Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 17, Number 20 | May 22, 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.
MyHeritage Planning to Add DNA Matching of Family Trees
In the Spring issue of AVOTAYNU, Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage, described eight unique features of the MyHeritage system. We can now add a ninth feature. The company has announced you can now upload DNA data to your family tree on MyHeritage. Soon, the company will make available DNA Matching, allowing users to be matched to other people who have common DNA and are likely related. MyHeritage will allow participants to review the family trees of their DNA Matches (excluding living people) and filter them by shared surnames or locations to focus on matches that are more relevant. DNA Matching will be combined with the power of MyHeritage's other technologies—Smart Matching and Record Matching—helping users to determine the likely relationship path to DNA Matches and prove or disprove other matches. Some time thereafter, MyHeritage will provide detailed ethnic and geographic origin reports based on DNA. If you or your family members have already done a DNA test on AncestryDNA, 23andMe or Family Tree DNA Family Finder, you can export this data and upload it to MyHeritage. Your DNA will be matched at no charge to all other contributors. If you upload your DNA data now, you will enjoy DNA Matching for free. This may become a paid feature later on, but it will remain free for users who upload now. Additional information is at http://blog.myheritage.com.
Ancestry UK and Irish Collection at No Charge Through May 23
In honor of Victoria Day, Ancestry's UK and Irish collection is available through May 23 to search at no charge. To see the featured collections, go to http://search.ancestry.ca/search/group/uk_irish_records. Persons who have not previously taken advantage of free offers will have to register, but no credit card information is requested.
Genie Milgrom Creates New Sephardic Genealogy Website
Genie Milgrom, author of My 15 Grandmothers, has created a website (http://www.sephardicancestry.com) that identifies the types of resources available in Spain for genealogical research including archives, libraries and universities. Milgrom gained fame with the publishing of her book which describes how she was able to trace her maternal ancestry back to 16th-century Spain. She is a Catholic born in Cuba who was able to prove that her family had been Converso Jews from before the Spanish Inquisition.
MACEVA Issues Annual Report of Activities in Lithuania
The website, Jewish Heritage Europe, reports that MACEVA, the non-profit organization which aims to preserve signs of old Lithuanian Jewish cemeteries, has published a report providing an overview of its activities in 2015. Included are documentation of cemeteries, digitization of photographs of headstones, cemetery clean-up workshops and other activities.
New cemeteries digitized include Valkininkai, Nemunaitis, Senoji, Zagare, Ziezmariai, Kaunas Vilijampolė and Rokiskis. Also a number of previously visited cemeteries were visited and photographed.
MACEVA also implemented their first international summer camp last August. At the camp Bulgarian, French, German and Lithuanian youth became acquainted with Lithuanian Jewish history as well as made their own contribution to Jewish cultural heritage.
The Jewish Heritage Europe report can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MACEVAReport2015.
Bone Marrow Registry at Conference
At the 2010 annual IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, there was a booth where people could volunteer to have cheek swabs that would go into a national registry of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. 50 persons volunteered and remarkably, since then, there was a match with a 58 year-old man suffering from leukemia.
For the first time since 2010, there will be the opportunity to join the bone marrow registry at this year’s conference. Look for a booth in the exhibit area. The announcement notes that people who are wholly or partly Sephardic or Mizrahi or multi-racial are underrepresented in the database.
Information about the conference can be found at http://www.iajgs2016.org.
How to Download Your Tree from Ancestry.com
Family History Daily has provided an article on how to recover your family tree from Ancestry.com. It produces a GEDCOM file which can then be uploaded to any other site that accepts family trees. It will only contain textual data and not attached photos or records. This means that if you download your file for use in another program, you will need to download and attach your media and Ancestry linked records manually. The article appears at http://tinyurl.com/DownloadAncestryTrees.
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