Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 17, Number 15 | April 17, 2016
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 http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm
Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.
Annual Conference Schedule Now Online
Excitement mounts at the approach of the 36th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy to be held in Seattle from August 7–12. Conference planners have just posted the complete program schedule which can be found at http://s4.goeshow.com/iajgs/annual/2016/program_schedule.cfm. It has some 325 events during the week—lectures, presentations, meal events and computer workshops—nearly 250 of them hosted by a speaker or panel. You can now register for meals and workshops including SIG and JewishGen luncheons, Friday night Shabbat dinners, gala banquet, computer workshops and daily box lunches.
Watch for the launch of the mobile conference application. The app will let you browse and search the list, build and update your personal daily schedule, get in touch with other conference goers and receive updates about new developments and schedule changes.
If you have not registered, act now. The early registration period, with its discount, ends April 30. Register at http://www.iajgs2016.org.
Workshop on Certification to Be Offered for First Time at Conference
For the first time, the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies will be offering a workshop on certification at this conference. The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, August 10. Three genealogists, all of whom hold the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists, will team up to run it. Together, these experts will guide attendees through what the certification process entails. Board-certified associates are known throughout the genealogical world as key participants in teaching, writing and executive leadership of the leading genealogical organizations.
European Parliament Approves the General Data Protection Regulation
Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, reports that the European Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation on April 14. They approved the same version as the EU Council approved last week. Currently there is a patchwork of national rules and this is a one law for everyone. The new rules adopt the “right to be forgotten” as well as give data privacy regulators the authority to impose penalties amounting to up to 4 percent of annual turnover for global companies for noncompliance. The rules also state that individuals must give their “clear and affirmative consent” before companies, or governments, can process their private data.
Read the EU Press release at http://tinyurl.com/EuropeAdoptsPrivacyRules.
Israel State Archives Places Records Online
The Israel State Archives has begun placing its entire collection online—9,000,000 scanned pages to date—at http://www.archives.gov.il/en/. The system is still a work in progress. The first set of documents appears to be naturalizations during the Palestine Mandate period.
The English version is very primitive. It allows you to search for a person in Latin letters, the name result is in Latin letters, but all other information is in Hebrew. I did not find this much of an obstacle because Google Translate at https://translate.google.com accurately converted the Hebrew to English.
A controversy has erupted regarding plans to place these documents online. Certain papers may be subject to censorship by the Israeli military. According to Yaacov Lozowick, State Archivist, not more than 5 percent of the documents are under military scrutiny. For information about the controversy, see http://972mag.com/israels-state-archivist-opens-up- about-censorship-digitization/118567/.
FamilySearch Adds 4 Million Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 4 million indexed records and images, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/FamilySearch041116. This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Peru, South Africa, Spain and the U.S. states of Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Vermont. In addition, Family Search added 354K records from BillionGraves.com.
Most notable for persons with Jewish family history are additions to the index of Illinois Cook County (Chicago) Birth Certificates 1871–1940 and additions to the index of Germany Hesse Frankfurt Civil Registration 1811–1814 and 1833–1928
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.
MyHeritage Introduces Audio Recording Feature to Its App
MyHeritage has released an audio recording feature to its mobile app. This feature lets you interview relatives directly from their profile in your family tree and store the interview for future generations on your MyHeritage family site. Additional information is at http://blog.myheritage.com/2016/01/new-audio-recordings-for-interviewing-your-relatives.
GenTeam Adds 1.3 Million Entries to Their Site
The Austrian site, http://www.GenTeam.eu has added approximately 1.3M additional entries to their site. Many are church records. Those that are not include:
• Tenantry Registers of Moravia (190,000 entries)
• Proselyte in Vienna movements back to Jewish Community (6,300 entries)
• Eisenstadt (Burgenland) old Jewish Cemetery (1,100 gravestones)
• Nuremberg (Germany) Index of Civil Records 1810–1983 650,000 additional entries
The site now has 14 million entries which can be referenced at no charge. GenTeam is a European platform through which historians and genealogists who work independently or as a team on databases can furnish data to researchers.
If you are interested in this region, register to get on their mailing list. Their announcements contain far greater detail than can be provided on Nu? What’s New? and they do not publish online news releases.
Sophie Caplan Honored by the Australian Jewish Historical Society
The Australian Jewish Historical Society has presented Sophie Caplan OAM (on the left in accompanying picture) a Certificate for Life Membership, bestowed on her “in appreciation of the service and commitment to the Society over many years.” Caplan is also founding president of the Australian Jewish Genealogical Society and creator of their newsletter Kosher Koala. In 2000, the Australian government awarded her the Medal of the Order of Australia for her contribution to Australian history and genealogy. She also has been AVOTAYNU's Contributing Editor for Australia almost since the inception of the journal.
A child Holocaust survivor, her parents fled with her from Germany to France just before the outbreak of World War II after failing to receive their Australian landing permit. Sophie migrated with her family to Sydney after the war. She married the late Leslie Caplan, who served as a key leader of Sydney and Australian Jewry.
In December 2004, she was elected as the Historical Society’s president. She served in that position for seven years, and after that continued as a committee member until the end of last year.
Additional information can be found at http://www.jwire.com.au/life-membership-sophie/.
FindMyPast Adds 3.9 Million Articles to Newspaper Collection
More than 3.9 million additional articles have recently been added to the British Newspaper Collection on Findmypast. The latest updates include nine brand new titles as well as more articles for an additional 38 existing newspapers. The new titles to join the collection consist of local and regional newspapers from around Britain including publications from Devon, Oxfordshire and Lancashire. They cover years from 1846–1955.
As well as our new arrivals, there have been a number of new articles added to newspapers from some of the UK's biggest cities including Birmingham Daily Gazette, Sheffield Independent and Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
Access is by subscription. Additional information is at http://tinyurl.com/FMPNewspapers0417.
Next Canadian Census Can Be Completed Online
Statistics Canada conducts a census every five years. The next Census of Population will take place in May 2016. It will be possible to complete the census questionnaire online. Statistics Canada notes that census information is important for each community and is used in planning services such as schools, public transportation, senior housing and police and fire services. Population estimates obtained from the census are used to allocate transfer payments from the federal government to the provinces and territories and from the provinces to municipalities.
According to Jan Meisels Allen, the very last question on the short form is the “opt-in” question, which must be answered affirmatively for the census information to be made available to the public in 92 years from the census date—2108. On the long form it is the last question—Section G. A non-response is considered a “no”.
Additional information is at http://www.census.gc.ca/ccr16c/ccr16c_001-eng.html.
New England Historic Genealogical Society Extends Free Access to April 20
The New England Historic Genealogical Society has extended its free access to all of its online records on AmericanAncestors.org through April 20. More than one billion records cover 18 countries. Access is at http://www.americanancestors.org/Free-Billion.
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