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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 14, Number 6 | February 10, 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
BillionGraves Plus Membership Free in February is providing free Plus Membership in February to anyone who registers at the site. Access to their database is free, but Plus Membership provides additional services, namely:
   • selecting up to 30 search criteria and being automatically notified of any new records matching these criteria.
   • a virtual walkthrough a cemetery providing additional information by seeing who is buried where.
   • the ability to search and view all BillionGraves records directly from an iPhone/iPad/Android mobile device.

The normal cost of the service is $9.99 per year. Additional information is at The site now contains 2.5 million records.

MyHeritage Offering Numerous Discounts on FTDNA Tests
MyHeritage is offering a significant (about 42%) discount on Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder test for a limited, undisclosed time. The regular price is $289. The discounted price is $169. The offer is available across all of the company’s websites—, and

They are also discounting combination DNA tests that include the Family Finder and one of the other FTDNA tests—Y-DNA37 (extra $30 discount), mtDNAPlus (extra $10) and mtFullSequence (extra $80).

If you are a paid Premium or PremiumPlus subscriber there are discounts of 10% and 15% respectively on all of the DNA tests (other than Family Finder) for a limited period. Another discount is for people who become new PremiumPlus subscribers. They get a Y-DNA12 test worth $99 at no charge or a free mtDNA test (for women). Users can also purchase a MyHeritage Data subscription and receive the Y-DNA12 test free of charge.

More details and links to place an order for a discounted DNA test can be found on the MyHeritage blog: You can view all DNA offers at Offers Digitized and Indexed British Newspapers, in collaboration with the British Library, has digitized and indexed British newspapers including local and regional titles from England, Scotland and Wales from 1700 to 1950—nearly 200 titles, 65 million articles. Throughout the next 10 years, they expect to digitize approximately 8,000 new pages every day. Findmypast is a fee-for-service site which makes access to the newspaper images on a subscription basis or pay-as-you-go per item. Learn more about the collection at

FamilySearch Photo Duplication Service
For decades, or at least decades ago, when local Family History Centers did not have equipment to copy microfilm images, the Family History Library provided a service to make printed copies of microfilm images at no charge if you identified the film number and allowed them to quickly locate the record of interest on the film.

FamilySearch has now gone hi-tech and offers the service producing digitized images instead of printed copies. There are some restrictions.
   • First confirm the digital image is not already on If so, copy it yourself.
   • If your local Family History Center has the ability to make digital images, use that facility.

Complete instructions on how to use the service is at

MACEVA Provides Annual Report of Accomplishments
MACEVA, the organization that photographs and documents Jewish cemeteries in Lithuania, has provided its annual report of accomplishments at The list includes cemeteries visited and documented, photographs added to its database of tombstones and cemeteries, cemetery restoration projects and student educational programs. The site also provides a list of plans for 2013.

LitvakSIG, the Jewish Lithuanian Special Interest Group, is sponsoring the MACEVA team as guests and speakers at the Boston conference in August. The MACEVA home page is at

1905 Valuation Rolls for Scotland Now Online
The 1905 Valuation Rolls for Scotland are now online at the ScotlandsPeople website: The 1915 rolls were previously placed at the site. The rolls record the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property, unlike the full lists of family members to be found in the censuses. The named person is usually the head of the household, but sometimes a husband and wife can be listed. Frequently, the wife is the named tenant of rented property. There are more than 2.4 million indexed names and more than 74,000 digital images.

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
Recent additions to FamilySearch, both indexes and browseable images, can be found at They include records from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, and the United States and the U.S. States of California, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

Note that at the website announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. Also note that counts shown are the number added, not the total number available in the collection.

Richard III Mania Affects “Who Do You Think You Are?” Conference
All the publicity about finding the remains of England’s King Richard III has affected the “Who Do You Think You Are?” conference to be held in London from February 22–24. Dr Turi King, research fellow and project manager at the University of Leicester, has been invited to lecture on the project undertaken at the university to discover the burial place of Richard III and the related work to scientifically identify the skeletal remains.

It is estimated that more than 15,000 people will attend the annual event. There are lectures, workshops and an exhibit hall where more than 150 vendors will present their goods and services. The conference website is 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

Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
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