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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 13, Number 25 | June 10, 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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“The Wrecking of Canada’s Library and Archives”
In economic hard times, some of the first departments to be eviscerated are the government’s libraries and archives. Canada is no exception according to Myron Groover in an opinion piece located at Titled “The Wrecking of Canada’s Library and Archives,” Groover identifies 13 ways the library and archives system of Canada has been affected by today’s economic times including cuts in hours and services, reduction of staff, moratorium on purchases, elimination of interlibrary loans and others. Thanks to Dick Eastman’s Online Newsletter
for pointing out the article.

1940 Census Update: 18 States Now Indexed and Searchable
FamilySearch now has 18 U.S. states completely indexed and searchable at The states are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming. The least indexed states are New Jersey (17%) and North Carolina (18%).

FamilySearch notes that more than 125,000 volunteers have indexed in excess of 75 million records. The collection is also available online at no charge at,,, and through public libraries. The complete announcement can be found at

The FamilySearch server seemed to be acting slower this past weekend, possibly due to increased activity of people viewing the census.

Functionality on’s 1940 Census Pages has developed an excellent image viewer for displaying and manipulating the data of the 1940 census. It is also optionally available for the 1930 census.

Once you locate a person of interest and display the census page, the line on which the person appears is highlighted in yellow and all other household members are highlighted in green. This eliminates the need to scan down the page looking for the person of interest.

Zooming in/out in most systems consists of a plus (+) or minus (-) button that enlarges/reduces the image one unit per click. With the 1940 census, use the wheel on the mouse to perform the zoom function. It is quicker.

Once the image is enlarged beyond the point where the entire page can be seen on the screen, there is no need to use the horizontal and vertical slides to maneuver the document. Instead hold down the left click button of the mouse and drag the image across the screen.

When the image is enlarged beyond the point where it is totally viewable on the screen, if the names of the people are not viewable, the system displays along the left side of the screen all the names. This display enlarges/reduces in synchronization with the zoom function. This is a great feature when trying to read all the information across the lengthy census page.

Similarly, when the column headings disappear because of zooming in, the system drops down a heading line to show what each column represents. This often is unnecessary because of another great feature. If you hover the mouse pointer over many of the cells in a person’s record, a balloon opens giving the meaning of the contents of the cell. In the case of the age field, it not only indicates the person’s age, but also calculates an estimated birth year.

If you don’t like any/all of the above and prefer the old fashion way, click the Actions button in the upper right corner of the screen and turn off all/any of the features in the Options section.

Overall, the design was very well thought out, giving strong consideration as to how people would use the census data. If you plan to use the 1940 census extensively, first learn all these handy features to improve your ability to quickly go through the census.

IGRA Adds Nine Databases to Site
The Israel Genealogy Research Association has added nine databases to its collection searched at They are:
   • List of Students & Staff of Gymnasia Haivrit, Yaffo 1908–09
   • First National Conference of Edot Hamizrah in Eretz Israel – Protocol 1925
   • Voters’ List for Haifa 1928
   • Voters’ List for Municipal Council Petah Tikva 1930
   • Voters’ List for Municipal Council Petah Tikva 1932
   • Members of the Teachers’ Council (Histadrut) 1939
   • Hebrew Soldiers of the Yishuv who fell and perished in World War II 1940–1945
   • Safed Burials 1433–2003
   • Safed – collection of various documents 1912–47

Czech Vital Records Online
The first batch of “Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Jewish Communities in the Czech Lands” has been digitized and is available at Navigating through the website is complex and made more difficult because the site is in Czech only. A posting to JewishGen gives explicit instructions on how to retrieve information from the site. It is located at It might be of some benefit to use Google Chrome as the browser, because it automatically translates the Czech-language pages to your native tongue. An English-language description of the collection can be found at

Bessarabia Business Directory
The Bessarabia Special Interest Group has finished extracting the 1924–25 Business Directory for Bessarabia. The database comprises 13,056 records for 705 localities in separate files for each of the nine judete (counties) of the time, and one for Chisinau, the capital city. The files are posted at The files are in Excel format and include the owner’s name, nature of business, address and town of business.

Other databases at the SIG site are:
   • 128,000 voters in the Duma voters list of 1906–07
   • 1,500 Jewish businesses in Bessarabia, from the Vsia Rossiia 1895 Russian business directory.
   • 281 Jewish religious personnel in Bessarabia gubernia (province) 1853–54.
   • More than 144,000 Jewish birth, marriage, divorce and death records for Bessarabia, primarily for Kishinev (now Chisinau, Moldova)
   • More than 36,000 records from revizskaya skazka (revision list—a form of census) for 43 towns including: Beltsy (Balti), Orgeev (Orhei), Akkerman (Cetatea Alba), Teleneshty (Telenesti), Alexandreny, Romanenko and others.

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