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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 16, Number 32 | August 16, 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
Only a few items of interest this week. Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

New Website Identifies Victims of Disasters
Was a member of your genealogical family the victim of a train wreck, significant fire, flood, shipwreck, plane crash or other disaster? The Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter notes there is a website,, that identifies such persons.

The authors of the site must have spent hundred of hours copying newspaper accounts of the disaster and lists of the persons dead and injured or missing. There are 99 air disasters for New York State alone. The well-known Triangle Shirtwaist fire is included, of course. There are 90 overall results for persons names Cohen.

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch can be found at the Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter at 2015/08/11/new-familysearch-collections-week-of-august-5-2015. This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Italy, Mexico, Philippines and a minor update to images of Massachusetts Marriages (1841–1915).

Additional collections announced are for Columbia Catholic Church records and Wisconsin County Marriages (1836-1911). That announcement can be found at en/familysearch-collections-week-august-11-2015.

Most of the additions are Italian civil registrations, Mexican Catholic Church records and Philippine civil registrations. A significant addition of possible interest to persons researching their Jewish ancestry is a new index: United States Index to Alien Case Files (1940–2003). This collection already exists on for paid subscribers.

Note that at FamilySearch, 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.

Who Do You Think You Are? Has Special Program Tonight
For fans of the show Who Do You Think You Are?, TLC (The Learning Channel) will air a special episode of the series titled “Into The Archives” tonight (Sunday, August 16) at 9pm ET. It will feature highlights from past seasons, including triumphs and tragedies, delightful discoveries and sobering moments. This special episode also unveils outtakes and never-before-seen footage from the series’ vault.

British Jewry Book of Honour 1914–1920
The UK version of FindMyPast has added the British Jewry Book of Honour 1914–1920 to its collection. It contains nearly 57,000 color images and transcripts of the original document. This two-volume book was published in 1922 to record and honor the contribution made by the 50,000+ Jews who served in the British and colonial forces during the First World War. The database can be found at british-jewry-book-of-honour-1914-1920?.

Database of British Empire Prisoners of War Held by Japan Now Online
Forces War Records, at, has added an index to 56,363 persons of the British Empire who were Japanese prisoners of war. They include those who died in captivity as well as those released at the end of World War II. Information provided includes name, rank, service number, branch of service, final camp location, date of capture and date of liberation. Additional information is at 128/imperial-prisoners-of-war-held-in-japan. There appears to be no way to search the collection alone.

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 
 Google Custom Search engine
 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
Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2015, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved

To change an e-mail address, send a request to

To subscribe to AVOTAYNU, The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, go to

To order books from our catalog, go to

To contact us by postal mail, write: Avotaynu, Inc.; 794 Edgewood Ave.; New Haven, CT 06515

Telephone  (U.S.) : 475-202-6575