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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 17, Number 19 | May 15, 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
Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

Reclaim the Records Acquires New Jersey Vital Records Indexes
Reclaim The Records has announced it has received microfilms for indexes to New Jersey vital records from the New Jersey State Archives for the following years:
   • NJ birth index 1901–1903
   • NJ marriages (Grooms Index) 1901–1903
   • NJ marriages (Brides Index) 1901–1914
   • NJ death index 1901–1903

FamilySearch has agreed to digitize these microfilms at no charge and the project should be completed by July. Reclaim the Records will then post the indexes to It is likely that FamilySearch will place them on their site as well.

Google Rejects 70–75 Percent of “Right to Be Forgotten” Requests
With all the clamor about the European Union’s “Right to Be Forgotten” law, Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, reports that the implementation is far less than one would think. Allen notes that Google has reported in the two years since the Court of Justice of the European Union established the “right to be forgotten” for European Union residents, 70–75 percent of requests have been rejected by Google. The most frequent denial request concerns professional activity, “you are at the origin of the content” and information is about another person. The top three reasons for request for removal are invasion of privacy, damage to reputation and damage to image.

Social networks, directories and blogs are the three most requested sites; however, the links that are actually removed are more often from directories and other site categories.

Additional information is at

Are You Aware That Google Results Differ by Country?
An article in the online GenealogyInTime notes that there are more than 200 different Google search engines, mostly by country, and results can vary by engine. The article states, “Most people don't realize that the choice of Google search engine has a profound impact on the search results that are delivered to you. Choose the right Google search engine when searching for your ancestors, and you will get good results. Choose the wrong one, and you will almost certainly come up empty handed.”

Read the article at

New Book: Jewish Community of Long Island
As Jewish immigrants who came to New York City or their descendants became more affluent, they looked to the suburbs to relocate and have a superior lifestyle. One place they moved to was “Long Island.” Long Island is a massive island—1,400 square miles (3,625 square kilometers) that is part of New York State but is more off the coast of Connecticut. It has four subdivisions: two boroughs of New York City (Brooklyn and Queens) and two counties of New York State (Nassau and Suffolk).

Many residents of the two counties think of themselves as being part of the 51st state of the U.S.: Long Island. A person from Los Angeles might say s/he is from California, but a Long Islander will never say s/he is from New York: s/he is from Long Island.

Rhoda Miller and the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island have written a delightful book, Jewish Community of Long Island,  that is a photographic essay of what life has been like in the past century for the Jewish communities of Long Island (Nassau/Suffolk to the exclusion of Brooklyn/Queens). The index identifies 66 towns that are described in the book.

Each chapter starts with an introductory narrative about the topic followed by numerous pictures to support the narrative.
The chapters are:
   • Building a Jewish Community
   • Expanding the Jewish Religious Community
   • Expanding the Jewish Social Community
   • Expanding Jewish Life Despite Prejudice
   • Enjoying a Jewish Summer Community.

Miller and JGSLI should be congratulated for producing this work. People with roots on Long Island will find the book of interest. It can be purchased on Amazon for $16.16 plus shipping.

Australian Trove Funding May End
It is reported that the latest budget for the National Library of Australia has no new funding for Trove due to Library budget cuts. Currently the database hosts more than 4 million digitized items, including books, images, music, historic newspapers and maps. In 2014, an estimated 70,000 people were using the website each day.

The Trove site is at Additional information about the budget cuts is at

Online Lecture on Jews of Posen
On March 21, Edward David Luft gave a lecture at the Library of Congress (LOC) on the Jews of Posen province. It can now be viewed at the LOC site Luft is a frequent writer for AVOTAYNU and is the author of The Naturalized Jews of the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1834 and 1835: Revised Edition published by Avotaynu. Information about the book can be found at

FamilySearch Adds about 300K Records This Week
Lately, FamilySearch has been posting additions to their collection every other week. For some reason, they posted additions this week, even though it is a small amount. A list of recent additions can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Ecuador, Germany, Guam, Ontario, Zimbabwe and the U.S. states of Texas and Montana.

Most notable for persons with Jewish family history are additions to the index of Zimbabwe death notices 1904–1976. Yes, many Jews went to Zimbabwe when it was the British colony of Rhodesia. There are 53 Cohens in the death index.

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 Initiates Program to Preserve Family Histories of Remote Tribes
Not all of MyHeritage’s efforts are focused on providing improved services for their subscribers. The company has just announced the unveiling of Tribal Quest, a global pro bono initiative to preserve the family histories of remote tribes.

The first Tribal Quest expedition was to Namibia. MyHeritage employees interviewed hundreds of representatives from the Himba tribe. The team visited 19 villages, took hundreds of family photos, and used MyHeritage to record the family history information of more than 2,000 tribe members. The next expedition was to Papua New Guinea. MyHeritage employees interviewed tribal groups and built 36 family trees containing over 4000 individuals.

They have produced a website featuring interesting family stories discovered on their Namibia expedition, including video, photos, and a travel log. They will soon add materials from the trip to Papua New Guinea. It can be found at

The announcement can be found at

Budapest Birth Records 1876–95 Online
A posting to the Discussion Group of the JewishGen Hungarian SIG notes that MACSE, the Hungarian Society for Family History Research at, has produced a revised Hungarian-language version of the Budapest Jewish birth records for the years 1876–95. There are more than 46,000 entries. Their spreadsheet includes some additional records and additional information, such as occupations, as well as corrections to some of the records in the JewishGen database. The data can be sorted, for example by surname, but cannot be downloaded.

The MACSE spreadsheet can be accessed at

To submit a Page of Testimony, go to Click the words “Download Pages of Testimony Forms.”

Join the ranks of Yad Vashem’s worldwide network of volunteers working in one-on-one outreach efforts with Holocaust survivors and members of their generation to recover the names of Shoah victims before they are lost forever. For ideas and resources on how to launch a names recovery campaign in your area, visit Yad Vashem’s Community Outreach Guide for updated program information on the project in Israel and in Russian speaking Jewish communities around the world.

Yad Vashem has provided a 10-minute Pages of Testimony tutorial video at the site to learn how to help survivors and others from their generation to fill out Pages of Testimony. To volunteer for the project or for more information contact
Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2016, 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