Gary Mokotoff, EditorVolume 14, Number 11 | March 17, 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 http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm
FamilySearch Milestone: One Billion Records Indexed
In the past I have emphasized the importance of those involved in Jewish genealogy volunteering their time to index JewishGen databases. It is only when we team up to help each other do we achieve mutual success.
The Mokotow ancestral home is Warka, Poland. I never found the death record of my great-great-great-grandfather, the man who took the name Mokotow in about 1806, until a Jewish Records Indexing – Poland volunteer indexed the death records of Warsaw. My ancestor may have been in Warsaw in 1842 when he contracted his fatal illness. I never found the birth record of his grandson, my great-grandfather, until a JRI-Poland volunteer indexed the birth records of Kielce, Poland.
I, in turn, once volunteered to index the World War II draft board records of New York City, which had little value to my research. Recently I volunteered to help index a German database. I have no German ancestors.
FamilySearch recently announced that shortly they expect to have indexed their one billionth record since they started their volunteer-based indexing project seven years ago. In 2012 alone, more than 263 million records were indexed. What is amazing is that the FamilySearch indexing process involves double-entering all data. This means those 263 million records were actually indexed twice, and many were reviewed by a third person known as an arbitrator if the first two entries disagreed. We have all benefitted from this method with the 1940 U.S. census at FamilySearch being the most accurate index to this census on the Internet.
Volunteer for the indexing projects of JewishGen and their hosted organizations such as JRI-Poland and Litvak SIG.
Korean War Casualties Now On Fold3
Records of U.S. Army officers and soldiers killed or wounded in the Korean War are now available on Fold3 at http://www.fold3.com/title_838/korean_war_casualties/?xid=1583. Access is available at no charge. Also included are those who died while prisoners of war or were missing in action. The period covered is from the earliest casualty (February 13, 1950) to the latest date in the date of disposition field, (December 31, 1953).
Information on each casualty may include: name, service prefix and number, grade, Army branch, place and date of casualty, state and county of residence, type of casualty, detail/previous casualty type, casualty group, place and date of disposition, year of birth (for deceased casualties only), military occupational specialty, organization troop program sequence number, element sequence, unit number, race, component, and disposition of evacuations.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as a Resource
Researchers looking for documentation of persons who immigrated to the United States should browse the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at http://tinyurl.com/USCISGenealogyRecords. Provided is a description of the record types in their collection which can be ordered from USCIS. They include:
• Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files), September 27, 1906 to March 31, 1956
• Alien Registration Forms (Form AR-2), August 1940 to March 1944
• Visa Files, July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
• Registry Files, March 1929 to March 31, 1944
• A-Files, April 1, 1944 to May 1, 1951
The cost is a minimum of $40; $20 for the initial search to determine what files exist for the immigrant, and then at least $20 for copies of the records. Both a search request and order of copies can be done online at the site. If the immigrant's date of birth is less than 100 years prior to the date of the request, you must provide documentary evidence showing the immigrant is deceased. An example of acceptable documentary proof of death includes: death certificates (can be uncertified copy), printed obituaries, funeral programs or photographs of gravestones, Bible records, Social Security Death Index entry or records relating to payment of death benefits.
German Communities Database Now Has 10,500 Records
Thanks to the efforts of Ger-Sig volunteers around the world, the German communities database project now has 10,500 names available at http://www.stevemorse.org/germanjews/germanjews.html.
In the 1960s, the International Tracing Service attempted to create an unofficial census of Jews who were living in Germany in 1933. ITS wrote to all West German communities asking them to list all Jews (as defined by the Nuernberg Laws) resident in the community in 1933, and to the extent known, what happened to them, i.e. deported, emigrated, moved, etc. Several hundred replies were received, alphabetically ranging from Aachen to Zweibruecken (Berlin was not included), but these have never been made public.
The project is working alphabetically by town name. Towns beginning with the letters A-G are now online. Users can search the database for persons who were born elsewhere in Germany, or even outside the country, but who resided in what became West Germany. The website is constantly updated as information is extracted from the documents.
Index to 1911 Canadian Census. Library and Archives Canada has indexed the 1911 Canadian census. Previously only images were available. The index can be searched at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1911/Pages/1911.aspx. Search parameters can include given name, surname, age and province. It allows wildcard searches. Ancestry.com, a fee-for service site, also has an index to the 1911 census.
IGRA Site Now Has 100 Databases. The Israel Genealogy Research Association website at http://genealogy.org.il now has 100 databases. Visit the site from time to time to see if they have indexed records of your Israeli and pre-statehood relatives.
21 Million New Irish Records Online. Findmypast.com has added 21 million new Irish birth/marriage/death records online dating from the 1800s to the 1950s. They are located at http://tinyurl.com/IrishBMDRecs.
Historic Newspapers of Wales Online. The National Library of Wales has placed online on digital images from its historic newspaper collection. Called “Welsh Newspapers Online,” it currently provides access to more than 250,000 pages from 24 newspaper publications up to 1910 and will grow to over 1 million pages as more publications are added during 2013. The search engine allows selective searching by family notices, news, advertisements or detailed lists. When a page image is displayed, the search terms are highlighted. It is located at http://papuraunewyddcymru.llgc.org.uk/en/home?.
FamilySearch Additions for the Week
Recent additions to FamilySearch, both indexes and browseable images, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/FSAddsForWeek. They include records from Australia, Austria, China, Dominican Republic, England, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and the U.S. States of Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Notable is an additional 106,000 indexes for New Zealand Immigration Passenger Lists (1855–1973) and additional Delaware Deaths (1855–1961) both index and browseable records.
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.
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