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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 16, Number 12 | March 22, 2015

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
Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

Right-To-Be-Forgotten vs. Right-To-Know
Yvette Hoitink, a professional Dutch genealogist, has written an easy-to-read column about the consequences to genealogy if right-to-be-forgotten laws become the norm in the world. It is located at Thanks to Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee for noting the column.

Conference Early Registration Ends April 15
The early registration discount for the 35th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy ends April 15. Persons who register before then will not only get a discount but will participate in a prize drawing that includes free hotel accommodations, annual subscriptions, subscriptions, and more.

The conference planners anticipate that there will be nearly 200 guest lecturers who will share their expertise and research on the world's Jewish communities, technological developments, perspectives on the Holocaust, DNA research, the science of onomastics (study of names) and other topics.

Full details regarding the Conference program and schedule will be available by the first week of May. A basic outline of the schedule is as follows:
   • During breakfast in the hotel dining rooms, Tuesday through Friday, there will be “Breakfast with the Experts” sessions.
   • Lectures begin each morning at 8:15 and change each hour until a break for lunch at noon.
   • SIG lunches will be from 12:30 to 14:00.
   • Lectures resume at 14:00, change each hour and will run until 18:00 on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Lectures on Wednesday will finish at 17:00.
   • The program on Friday will begin at 8:15 and conclude at noon.
   • Special evening programs include Monday - Opening Keynote lecture followed by reception (20:00); Tuesday - “A Taste of Jerusalem” (19:30); Wednesday - minimal programming (19:30); Thursday - Gala Banquet (20:00)

The conference website is at

Russian Immigration Database
A searchable database of more than 400,000 passengers who arrived in the United States between 1834 and 1897 and identified their country of origin or nationality as Russia or Russian Poles as well as Armenian, Finnish, Galician, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian can be found at It is possible to search by name or browse the complete surname index by initial letter of the alphabet.

More About Bundesarchiv Resources
In response to the posting in last week’s Nu? What’s New? about resources at the Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archives), Peter Lande of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) has made the following comment:

In addition to the Gedenkbuch, available on the web, which identifies Jews, whether or not citizens, who resided in Germany and perished in the Holocaust, the Bundesarchiv has been compiling a database, called the “Residentenliste,” (Resident List) of all Jews, regardless of nationality, who were resident in Germany at some time during the Hitler era. The Residentenliste includes not only those who perished, but also, and far more numerous, those who emigrated and those whose fate could so far not be determined. The Residentenliste currently contains slightly more than 700,000 names, though the actual number of persons is probably somewhat smaller due to duplications. In accordance with Germany’s privacy laws this database is only available at the USHMM and Yad Vashem, as well as at the Bundesarchiv itself, since many of these persons are still alive.

New Book: Jewish Protected Subjects of the French Consulate in Tunis, 1830–1913
The French Jewish Genealogical Society, Cercle de Généalogie Juive, has just published an important resource for genealogists researching Jews in Tunisia: Les proteges israelites du consulat de France a Tunis 1830-1913.

Based on material held at the French Diplomatic Archives in Nantes, France, the book provides genealogical information on nearly 3,000 individuals and their families (some 10–12,000 individuals in total) who were registered as protected subjects of the French consulate in Tunis between 1830–1913. For many protected subjects, the names of their father, mother, spouse(s) and children are provided, with frequent references to other entries in the registers. This allows reconstruction of previously inaccessible genealogies up to the beginning of the 19th century.

In addition, documents used to justify registration, as well as administrative documents used to manage the registration process, are also archived in Nantes. The book supplies indexes to these files which can yield papers (e.g. passports, certificates, etc.) with information such as physical characteristics or additional biographical and genealogical details, with no other known source for this period. This will require a visit to Nantes.

Authors are society members Liliane Nedjar and Thierry Samama. The book is in French and consists of 218 pages. Cost is €30.00. A list of family names can be found online, and the book can be ordered, at Other books offered by the society can be found at

RootsTech 2015 Breaks Attendance Records
The fifth annual RootsTech conference, hosted by FamilySearch, is in the record books as registering 23,918 attendees over three days, an 83 percent increase over 2014. Additionally, 20 sessions were broadcast live online, seen by another 128,000 viewers. There were more than 500 classes, exhibits, demonstrations, and fun entertainment designed to appeal to multiple generations of family members and broad family history interests. Select sessions from RootsTech 2015 can be viewed free at

Innovator Summit at Rootstech featured cutting-edge content for developers, business leaders, and enthusiasts seeking to use family history data and services. The summit saw increases in attendees, developer apps, and prize money from sponsors ($25,000) for the growing RootsTech Innovator Showdown that challenged developers to submit their entries for a possible share of the reward purse. This year’s big winner was StoryWorth, which provides simple solutions to help families preserve and share their family stories.

In 2016, in addition to the venue in Salt Lake City, the conference’s organizers plan on taking greater advantage of live broadcasting and recording of content for online viewing. Dates for the 2016 event have not been announced.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! April 16
18, Birmingham, England
Competing with RootsTech as the most attended genealogy conference in the world is “Who Do You Think You Are? Live!” which this year will be from April 16–18 in Birmingham, England. Previous attendance has been as many as 15,000 people. There is a discount offer of two tickets for £26 (usual price £16 each). Just quote TNA2426 when you order.

Family Tree DNA will host a series of workshops to explain how DNA testing can aid research and explain more about the information that can be uncovered. Talks include discussions of British, Irish, Scottish, Viking, and even Roman genetic ancestry. Whether you’re completely new to DNA research or a seasoned veteran, there will be something for everyone.
The event’s home page is at A schedule of workshops is at A complete list of exhibitors 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 
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 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

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