Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 13, Number 32 | August 5, 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.
It’s Ancestry.com by a Nose in Race to Complete Indexing of 1940 Census
Ancestry.com is the first website to finish the indexing process for the 1940 U.S. census, some 134 million records for the then 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii and the District of Columbia. The index is accessible at http://www.ancestry.com/1940census. FamilySearch is virtually done. Only New Jersey and Tennessee are not at their website. MyHeritage.com appears to have dropped out of the race. They have only fully indexed Rhode Island, and not all index entries are linked to the actual documents.
Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census
The New York Times has published online a map of the latest (2010) U.S. census which gives statistics about population shifts down to the town level. It is located at http://tinyurl.com/NYT2010CensusMap. For each geographical entity it shows the percentage population share of Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Multiracial and Other. The percentage change from the 2000 census is included. These statistics can be displayed at the postal code level (actually census tract), county or state.
FamilySearch Next Big Initiative: U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Records
With the 1940 Census project nearing completion and its tremendous success in acquiring tens of thousands of volunteers, FamilySearch does not wasnt to lose the momentum and has announced that its next big genealogy initiative is the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Community Project. Most of the record sets in the immigration and naturalization project involve passenger lists and naturalization records.
The new project contains a substantially larger number of records than the 1940 U.S. Census does, so FamilySearch representatives expect it will take more time and additional volunteers.
FamilySearch has already identified six record collections for the project now available for indexing. They are:
• California, Northern—Naturalization Index, 1860–1989
• Card Index to Passenger Lists at Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, 1820–1874
• Louisiana—New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1903–1945
• Massachusetts, Boston—Passenger Lists, 1820–1891
• New York—Passenger Lists, 1875–1891
• Pennsylvania, Philadelphia—Passenger Lists, 1800–1882
Additional information about this project can be found at https://familysearch.org/us-immigration-naturalization
Gesher Galicia Creates Map Room
Gesher Galicia, the Special Interest Group for researchers with Galician ancestry, has created a map room that primarily includes cadastral maps of 24 cities in Galicia but also includes maps of the area as early as 1799. It is located at http://maps.GesherGalicia.org.
A cadastral map is a map that shows the boundaries and ownership of land parcels. Cities displayed—with more planned—are Belz, Bohorodczany, Brody, Bukaczowce, Chodorow, Dobromil, Grzymalow, Korolowka, Kazimierz, Krakow, Lancut, Lwow (Lviv, Lemberg), Nienadowa, Podhajce, Polupanowka, Przemysl, Rohatyn, Romanowe Siolo, Ropczyce, Skala, Usciedzko, Nowy Wisnicz, Zborow, and Zurawno.
Specialty maps include a detailed 1799 map of the third partition of Poland, 1941 map of the Lwow Jewish ghetto, and Cram's Railway System Atlas map of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy from 1901.
Memory Books of Soldiers from Ukraine During WWII
A posting to JewishGen notes a Russian-language site that identifies more than 700,000 soldiers, guerrillas, partisans and underground members from Ukraine who fought and died in World War II. It is located at http://www.memory-book.com.ua/people/search. A typical entry shows the person’s name, year of birth, town of residence (sometimes street address), rank and branch of service, and circumstances of death.
IGRA Search Engine Now Allows Hebrew or Latin Letters
The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) search engine for its All Israel Database can now search names using Hebrew or Latin letters. At present, the search engine supports only exact spelling. Results show the person’s name in both Hebrew and English. The rest of the information is in the language of the database. Plans call for having the option to provide the document that created the index entry.
If possible, search using the correct Hebrew spelling of a surname to retrieve records that were originally in Hebrew. Hebrew documents are transliterated into the Latin alphabet according to a scheme developed by IGRA. Searching for Mokotowski produced no results because the Hebrew document was transliterated into Mukotovsky. This problem will be greatly alleviated if a soundex/phonetic search is added at some time in the future.
The search engine, which now has more than 40,000 entries, is located at http://genealogy.org.il/aidsearch/. A list of databases included can be found at http://genealogy.org.il/databases/.
UK Government to Release Records 10 Years Earlier
The British government will move towards releasing records when they are 20 years old, instead of 30, starting in 2013. This will make thousands of historical records public 10 years earlier than previously possible. It does not affect vital records. From 2013, two years' worth of government records will be transferred to the National Archives over a ten-year transition period until a new 20-year rule is reached in 2023. After this point, government will revert to transferring a single year's worth of 20 year old records to The National Archives each year. Additional information can be found at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/739.htm.
Forces War Records Site
Forces War Records, located at http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk, is a fee-for-service site that states it has military records of more than 4 million British Armed Forces personnel from the Boer War, Crimean War, WWI and WWII. The cost for a one-month subscription is £8.50. The database includes some civilian war dead from WWII. A distant cousin of mine who was killed in a London bombing raid is included, yet selecting names from Commonwealth War Graves Commission site at http://www.cwgc.org, others are not included.
Morse Site Now Includes 1915 and 1925 New York Census Portal
The 1905 New York State Census portal at the Stephen P. Morse site has been extended to include the 1915 and 1925 censuses. A person’s given or last name can be searched exactly, starts with, contains, ends with or is close to. Results can be limited to a range of birth years, city or borough. The search engine is at http://www.stevemorse.org/nyc/1905search.html.
JewishGen Offers Class in New York City Research
Many Jewish Americans have their earliest New World roots in New York City. Many Jews throughout the world have relatives that came to the U.S. through the Port of New York (Ellis Island) and stayed in New York City for (at least) some period of time. JewishGen is now offering an online course on what they call the “more esoteric” documents generated in New York such as naturalization, probate, landsmanshaftn, voters registration, newspapers and court records. This is an intermediate level genealogy class with seven text lessons that are downloaded. There are no specific times for the class; it is a post and response format.
Tuition is $100. Class begins August 15. Registration at http://www.jewishgen.org/education/ will close when the class is full.
Last Chance to Sign Up for Salt Lake City Research Trip
If you failed to have your genealogical "fix" for the year because you did not attend the very successful International Conference on Jewish Genealogy held recently in Paris, consider spending a week doing research in Salt Lake City in October. For the past 20 years, veteran professional genealogist Eileen Polakoff and I take a group of Jewish genealogists to Salt Lake City. This year's dates are October 18–25. Experience levels range from absolute beginners to advanced researchers all of whom take advantage of Eileen and my expertise in record searching, the 2.5 million microfilm reels of records at the Family History Library, and online access to certain fee-for-service websites. Additional information can be found at http://www.avotaynu.com/slctrip.htm.
Erratum: Mix-up in “Ch”s
In the last issue of Nu? What’s New?, Czernowitz was erroneous equated with modern-day Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. It actually is today’s Chernovtsi, Ukraine.
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