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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 19, Number 30 | July 29, 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.

No Issue of Nu? What’s New? Next Week
There likely will be no issue of Nu? What’s New? next week. I will be with 700+ friends and associates in Warsaw at the 38th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy.

Reclaim The Records Adds New Jersey Death Index
Reclaim The Records has added to the internet an index to New Jersey Deaths 2001–2017. Information included in the results is name, date/place of birth, date of death, age and State File Number. Also included are images of the New Jersey Death Index from 1901–2000 with some missing years. All are presented on a new site:

Searching for the 2001–2017 index is presented on the home page. Click on “Browse Images” at the top of the home page to retrieve images of New Jersey death indices from 1901–2000.

Specifics on what they received and future plans can be found at

12 Free Genealogy Research Sites for Australia and New Zealand
Family History Daily has identified 12 internet sites in Australia and New Zealand that provide potential family history information. Links to these sites are located at resources/free-genealogy-sites-for-australia-and-new-zealand/.

Renegade Pictures (UK) Looking for Subjects for Family History Show
UK-based Renegade Pictures is seeking members of the public who are interested in using DNA testing to solve questions about their immediate family for an unnamed television series. This could include finding out the identity of a birth parent, siblings, grandparents or cousins. Deadline is August 6. Additional information is at

FamilySearch Adds 29 Million Netherlands Records
FamilySearch has published 29 million new historical records from the Netherlands. With the latest additions, FamilySearch now offers over 65 million free images and indexes in its Netherlands collections. The freely searchable collections are comprised of birth, baptism, marriage, death, church, notarial, army service, passenger list records and population registers. Some of the records date back to 1564. The announcement can be found at

There are also 12 free learning courses to help those searching Dutch ancestry. Information about the courses is at

FamilySearch Adds Nearly 7 Million Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, nearly 7 million indexed records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. Those identified with a dagger (†) are Christian-only records. They include records from Belgium, Bolivia(†), France, Germany(†), Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Peru, South Africa, Spain(†), Sweden(†), United Kingdom and the U.S. states of California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Most notable is 3.3 million indexes to Family Notices in British Newspaper Archive.

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.

Controversy Still Exists About Return of Iraq Jewish Archives
Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, reports that four U.S. senators have introduced a resolution to renegotiate the return of the Iraqi Jewish Archives to Iraq. A resolution has no legal effect; however, if it passes, it would be an expression of “Congressional” intent.

The resolution urges the U.S. State Department to renegotiate the terms of the original agreement over the archive. The agreement permitted the archive to be removed to the United States for restoration and then be returned to Iraq. As reported previously, Iraq wants the archive returned to them permanently.

The resolution also calls for the permanent home of the archive to be found in a location “accessible to scholars and to Iraqi Jews and their descendants.” Further the resolution states the original agreement was reached before American authorities learned the “complete history” of the archive.

In 2003, shortly after U.S. forces secured Iraq, Harold Rhode, a past president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington and then a U.S. government official, discovered Jewish artifacts, including a Torah, in the flooded basement of the Iraqi Intelligence Service in Baghdad. Rhode wrote about the find in the Summer 2003 issue of AVOTAYNU. These Jewish books, records and Torah managed to make their way to the United States, and the Iraqi government has demanded they be returned as “national treasures.”

There are virtually no Jews living in Iraq. Most of them fled starting in the 1950s due to persecution.

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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