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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 15, Number 1 | January 5, 2014

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
This is the 15th year Avotaynu has published Nu? What’s New?

SSDI Now Has a Three-Year Privacy Restriction
The recently passed U.S. Federal Budget includes a restriction to public access of information in the Social Security Death Index.
It has been stated that the changes will save the U.S. government an estimated $786 million over the next decade by reducing fraudulent claims. Data is not available for a three-year period starting with an individual's date of death. Some reports state records are unavailable for “individuals who died within the past three calendar years.” This regulation should include people who died in the past three years that were part of the SSDI prior to the passing of the budget. No online site has indicated they plan to remove these persons from their database. Additional information is at

JewishGen and FamilySearch Collaborate on Hungarian Indexing Project
Vivian Kahn, JewishGen Hungarian SIG Coordinator, notes that the announcement in last week’s edition of Nu? What’s New? that FamilySearch has started indexing Hungarian Jewish records, is a joint effort of FamilySearch and the Hungarian SIG. FamilySearch is providing the images of records and Hungarian SIG volunteers are extracting the records to create the index.

This first set of records, 11,066 in all, include 19th-century births and marriages from Budapest. The FamilySearch database is located at The records will also be incorporated in the JewishGen Hungary Database at

Library and Archives Canada Has New Version of “Naturalization Records, 1915–1951”
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has released a new version of the online database “Naturalization Records, 1915-1951.” The nominal index has been extended with the addition of more than 93,000 names and now covers the years 1915–1939, inclusively. Work is ongoing to extend the index to 1951. This database is one of the few Canadian genealogical resources specifically designed to benefit researchers having roots other than British. The reference numbers indicated in the database can be used to request copies of the original naturalization records, which are held by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The project was initially suggested to LAC by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal who volunteered to create the index. The announcement is at The search engine is at When submitting a surname, the search engine produces results for any name that includes the string of characters. Thus, searching for “Levy” produced results for that surname as well as results for Nalevykin.

MSU Has Index to Online Newspaper Collections
Michigan State University has developed a list of newspapers that have online collections. Some are accessible free of charge, others are fee based. Many libraries subscribe to these fee-based sites and provide access to their patrons at no charge. The list can be found at They are divided into sections: Current, Historical, Ethnic and Foreign Newspaper Databases.

FamilySearch Additions for the Week Include
Baltimore, Boston and Philadelphia Passenger Arrival Index Records

Recent additions to FamilySearch, both indexes and browseable images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Belgium, Canada, Portugal and numerous U.S. states including of Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

This includes new collections of images of Baltimore Passenger Lists Index, 1820–1897; Boston Passenger Lists Index, 1899–1940; and Philadelphia Passenger Lists Index, 1800–1906. Together, they add 1.9 million records to the online FamilySearch database.

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 in the announcement are the number added, not the total number available in the collection, which can be greater.

Fulton History Site Now Has Digitized 26 Million Newspaper Pages
In 2009, Nu? What’s New? reported that the Fulton History site at had digitized and indexed New York State newspapers from 1795–2007. The number of pages now at the site has grown to more than 26 million. Of greatest interest to Jewish genealogists will be such newspapers as the Brooklyn Eagle, Long Island Daily Press and Long Island Star Journal. The site now includes some newspapers from Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The index of all available newspapers starts at Click on links at the top of the page to look at the following five pages of the index.

There are 163 references to persons named Mokotoff including the fact that I made Eagle Scout in 1953, family wedding announcements, and numerous news items about my father’s first cousin, Max, the black sheep of the family, whom I describe to others as having been married six times—four times consecutively and twice concurrently.

Reminder: Conference Call for Papers Ends January 31
Persons interested in presenting a lecture at the 34th annual IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy have until January 31 to submit their proposal.

As the conference will start one day prior to the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, presentations that focus on the various aspects of this conflict will be given preference. This includes experiences of ancestors in the military of countries on both sides of the conflict, the disruption caused by the battles through the Jewish heartland in Eastern Europe and the dislocation and migration it stimulated.

Other focus areas of the conference include:
   • Technology in the Pursuit of Genealogy
   • Jewish Migrations Over the Ages
   • Ethical Genealogical Challenges
   • Jews (and crypto-Jews) of the Western United States.
Submissions on other topics will be accepted as well.

Additional information, including the procedure for submitting a proposal can be found at Speakers will be notified whether their proposals have been accepted by March 15, 2014.

JewishGen Education Courses for January/February 2014
JewishGen is offering the following education course during the first two months of 2014. Additional information and registration is located at
   • Publish Your Family History, January 2–31. Instructor: Nancy
Holden (requires application)
   • Advanced/Intermediate U.S. Genealogy, January 13–February 7.
Instructor: Phyllis Kramer
   • Basic 1 - Search Strategies, January 17–31. Moderator: Nancy
Holden (available as part of Value Added Membership)
   • Creating KehilaLinks Web Page for Your Hometown, February 3–March 3. Instructor: Mark Heckman

All Galicia Database Now Includes 267,883 Records
In an end-of-year message, Pamela Weisberger, President and Research Coordinator for Gesher Galicia reports that the "All Galicia Database" now includes 267,883 records, covering everything from birth, death, marriage and divorce records to phonebooks, school and landowner records. There are now several tax lists from the 1930s and death records reaching until 1942, which may prove useful in Holocaust-era research. Updating the database with new information is an ongoing process. Search the database at A list and map of towns covered is at

One Additional Year of Vital Records Added to Scotland Collection
Due to privacy restrictions, Scottish birth records are not available to the public for 100 years, marriages 75 years and deaths for 50 years. Consequently, the ScotlandsPeople website has just made available Scottish records of births for 1913, marriages for 1938 and deaths for 1963. The website is at

Israeli Knesset To Convene at Auschwitz
On January 27, 2014, Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a special international session of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) will be held at Auschwitz and in Krakow in commemoration of the Shoah. What makes this event exceptional is that it is the first time the Knesset has convened outside of Israel. They will meet together with invited representatives and parliamentarians from the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Germany, Italy and Poland. Additional information about the event 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.
Copyright 2014, 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.; 794 Edgewood Ave.; New Haven, CT 06515

Telephone  (U.S.) : 475-202-6575