Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 18, Number 22 | June 4, 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 DNA Ethnicity Analysis
MyHeritage has joined other DNA services in offering analysis to determine a person’s ethnicity. Persons who have already purchased their DNA kit through MyHeritage as well as those who upload their DNA data to MyHeritage will find they already have access to this analysis. Additional information can be found at https://blog.myheritage.com/.
Ethnicity analysis is an imperfect science as demonstrated by the results I have received regarding my own ethnicity from three services.
Note that only Family Tree DNA indicates I have Sephardic roots. Ancestry’s actual term for my 92% Jewish heritage is “European Jewish.” A map provided by Ancestry shows that their definition of “European Jewish” excludes the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). I do not know how Ancestry defines Sephardic ethnicity.
The results caused me to try to determine where in my ancestry do I have Sephardic roots using relatives whose DNA was also tested by Family Tree DNA. A second cousin on the Mokotoff side (father’s father) does not show Sephardic roots. A second cousin on my father’s mother’s side also does not show Sephardic roots. Finally, my uncle (mother’s brother) lacks Sephardic roots. My DNA consultant indicates that this occurs because of the random selection of the 50% autosomal DNA each parent gives to a child. If this is true, autosomal DNA cannot be used to find the source of your ethnicity.
I invite comments.
FindMyPast Offer: One Month for $9.95
There are so many fee-for-service genealogy companies on the Internet, that one could easily spend $1,000 per year to subscribe to all of them. Some of these companies offer record collections the majority of which are of no interest to you or are duplicated elsewhere. Yet there are those one or two record groups unique to the website that can help document your family’s history.
Solution. Some of these companies offer month to month subscriptions. FindMyPast currently is making such an offer through Family History Daily. For only $9.90, you can access their collection of 8 billion records for a month. First search their website for records of value to you. If they exist, take out a one-month subscription. The website notes that the subscription will be automatically renewed for another month unless you change your account settings.
The offer is at http://www.findmypast.com/family-history-daily. It ends June 6.
Clearance Sale! Every Family Has a Story For Only $19.99
Not every one of the 75 books Avotaynu has published to date is designed to further your family history research. One such book is Every Family Has a Story: Tales from the Pages of AVOTAYNU.”
The book consists of 72 articles that have appeared in our journal, AVOTAYNU, each story focusing on the human side of genealogy—how genealogists have been personally affected by their research and how the research of genealogists has affected others. The lead stories in the book are good examples:
• How a genealogist, adopted shortly after birth, located her birth family and discovered she has seven siblings. She was the only one adopted out of the family.
• How a genealogist helped a child survivor of the Holocaust find family and return to Judaism.
• When a Jewish mother with four children got off the boat at Ellis Island, the authorities were suspicious that two of them were not hers—they were black.
• How a professional genealogist helped locate a woman who wrote a diary as a teenager during the Holocaust period. The story has a shocking ending.
• The most unusual name-change story ever published in AVOTAYNU is described in “A Priest in the Family.”
The book regularly sells for $37.00 plus shipping. Until Monday, June 12, we are offering it for only $19.99 plus shipping. There are less than 100 copies in stock. When it is sold out, the book will go to “Out of Print” status, so order now! You must use a special web page to take advantage of the offer: http://www.avotaynu.com/books/EveryFamilySpecialOffer.htm.
All 72 stories will make delightful reading. Order now!
New at Ancestry.com
Ancestry has added the following record groups at their site. Note that they do not indicate how many entries have been added. Announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date.
Washington, Divorce Index, 1969–2014
U.S. Civil War Roll of Honor, 1861–1865
Washington, State Marriage Indexes, 1969–2014
Idaho, Divorce Index, 1947–1966
Idaho, Death Records, 1890–1966
Idaho, Birth Index, 1861–1916, Stillbirth Index, 1905–1966
Web: El Paso County, Texas, Death Index, 1956–2010
The Auschwitz Album
The most complete photographic evidence of the Auschwitz “experience” was published many years ago by Yad Vashem in a book titled The Auschwitz Album. Yad Vashem has now placed these photographs online at http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/ album_Auschwitz/index.asp. The photographs are organized by topic. I could find no one webpage that provides links to all the pages, so they are provided here. The book can be purchased from Yad Vashem at http://secure.yadvashem.org/store/product.asp?productid=277.
Last Moments Before Gas Chambers: http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/album_auschwitz/last-moments.asp
Selected for Slave Labor:
Assignment to Slave Labor: http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/album_auschwitz/assignment-to-slave-labor.asp
“Kanada” (Sorting abandoned belongings of arrivals): http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/album_auschwitz/kanada.asp
Video about Auschwitz-Birkenau: http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/album_auschwitz/multimedia.asp
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