Nu? What's New?
The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy
Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 6, Number 16 | November 13, 2005

New York City Brides' Index Online
The Italian Genealogy Group has added a New York City Bride's Index to its site at It covers Kings County (Brooklyn) 1891-1937, Bronx County 1891-1937 and Queens County 1904-1937. The addition of New York County (Manhattan) is planned.

Steven Morse has added a portal to the database on his site at Unlike searches that are done directly on the IGG site, the one-step form allows filtering results by specifying several additional parameters such as county, year, and even certificate number. But the surname (or at least its first letter) is required in all cases.

IGG also recently added an index to 600,000 Eastern District naturalizations (Kings, Queens, Richmond, Nassau and Suffolk counties), 1865-1956. Morse has created a one-step form for that database too. It can be accessed at the same URL as the brides' index.

The Last Useful Feature of the Ellis Island Search Engine
I frequently search the Ellis Island database (EIDB) but always use the Stephen P. Morse portal at because of its significantly superior search capability. Recently something motivated me to try the regular portal at, and I stumbled upon a feature that exists there that does not exist at the Morse site. It provides a list of 30 possible alternate spellings of a surname that are not just based on those that sound like the name--that is what Morse provides--but also includes other considerations such as handwriting variants. For example, the letters "t" and "l" appear similar in script form and Ellis Island search engine takes that into account--the Morse site will not.

Accessing this list of alternate spellings is a bit circuitous. First go to and request a search for any surname. After it displays the results, click on "Refine Search". This opens a search form. Leave the surname as is but request a First Name of "XXXX". Clearly there will be no hits and the search engine will default to providing the list of 30 surnames that might be alternates.

Using "Mokotoff" as the surname, I got the following alternates:
Mokoloff, Mokotow, Molotof, Makotow, Mikutof, Mocatuv, Mohotoff, Matukoff, Mutofoff, Magidoff, Mikoloff, Magidof, Mijatov, Mokatel, Mokutaw, Molotok, Mulekoff, Nikotoff, Macedow, Malakoff, Melekoff, Mikaloff, Mikeloff, Mikodol, Mikoleff, Mikutol, Mitekoff, Mukatel, Makalef, Malakof.

Mohutoff, as an example, is a misspelling of Mokotoff in the EIDB which I would not have found using the Morse site.

Hamburg Emigrant Index Now Extends to 1910
The Hamburg Emigration Index now includes the years 1890-1910. They represent 2,219,339 emigrants from this important port of departure. The index is located at

The index provides basic information about the emigrant: name, country/state of origin, approximate age, and destination. The search engine does not allow soundex searches. Use the wildcard feature which is explained on the search page to find name variants. For a fee, you can receive an abstract of the entire entry from the ship's manifest. The cost for an abstract is $25 for 1-3 persons, $35 4-10 persons, $45 for 11-20, $60 for 21-30 persons. Because it is an abstract rather than the actual manifest, each member of a family of three on a specific page would have his/her own abstract. Therefore, they would count as three persons if you requested information about all three. Funds are used to support the Internet site.

Online Database of 250,000 Holocaust Records
Daniel Kazez of Springfield, Ohio, has formed a Special Interest Group called the Czestochowa-Radomsko Area Research Group that includes a database of 250,000 Holocaust records derived from nearly 100 different databases.

It focuses on Jews who lived in Poland before the war or who were in Poland during the war. The database covers hundreds of towns across Poland. About 50% of these records are the result of professional research in Poland, 40% are the result of wonderfully diligent volunteer typists around the world, and 10% are from other sources.

Examples are 20 thousand records for persons from Lodz, 15 thousand for persons from Warsaw and 14 thousand for persons from Radomsko. The search engine is located at

Project to Index Canadian Passenger Lists
The Nanaimo Family History Society is looking for volunteers to help them index all passenger at Halifax and Quebec (Montreal is included in the Port of Quebec) from 1900 to 1921. The index now covers Quebec Ports for the periods 2 Jul 1908 to 5 Jun 1909, 25 Jul 1909 to 26 Apr 1910 and 17 Sep 1910 to 13 Oct 1910. The entries are available at Information provided is name, age, country of birth, arrival date, name of ship, port of entry, microfilm number and page number.

Nanaimo is a port city on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Wanted: Human Interest Articles for Winter Issue of AVOTAYNU
The Winter issue of AVOTAYNU is our human interest issue. Many years ago, Sallyann Sack and I wanted to recognize that there is more to genealogy than ancestor hunting. There is the human side of genealogy. The emotional reactions of a genealogist to discoveries in his/her family's history can be both happy and upsetting. There is the pride a researcher feels in successfully breaking down a brick wall. The discovery of long-lost family or linking to the family tree of another genealogist can be exhilarating. Our solution was to reserve a portion of the Winter issue each year to articles about the human side of genealogy.

I have already submitted my contribution to the issue. This past year I achieved one of my goals in genealogy: to help a Holocaust survivor find family. A woman, now living in Belgium, was a child survivor of the Holocaust. She was hidden with a Christian couple when she was five years old. Her parents were deported to Auschwitz never to return. Only last year did she discover her mother had a brother living in the U.S. during World War II. I helped locate the daughter of the brother living in Florida, and they finally met in October. The entire story, both genealogical and emotional, will appear in the Winter issue.

Articles should be submitted to AVOTAYNU editor, Sallyann Amdur Sack at by December 1.

Winter Issue of AVOTAYNU To Include Books In Print
In the Winter issue every year, AVOTAYNU lists Jewish genealogical family histories that have been published in the preceding 12 months. Books published earlier are also eligible for inclusion if they have not been previously reported.

If you have recently published a family history, submit the following information to the AVOTAYNU editor at author; title of book; years covered; brief description, including family names researched; libraries in which book has been deposited; price and ordering information.

The information should be sent before December 31.

New Databases at has added a number of databases of interest to Jewish genealogists. Complete descriptions of each are located at their respective sites.

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946

World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1946

WWI, WWII, and Korean War Casualty Listings

New York Emigrant Savings Bank, 1850-1883 This bank has mostly Irish immigrant depositors, but a quick search of the database shows a number of Jewish ones too. is a fee-for-service site.

Beautiful Representations of Family Trees
Graphical family trees (drop charts) are essential ingredients to a family reunion. At the 2003 conference of the National Genealogical Society, a German company exhibited drop charts which are the best I have seen to date. The charts are prepared in color, with photographs of each individual (if provided). What makes it unique is an index integrated into the tree that has vital information about the people on the tree. Examples exist at the company's Internet site They charge to prepare the drop chart by the number of square feet (or meters) and the quality of paper used.

Paper Clips
Some years ago I received a notice that students at a small school in Tennessee started a project to try to understand the magnitude of the Holocaust. The teachers felt the students could not grasp the idea of what "six million" meant, so they decided to accumulate six million paper clips, one for every Jew murdered in the Holocaust. I sent them a box of 100 paper clips.

The project has since expanded to include one paper clip for each person exterminated by the Nazis during World War II and now includes more than 27 million paper clips, with more than 11 million being housed in a donated WWII railroad car memorial.

The project has received worldwide attention and now is memorialized in a film aptly titled Paper Clips, It is being shown in the U.S. on HBO this week. The scheduled time of viewing can be found at (If you have difficulty with the URL, go to the HBO home page at, click "Schedule" and then search for "Paper Clips".)

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