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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 19, Number 24 | June 17, 2018

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.

Happy Father’s Day!

“Poznan Project” Indexing 19th Century Marriage Records
An organization called the “Poznan Project” has as its goal the indexing of all marriage records from the 19th century within the former Prussian province of Posen, now Poznan, Poland, and neighboring districts. The database currently has 1.7 million entries. Jewish records are listed under civil registrations. The site is located at Each entry typically has bride’s/groom’s names, ages, given names of parents, and often the maiden name of mother. It does not give the exact date of marriage but rather the year of the marriage record book and entry number.

20 Largest Genealogy Record Collections Online: Have You Searched Them?
Family History Daily has provided a list of what it considers to 20 largest genealogy records collection online and provides links to them. It is worth browsing to determine if there are any you have overlooked. The list can be found at  20-largest-genealogy-record-collections/.

Reclaim the Records Gains Another New York City Marriage License Index
The score now is Reclaim the Records 3, New York City Government 0. Reclaim the Records (RTR) has won its third lawsuit against the New York City government. This time to acquire a copy of 1996–2017 New York City marriage license index. The suit was brought under the regulations of the New York State Freedom of Information Law. It required a law suit and RTR was awarded reimbursement of attorney fees.

The index can be searched at

It costs RTR money to pursue its cases against governments. An anonymous donor has stepped forward to offer RTR’s first-ever matching gift. For every $5,000 that Reclaim the Records raises between now and the end of 2018, the donor will match the gift. Donations are accepted at Donations are tax deductible to American donors. A list of planned projects can be found at

Reunions with Birth Parents Capturing Interest of TV Shows
Previously mentioned in Nu? What’s New? is the television show “Long Lost Family” which features cases of adopted children looking for birth family or vice versa. This has become a hot topic on other television shows.

Family Tree DNA to be Featured on Dateline NBC. The company, Family Tree DNA, and its president/founder, Bennett Greenspan, will be featured on this Sunday’s edition of Dateline NBC. The TV show airs at 7pm ET. As the show is described “A woman from Washington State takes a DNA test, hoping to learn more about her family history. A remarkable discovery would change her family forever – and send her father halfway around the world to confront a past he thought he left behind.”

MyHeritage Match Featured on Today Show. An adoptee submitted her DNA to MyHeritage and was stunned to receive a match which said the relationship with the other person was “Father.” The story was shown this past week on the Today Show. The reunion can be seen at

Digitization of WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force Records Nears Completion
Digitization by Library and Archives Canada of the WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force records nears completion. As of this week, 601,736 of 640,000 files are available online. The project is being done alphabetically, and they are now up to the surname “Whittey.” The records include date/place of birth, name/address of next of kin and other data.

Information about the project can be found at At the current pace, the project should be completed by the end of 2018.

Last Chance: DNA Sales for Father’s Day
DNA test discounts for Father’s Day end shortly. Here are the offerings for autosomal testing:
   • 23and me $69 until June 17 with free gift wrap
   • Ancestry $69 until June 18
   • Family Tree DNA $59 until June 18. 25% off many other products
   • MyHeritage $59 until June 17

New Collections at
Ancestry has updated the following two 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.

U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s–1900s
Wisconsin, State Censuses, 1855–1905

There Was No Announcement This Week of Additions to FamilySearch

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Each year AVOTAYNU publishes more than 300 pages of useful, interesting information about Jewish family history research that can help you in your research. Now in its 33rd year, an index to the first 24 volumes is available to all the major articles.

Published quarterly, our contributing editors from 15 countries throughout the world regularly gather important information that appears in our issues. Our publishers, Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack, are on a first name basis with officials at institutions containing genealogical data throughout the world. 
Some institutions are U.S. National Archives, U.S. Library of Congress, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Leo Baeck Institute,  Yad Vashem and  Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People.

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