.S., Louisiana, Parish Marriages, 1837–1957
U.S., Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885–1950

Additions to Existing Indexes and Browsable Image Collections
U.S., District of Columbia Marriages, 1811–1950
U.S., Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797–1954
U.S., New York, County Marriages, 1908–1935
U.S., North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762–1979
U.S., Oklahoma County Marriages, 1891–1959
U.S., Oregon, County Marriages, 1851–1975
U.S., Texas Birth Certificates, 1903–1934 551,734 523,442

New Indexes
U.S., Alabama State Census, 1855
U.S., Alabama State Census, 1866.
U.S., California, Marriage Index, 1960–1985 (courtesy of
U.S., Connecticut, Death Index, 1949–2001 (courtesy of
U.S., Indiana, Death Index, 1882–1920 (courtesy of
U.S., Massachusetts, Death Index, 1970–2003 (courtesy of
U.S., Michigan, Death Index, 1971–1996 (courtesy of
U.S., Minnesota, Birth Index, 1935–2002 (courtesy of
U.S., Minnesota, Death Index, 1908–2002 (courtesy of
U.S., North Carolina, Birth Index, 1800–2000 (courtesy of
U.S., Oregon, Death Index, 1903–1998 (courtesy of
U.S., Texas Birth Index, 1903–1997 (courtesy of
U.S., Wisconsin, Birth Index, 1820–1907 (courtesy of
U.S., Wisconsin, Death Index, 1959–1997 (courtesy of

Additions to Existing Indexes
Canada, Ontario Births, 1869–1912
Germany Marriages, 1558–1929
U.S., Indiana, Marriages, 1811–1959 (Jay and Hamilton counties)
U.S., New York State Census, 1875
U.S., Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837–1977
United States, Applications for Headstones for Military Veterans, 1925–1941
United States, New England Naturalization Index, 1791–1906

New Browsable Image Collections
Australia, Queensland Cemetery Records, 1802–1990
Canada, Saskatchewan, Probate Estate Files, 1887–1931
Canada, Quebec Notarial Records, 1800–1900
Chile, Santiago, Cementerio General, 1821–2010
Costa Rica, Civil Registration, 1860–1975
U.S., Alabama, County Estate Records, 1800–1996
U.S., Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files, 1840–1950
U.S., California, San Francisco County Records, 1824–1997
U.S., Delaware, Vital Records, 1680–1962
U.S., Florida, Tampa, Passenger Lists, 1898–1945
U.S., Maine, Washington County Courthouse Records, 1785–1950
U.S., Maryland, Garrett County Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1920–1940
U.S., Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1891–1943
U.S., Massachusetts, State Vital Records, 1841–1920
U.S., Minnesota, Clay County, School Census Records, 1909–1962
U.S., New Jersey, Middlesex County Probate Records, 1830–1921
U.S., New York, Probate Records, 1629–1971
U.S., Pennsylvania, Eastern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1795–1931
U.S., Texas Deaths, 1890–1976
U.S., Wisconsin, Shawano and Oconto Counties, Indexes and Records, 1850–2007
United States, General Index to Pension Files, 1861–1934
United States, Index to Service Records, War with Spain, 1898 0 304,315 New browsable image collection.

Additions to Existing Browsable Image Collections
Australia, Tasmania, Miscellaneous Records, 1829–1961
Austria, Seigniorial Records, 1537–1888
Brazil Civil Registration, 1870–2009
Canada, Quebec Notarial Records, 1800–1900
Canada, Saskatchewan, Judicial District Court Records, 1891–1954
Czech Republic, Censuses, 1843–1921
Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450–1850
Hungary, Civil Registration, 1895–1980
Italy, Bologna, Bologna, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866–1941
Norway Census, 1875
Peru, Civil Registration, 1874–1996
South Africa, Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951–2004
Spain, Consular Records of Emigrants, 1808–1960
Spain, Consular Records of Emigrants, 1808–1960
U.S., California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835–1931
U.S., California, San Mateo County Records, 1856–1967
U.S., Illinois, Probate Records, 1819–1970
U.S., Louisiana, Second Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1948–1959
U.S., Maine, State Archive Collections, 1790–1966
U.S., Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1629–1983 0 390,060 (Baltimore and Somerset counties)
U.S., Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686–1881
U.S., New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787–1938
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1899–1921
U.S., North Carolina, County Records, 1833–1970
U.S., North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663–1917
U.S., North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800–1909
U.S., Oregon, Columbia County Records, 1854–1958
U.S., Texas Deaths, 1977–1986
U.S., Washington, County Records, 1856–2009
U.S., Wisconsin, Probate Estate Files, 1848–1935

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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