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 http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm
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 http://tinyurl.com/CaCe1921. Prior censuses are available online at http://tinyurl.com/AllCaCe.
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 http://tinyurl.com/RedStarJewish.
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 http://www.redstarline.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 https://www.bdm.qld.gov.au/IndexSearch/BirIndexQry.m. There are tips on how to use the search at https://www.bdm.qld.gov.au/IndexSearch/mainMenuSubmit.m?main_menu=Tips.
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, https://www.bdm.qld.gov.au/, 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 http://www.stevemorse.org/census/project1950intro.html. 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.
BillionGraves.com Reaches Four Million Records
In existence for only two years, the website BillionGraves.com 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.
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