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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 16, Number 18 | May 3 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
Not very much news this week.

Family History Books Collection of FamilySearch Now Reaches 200,000 Books
FamilySearch has announced a milestone in its collection of “Family History Books”—200,000 books have now been scanned by the partnership of the Family History Library, Allen County Public Library, and several other important family history libraries in the world. These books are online and available to search and use on the website at

The majority of the books online are family histories, with a smaller portion made up of cemetery records, local and county histories, genealogy magazines, how-to-books, gazetteers, and medieval histories and pedigrees. Many of the online books may only be accessible at the Family History Library, a Family History Center, or one of the listed partner libraries due to copyright restrictions. For example, more than 20 years ago I submitted my research in a book titled The Family Mokotow. FamilySearch has never asked my permission to make it available online, so the book is subject to restriction.

Libraries participating in the project include Allen County Public Library, Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University Joseph F. Smith Library, LDS Church History Library, Family History Library, Houston Public Library, Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, Mid-Continent Public Library - Midwest Genealogy Center and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

FamilySearch Now Has Antwerp Police Immigration Index, 1840–1930
The Antwerp, Belgium, archives has announced that FamilySearch now has indexes and images of the Antwerp Police Immigration Index, 1840–1930 at collection/1477769. It can also be searched in Dutch at the archives’ site: Information includes birth year and place. The actual image shows exact date of birth.

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 Canada, Czech Republic, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines and the U.S. states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Montana, New York and Texas.

Notable addition for Jewish family history research is the addition of 636,309 images to the New York County Marriages (1847–1848; 1908–1936) collection.

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.

Fold3 Providing Free Access to WWII Records Through May 15
Fold3 is offering free access to its World War II collection through May 15th. Access is at Examples of types of records in their collection are “Old Man's Draft” Registration Cards, Headstone Applications, Navy Muster Rolls, Army and Army Air Force Casualty Lists, Army Registers, Missing Air Crew Reports and Veterans Affairs Records. They also have a number of Holocaust-related collections from the U.S. National Archives and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. You will need to register with email address and password.

Importance of Documenting Oral History
The online column Family History Daily has an article worth reading about the importance of recording oral family history. It can be found at

New Site:
There is yet another site of genealogy databases. This one is called Genealogy Gophers and is located at It claims to have digitized and indexed 40,000 books and uses a sophisticated search engine (see I searched some of the uncommon names on my family tree and found no new information. The site is worth at least a one-time visit.

Online Belgian Newspapers
It has been reported that the Royal Library of Belgium, the Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, has uploaded 1.2 million pages from newspapers ranging from 1831–1918. In using the site, the index covers more years than the online images. Searching for “Mokotow” produced three results, only one of which had an image—from 1875. The other two entries were post-1918. These results stated that they were only available in the Library.

The site is located at

New Showings of Who Do You Think You Are? Planned for This Summer
It was announced on this past week’s airing of the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? that there will be new programs this summer. Particulars were not given nor do they exist on the program’s website.

Have You Registered to Receive Notices from Avotaynu Online?

Have you subscribed to Avotaynu’s latest venture: Avotaynu Online? We have created a special sign-on site at By registering, you will receive a weekly notice of items added to the site.

By virtue of its focus on the in-depth reporting of specific subjects, Avotaynu Online will be entirely distinct from the existing print journal, AVOTAYNU, which for over three decades has covered the broad spectrum of Jewish family history research, and from the weekly Nu? What’s New?, which reports breaking stories in the world of genealogy.

 Avotaynu Online is free of charge. 

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