Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 15, Number 32 | August 24, 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
Another slow Summer week.
Riverside Cemetery: Genealogists 1, Cemetery 0
Last week I reported that the database of burials for Riverside Cemetery in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, has been removed from the cemetery’s website. Nu? What’s New? subscriber Michael Chonoles notes that the complete database exists at FindAGrave.com. At FindAGrave, you cannot search within a particular cemetery, but it is possible to limit the search by State.
FindAGrave claims they now have 116 million grave records. Browsing their database, the evidence is that they include all New York City area Jewish cemeteries that have online databases. This means it is unnecessary to go through the nine individual cemeteries cited in last weeks issue.
Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, called Riverside Cemetery to determine the reason they removed the database, and the official she spoke to did not give a reason.
FamilySearch Additions for the Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 1.5 million indexed records and images, can be found at https://www.familysearch.org/node/2567. This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Italy and the U.S. states of California,
Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina. Most of the additions are images rather than indexes.
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.
Gesher Galicia Adds More Cadastral Maps
Gesher Galicia has added to their website two new inventories of cadastral map holdings for the Rzeszow and Przemysl branches of the Polish State Archives. These are inventories, not the actual maps. As they become available, the organization is acquiring copies of the maps for their Cadastral Map Room as part of their Galician Archival Records Project. The inventory of the Przemysl archives is at http://www.geshergalicia.org/inventory/maps-przemysl-state-archives, For the Rzeszow archives, it is at http://www.geshergalicia.org/inventory/maps-rzeszow-state-archives.
Cadastral maps show the exact boundaries of each piece of property for a town at the time they were created. Gesher Galicia’s complete set of maps can be found at http://maps.geshergalicia.org.
A Remarkable (Slovakia) Burial Website
A posting to a JewishGen Discussion Group identifies a remarkable website that provides information about cemeteries and burials in Slovakia. It is located at http://www.cintoriny.sk/src/index.php?lan=en. Input a name or surname and results are displayed showing name; dates of birth and death; and name of cemetery where buried. Click on the name of a person and a new window opens with digital map of the cemetery together with the grave record. If the exact location of burial in the cemetery is known, it is highlighted on the cemetery map. A photo of the tombstone is also included. The home page also allows searching for a list of cemeteries in a given town. Clicking the cemetery name opens a window which shows a map of the cemetery.
I do not have the knowhow to determine if Jewish cemeteries are included. Searching for Jewish surnames found on the JewishGen Family Finder produced few results. In these cases, it could not be determined if the cemetery is Jewish. Also a good number of the burials of people with seemingly Jewish surnames died after 1945.
Sachsenhausen List of Dead Now Online
A posting to JewishGen notes that a list of 21,913 persons who died at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is now online at http://www.stiftung-bg.de/totenbuch/main.php. Information provided about each person can include date/placed of birth, death date and prisoner number.
News from the UK
Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, reports that mothers’ names will soon be added to marriage certificates of England and Wales. One hundred years ago, women were the “property” of their fathers which probably explains why only the fathers’ names were included. This rights an historical wrong against women and aids future researchers in learning about their ancestors.
Allen also reports that the 2021 UK census will be predominately online. The decision whether to use only “administrative data” for future censuses (implying perhaps not having a head-by-head census) has been deferred. Last year, there was a proposal to scrap the census as it has been known for the past 200 years, raising concern by family historians and the business community.
‘Tis the Season Again For Free Offers
With it being back-to-school season and the (U.S.) Labor Day weekend approaching, anticipate the commercial genealogy websites will be offering free or low-cost access to their collections. Here are some that start the season:
Mocavo.com has a back-to-school-special. “For this weekend only” you can search more than 420,000 databases free of charge at http://tinyurl.com/MocavoOffer0814. It appears that a paid subscription is necessary to see the actual document, but often the thumbnail results of the search provide sufficient information.
Forces War Records at https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/subscribe is offering a one month subscription for £5. This offer expires on August 25. The usual rate is £8.95.
Ancestry.co.uk is offering free access to their UK and Ireland records through August 25 at http://tinyurl.com/AnUKAugustOffer. Registration is required.
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