Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 18, Number 1 | January 1, 2017
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.
Happy New Year!!
FamilySearch Gives Year-End Report
The new year is the time when organizations reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year, and FamilySearch is no exception. In a report at http://media.familysearch.org/ familysearch-2016-genealogy-highlights/, the organization reflected on its accomplishments in the past year. Here are some of the highlights:
• The organization’s online indexing initiative celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. Because of these efforts, more than 5.57 billion searchable names are available from 1.2 billion published searchable historical documents. As an example, nearly 19,000 online volunteers finished indexing the 2 million handwritten records of the Freedmen’s Bureau records from the United States National Archives and Records Administration. These records are pivotal for African American research because they document freed slaves and others who struggled to redefine themselves after the Civil War.
• Nearly 315,000 volunteers logged 11 million hours during the year. Volunteers indexed 274.8 million records last year, bringing the total number of indexed records freely searchable online to 2.4 billion.
• FamilySearch’s 320 camera teams around the world digitally preserved more than 60 million new images of historical records in 45 countries.
• Dozens of free video courses were added online during the year. These courses are accessible through the FamilySearch Learning Center. More than 100,000 helpful, how-to articles specific to family history are also now available through on the FamilySearch Wiki.
• More than 561,000 new contributors added information to Family Tree, making a total of 3.45 million contributions. Now 1.1 billion individuals are linked in the FamilySearch Family Tree.
• Numerous improvements have been made to the quality and capability of the website.
USHMM Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database Continues to Grow
A posting to the JewishGen Discussion Group notes that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Survivors and Victims Database has grown significantly. Searching for the rare surname “Mokotow” identified a large number of sources including:
• Kindertransport lists
• Sh'arit ha-pl'atah. A list of survivors
• Persons deported from France
• Emigration case files of the Australia Jewish Welfare and Relief Society
• Jewish refugees arriving in Australia via Melbourne between 1946–1954
• List of persons interned in Dachau
• Lwow Ghetto work cards
Each data field can be searched as Exact, Fuzzy or Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex System. Search the database at https://www.ushmm.org/online/hsv/person_advance_search.php.
Site Identifies Online Canadian City Directories
Jan Meisels Allen reports that a website, http://genealogyalacarte.ca/?page_id=10651, provides links to a number of Canadian city directories. The list includes:
• British Columbia City Directories, 1860–1955
• Calgary (Alberta) Telephone Directories, 1903–1924
• Canadian Directories Collection (Halifax, Ottawa, plus others)
• Chatham (Ontario) Directories, 1870s to 2005
• Hamilton, London and Kingston, Ontario, and Southwestern Ontario
• Henderson’s Directories (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)
• Kingston, Ontario City Directories, 1855–1922
• Lethbridge (Alberta) Telephone Directories, 1907–1953
• Lovell's Montreal Street Directories 1842–2010
• Marcotte Directories of Quebec City, 1822–1976
• Medicine Hat and District (Alberta) Telephone Directories, 1907–1959
• Peterborough (Ontario) City Directories, 1858–2010
• Toronto City Directories, 1833–1922
Amsterdam City Archives Makes 18 Million Records Available Online
Jan Meisels Allen also reports that the Amsterdam City Archives has made all their 18 million scans of indexes and inventories available online at no charge. Most images are currently online; the balance will be available by the second week in January. For documents that have not been published or were copyrighted, the procedure for applying to inspect the records has not changed. Those inventory numbers are not online, and one must visit the archives to access those documents.
The site is located at https://www.amsterdam.nl/stadsarchief/nieuws/gratis-scans. It is in Dutch only. Use Google translate if you are not familiar with the language. Jeanette Rosenberg of JGS Great Britain was the original source of the information.
JewishGen Offers Four Basic Genealogy Courses During 2017
m Throughout 2017, JewishGen will offer four Basic Genealogy courses. They are:
• Exploring JewishGen
• Search Strategies
• Organizing Your Data
• Explore the Belarus SIG Website.
The course “Explore the JewishGen Website” will run from January 6 - January 20. It is a series of exercises that will take the student on a guided tour of the paths and byways that make up JewishGen's massive website. There will be visits to the links that connect the composite databases, projects, SIGs and “open up the wonders of JewishGen.”
Information about all the courses can be found at http://www.jewishgen.org/education.
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