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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 16, Number 21 | May 24, 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.

ManyRoads Website Has Jewish Search Engine, a generic genealogy site, has created a search engine that limits results to Jewish-related websites. Although called the “Jewish (Shoah) Mega-Search Engine,” it searches websites that provide information of general interest to Jewish genealogists— not just the Shoah—such as the entire JewishGen site.

The search engine is at On that page clicking the words “Jewish (Shoah) Mega-Search Sites (Click to view)” will identify the 90 specific websites used by the Google Customize search engine.

At their home page,, search to see what else is available at their site by clicking the “Libraries” pull-down menu. For example, they have a large number of Prussian adressbücher.

Photographs of Old New York City (and San Francisco)
Dan Vanderkam, a software engineer at Mount Sinai’s Hammer Lab, in collaboration with the New York Public Library (NYPL) has placed online 80,000 vintage photographs of all five boroughs of New York City. (Castle Garden at right.) Most were taken during between the 1870s and 1970s with emphasis on the late 1920s to the early 1940s. The site is located at

The photographs are retrieved in an unusual manner. Rather than using a search engine, there is a street map of the entire City and a red dot is placed at every point where a photograph was taken. Click on the dot and the photograph appears. Using the wheel on your mouse makes the map zoom in and out.

The images come from the NYPL Milstein Collection which also includes old detailed maps of the City. This collection, located at, uses a conventional search engine to retrieve images.

San Francisco. Vanderkam helped build a similar site in San Francisco using archived photographs from the San Francisco Public Library. They are located at

A version of the announcement can be found at

Free Record Collections at
Family History Daily notes that it is possible to search only the free record collections of at There are about 900 collections available. You can read the article at

Free Access to Military Records Through May 25 is offering free access to more than 200 million military records through May 25. The offer ends May 25. This includes such record groups of interest to Jewish researchers as WWI and WWII draft registrations, WWII enlistments, military gravesites and others.

Access to the records is at There also is a three-page research guide to Ancestry military records at

Mocavo Making All U.S. Census Records Available at No Charge
Mocavo is making all U.S. Census records, 1790–1940, available at no charge. They are a subsidiary of FindMyPast whose website only offers the 1940 census at no charge. FamilySearch also offers all U.S. censuses at no charge, but if the FamilySearch and FindMyPast indexes were independently created, it may be possible to locate a person’s name in one index that was misspelled in the other. In 2013, FamilySearch and FindMyPast made an alliance to share records, so the source of the Mocavo index may, indeed, be FamilySearch.
The Mocavo census site is at

Toronto Star Offering Free Access to Their Archives Through May 31
Jan Meisels Allen reports that the Toronto Star is offering free access to their archives through May 31. Page images cover 1894–2011. Text version of the articles are available only from 1985 to the present. The search engine can be found at

JewishGen Education: “Get Ready To Publish Your Research”
As a publisher, I continually get inquiries about what steps are necessary to publish a family history. JewishGen Education is now offering a course on the subject. “Get Ready To Publish Your Research” will be given from May 29 - June 19. The class covers project organization, the report process, formatting, source and citation skills. It includes how to create and save media files, graphs and charts.

This class also will consider the various ways of packaging your research, matching your material to your audience and figuring out what to include from the research accumulated. Many kinds of publications will be considered from photo albums to family history books, the self-publishing venues, and using professional publishers.

Additional information on the course, including how to enroll, can be found on the JewishGen Education page at

Webinar: “How Castle Garden Records Burned in the Ellis Island Fire”
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will hold a webinar on Friday, May 29, at 1:00pm (Eastern) that will discuss exactly what records were destroyed in the 1897 fire at Ellis Island. Marian L. Smith, senior historian at USCIS, will be the lecturer. Castle Garden, at the southern tip of Manhattan, was the predecessor point of entry for immigrants prior to the building of the facility at Ellis Island. Information about USCIS webinars can be found at

Kremenets District Research Group Issues Progress Report
The Kremenets District Research Group master name index (Concordance) now has more than 215,000 personal name/town name entries (116,148 from vital records, 76,543 from Revision Lists, 1,559 from historical documents obtained from the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, 10,854 from the yizkor books and booklets, 2,913 from the Ellis Island Database, and 5,443 from other sources, and also has 1,604 “see” and “see also” references). Concordance entries are for 1,005 different towns or areas.

The Concordance index is available at no charge at Translations of birth records and censuses that have been proofread is in the JRI-Poland database at Translations that have not yet been proofread currently are available only to persons who volunteered within the past two years to help process documents for the project or contributed money. They soon will be added to the Kremenets Kehilalinks website at

The Concordance has thousands of entries for each of the other significant towns in the Kremenets district, including Belozirka, Berezhtsy, Katerburg, Lanovtsy, Oleksinets, Pochayev, Radzivilov, Rokhmanov, Shumsk, Vishnevets, Vyshgorodok, and Yampol.

Kremenets is a town about 80 miles ENE of L’viv. It was in Poland before the 18th century partitions and again during the interwar period. Current population is 22,000. About 7,000 Jews lived there before the Holocaust, but the Jewish population swelled to 15,000 as WWII began. All but 14 Jews were murdered by the Germans and Ukrainian collaborators.

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