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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 13, Number 37 | September 9, 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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FamilySearch Digitizes 40,000 Family History Related Publications
FamilySearch has placed online more than 40,000 digitized genealogy and family history publications from seven libraries with large genealogy collections. The title of the project is “Family History Books” and can be found at The site includes a full-word search engine of the contents of the publications.

The collection includes family histories, county and local histories, genealogy magazines and how-to books, gazetteers, and medieval histories and pedigrees. Searching for “Rzeszow,” a town in southern Poland produced 11 results. Samples are:
   • Surname Index, Polish Genealogical Society of Texas
   • The Gwozdz Family Tree, Gwozdz, Peter
   • The Grad Family Newsletter: A Family Tree with Biographical Notations, No. 34, Grad, Irving; Grad, Dorothy
   • A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Poland, by Susan Fifer published by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain

Participating institutions are Allen County Public Library, Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University Hawaii Joseph F. Smith Library, Church History Library, Family History Library, Houston Public Library - Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research and Mid-Continent Public Library - Midwest Genealogy Center.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars
Legacy Family Tree is presenting a series of webinars, many of which are on general topics. Examples are:
   • What is a 'Reasonably Exhaustive Search'?
   • Use Your Digital Camera to Copy Records
   • Ten Brick Wall Tips for Intermediate Researchers

If you cannot attend a webinar live, it is available at their site for at least 10 days after presentation. An example is “Beyond the Arrival Date: Extracting More from Passenger Lists” which was aired on September 5 and will be online until September 17. I listened to most of this lecture and despite my more than 30 years experience in genealogy I picked up a few pointers.

Information about the webinars is at

FamilySearch Adds New Hungarian/Slovakian Records
FamilySearch has added more than 5.6 million images of Hungarian civil registrations from 1895–1980. There currently is no index. They include births 1895–1920, marriages 1895–1950, and deaths 1895–1980 reported to and recorded by civil registrars. The database is at

Also recently added are more than 7.6 million Slovakia Church and Synagogue Books from 1592-1910. Note: The records group description states 7.6 million records; the search page states 2 million records. The database is at

"Yizkor Books In Print" Plans to Publish Additional Books
A JewishGen project that rarely gets publicity is the "Yizkor Book In Print" whose purpose is to translate into English and then publish yizkor (Holocaust memorial) books. Yizkor books were written almost exclusively in Hebrew and Yiddish by Holocaust survivors of various towns. The books are usually hundreds of pages and, therefore, translation is time consuming.

The project has just announced eight new publications. They are for the towns of
Bacau, Romania; Ciechanów, Poland; Dzialoszyce, Poland; Horodenka, Ukraine; Iasi, Romania; Navahrudak, Belarus; Ostrow Mazowiecka, Poland; and Podu Iloaiei, Romania.

Previously published towns are Brzezin, Poland; Czestochowa, Poland; Orhei, Moldova; Ruzhany, Belarus; and Zgierz, Poland. Four additional books are not town books: Preserving Our Litvak Heritage – Volume I (A history of 31 Jewish communities in Lithuania); Volume II (A history of 21 additional Jewish communities in Lithuania); Flight to Survival (A companion to Czestochowa yizkor book); and a final one about the Belzec extermination camp.

These books can be purchased through the project or on Visit the project’s site at for further information.

Maceva Issues Quarterly Report
Maceva, the organization that is inventorying and restoring Jewish cemeteries in Lithuania, issued a quarterly report of recent activities. These include translation of gravestones in the Dieveniskes, Pabrade and Utena Jewish cemeteries. The restoration of the Utena cemetery is being done mostly by local students. Their database at has been updated to include translations of gravestones from Dieveniskes, Maisiagala, Sveksna and Silute. Translations for the Akmene cemetery will be online soon. The complete report is at

Vienna City Directories Online
A posting to JewishGen notes that city directories for Vienna, Austria
1859–1942 are online at First click on the decade of interest, then the year, then the volume (Band) that contains “Namenverzeichnis” (name directory), then the letter of the alphabet and finally range of names.

List of Sousa Mendes Visa Recipients Online
A list of about 2,500 people who received visas in the spring of 1940 from Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese consul stationed in Bordeaux, France, has been posted to the Sousa Mendes Foundation site at The data includes the ages of the individuals and sometimes a photo. The indexing project is a work in progress so persons should contact the foundation with any corrections or additions. Information about Sousa Mendes can be found at

Do You Own Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy?
Do you own Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy? The Guide is a 624-page book that is the definitive guide to Jewish genealogical research. It is written by more than 60 authors, all experts in their own field. The list of authors is a veritable “Who's Who in Jewish Genealogy.”

Its more than 100 chapters cover all important aspects of the rich body of information available to do Jewish genealogical research. Each chapter in “Researching by Country of Ancestry”—there are more than 50 such chapters— typically has: (1) history of the Jewish presence in the country, (2) records that are available, (3) how to access records, (4) address of repositories and other institutions, (5) bibliography, and (6) Internet addresses. The book is of immense value to both the novice and the experienced researcher. The reviewer for the American Library Association stated the Guide is “...a beginning and advanced guide for anyone seriously researching Jewish family heritage.”

Ordering information, the Table of Contents and a sample chapter can be found at

Avotaynu Anthology of Jewish Genealogy
 All back issues of our journal AVOTAYNU from 1985–2011

    • 27 years   • 105 issues   2,900 articles  • 7,000 pages, 
 Google Custom Search engine
 Download or print articles

 Cost is $35.

 Additional information at

Number of articles in Anthology by topic:

Algeria 8
Argentina 21
Australia 36
Austria 17
Austro-Hungary 7**
Belarus* 26
Belgium 24
Bermuda 1
Book Reviews 289
Brazil 25
Bulgaria 5
Burma 1
Canada 94
Caribbean 9
Cuba 3

China 10

Computers 21
Conferences 52
Costa Rica 1
Croatia 3
Cyprus 1
Czech Republic 33
Denmark 2
DNA 25
East Europe– Gen’l
Egypt 11
England 125
Estonia* 5
Europe-General 25
Finland 1

France 102
Galicia 20
General 233
Germany 173
Gibraltar 1
Greece 12
Holland 83
Holocaust 177
Hungary 46
India 6
Iraq 3
Iran 5
Ireland 2
Israel 125
Italy 14 
Latvia* 26

LDS 29
Libya 1
Lithuania* 71
Methodology 84
Moldova* 5
Morocco 18
New Zealand 13
North Africa 2
Poland 118
Portugal 21
Rabbinic 57
Romania 33
Russia 46** 
Scotland 27
Sephardic 42
Serbia 2

Slovakia 1
South Africa 22
South America 1
Spain 13
Sudan 1
Sweden 5
Switzerland 27
Syria 3
Tunisia 3
Turkey 22
Ukraine* 57
United States   227
USSR 92**
Venezuela 1
Zimbabwe 1

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