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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 14, Number 29 | July 21, 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
American Version of Who Do You Think You Are? Premieres Tuesday
This season’s version of Who Do You Think You Are?will premiere Tuesday evening, July 23, on the TLC channel at 9 pm Eastern Time. Celebrities who will have their family history researched include Christina Applegate, Kelly Clarkson, Cindy Crawford, Zooey Deschanel, Chelsea Handler, Chris O'Donnell, Jim Parsons and Trisha Yearwood. will continue to sponsor the series. Information about the show can be found at

Updated Information on the Boston Conference
If you don’t mind driving and live within 200 miles of Boston, it is not too late to make the commitment to attend the most significant event of the Jewish genealogical year: The 33rd International Conference on Jewish Genealogy being held from August 4–9 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. If you cannot spend the full week and live within 50 miles of Boston, consider attending the gathering for a day. The conference is an incredible collection of lectures, meetings and opportunities to network with more than 1,000 genealogists. Complete information can be found at

Getting To/From Airport. The conference planners have arranged with GO Boston Shuttle to give a 10% discount if you register for the shuttle at the conference website. The item is on the home page under the "Hotel & Travel" tab.

Speaker Handouts. Speaker handouts are available to registered attendees only. From the home page, click on the “Registration” dropdown menu and click “Update Your Registration Info.” Click item 1, Speaker Handouts. Browse through the list and download any handout by clicking the Adobe Acrobat icon in the third column of the lecture information.

Map of Hotel Area. Erika Herzog has created a Google map of the hotel area that highlights the locations of restaurants, fast food places, supermarkets, historical sights, research centers, and other places. It is located at

Major Discounts on Avotaynu Books at Conference
Avotaynu will be selling more than 50 books at the Boston conference. In many cases, we will have only one copy of a book and will ship to you, free of charge within the U.S., any books you purchase if your order is more than $50. (If below $50, shipping and handling will be charged.) If you plan to buy books and prefer taking them with you, e-mail your order to us by August 1 at We will bring an extra copy and reserve it for you. If you live outside the U.S., send your order now to the above e-mail address. We will reserve copies of the books you wish. You will save time and shipping costs by taking the books with you. Shipping costs to places outside the United States are very high so there will be a substantial savings. A complete list of our books can be found at

Major Discounts. Avotaynu will be offering up to 45% discounts on all its major works at the conference, and the offer is not available on the Internet. You must place the order at the conference. The prices shown are without shipping costs added.

   Where Once We Walked $85.00 $49.00
   Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy $85.00 $49.00
   Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names $85.00 $49.00
   Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire $118.00 $69.00
   Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia $85.00 $49.00
   Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland $69.50 $49.00
   Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames $89.00 $49.00
   The Lurie Legacy $85.00 $49.00 Eliyahu’s Branches $69.50 $49.00
   German Name-Change Gazetteer $89.00 $49.00

There will be many books sold, some with prices as low as $12.99. We will be selling out our stock of maps, and we will not be restocking them.

General Discount Offer. Buy $50 worth of books at the conference and we will ship anywhere in the U.S. at no charge.

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
The summer doldrums have hit FamilySearch too with only four record collections being added to their site in the past two weeks, one being an update to the Social Security Death Index. Yet two of them may be of interest to people with Jewish family history—one from Brazil and the other from the Czech Republic. Recent additions to FamilySearch, both indexes and browseable images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections.

Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902–1980, is a new browsable collection with 408,573 images. My personal experience with these Brazil immigration cards is they are for non-Brazilians entering that country even though they do not plan to have permanent residence there. This collection is in alphabetical order but only includes names Abaroa-Castro.

Czech Republic, Censuses, 1843–1921 added 204,401 images to an existing collection which now has more than 1.5 million images.

Pittsburgh Jewish Newspapers Online
After six years of effort, the Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project is complete and online. It consists of digitized images of the weekly newspapers, Jewish Criterion, (1895–1962), American Jewish Outlook (1934–1962), and the Jewish Chronicle (1962–present). Also included is the weekly Y-JCC newsletter by the Young Men's and Women's Hebrew Association (1926-1976). A project of Carnegie Mellon University, it is located at

Clicking on a search produces an image of the newspaper page where it appears, but the word(s) is not highlighted. Use the browsers Find function (Ctl-F) to search for the word(s).
An article about the project is at

NARA Merges Two Catalogs
After 10 years of providing online access to the U.S. National Archives’ (NARA) holdings, the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) is permanently retiring on August 15. It has been merged into the Online Public Access search at Online Public Access contains all of the descriptions and digitized content that was in ARC. Online Public Access also searches the NARA website,, and the web sites of the Presidential Libraries for information related to your search.

16th World Congress of Jewish Studies To Have Genealogical Content
The 16th World Congress of Jewish Studies will include genealogical content, as was true of the previous Congress. A series of three four-lecture sessions will cover the topics of "Genealogical Perspectives on Jewish Family History," "Names Through the Ages,” and "Names in Jewish Communities." The Congress will take place at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from July 28 - August 1, 2013. For more details on the whole conference, see

New From
New England Records. just added 220 million New England records and they will be searchable free of charge through today, July 21st. They are birth, marriage and death records, as well as images, diaries and articles covering almost all of New England from colonial times to the 1980s. The free records include:
   Connecticut, Hale Cemetery Inscriptions, 1675–1934
   Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840–1915
   Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841–1915
   Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840–1915
   Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733–1990
   Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620–1988
   New Hampshire, Birth Records, 1659–1900
   New Hampshire, Death and Disinterment Records, 1754–1947
   New Hampshire, Marriage and Divorce Records, 1659–1947
   Rhode Island, State Censuses, 1865–1935
   Vermont, Vital Records, 1720–1908

The records can be searched at

New York State Naturalization Records. has released a new collection of naturalization petitions for New York State. These petitions date from 1794 to 1906 and were filed in various federal, state and local courts in the State. The collection contains some 1.2 million records. Naturalization records through 1906 contained minimal information. A typical record lists the name of the petitioner, age or date of birth, nationality from which s/he is rescinding allegiance. Starting some time in the 1890s, date and port of arrival were added. The database is at

Family Tree DNA Discounts End July 26
Discounts on most, if not all, of Family Tree DNA products end July 26. Pricing and ordering information 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 
 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.
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