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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 13, Number 24 | June 6, 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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Special Edition Indexes New York State 1940 Census has placed online an index to the 1940 census for New York State, some 13 million entries, at also has added a new image viewer that provides a number of useful functions when displaying the census image.
   • The line in the document that contains the searched name is highlighted in yellow and all other members of the household are highlighted in green.
   • You no longer have to read the description of each column to understand an entry. Hovering the mouse over a particular cell creates an expanded description of the entry. For example, hovering over the age cell will tell you the person’s age and compute the estimated year of birth.
   • The mouse wheel can be used to zoom the image in and out.
   • Holding the left click of the mouse will drag the image across the screen
   • There are other functions. A complete list can be found by clicking the “What’s New?” button in the upper left corner.

This functionality is standard for the 1940 census and optional for the 1930 census.

The error rate in transcribing the 1940 census seems to be unusually high. An Associated Press report indicated some (if not all) the indexing was done in China. Of the 31 Mokotoffs in the New York State census, four had their given names misspelled: Silly (Lilly), Fillie (Tillie), Wilton (Milton), Malcohn (Malcolm). One family was misspelled Mokstoff. This was in addition to two misspellings by the census takers: Garey (Gary), Makotoff (Mokotoff). Use the wildcard feature to hunt for families that cannot be found. One suggestion is that all vowels be replaced with the “?” wildcard character. I found the misspelled Mokotoffs by searching for M?k?t?ff.

All Mokotoff families were enumerated including my father’s first cousin, Max Mokotoff, who was residing at that time in Rikers Island Penitentiary. Max’s story appeared in the Fall 1987 issue of AVOTAYNU. Subscribers to “Back Issues of AVOTAYNU Online” can find it at on page 3 of Adds Images and Index of New York State 1892, 1915 ands 1925 Censuses has also announced that images and an index for the New York State censuses of 1892, 1915 and 1925 are now available online. It means researchers with New York State roots can now track families in five-year increments from 1910–1930. The 1892 census is a valuable substitute for the 1890 census which was destroyed in a fire. These censuses can be linked to from the home page.

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