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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 15, Number 43 | November 9, 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
MyHeritage Databases Available in Family History Centers
FamilySearch and MyHeritage have announced that the Library Edition of MyHeritage is now available at no charge at all of the 4,700 FamilySearch Family History Centers in the world and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The Library Edition can be made available at any library by subscription through EBSCO Information Systems. It is unclear how this edition differs from the version available to users online for a fee.

Information about the Library Edition is at The announcement is at

To locate a Family History Center near you, go to

Armistice Day Discounts In honor of Armistice Day (Veterans Day), is offering free access to their UK and US military collections through Nov. 11. Access is at “For the first time ever,” Findmypast is offering unlimited free access to their collection of more than two billion records. From now until 7am, Monday, November 10th (EST), you will have free access to all of the Findmypast historical collections.

FindMyPast is the “American” arm of, but in reality the resources of the parent company are available to the American-version subscribers. Consequently, the free offer is especially useful if you have interest in places such as the UK and Australia. For example, I found in an Australian death index the record of a probably stillborn member of the Mokotow family, never reported to me by the family. Access the offer at

JewishGen Adds Custom Google Search to Site
JewishGen has upgraded its website search facility using a custom Google Search.
Now you can search all the text on JewishGen's web pages including KehilaLinks, Special Interest Group (SIG) pages, InfoFiles, Yizkor Books, ViewMate's archives, Communities pages, etc. It does not include the contents of databases. Examples are the JewishGen Family Finder and All- databases. Link to the feature from the JewishGen home page under the "About Us" drop-down menu at the top of the page. The direct link is

Use the feature to locate information about ancestral towns not found in the obvious sections of JewishGen. I searched for the Mokotow ancestral home of Warka, Poland, and got 266 hits. Included were the to-be-expected Yizkor Book Project page and Jewish Communities database. But it also included a Family home page developed by a person whose ancestors came from Warka and numerous references to the Hassids of Warka.

I searched for my name and found an obscure reference to me on the Kolomea Shtetl Links page written by a woman who is related to me by marriage—her maternal grandmother’s sister married a Mokotoff. It provided information about our mutual family previously unknown to me.

Gesher Galicia Now Multi-lingual
Gesher Galicia has made its entire website multilingual using the Google Translate function. You can now view the site in 80 different languages. To use this feature, in the center of the home page (and every sub-page) click on the Google Translate icon and select a language.

I had a French/English speaking friend read the French translation of the home page. She concluded the first paragraph had grammatical errors but would be understandable to a person who knew only French. The second paragraph was more inaccurate because it included the names of subsections of the site that were literally translated.

Gesher Galicia is located at

It is a useful feature for any web environment, and I recommend that other Jewish genealogical websites who do not have the resources to have their pages accurately translated use this feature.

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 1.2 million indexed records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Argentina, Dominican Republic, France and the U.S. states of California, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina and Washington.

Some additions may be of value to your personal research, but the only one of general interest to Jewish family historians is the addition of 10,346 index records to San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893–1953.

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.

November Webinars by FTDNA
Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) has an entire section of their website devoted to learning about DNA testing and how it can help in your family history research. It is located at For example, they conduct webinars on DNA testing. The November schedule includes (Name, date and registration link):
   • Y-DNA Explained: Help, My Matches Have a Different Surname; November 13;
   • The Ideal Life of a Family Tree DNA Kit; November 20;

Descriptions of these webinars are available on each webinar's registration page. All webinars are archived. You can view past events at (Scroll past the calendar to view the complete list.)

Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island Establishes a YouTube Channel
The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island (JGSLI) is expanding its presence on the Internet with a YouTube site that provides lessons in some of the basics of genealogy. They have also redesigned their website. There are currently five videos on YouTube with titles such as “8 Pieces of Information on a New York City Death Certificate” and “8 pieces of information on a Passenger Manifest.”

You can access the JGSLI YouTube presentations at Their home page is

News from has added an index to their site the Prague Familiant books and also an index to Prague Jewish marriages between 1784–1804. They now claim to have more than 11 million entries in their database. Examples of Jewish-oriented collections include such areas as Jewish Community, Resignations, Cemeteries and Indices. They are located at
GenTeam describes itself as a loose organization of genealogists or historians who produce databases on their own or as a part of a group, and who offer these databases to all researchers without any fee. The geographical center of the databases is present-day Austria and its neighboring lands.
There is yet another start-up genealogy site: I see nothing unique about it. It claims to have 75 million records which appears to be little more than the US Social Security Death Index. It is a fee-for-service site.

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.
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