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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 17, Number 47 | November 27, 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.

Most of the news this week involves MyHeritage and FamilySearch

50% Off MyHeritage Full Access Subscription

Readers of the Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter (EOGN) are being offered a 50% discount on a MyHeritage Full Access subscription—a $250 subscription for only $125. By a remarkable coincidence, as a MyHeritage subscriber, I just received a telephone call from the company informing me the offer is also extended to current users to renew their subscription for another year. The offer expires December 1. Additional information can be viewed at

   • If for some reason, the offer is literally for EOGN subscribers only, then subscribe to the daily newsletter at It’s free.
   • If you are a current MyHeritage subscriber, it may take a phone call to MyHeritage to get the renewal offer. Their toll-free number is at the offer site.

MyHeritage DNA Service Now Includes Surname Matching
Persons who take advantage of the MyHeritage DNA service and provide ancestral surnames will now have, in addition to the match results, a display of common ancestral surnames for every match. MyHeritage notes that such matches could point to the identity of the shared ancestor from which both persons inherited the same DNA segments. Currently, the feature works only for exact surname matches. The company plans to support phonetic matches at some future date. Additional information can be found at

MyHeritage Announces New Databases
MyHeritage has added a number of databases to its collection. They include:
   • 1871 and 1881 Canada Census
   • Denmark Census Records 1890, 1901, 1906, 1911, 1916, 1921, and 1925
   • Chronicling America Newspaper Collection
   • 1911 England and Wales Census
   • Additional 1.5 million records added to the BillionGraves collection

All of this newly digitized and updated content is available for searching in SuperSearch, the MyHeritage global search engine for historical records. Record Matching technology will be unleashed on these records to automatically find relevant historical records for people on user-submitted family trees.

Additional information is available at

Family Search Celebrating Ten Years of Indexing

The power of volunteerism has been expressed by FamilySearch who just announced that in the ten years since they started to organize a volunteer force—now in the hundreds of thousands—online volunteers have poured over 1.5 billion images of historic records and made more than a billion ancestral names conveniently searchable. Additional information is at

Do you contribute to the volunteer efforts of organizations such as JewishGen? JewishGen Special Interest Groups (SIGs) invariably have indexing projects that need additional volunteers. In addition to SIG projects, there is the JewishGen Worldwide Burial Registry. The next time you visit a cemetery, bring along a camera and photograph the nearby tombstones and contribute the results to the Registry. Additional information about the Registry is located at Photograph memorial plaques in synagogues and add the results to the JewishGen Memorial Plaques Database. Additional information is at

Volunteer to grow Jewish genealogical databases.

FamilySearch Additions for This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch can be found at The additions are primarily an index to the Denmark census of 1916. The addition of 114,000 index records to Hungary Civil Registration (1895–1980) may be of value to some researchers. Other additions are from Sweden (church records) and the U.S. states of Ohio, South Carolina and Wyoming.

Other Items of Interest
Google App Allows Smart Phone to Replace Scanner
The genealogy newsletters are abuzz about a new app from Google that allows you to photograph old pictures and documents and remove imperfections. The implication is that it will provide an image of the quality of a scanner. Called Photoscan, it is available for iPhone and Android devices. Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter states that the app will eliminate reflections and other aspects of digital deterioration. It will then create enhanced digital scans, with automatic edge detection, perspective correction, and smart rotation. Additional information can be found at

Soldiers of the First World War Database Online at Library and Archives Canada
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is in the process of digitizing records to form a database of “Soldiers of the First World War 1914–1918.” To date, they have completed 361,236 of 640,000 files. LAC is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10,686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order. They are up to the surname “Mattineau.” However, I searched for the surname Smith and found 7,000 records, so it is worth the few minutes to search the database even if the surname being searched is at the end of the alphabet. Additional information is at

Slovak Database of Jewish Property Seized During World War II
A posting to the JewishGen Hungarian SIG Discussion Group notes that the Slovak Ustav Pamati Naroda (Nation’s Memory Institute) has two online databases on the “Aryanization” (theft of Jewish property) at and liquidation of Jewish businesses in the territory of the Slovak state at during World War II.

Contribute to the Success of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy
Help support a dynamic institution that in its brief existence already has been the catalyst for such benefits to Jewish genealogy as the Beider-Morse Phonetic Matching System,  Sephardic DNA and Migration project, inventorying the Paul Jacobi Collection of 400 prominent Ashkenazic lineages, the Proposed Standard for Names, Dates and Places in a Genealogical Database, and a system for Integrating Genealogical Datasets.

Visit the IIJG website at and read about these developments, as well as  ongoing and proposed projects.

Make your tax-deductible contribution by credit card or PayPal at Click the Donate link. If you prefer, mail a check to Avotaynu Foundation,  794 Edgewood Ave., New Haven, CT 06515, USA. Make the check payable to “Friends of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy.” Donations are tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
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