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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 19, Number 26 | July 1, 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.

Canada Day and U.S. Independence Day
Happy Canada Day (July 1) and U.S. Independence Day (July 4)

Poland Reduces Consequences of Controversial Holocaust Law;
New Museum to Exhibit Accounts of Polish Christians Who Saved Jews
The Polish government has modified the law which made it a crime to accuse Poland and Polish people of complicity in the Holocaust. They have introduced legislation to change the law to make it a civil offense, rather than a criminal one. The original law mandated up to three years in prison for offenders. Under the amendment, violations would be no greater than misdemeanors. Additional information can be found at

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that the Onet news site had obtained documents showing that Polish officials would not be received by President Donald Trump or any other member of the U.S. administration if the law was not revised. That story can be found at

Finally, Haaretz is reporting that a new museum in Poland will exhibit more than 40,000 accounts of Polish Christians who saved Jews during the Holocaust. The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage will donate $22 million to build the museum. The museum’s goal is to present the more than 1,000-year history of Christian Poland with particular emphasis on the teachings of Pope John Paul II and its impact on the fate of Poland, Europe and the world. Additional information can be found at

European Union General Data Protection Regulation Having Immediate Impact
Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, has prepared a report on some of the immediate impacts the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has had worldwide. Among the items mentioned are:
   • 450,000 records removed from online access at the Dutch Archives
   • World Famous Network Y-DNA project has ceased operation
   • Y-Search and Mitosearch projects of Family Tree DNA were closed the end of May.
   • Countries, such as Canada, are looking at the GDPR and considering adopting similar or partial legislation following some of the GDPR rules. Japan and Argentina have overhauled their domestic rules to comply with the GDPR. South Korea and Columbia are tweaking their legislation looking at the GDPR standards.
   • Major litigation against multinationals allegedly not following the GDPR were filed by privacy advocates within hours of the GDPR becoming effective.

The complete report can be found at one-month-into-gdpr-what-the-effect-has-been/.

Only MyHeritage Offering DNA Discounts for American Independence Day (July 4)
Only the Israel-based MyHeritage is offering discounts on DNA testing through July 4. Until then, kits cost $59. U.S. based companies are back to their list prices
:  • 23and me back to $99
   • Ancestry back to $99
   • Family Tree DNA back to $79

Much DNA News from MyHeritage
MyHeritage Opens European Distribution Center for DNA Kits. MyHeritage has opened a new distribution center in Tilburg, The Netherlands. The company stated their reason was “in order to keep up with the high demand for MyHeritage DNA kits in Europe.” They note that there has been a 450% increase in DNA kit sales across Europe in the first five months of 2018. Additional information can be found at

MyHeritage Blog Adds Another Chapter on Understanding DNA Testing. MyHeritage has added “Chapter 6: How to Use Chromosome Browsers for Genealogy” to its articles on understanding DNA testing. Chromosome browsers are tools that allow you to see the unique DNA segments, or sequences of DNA on chromosomes, shared between you and either one genetic match or a set of genetic matches. By comparing shared segments through chromosome browsers, you can reach conclusions about which ancestors you have in common and how you are related. The complete article is at

MyHeritage Adds Filtering System to DNA Matches. MyHeritage has added a filtering system for DNA matches. Rather than being presented with all results from their matching system, it is now possible to filter results. Filtering lets you view a subset of your DNA matches at a time, focusing on those that match particular criteria. Filters include items such as:
   • Only those who have family trees
   • Only those who share surnames on their family tree
   • Geographic location of submitter
There are many others. Complete information can be found at

FamilySearch Adds 135M New Records for Denmark, Finland, Sweden
FamilySearch has announced the availability of its newest record collections—135.4 million digital historical records from Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. These new collections were digitized in partnership with MyHeritage and the National Archives of Denmark and Finland.

The freely searchable collections are comprised of church records, including birth, marriage, and death records, confirmations, moving-in and moving-out records; court; tax lists; examination books; and more.

The new records include the following:
   • Census records (1834–1930).
   • Church records (1686–1941; record images only)
   • Land records of Denmark—deeds and mortgages (record images only)
   • Probate records—Denmark estate records (1436–1964; record images only); Probate indexes (1674–1851).Denmark civil marriages (1851–1961)
   • Denmark, Copenhagen civil marriages (1739–1964; indexed 1877–1964)
   • Finland church census and preconfirmation books (1657–1915)
   • Tax lists of Suomi-Henkikirjara (1819–1915).
   • Sweden household examination books (1880–1920).
   • Church books (Kyrkoböcker) from Kopparberg (1604–1860), Örebro (until 1860), and Östergötland (1555–1911).

The complete announcement can be found at

News for Ancestry
Free Access to Canadian Censuses. In celebration of Canada Day, is offering free access to Canadian censuses through July 2. Access is at

Updated Collections at Ancestry has updated 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.
   • Find A Grave Index, 1600s–Current
   • Australia and New Zealand, Obituary Index, 2004–2018
   • Canada, 1911 Census of Canada
   • Canada, Obituary Collection, 1898–2018
   • Caribbean, Obituary Index, 2003–2011
   • UK and Ireland, Obituary Index, 2004–2018
   • U.S., Cemetery and Funeral Home Collection, 1847–2018
   • U.S., Obituary Collection, 1930–2018

Who Do You Think You Are? (UK) New Season Starts July 9
Who Do You Think You Are? (UK) latest celebrity line-up will consist of eight stars: multi-awarding winning actor Olivia Colman; musician, DJ, fashion designer and British icon Boy George; Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge Shirley Ballas; comedian and Not Going Out actor Lee Mac; presenter and former JLS member Marvin Humes; barrister and television personality Robert ‘Judge’ Rinder; Coronation Street and Our Girl star Michelle Keegan; and gold medal winning Paralympian Jonnie Peacock.

The series will start with a standalone episode in early June as Michelle Keegan discovers a suffragette ancestor. The program then will air regularly at 9 p.m. on BBC One starting July 9.

The announcement can be found at

Attend the 38th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

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