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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 15, Number 26 | July 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
It Had To Happen
In the 15 years that Nu? What’s New? has been published, there was always the possibility that there would be one week where there was virtually nothing new worth publishing. It has happened this past week.

Unless you consider’s Fourth-of-July offering to be news. You can access U.S. census records at the Ancestry site free of charge until July 6. If you do not read this message until after that date, use the always-free FamilySearch U.S. censuses. FamilySearch has the best index because each entry was keyed and then verified by a second person entering the data with conflicts resolved by a third party.

In the same light, Mocavo announced that to celebrate its acquisition by FindMyPast, they would become the “first commercial provider in history” to offer all U.S. censuses “free, forever.” This comment was made in spite of the fact that non-commercial FamilySearch offers the information free, forever.

To “honor” the U.S. Independence Day, is offering a one-month subscription for only $5 instead of the usual $19.95.

Jan Meisels Allen notes that the European Union “right to be forgotten” rule applies only to data aggregators like Google and not to the original source sites. If it is written in the New York Times that charges accusing you of robbing a bank have been dropped, you can request Google to remove it from their search engine, but it will appear on the New York Times site forever.

FamilySearch’s weekly additions include data that is of potential interest to Jewish family history research as noted below.

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 4.9 million indexed records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Belgium, El Salvador, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru,
Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and the U.S. states of Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Notable additions for Jewish family history research are more than a half million BillionGrave indexes and records, nearly a half million indexes added to Indiana Marriages (1811–1959), 779,000 records added to Baltimore Passenger Lists Index (1820–1897) and a half million records added to Philadelphia Passenger Lists Index (1800–1906).

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.

Contribute to the Success of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy
Help support a dynamic institution that in its brief existence already has been the catalyst for such benefits to Jewish genealogy as the Beider-Morse Phonetic Matching System,  Sephardic DNA and Migration project, inventorying the Paul Jacobi Collection of 400 prominent Ashkenazic lineages, the Proposed Standard for Names, Dates and Places in a Genealogical Database, and a system for Integrating Genealogical Datasets.

Visit the IIJG website at and read about these developments, as well as  ongoing and proposed projects.

Make your tax-deductible contribution by credit card or PayPal at Click the Donate link. If you prefer, mail a check to Avotaynu Foundation,  794 Edgewood Ave., New Haven, CT 06515, USA. Make the check payable to “Friends of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy.” Donations are tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
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