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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 19, Number 29 | July 22, 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.

Memorial to the Jews Deported from France Database Now Online at Morse Site
Jean-Pierre Stroweis of Israel has collaborated with Stephen P. Morse to create an online database of the "Memorial to the Jews Deported from France." The database identifies 78,000 Jews who were deported from France, died in internment camps in France or were shot in France during the Nazi occupation and Vichy regime.

There are potentially 16 columns of information about each individual, each searchable with the Morse search engine. Examples of results are 20 persons were born in the Mokotow ancestral town of Warka, Poland; 192 deportees were one-year-old babies. Name searches have the full functionality users of the Morse site have come to expect. For example, surnames can be searched by exact spelling, sounds like, phonetically, starts with, contain or ends with. The site is bilingual: English and French.

The site is located at

Genie Milgrom Awarded the Medal of the Four Sephardic Synagogues
Genealogist, writer and promoter of the Jewish legacy in the Iberian peninsula, Genie Milgrom, has been awarded the coveted Medal of the Four Sephardic Synagogues from Jerusalem. This honor was bestowed on her this week in Zamora, Spain as she delivered the keynote speech about the diaspora of her ancestors from Fermoselle, in the Zamora region of Spain. The President of the Sephardic Council of Sephardic Communities in Spain, Abraham Haim, flew in from Jerusalem to present her with the award.

This special award was given to Milgrom as she has dedicated more than a decade to recovering the Jewish roots of her Cuban Catholic family for 22 generations. Not only was she able to recover her genealogy using methods that she herself pioneered but she was also able to discover the Jewish history of the village of her family and many others up and down the Duero River separating Spain from Portugal. She has been able to decipher many interconnections between the lost Crypto-Jews of this large and important region.

She is past president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami, as well as the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies. Two of her books, My 15 Grandmothers and Pyre to Fire have both won the Latino Author Book Awards. Genie is currently the Director of the Converso Genealogy Project which is in the process of digitizing all the Inquisition files around the world so that others may also find their roots. This project was given the Seal of Approval by the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, an organization that has championed this cause.

Additional information is at

News of the Week About DNA Testing
23andme Offering 30% Discount Until August 9. As a summer special, 23andme is offering a 30% discount on its DNA testing products until August 9. Their “Ancestry Service” test is $69. Current prices of their larger competitors are Ancestry, $99; Family Tree DNA $79; MyHeritage $69.

23andme Heath and Ancestry Service. Since its inception, 23andme has had a “Heath and Ancestry Service,” currently for the reduced price of $139. Of interest to persons of Ashkenazic Jewish descent is that they just added a BRCA1/BRCA2 (Selected Variants) test. I could not find at their website the meaning of “Selected Variants.” This gene mutation can cause breast or ovarian cancer in women. The gene can be present in men or women and passed on to their children, but the cancer primarily affects women.

Findmypast and Living DNA Announce a Partnership. Yet another major genealogy company has entered the DNA testing field. Findmypast has partnered with Living DNA to provide autosomal DNA testing “focused on uncovering British & Irish roots.” Both are UK based. The cost is ₤99. Needless to say their publicity includes such words as “most advanced DNA test,” “cutting-edge,” “analyzing unique combinations,” and “unmatched by any other test.” Additional information is available at

Yahad-In Unum Creates Interactive Map of Holocaust Murder Sites
Yahad-In Unum, the organization founded to locate the sites of mass graves of Jewish victims of the Nazi mobile killing units, has created an online interactive map that gives particulars about each mass murder. It is a work in progress. Those dots colored in orange contain information. Those identified with blue dots have not yet been processed.

Information provided can include number of victims, eyewitness reports (also in video form), historical information, records at the Polish State Archives and others. The map is located at

Jewish Heritage Europe Has Information, Links and Resources for Jewish Cemeteries
The Jewish Heritage Europe website has a significant number of pages devoted to information, links and resources for Jewish cemeteries. One subsection is devoted to General Online Resources. It includes 14 links to sites. As an example, one link is to the JewishGen’s Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). Another subsection is titled “Who Is Doing What, Where.” All told, there are 12 subsections. The site should be considered a work in progress. Persons who know of additional resources should contact Jewish Heritage Europe.

The site is located at

Alternate Site for Irish records
The last issue of Nu? What’s New included an article about the Irish Jewish Genealogical Society site which now has an online index of at least 28,000 vital records. For a fee, they will get you the actual record.

Robyn Dryen, president of the Australian Jewish Genealogical Society, notes that another site,, also has an index to Irish vital records. Access to the actual record is at no charge. This new site does not identify what years are included. Searching the database suggests the following ranges: Births: 1864–1916; Marriages: 1870–1938; Deaths: 1881–1964

JewishGen offers New Class: Jewish Genealogy in East Prussia and the Baltic States
JewishGen is offering a new research class that focuses on Jewish genealogical research in East Prussia and the Baltic States. This course, which starts August 3, will include the modern countries of Lithuania (Kaunas), Latvia, Estonia and the western part of East Prussia that borders the Baltic Sea.

The course will work with records still in existence for these areas. Where records are sparse, it will concentrate on finding alternate sources.

JewishGen education classes are private, open for posts 24/7. You post your family information and the instructor helps you set objectives to find the solutions for finding missing data.

Tuition for this class is $125 for three weeks of instruction. Course information is at

The Ancestor Hunt Identifies 240 Free Online Photo Archives for Canada
The Ancestor Hunt has identified 240 websites that display historical photographs of Canada. Some date back to the 1860s. The list can be found at

MyHeritage Adds 25 Million New Records in June
MyHeritage has announced it added to its collections in June 25 million new records. They include updates to the Ellis Island & Other Passenger List collection and Sweden Household Examination Books collection. They added 16.7 million new records to Ellis Island & Other Passenger List collection for a total of 113,439,616 records. The years covered range from 1820–1957. Sweden Household Examination Books now total 87,401,340 records with this month’s addition of 3.6 million new records. Also added are two new collections: West Virginia Death Index & Certificates, 1853–1964 and 1835 Denmark Census collection from the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.

The complete announcement can be found at It includes links to the named collections.

New Collections at
Ancestry has added new collections to their site in the past week. 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.

Berchtesgaden, Germany, Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1876–1950
Cambridgeshire, England, Juror Books, 1828–1883
Cambridgeshire, England, Electoral Registers, Burgess Rolls and Poll Books, 1722–1966

Genteam Announces Additions to Their Collection now has more than 18 million entries in their collection. Recent additions include updates to Austro-Hungarian casualty lists 1914–1919; Burgenland: Jewish records of Deutschkreutz; and Christian records. They describe themselves as “a loose organization of genealogists or historians who produce databases on their own or as a part of a group, and who offer these databases to all researcher without any fee.” The geographical center of the databases is present-day Austria and its neighboring lands. Many are Jewish or civil records. Once you log in, the site presents a list of collections.

Do You Subcribe to AVOTAYNU?
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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