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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 17, Number 34 | August 28, 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.

“How to View Thousands of Free Records on Ancestry Without a Subscription”
Not all record groups on Ancestry are available only to paid subscribers. Some are at no cost to all. For those who do not have a paid subscription and have the frustration of getting results from searches that comingle subscriber-only results with those for free, Family History Daily now includes an article titled “How to View Thousands of Free Records on Ancestry Without a Subscription.” It describes how to isolate the more than 600 record groups Ancestry provides at no charge. The article can be viewed at

Adoptees Gaining Greater Access to Birth Records in United States
An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that at this time about half of all U.S. states allow adult adoptees some form of access to their original birth certificate outside of going to court. In at least nine states — Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island (for those 25 and older) and Oregon — adult adoptees have unfettered access to those records. At least two other states, Indiana and Missouri, enacted laws this year that make it easier for adoptees to access their birth certificates. Similar legislation failed in other states, including Kentucky and Louisiana.

The complete article is at (Originally noted by Family Roots Publishing Company.)

Amazon Will Donate 0.5% of Your Purchases to Charity
A posting to JewishGen notes that Amazon will donate 0.5% of all your purchases to your favorite charity if you use their AmazonSmile feature. JewishGen is one of their accepted charities. Just log on to and key in “JewishGen Inc” as the charity you want to receive the donation. As the website notes, thereafter to purchase on Amazon, instead of logging on to, log on to to create the donation.

New Collections at Ancestry and Family Search
New collections at Ancestry and Family Search that might benefit Jewish genealogists include:

 Ancestry: Minnesota, Obituary Index, 1891–2003

FamilySearch has not made a formal announcement this week about new record collections and additions to collections, but adding indexes and digital images continues—many valuable to Jewish family history research. The most recent additions can be found at Click the words “Last Updated” to provide the list in chronological order, most recent first. Those additions in the millions of records include:
   • England and Wales Census, 1881, 26M records
   • Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index, 1899–1940, 2.5M records
   • Iowa State Census, 1905, 2M records

FindMyPast Adds U.S. Marriage Index, WWI and WWII Records
FindMyPast has added 4 million United States marriage records to its collection. Based on searching for Mokotoffs, these same records are available on FamilySearch. The FindMyPast results only show the given name of the spouse. To get the spouse’s surname, search using the given name of the spouse and the full name of the original name searched. This is unnecessary in the FamilySearch database, which not only provides the full name of the spouse but also the names of parents. The database is at Records/united-states-marriages.

Also added this week are “Britain, Enemy Aliens and Internees, First and Second World Wars.” It consists of 129,000 records of enemy aliens and internees of WWI and WWII. This record group does not appear on FamilySearch. It includes, for example, German Jews who fled Germany to England who had not yet established British citizenship. Non-subscribers are presented only the birth year and place. It is located at

Family Tree DNA Offers Summer Discounts
If you have not yet added your DNA to the ever-growing Family Tree DNA collection or want to add certain additional tests, the company is offering discounts on selected tests. Until August 31, you can order their Family Finder autosomal DNA test for $69 (usually $99). The company has also bundled other deals: Family Finder plus 37-marker Y-chromosome test for $228 (usually $268); Family Finder plus 67-marker Y-chromosome test for $327 (Usually $367); Family Finder plus mtFullSequence for $256 (usually $298). Finally, for those just starting to use DNA testing for family history research, a comprehensive genome test of the Family Finder, Y-chromosome and mtFullSequence for $499 (usually $566).

The offerings are 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 
 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.
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