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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 18, Number 45 | November 26, 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.

MyHeritage DNA Price Lowered Yet Again to $49 Each
MyHeritage has lowered its price for DNA testing to a rock bottom $49—a 50% discount—until Monday, November 27, at 11:59 Mountain Time. That is two hours after Eastern Time. They are also offering free shipping on orders of three kits or more.

DNA testing has become the rage for finding long lost family. I have already connected through DNA testing with the families of two first cousins whom I lost contact with over the years. When my maternal grandfather arrived in the U.S. in 1904, the passenger list said he was going to a cousin in Chicago. As it turned out, he was going to a cousin of his wife. A DNA test with the descendants of my grandmother’s cousin confirmed the theory.

I strongly urge you to join a DNA pool. It is the new way to discover ancestors. Get three to five test kits. Three if both parents are alive—yourself, mother, father. For each parent that is deceased, get two kits—one for a cousin on your parent’s mother’s side and the second for a cousin on your parent’s father’s side. When you get a match, these multiple kits will help you determine whether the cousin match is on y0ur mother’s side or father’s side.

Order kits at

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday–
Last Day for 40–74% Discount on Selected Books by Avotaynu
Deadline Nearly Here
Tomorrow (Monday November 27) is the last chance to buy selected books published by Avotaynu at discounts from 40–74 percent.

Go to and purchase books from that page only. If you order from any other page, you will pay full price. The page includes a link to more detailed information about a specific book.

Books on Black Friday sale:

Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy. Written by more than 60 authors, each an expert in his/her own field. It has more than 100 chapters on virtually every aspect of Jewish family history research. A must for any serious genealogist. $85.00 Now only $49.00, a 43% discount.

Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names. This magnum opus describes origin and evolution of 15,000 given names. The 100-page introduction was Dr. Alexander Beider’s doctoral thesis at the Sorbonne. $85.00 Now only $49.00, a 43% discount.

Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Identifies 35,000 surnames from Galicia. The introductory section describes how Jews from the region acquired hereditary surnames and dispels many myths including derogatory surnames. $85.00 Now only $49.00, a 43% discount.

A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire: Revised Edition.
Comprehensive collection of Jewish surnames from Czarist Russia—74,000 in total. Its 200-page introductory discusses the origin and evolution of Jewish surnames in Eastern Europe. Two vols. $118.00 Now only $59.00, a 50% discount.

Jewish Personal Names. Roots of more than 1,200 Jewish given names showing Yiddish/Hebrew variants with English transliteration. $15.00 Now only $9.00, a 40% discount.

A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames. More than 13,000 surnames from pre-World War I Germany providing the names etymology and where and when the name appeared. $89.00 Now only $49.00, a 45% discount.

Russian-Jewish Given Names: Their Origins and Variants. Comprehensive collection of Jewish given names from czarist Russia. $35.00 Now only $19.00, a 46% discount.

Where Once We Walked: Revised Edition. Award-winning gazetteer of Central
and Eastern Europe. Mostly replaced by JewishGen’s Communities Database, but still has value in providing Jewish population before the Holocaust. Cites as many as 50 books that reference the town. Also advantages of a book vs. computer screen. $85.00 Now only $35.00, a 59% discount.

A Practical Guide to Jewish Cemeteries. A comprehensive guide to Jewish cemeteries and Jewish burial customs. How to read tombstones. Also identifies famous cemeteries and burial sites of famous Jews. $39.00 Now only $22.00, a 44% discount.

Every Family Has a Story. Human interest stories published in AVOTAYNU in the past 20 years—72 in all—about how genealogy affected people's lives. $37.00 Now only $22.00, a 40% discount.

Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Jewry: 1909–1914. Births, bar mitzvahs, marriages, deaths and other records of Canadian Jewry. $35.00 $15.00, a $58% discount.

Library Resources for German-Jewish Genealogy. Concise directory of library sources in Germany and the Internet. $20.00 Now only $9.00, a 55% discount.

Jewish Vital Records, Revision Lists in the Lithuanian Archives. Inventory of Jewish records in the Lithuanian State Archives. $35.00 Now only $9.00, a 74% discount.

Eliyahu's Branches. More than 20,000 descendants of the Vilna Gaon with analysis of the early descendants of this great scholar. $69.50 Now only $35.00, a 49% discount.

Repeat: Go to and purchase books from that page only. If you order from any other page, you will pay full price. The page includes a link to more detailed information about a specific book.

50% off Ancestry Subscription
 Family History Daily notes that Ancestry is offering 50% gift subscriptions. The implication is that the offer is available only to current members as gifts to others, but I logged off my Ancestry account and was still able to access the site.

The prices are:
   U.S. only,12 months $189 $94
   U.S. only, 6 months $99 $49
   Entire world collection, 12 months $299 $149
   Entire world collection, 6 months $149 $74

Order at

FamilySearch Adds Nearly 10 Million Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, nearly 10 million indexed records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Brazil, Denmark, Great Britain, Peru, Portugal and Uruguay. For the first time in quite a while, there were no U.S. records added.

Notable contributions include the 1835, 1840, 1845, 1850 and 1855 censuses of Denmark and Uruguay Civil Registration (1900–1937).

Note that at the website, announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. Also note that counts shown in the announcement are the number added, not the total number available in the collection, which can be greater.

JewishGen Hungarian Database Now Has 1.5 Million Records
JewishGen announced that the Hungarian Collection database now has more than 1.5 million records. This latest update includes entries from a variety of towns, including Fuzer (Abauj-Torna), Monok (Zemplen), Kisszeben (Saros), Aranyosmeggyes (Szatmar), and Papa (Veszprem). In addition, we have added a significant collection of Kassa civil birth records (1895–1915) along with Nyitra birth records. The database can be found at

Database for Jewish Cemeteries in Southern Moravia
 Jewish Heritage Europe notes that the tourist information website of the Jewish community of Brno, Czech Republic, includes databases with maps of more than 20 Jewish cemeteries in southern Moravia. There are maps of the cemeteries and lists of people buried there. Some have photos of every gravestone.

Additional information is at cz-database-for-jewish-cemeteries-in-southern-moravia.

“Take Care When You Use Google”: 27th Article in Safe Computing Series
Former IAJGS president Hal Bookbinder has published his 27th article in his Safe Computing series: “Take Care When You Use Google.” We live in the age of computers and there can be a downside to their use. These short, typically one- or two-page essays will help you avoid the risks that can come with computer usage. The series is available in a single PDF file which includes an index at

NEHGS Establishes Jewish Heritage Center
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has created a Jewish Heritage Center to help preserve the Jewish history of New England. The archive houses copies of the Boston Jewish Times, records of the Boston office of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Boston office of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the personal papers of some of the region’s most prominent Jews.

In 2010, the American Jewish Historical Society and NEHGS launched a collaboration designed to enhance Jewish historical and genealogical research and the continued collection and preservation of Jewish history. In 2015, the collaboration was further strengthened when the New England archives of the American Jewish Historical Society were permanently deposited at New England Historic Genealogical Society.

The Jewish Heritage Center’s website is at

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.
Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2017, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved

To change an e-mail address, send a request to

To subscribe to AVOTAYNU, The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, go to

To order books from our catalog, go to

To contact us by postal mail, write: Avotaynu, Inc.; 
794 Edgewood Ave.; New Haven, CT 06515

Telephone  (U.S.) : 475-202-6575