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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 14, Number 23 | June 9, 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
1921 Canadian Census To Be Released in Next Few Weeks
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has announced that the 1921 census of Canada will be release “in the next few weeks.” The data was unavailable to the public for 92 years because of Canadian privacy laws. LAC indicated that the census data is being indexed so it can be mined for historical and genealogical research. It did not indicate whether the index would be available at the same time as the census data.

Taken on June 1, 1921, the census contains a wealth of information on nearly 8.8 million individuals. Information for the census was collected on the following five subjects: population; agriculture; animals, animal products, fruits not on farms; manufacturing and trading establishments; and supplemental questionnaire for persons who were blind and deaf. This represents a total of 565 questions. The population questionnaire contained only 35 questions.

Further details on the 1921 Census’ availability will be shared once they are available. The announcement is at Prior censuses are available online at

Red Star Line Museum To Open in September
A Red Star Line Museum will open on September 27 in Antwerp, Belgium. It will be housed in three buildings in Antwerp harbor that originally served the ship line. In the museum, a timeline of human migration is illustrated with 20 personal stories of passengers who traveled on the Red Star Line.

Antwerp was a particularly popular port of emigration for Jews from Central and Eastern Europe. These people constituted a sizeable proportion of the Red Star Line’s passengers. The shipping company recruited its customers from deep within Eastern Europe. It conducted a vigorous advertising campaign and used an extensive network of agents. To take one statistic: of the 2.8 million people to leave czarist Russia for the United States between 1899 and 1914, 40% were Jewish. These people came largely from Lithuania, White Russia (Belarus), Ukraine, Bessarabia (Moldova) and Poland. In addition, there were also many Austrian-Hungarian Jews. In many cases, these were people of very limited means who were assisted by several Jewish relief organizations in Antwerp. The majority of these migrants came by train through Germany with a minority reaching Antwerp by boat. A further description can be found at

At present, the purpose of the museum is to display the immigrant experience. There is no mention of research facilities or record collections. The museum’s website is at

Joint Distribution Committee Has Oral Histories
The May 26 edition of Nu? What’s New? stated that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum had a list of organizations who have taken Holocaust-related oral testimonies. Julia Lipkins of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee notes that their archives oral history collection includes eyewitness accounts of more than 100 JDC staff and lay leaders. Lipkins stated that these first-hand accounts, unavailable from other repositories, offer an exceptionally thorough retelling of JDC’s global activities over several decades. The collection contains interviews with JDC staff who served in displaced persons camps after World War II; in administrative posts in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia; and as consultants to the United States government during and after WWII. Those interested in conducting research on these collections should contact the JDC archives at

Queensland (Australia) Vital Records Now Online
Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter reports that the Australian state of Queensland now has online an index for births (1829–1914), deaths (1829–1983) and marriages (1829–1938). For a fee, you can download an image of the original register, if available. You also can order printed copies to be sent to you by post. Information is available at There are tips on how to use the search at

My experience in trying to use the site was strange. Clicking the “Search” link initially brought me to some page; in not more than two seconds, it automatically switched to another page that did not permit searching. I attempted to access the home page,, and received an ominous warning, “It is a criminal offense to obtain access to data without authority or to damage, delete, alter or insert data without authority. Unauthorised use of Department computer resources, including access to inappropriate or offensive material through the Internet and Email can result in disciplinary action. By logging into this system you are acknowledging these terms and conditions.” It asked for a username and password but had no provisions for registering. There was also a message that “System maintenance is due to be carried out on Sunday 9th June 2013, this may effect online applications and online payments.” This may have been the cause of the difficulties.

Steve Morse and Associates Already Planning for the 1950 U.S. Census
It took Steve Morse and Joel Weintraub more than seven years and 125 volunteers to develop the locational tools at the Morse One-Step site in time for the opening of the 1940 census. Now they are looking toward the opening of the 1950 census in 2022 and want people to assist them in creating comparable tools. Called "Project 1950" it will include searchable Enumeration District definitions and street indexes for the 1950 census. Phase I will consist of transcription of Enumeration District definitions, and Phase II will create urban area street indexes. If you want to participate in the project, read what needs to be done at The 1940 finding aids were very valuable because, for example, it permitted searching for people by street address rather than name.

National Library Invites Genealogists To Discuss Family History Research
Israel Pikholtz reports that the National Library on the Giv'at Ram campus of Hebrew University has invited several genealogists, Pikholtz included, to make presentations to the Library staff explaining what genealogists do and what resources they use. Following the presentations, the Library will show the genealogists some of the lesser-known resources that they can offer family history research. Reaches Four Million Records
In existence for only two years, the website claims it now has four million images of tombstones in its database. It includes a number of Jewish tombstones. There are currently 2,920 graves of persons named Levy, some outside the United States.

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

Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2013, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved

To change an e-mail address, send a request to

To subscribe to AVOTAYNU, The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, go to

To order books from our catalog, go to

To contact us by postal mail, write: Avotaynu, Inc.; 155 N. Washington Ave.; Bergenfield, NJ 07621

Telephone  (U.S.) : 201-387-7200