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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 16, Number 22 | May 31, 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 previous editions of Nu? What’s New? with additional information.

“Right To Be Forgotten” Policy May Become Infectious
The European Union’s “right to be forgotten” policy may be getting infectious.

Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, reports that countries outside the European Union are considering whether right to privacy trumps freedom of speech. These countries include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and South Korea. In general, U.S. courts are still leaning toward freedom of speech having higher precedence than right to privacy.

The European Union originally focused on Google as a source of information individuals consider private. Now they are looking into Facebook and Twitter. Can Geni and be next on their hit list?

Furthermore, the EU is arguing that information derived from non-European Union sources about an individual who lives in an EU country and is placed on a non-EU site must be considered for removal. As an example, if Google reports an American newspaper included information that the individual considers derogatory about a person living in an EU country, Google must remove it.

This view was confirmed by a French Court decision stating that the EU decision is relevant outside of the EU if the website covers EU residents. That is, the decision of a French court has applicability worldwide. This compares to a circumstance in 2011 where a U.S. court might have approved an agreement between Google and the Writers Guild that would have given Google the right to publish online any copyrighted work, even those copyrighted in France. At that time, the French government said it would dishonor such an American court decision and threatened to ban Google from France if they published any French copyrighted work. (The agreement was eventually thrown out of the U.S. court.)

“Global Family Reunion” This Saturday, June 6
As noted in a previous issue of Nu? What’s New?, if Geni is right, that indeed we are all cousins, there should be a family reunion where we are all invited. This dream of A. J. (Arnold) Jacobs a journalist, author, and lecturer, will be fulfilled Saturday, June 6, when a “Global Family Reunion” will be held at the New York Hall of Science, which is on the grounds of the 1964 World’s Fair.

There will be more than 50 presenters, many familiar to the genealogical community. They include Gilad Japhet (MyHeritage), Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Finding Your Roots broadcast), Bennett Greenspan (FamilyTreeDNA), David Rencher (FamilySearch), D. Joshua Taylor (Genealogy Roadshow), and Pamela Weisberger (vice-president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles and president and research coordinator of Gesher Galicia). Other genealogists are on the program. The full lineup of speakers, entertainers and activities is at

If you do not live in the New York City area, there will be simultaneous satellite parties in a large number of U.S. cities and some other countries. The complete list is at

FamilySearch Webinars for June
During the month of June, the Family History Library will be hosting 13 online family history classes and webinars. They are free to the public. Information about specific classes, including how to join a webinar, can be found at announces-free-classesjune-2015.

Some of the topics are:
   • Danish Research
   • Preserving Our Slovak Roots in the 21st Century
   • Case History: How to Find Ancestors in Digitalarkivet of Norway
   • Hamburg Passenger Lists
   • German Research Series. Learning to Read Old German Script and Extracting Information from German Church and Civil Records
   • Extracting Information from German Church and Civil Records

FamilySearch Additions for the Week – Part 1
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 1.7 million images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Australia, China, India, Peru, Philippines and the U.S. state of California.

All the additions are images rather that index records. The California images are for California County Naturalizations, 1849–1949.

FamilySearch Additions for the Week – Part 2
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 3.7 million indexed records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Belgium, England, Germany, Philippines and the U.S. states of Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

The largest group is a list of 2.3 million index records of London Electoral Registers, 1847–1913. Many of the additions to the U.S. collection involve images of crew lists and immigrant arrivals. The item categorized as the Philippines actually is an Index to Filipino Passengers Arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii (1900–1952).

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.

Forces War Records Adds Reports of WWII Casualties
The fee-for-service UK website ForcesWarRecords has added a new collection, World War II Daily Reports, which identifies British missing, dead, wounded and prisoners of war. More than 380,000 military personnel died, up to 150,000 were wounded and a further 180,000 men were held as POWs in the years 1939–1945. The database can be found at

Webinar: “ Getting the Scoop on Your Ancestors”
Ancestry Academy, the webinar presence of, has available a webinar on how to use newspapers—and specifically their subsidiary website—for family history research. ( is a fee-for service site offering a seven-day free trial.). The webinar can be found at

Bohemian Census Data Online
A posting to the Austria-Czech JewishGen Discussion Group notes that Bohemian census data is online at Data is available for the years 1723–1724, 1729, 1733, 1783, 1786, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1799 and 1811. The search engine does not function yet but the inventories can be found at It is interesting to view the early years where the men are shown only with patronymics, but by 1811 all had hereditary surnames.

Back River Memorial Gardens (Montreal) Gravestones Now On JOWBR
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal project to record all the burials and photograph all tombstones at the Back River Memorial Gardens is near completion. The data has been integrated into the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOBR) at JGS Montreal has provided a surname list of the burials at

There are plans to have an interactive virtual cemetery that allows viewing entire sections, moving up and down lines of graves, and getting statistics for each section or the whole cemetery.

IIJG Extends Deadline for Mathilde Tagger Prize for Genealogical Research
This year, the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy announced a $5,000 research prize in the name of the late Mathilde Tagger. The prize is awarded for original research, conducted recently and not yet published, that either broadens the horizons of Jewish genealogy or creates an innovative tool or technology designed to assist Jewish family historians in their endeavors. The deadline for submission has been moved from May 31 to June 30.

Information and instructions to applicants is at the Institute’s website,, under “Research” > “Research Prizes.”

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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 Download or print articles

 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

* Also see Russia and USSR ** Also see individual countries
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