Gary Mokotoff, EditorVolume 15, Number 16 | April 28, 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 http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm
Nu? What’s New? Is Late
This edition of Nu? What’s New? is one day late. It was my birthday over the weekend and, as we family historians know, family matters always have the highest priority.
Today is Yom Hashoah
It Is Time for a Professional DNA Analyst
When genealogy became a popular hobby toward the end of the 20th century, many people searching their family history ran into brick walls. They sometimes felt the wall was scalable, but they did not have the skills to accomplish the task. Other people wanted to know more about their families’ histories but did not have the time to devote to doing the research. Enter the professional genealogist. A person who went through the process of discovering his/her own family history and now was willing to help others—for a price.
With the tremendous growth in DNA testing, a comparable professional is needed: a DNA Analyst Professional. Personally, I haven’t got time to learn about SNPs and haplogroups and mutation rates. I once asked the late Herb Huebscher how it was possible that Y-DNA test results demonstrated the same match to my Y-DNA for a known distant cousin (fourth cousin twice removed) and a person known not to be related to me? Herb’s response was that you not only have to look at the raw results but also at which markers changed because some mutate faster than others. Why do I have so many second cousins as a result of the Family Finder test? I haven’t time to answer these questions as well as others that would result if I probed further into my Family Finder testing. I would be willing to pay someone to evaluate my DNA and explain the results to me and make suggestions on how to go forward. I would be willing to pay a Professional DNA Analyst.
How should such a group be started? Family Tree DNA, or some other commercial DNA company, could consider training members of its staff to provide the service. Alternately, it could be born in a manner similar to the founding of the Association of Professional Genealogists. A group of persons who consider themselves knowledgeable in analysis of DNA test results could form such a group.
Annual Conference Program Now Online
The program for the 34th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is now online at http://conference.iajgs.org/2014/program_schedule.cfm. The conference will be held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center from July 27-August 1. The conference planners indicate the posted program is preliminary and subject to change. The program includes lectures, Special Interest Group luncheons and meetings, Birds of a Feather sessions, and computer workshops. Among the ways the program can be searched include speaker, keyword and title.
Register for the conference at https://conference.iajgs.org/2014/registration_form.cfm. The conference Home Page is at https://conference.iajgs.org/2014/index.cfm.
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 10.7 million indexed records and images, can be found at https://www.familysearch.org/node/2535. This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, BillionGraves, Brazil, Czech Republic, England, France, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Spain and the U.S. states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota and Washington. Also additional records for the United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861–1934; index to United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918; and additional images of United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942.
Notable additions are more than 3.6 million index records added to New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839–1973, and more than 473,000 World War II Draft Registration Cards images noted above.
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.
Recently Added Records by Ancestry.com
Below is a partial list of selected record groups added in the past two months to Ancestry.com’s website. Others have little value to Jewish family history research:
• U.S., Military Registers, 1862–1970, (657,627 records added)
London, England, Selected Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records, 1828–1930 (72,000 records added)
• Florida and South Carolina, Airline Passenger Arrivals, 1907–1957, 17,518 new records
• Texas, Naturalization Records, 1881–1992, 219,154 new records
• San Juan, Puerto Rico, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1901–1954 1,236,035 records added
• Brazoria County, Texas Marriage, 1870–2012, 210,399 records
• Germany, Confederation of Jews, 1930–1944, 1,662 records. The Confederation of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland) became a repository for thousands of documents that have been recorded on microfiche. This database contains a list of people with files in the collection and the relevant fiche number.
• Germany, Sachsenhausen Deaths, 1938–1942, 1,504 records. In the early years of the camp, deaths were recorded at the Oranienburg civil registry office.
• Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906–1962, 2,477,238 records
MyHeritage Now Has 5 Billion Records
MyHeritage has announced their website now exceeds 5 billion historical records. If you read the fine print, a marriage record counts as two records because it is data about two individuals—the bride and the groom. Still, it is an impressive record for a company that was founded only 11 years ago. You can read the announcement at http://tinyurl.com/MyHeritage5Billion.
Travel Channel To Have Genealogy Program
Eastman’s Genealogy Newsletter reports that the American Travel Channel plans to present a genealogy program to be called Find My Past. The program appears to have the same format as the popular Who Do You Think You Are in that it states that the program follows Americans on a journey to locations throughout the world as they uncover their family history. The half-hour pilot was produced by Lion Television which has a similar program in the UK. Information about the Lion Television’s U.K. program is at http://www.liontv.com/London/Productions/Find-My-Past.
Indiana State Library Places Newspapers Online
The Indiana State Library, with funding from the U. S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, has placed online a collection of Indiana newspapers that contains 14,214 issues comprising 95,455 pages. Most of the newspapers in the collection date from 1855 to 1900. There is a full word search engine, and the results are highlighted on the page. The announcement, which includes a link to the search engine, is at http://tinyurl.com/IndianaNewspapers.
Auschwitz Library Catalog Now Online
The Auschwitz Museum Library catalog is now available online at http://gate.auschwitz.org:7788/biblio/libraopacen.dll. The book collection of the Museum consists of about 30,000 books, more than 2,500 magazines and several dozen maps. Access to the collection is available at the library only. Additional information is at http://tinyurl.com/AuschwitzLibrary.
Facebook Says Site Which States Jews Practice Ritual Murder Meets Its Community Standards
People have complained to Facebook about one of its websites at https://www.facebook.com/truthaboutjews that says Jews practice ritual murder. Facebook has refused to remove the page and responded by saying the site meets its Community Standards policy which states:
“Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.”
Some of the comments on the site include:
“For most of history, belief in Jewish ritual murder was acceptable and widely accepted. Naturally, the Jews aren't the only group who have practiced (and might still practice) ritual murder.”
“Probably, not every accusation is true. But it is also unlikely that all of them are false.”
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