Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 18, Number 12 | March 19, 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.
MyHeritage Adds Consistency Checker to Its Online Family Trees
I have been using Brother’s Keeper as my offline family tree software for more than 25 years. One feature it has that I find valuable is its Reasonableness Checker. It analyzes my tree database noting such unreasonable considerations as age at time of marriage is not with a range of years which you can set (preset to 14–90). This is a clue that the birth or marriage year is likely incorrect. There is a total of five reasonableness checks.
MyHeritage has now announced a Consistency Checker for family trees online at the MyHeritage website. The feature employs 36 different checks on the family tree data, ranging from the obvious (e.g., a person was born before their parent, or the parent was too young to be a parent) to the subtle and hard to find (e.g., a person was tagged in a photo and the photo is dated before the person’s birth; or two full siblings were born five months apart.)
Some of the issues it finds are factual mistakes (e.g. wrong birth date entered). Some are bad practices (e.g. birth year entered as 22 instead of 1922, or prefix entered as part of the first name instead of in the prefix field). Some are warnings about possible data entry errors (e.g. a woman’s married surname was apparently entered as her maiden surname, or a place was entered that looks suspiciously like a date). Some are inconsistencies you may want to fix, such as references to the same place name with two different spellings. Any issue you feel is fine and should intentionally not be addressed can easily be marked to be ignored and will not be reported again.
A similar Consistency Checker tool has long been available in MyHeritage’s offline software package Family Tree Builder. Additional information about Consistency Checker can be found at https://blog.myheritage.com/2017/02/new-online-family-tree-consistency-checker.
Holocaust in France: A Resource Guide Published at IGRA Site
Holocaust in France: A Resource Guide by Jean-Pierre Stroweis is now available on the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) website. The guide includes online resources and a selection of books, in both English and French, of the fate of the Jews in France during World War II. These will enable researchers to trace victims and survivors of the Holocaust in France.
This list contains general Holocaust resources and resources specific to France such as internment and concentration camps in France; deportation documentation; escaping from France; Jewish underground; military and the Vichy Regime; Jewish children; the work of Serge Klarsfeld; companies and foreign workers; and libraries, archives and Jewish institutes in France.
View the Guide at http://genealogy.org.il/holocaust-france-resource-guide.
New York State Considering “Right to Be Forgotten” Law
Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, reports that bills have been introduced in the New York State Assembly and Senate that would invoke the right to be forgotten. They would require online search engines and publishers to remove information about people at their request if the information is “inaccurate”, “irrelevant,” "inadequate” or "excessive.” The bills have an exception for information on felonies, legal matters related to violence or a matter "so significant current public interest and as to which the requester's role with regard to the matter is central and substantial.”
The bills can be found at http://tinyurl.com/hdzx4j8 (Assembly) and http://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2017/s4561 (Senate). Some commentary on the bill including why some First Amendment attorneys oppose the bill can be found at http://reason.com/blog/2017/03/15/right-to-be-forgotten-legislation-attemp.
USCIS Webinar on "Fact, Fiction, and Immigration Passenger Lists” Planned
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will present a webinar on "Fact, Fiction, and Immigration Passenger Lists” Tuesday, March 21, at 1:00pm ET. The presenter, Marian Smith, who will revive and update a 2006 presentation about understanding passenger list arrival records (originally titled "Making Sense of Immigration Passenger Lists”).
Topics included in the presentation will be the availability of such records (what records survived and are they complete), how they were created (by whom, how and where), and how preconceived notions can help or hinder research success. Smith will also reflect on changes in passenger list research over the last decade.
The webinar will not be recorded—it can only be viewed live. Additional information is at https://www.uscis.gov/HGWebinars.
FamilySearch Phasing Out Microfilm Collection
Microfilm is a technology of the past and FamilySearch is in the process of phasing it out. According to a report by "Ancestry Insider”:
• Replacement parts for broken microfilm readers are getting hard to find and are costly
• More than 50% of the FamilySearch microfilm collection has been digitized
• As collections are digitized, they are available online at FamilySearch.org
• A few collections are available only at Family History Centers or possibly only available at the Family History Library, subject to the original agreement with the copyright owner.
More detailed information can be found at http://www.ancestryinsider.org/2017/03/ future-of-family-history-center.html.
Have You Renewed Your Subscription to AVOTAYNU?
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If you are not a AVOTAYNU subscriber, you can sign up for the 2017 issues at http://www.avotaynu.com/journal.htm.
Last Chance: Ancestry Irish Collection Free Access
Today, until midnight Eastern Time, Ancestry is allowing access to their Irish collection at no charge. The link is at http://www.ancestry.com/cs/stpatricksday.
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