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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 17, Number 35 | September 4, 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.

Today Is the Annual European Day of Jewish Culture
Today, September 4, is the annual European Day of Jewish Culture. The event was initiated in 1996 in France and now involves twenty-seven European countries. The aim of the day is to organize activities related to Jewish culture and expose them to the public, with the intention of revealing the cultural and historical heritage of the Jewish people. Each year there is a theme. This year’s theme is Jewish languages.

Events range from exhibits to concerts to conferences to performances to
guided tours, food tastings, symposia, book fairs, publications and more. Programs of participating countries can be found at

New Genealogical Service Provides Personal Coaching
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter (EOGN) notes a new service where genealogists can get one-on-one advice from a professional. You buy 15-minute increments of the person’s time.

The service has launched with 25 coaches across 47 different categories.
Topics include: getting started; genetic genealogy/DNA; tree analysis
and writing a research plan; and document translation. Coaches also
specialize in researching different regions of the world and different
ethnic groups. For example, Lara Diamond is their specialist on Jewish research. Her rate is $17.50 per 15-minute consultation.

How it works. EOGN states that shortly before the coaching session, an email link is sent that allows the user to log in to a private video chat room. There they meet face to face, via video chat, to share screens and documents with the genealogy coach, and receive the help they need to keep them moving along in their family history journey.

The service, named GenealogyDOTCoach is located at

Website Has Descriptions of Shtetls in Belarus
A posting by Carola Murray-Seegert to the JewishGen Belarus Discussion Group notes an Israeli website—"My Shtetl: The Voice of Jewish Settlements”—that has information on the shtetls of Belarus. Currently it only includes towns of the Minsk, Vitebsk and Mogilev regions. Grodno, Brest and Gomel regions are planned. The site is located at

Click on any of the three regions on the map on the home page and it will display a detailed map of the region identifying numerous towns. Click on a particular town and a narrative of the history of the town is provided. Information may include oral histories, family memories, photos and historic texts. Some descriptions are in Russian only. Use Google Translate to convert them to your native tongue.

FamilySearch Adds Nearly 7 Million Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, nearly 7 million indexed records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Australia, England, France, Luxembourg, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, Spain and the U.S. states of Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas.

Most notable for persons with Jewish family history are images of World War II Draft Registration Cards and additions to the index of Boston Passenger Lists Index 1899–1940,

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.

JGSLI Adds Video on U.S. Immigration Ports
The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island (JGSLI) has added a video to its YouTube website titled “6 Popular Ports of Entry to the U.S. (Not Everyone Came through Ellis Island).” They note that there are many other ports that were used by arriving immigrants, and their means of transportation wasn’t limited to ships. This video covers the six most popular ports of entry to the U.S., between 1880 and 1920, and a few other methods used by new arrivals. The video can be viewed at This is the 21st video JGSLI has posted to their site. In 2015, the project received the “Outstanding Publication Award” of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Free Access to Ancestry Job-Related Records Until September 5
In honor of Labor Day, Ancestry is providing free access to job-related records through September 5. This includes all federal and state census records that include occupation, and special collections such as “California, Occupational Licenses, Registers, and Directories, 1876–1969.” The records can be searched at

FindMyPast Adds British Army Casualty Lists 1939–1945
FindMyPast has added to their collection 1.1 million War Office records covering officers and nurses and other ranks. These lists cover individuals reported as killed in action, wounded, prisoner of war, missing, died of wounds, missing believed killed, dangerously ill, and involved in accidents. The collection is located 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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 Cost is $35 (one-time charge).

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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
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