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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 14, Number 2 | January 13, 2013

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
Theresienstadt Site Has List of Victims and Documents
A site that lists Holocaust victims who were at Theresienstadt Camp now has photos and documents of many of these people. It is located at The home page has two pathways: “Database of Digitised Documents” and “Database of Victims.” Initial information displayed in the Database of Victims includes name, date of birth and place/year of death. Clicking on the person’s name provided additional information: deportation date/place, exact date of death and place (usually Terezin or Auschwitz). If there are documents in the Database of Digitised Documents, they are shown as thumbnails. The death certificate of one person on my family tree who died in Theresienstadt showed his place of birth (Warsaw) and place of residence Frankfurt/Main).

The search engine will locate an exact match or “starts with” the letters provided.

Important. The site seems to be unstable. Often I would get a message “We're sorry, but something went wrong. We've been notified about this issue and we'll take a look at it shortly.” Retrying access to the site made the problem go away. Allows 1940 Census Search on Variety of Fields has made searchable a number of data fields in the 1940 census. In addition to the commonplace name, birth year, location, name of another family member, relation to head of household and marital status, they have added street, occupation, industry, house owned or rented, highest grade completed, gender, race/nationality, father’s birthplace and mother’s birthplace. These additional search parameters can be useful when a person cannot be found by searching for name which may have been recorded wrong by the census taker or extracted incorrectly when creating the index.

Possibly the most valuable additional search feature is street. Often the researcher knows where the person lived in 1940. Unfortunately “street” represents only the street name, not the exact address. Someone living at 145 Hester Street produces 1,415 results, because the only parameter that can be used is “Hester” not the specific street address. This large set of results can be reduced by adding a given name to the search request. Adding “Jacob” to “Hester” reduced the results to only six. Be cautious with given names. A name like Abraham may have been recorded as Abe, Abram or Abraham. Try to use a given name that has few, if any, variants.

MyHeritage Now Allows Tree Updates from Mobile Devices
In this day of apps and a paperless society, it is no longer necessary to bring a notepad and pen to the next family reunion to collect additional information about the family. MyHeritage now has an app which allows you to update your family tree from your Apple device or Android. Just place your family tree on and download their mobile app to your iPad, iPhone or Android smartphone/tablet. This will give you access to the online family tree. You can then edit your tree, including adding relatives and photos and editing profiles, information and events.

The app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store or through Google Play. Additional information can be found at

Sign Up to Create a Birds-of-a-Feather Meeting at Boston Conference
For the 1988 conference on Jewish genealogy, which was run by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington, JGSGW member Suzan Wynne suggested to conference planner Sallyann Amdur Sack that there ought to be the facility for people with common interests to create impromptu get-togethers. Sack mentioned the idea to me, and I responded “Oh, you mean Birds-of-a-Feather meetings. We have those at our computer software conferences.”

That year BOF meetings were created by reserving one room at the conference and placing a sign-up sheet on a bulletin board where persons could reserve an hour of time to hold their meetings. An entry might say, “Lublin-area researchers,” “Sephardic research,” or “genealogy software.”

Today Birds-of-a-Feather meetings are created more formally. The Boston conference planners have recently announced that people wanting a BOF meeting should submit an application using a form located at (PDF version) or (editable RTF version). Scheduling requests will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The 33rd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held in Boston from August 4–9, 2013. Additional information is at the conference site:

New From Library and Archives Canada
Within the next few weeks, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will begin to deploy a series of 15 databases on Canadian census returns. This will be the only website where free online nominal indexes can be accessed for census returns from 1825 to 1916, comprising more than 32 million records. LAC will be offering:
  • new databases such as those for census returns from 1851 and 1861
  • nominal indexes (instead of geographical indexes) for census returns from 1901, 1906, 1911 and 1916
  • revamped and updated versions of the indexes for census returns from 1871, 1881 and 1891

Library and Archives Canada also announced the release of a new version of the Census of the Northwest Provinces, 1906 database. In 1906, the Canadian government called for a special census of the Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, and the two newly created provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta) in order to track the high rates of population growth in Western Canada. Previously, users could search only by geographical information such as province, district and sub-district. It is now possible to also search by nominal information such as name, given name(s) and age for an individual. The new Census of the Northwest Provinces, 1906 database is available at

“How to Create KehilaLinks Webpages” class to begin February 1
Have you ever considered creating a website for your ancestral town(s)? JewishGen is offering a class, “How to Create KehilaLinks Webpages,” that starts on February 1. The Jewish community (kehila) of more than 1,000 towns has already been documented with web pages. You can find a list at

The course lasts six weeks and will train you on how to use a free, downloadable, simple-to-use web page editor that runs on both PCs and Macs. Course description and how to enroll are described in detail on the JewishGen Education page at

20th Anniversary U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. April 26 will mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to the public. To mark the occasion, the USHMM is planning commemorations in Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Additional information can be found at

Auschwitz Attracts Record Number of Visitors. A record 1.43 million people visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2012. The largest group of visitors by nationality was from Poland: 446,000 visitors. Visitors from other countries included UK (149,000), United States (97,000), Italy (84,000), Germany (74,000) and Israel (68,000).

Additional information 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 
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 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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