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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 13, Number 51 | December 23, 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.

Past issues of Nu? What's New? are archived at
Merry Christmas to Our Christian Readers

Lots of little stuff.

U.S. Government's National Strategy For Information Sharing a Threat to Genealogists?
Dick Eastman, in one of his regular daily columns of the Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, expresses concern about the U.S. government’s tendency to make fewer and fewer records available to the public. In his column he states: “Indeed, protecting privacy of individuals and protecting information that would help our enemies create damage are two very important goals. However, simply locking up information typically does not achieve either of those goals. Instead, such knee-jerk reactions usually only place impediments in the path of those who have legitimate needs for the information.”

You can read his entire comment at

Boston Conference Call for Papers Ends January 6
If you are interested in submitted a proposal to lecture at the 33rd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, the deadline is January 6. The conference will be held in Boston August 4–9, 2013.

Information about submitting a proposal is at It describes suggested topics and the exact process for making a submission. Proposals are accepted online at The conference website,, has a procedure for signing up for their Discussion List at; and registration costs and deadlines at Browse the entire site to get a flavor for what information is already there and what is planned. More than 1,000 genealogists from 30+ countries are expected to attend this annual event.

Lithuanian Directories Now Searchable
Logan Kleinwaks has added a number of Lithuanian directories to his list of full-text searchable directories at Results link to the actual directories which are part of the Lithuanian Virtual Electronic Heritage System at Directories are:
   • Kovno Guberniya Commemorative Books for 1899, 1902, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1914, 1915 + two addenda for the 1871 edition
   • Kaunas (City) Address Directories for 1930, 1932 and 1933
   • Kaunas (City) Medical Directories for 1928 and 1929
   • 1941 Lithuanian SSR Nationalized Businesses
   • 130 Lithuanian Primary School Teachers Directory

Kleinwaks states that the Kovno guberniya directories are written in Russian. In addition to searching in Cyrillic, you can enter a Latin script search term if you use an automatic transliteration option ("Add Latin -> Cyrillic," which is the default.)

Website Links to U.S. Census Data Sites
IAJGS Vice President Jan Meisels Allen notes there is a website that links to information about each of the U.S. censuses 1790–1940. It is located at It is a PDF file. Perhaps I did not have proper settings, but I could not link to any of the named sites using either Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers. It did work with Google Chrome. Alternately, if you save the file, it functions properly with Adobe Acrobat, but not Acrobat Reader. The site was developed by Michael Hait.

Reminder: FamilyTreeDNA Discounts Until End of Year
FamilyTreeDNA latest discount offer will end after December 31. Its entire product line is discounted, both new kits and upgrades. Typical are new kit costs:
    Y-DNA 37 $169 $119
    Y-DNA 67 $268 $199
    mtDNAPlus $159 $139
    Family Finder $289 $199

In the past I have taken advantage of these discount offers having no immediate need for a kit, but used them many months later. Visit their site at to order new kits or upgrades.

Looking for Academics Interested in Jewish Genealogy
Sallyann Sack, AVOTAYNU editor and chair of the board of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, is looking to develop a list of academics who are interested in Jewish genealogy. Write to her at The purpose is to develop a dialogue on how to facilitate the teaching of Jewish genealogy at the university level.

Scottish Census Records 1841
1901 Now Online
Genes Reunited has published 60 years of Scottish census records ranging from 1841–1901. They are available at and are available to paid subscribers or on a pay per view basis. Due to the General Register Office for Scotland’s licensing regulations the Scottish census records on Genes Reunited are the transcription records.

More Viennese Cemetery Records Online
The Austrian genealogy site,, has added 29,000 burials at the Währing Jewish cemetery in Vienna 1784
1879. Information may include name, maiden name of women, their husband’s name, marital status, city and country of origin, profession, age, date of death, date of interment, information of the parents, place of death and address. The site now has 7.4 million records in their index.

Museum of Sub-Carpathia Jewish History Planned
A posting to the Sub-Carpathia SIG Discussion Group notes a Museum of Sub-Carpathia Jewish History will be created in Berehove, Ukraine. It will include religious items found in former synagogues and prayer houses in the towns and villages.

Virtual Shtetl Has a New Owner
The Jewish Historical Institute in Poland has transferred ownership of the Virtual Shtetl website and all its associated rights to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Virtual Shtetl is located 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 (one-time charge).

 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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