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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 18, Number 23 | June 11, 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
Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

The Ancestor Hunt Lists Online Newspapers
 The Ancestor Hunt has a substantial list of online newspapers throughout the world. It is located at There is a special list of historic Jewish American newspapers at historic-jewish- american-newspapers-online#. Many of these sites offer access to their collection at no charge.

Reclaim the Records Acquires New York State Death Index 1880–1956;
Ancestry to Index the Collection
Reclaim the Records has acquired a digitized copy of the New York State Death Index for the years 1880–1956. It was provided by the New York State Board of Health based on the state’s Freedom of Information Law.

New York City deaths are, for the most part, not included in this statewide death index because New York City and New York State are completely different vital records jurisdictions. Three other cities are not included in this statewide death index until 1914 or 1915: Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers. Reclaim the Records stated they will be making three new FOIL requests to those city clerks for copies of their 1880–1914 death indices in order to complete the missing data.

The files, which are huge, are currently being uploaded to As of this moment, only 1880 through 1906 can be viewed. The organization stated they hope to complete the entire project by August. The format of the URL to access each year’s images is, where yyyy is the year to be displayed. For those impatient to get the data from years not yet placed online, go the website for the particular year and click “Show All Files.” On the following page download the multi-gigabyte Zip files and unzip them. Eventually links to each year will be displayed at

Additional information about the announcement can be found at Digitizing the records was done for the Department of Health by Ancestry. The company indicated they plan to index the Index but made no commitment when it would be available to their subscribers.

MyHeritage Webinar on Site’s Capabilities
Daniel Horowitz, Chief Genealogist of MyHeritage recently gave a one-hour webinar on the new features and technologies at his company’s website. It is now located on YouTube at Horowitz will give a similar lecture at the 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, to be held at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando, Florida, from July 23–28.

MyHeritage Adds Seven Netherlands Collections
MyHeritage has added seven new Dutch collections to their site. They are:
   • Population Registers 1810–1936
   • Civil Births 1811–1915
   • Civil Marriages 1811–1940
   • Civil Deaths 1811–1965
   • Church Baptisms 1580–1811
   • Church Marriages 1580–1811
   • Church Burials 1601–1811

Additional information, including links to each collection, can be found at

24-Hour Access to Forces War Records for Only £1
Forces War Records is allowing access to its 10 million records for just £1 (99p). The company focuses on military records of the UK. The site was created in 2008 upon the request of some Forces Reunited members who were looking for information on their ancestors but had come up against dead ends with the usual genealogy sites. They employ 70 people in the UK and are adding more than 200,000 records a month. The offer ends tomorrow, June 12. It can be found at

FindMyPast Announces Weekly Additions to Collection
Among the collections added by FindMyPast this week are:
   • 5.1M World War I Draft Registration Cards
   • 550K Illinois, Northern District, Naturalization Index (includes Chicago and northern Illinois, northwest Indiana, southern and eastern Wisconsin, and eastern Iowa.

These collections already exist on FamilySearch and Ancestry.

Recent Additions to FamilySearch
FamilySearch has not formally announced additional images and indexes at their site for the past two weeks, but their collection list at shows the following collections have been updated or added since the last formal announcement.
   • Michigan Obituaries, 1820–2006
   • Texas, Eagle Pass Arrival Manifests and Indexes, 1905–1954
   • New Hampshire, United States Naturalization Records, 1906–1993 (Images only)
   • Rhode Island Naturalization Records 1907–1991 (Images only)
   • Vermont Naturalization Records, 1908–1987 (Images only)

Importance of Jewish Genealogical Societies
Is there a Jewish genealogical society in your area? Are you a member? If you are unsure whether one exists in your area, a complete list of more than 70 societies worldwide can be found at

Several years ago, Michael Goldstein, then president of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies wrote an article for AVOTAYNU titled “The Most Powerful Genealogical Research Tool of All: Jewish Genealogical Societies” It has been placed permanently on the Internet at the Avotaynu Online site at The article provides convincing evidence of the value to your personal research of being a member of a Jewish genealogical society.

Attend the 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
23–28 July 2017  • Walt Disney World Swan Resort  • Orlando, Florida

   • More than 250 lectures and workshops
   • SIG meetings and luncheons
    Birds of a Feather meetings
   • Gala banquet
    Access to subscription-only online databases
   • Film Festival
    Network with other genealogists
   • Consult with the experts

Registration and additional information at

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