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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 17, Number 31 | August 5, 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
It was originally planned to not publish an edition of “Nu? What’s New” this week, but a cancelled flight to the Seattle conference plus the lead article suggested publishing an issue today.

Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

Brooke Schreier Ganz to Get Copy of New York City Marriage Index
They say, “You can’t fight City Hall,” but Brooke Schreier Ganz has proven you can fight…and win. Ganz took on one of the most obstinate government archives, the New York City Clerk’s Office. With a threat of a law suit hanging over their heads, they caved in and will give her a microfilm copy of the New York City Marriage Index 1930–1995—some 3 million entries. The City Clerk’s Office did not even give her the courtesy of a response to her prior requests for the data which were made under the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Ganz indicates that in the early future she will request the marriage index for the years 1998–2015. The microfilms will be digitized and placed online with access at no charge.

Previous successes include acquisition of microfilmed indices to approximately 445,000 vital records—births, marriages, and deaths—from the New Jersey State Archives for the years 1901–1903 (1901–1914 for the Brides Index). Also Index to New York City Marriage Applications, Affidavits, and Licenses, 1908–1929. The 48 microfilms of this collection, which include 80,000 scanned images and 450,000 names, are now online and free for public use, forever!

Ganz has created an organization called Reclaim the Records which has a website at

Family Tree Magazine Names 101 Best Websites for Genealogy for 2016
For the 17th consecutive year, Family Tree Magazine named its 101 best websites for genealogy. JewishGen, GenealogyIndexer are listed among the “Best International Genealogy Websites” and the Stephen P. Morse One-Step site is identified in “Best Online Tech Tools in 2016” with the erroneous title of “One-Step Web Pages.” To access the list of websites go to The list is worth perusing. It may identify a website previously unknown to you that could assist in your research.

IGRA Announces New and Updated Databases
The Israel Genealogical Research Association has added a number of new databases to their site at They include:
   • Marriage Registrations in Jerusalem: 1905
1913 (partial list)
   • Elected Officials: 2008 Regional Elections
   • Candidates for 2012 Regional Elections
   • List of Rabbis for Marriage Ceremonies 2016
   • National List of Mohalim, 2012
   • Mishmar Ha'Emek and Shomriya Archives
   • Journalists from the Association of Palestine Journalists: 1945 and 1948
   • Tombstones in Israel. An index of over 8,400 tombstones throughout Israel with links to photographs on Billion Graves.

They have also added to existing collections:
   • Marriage Certificates, 1927
   • Voters' List for the 1942 Knesset Elections

Yet Another Website with Burial Data
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter notes there is yet another website,, that includes burial information. The information is provided at no charge. Please note that the results may be displayed with a large number of advertisements first. Scroll down to get the actual results.

FindMyPast Adds U.S./Canadian Border Crossings
FindMyPast has added more than six million records of people who crossed from Canada into the United States via St Albans, Vermont, between 1895 and 1954. FindMyPast is a fee-for service site. This record set is available at no charge at Family Search ( FamilySearch provides an abstract of the record only. FindMyPast includes the actual image.

Quest Diagnostics to Provide Genetic Testing Services for
Quest Diagnostics has signed an agreement with to provide genetic testing services for Ancestry’s consumer genomics business starting in January 2017. Quest Diagnostics has headquarters in the U.S. and operations in India, Ireland, Mexico and the United Kingdom. It has more than 2,000 locations in the U.S. Although not explicitly stated, the news release implies a person will be able to walk into a Quest Diagnostics facility and receive a test kit. The announcement can be found at

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
Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
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