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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 12, Number 14 | April 11, 2011

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.
Early Registration Deadline Looms for Washington Conference
April 30 is the deadline to receive the early registration discount for the 31st IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy to be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC, from August 14–19. The discount rate is $275 per person ($175 for a companion). On May 1, the fee goes up to $310 ($210 for a companion).

Breakfasts and Luncheons. More and more information is being revealed regarding the details of the event. Special Interest Group breakfasts and luncheons have been finalized and can be viewed at the conference website. Also the computer workshops have been defined.

Gala Event. The usual Thursday night banquet this year is being called a “Gala Event” because rather than a sit-down dinner, it will be a buffet-style meal that will encourage intermingling among the attendees. There will be a formal part of the evening where the annual IAJGS awards will be given. Entertainment will be the Robyn Helzner Trio who will sing melodies in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Russian and English. The price is only $65. The meal is kosher as is true of all food events at the conference.

Additional information about all aspects of the conference website can be found at It is anticipated that at least 1,000 people will attend from more than 20 countries.

Family Tree DNA Discloses Extent of Its Holdings
Family Tree DNA, which claims to have the largest DNA database in the world for genetic genealogy, has revealed recently just how large they are. Their DNA database includes 329,073 records consisting of 203,473 Y-DNA (paternal ancestors) and 125,600 mtDNA (maternal ancestors) records. There are 101,171 unique surnames and 6,355 surname projects. Regarding the Y-DNA tests
   124,230 go to 25-marker records
   105,023 go to 37-marker records
   46,117 go to 67-marker records

If you are a Facebook user and a FTDNA fan, submit a photo of yourself swabbing for your DNA test, and join the company’s Facebook "Swabbers Club."

The company's website is at

Multiple Searches of Surname
A website in The Netherlands will search simultaneously a number of sites that are surname oriented. It is called Surname Navigator and is located at

1939 National Enumeration Transcript Books of the UK
Miriam Margolyes of South London noted on the JewishGen Discussion Group that although UK censuses only through 1911 are open to the public, there was a National Registration of England and Wales in 1939 that is sort of a census.

The 1939 National Registration Transcript Books are a record of the civilian population of England & Wales as of 29 September 1939. The books are arranged in National Registration Number order and are based on the actual whereabouts of individuals on the night concerned. Thus, if a person was not at his/her usual place of residence, he/she will not appear at that address in the books.

Information is only available for people who are now deceased. If records do not indicate the person is deceased, you must provide such documentation. Margolyes claims that a death certificate may not, in itself, provide sufficient evidence.

The cost is £42. The applicant needs to know at least the full name and date of birth of the named individual, exact address or the National Registration number. Information about the service can be found at

Printed Forms for Genealogy
If you do not use genealogical software to document your family’s history, Philip Trauring, who has been mentioned previously in Nu? what’s New? for his site which contains lists of Town Discussion Groups and blogs associated with Jewish genealogy, also has at his website printed forms for recording family history.

They are PDF files which allow you to enter the data at your computer before printing them. I saved copies of the form after filling in information, but when it was retrieved the information was not there. If someone knows how to accomplish this task, write me and I will publish it in the next edition of Nu? What’s New? If such functionality was possible, it would allow people to update the printed forms by computer.

The six forms are:
   • three-generation Ancestor Form (Pedigree Chart)
   • Family Form (Family Group Sheet)
   • Sibling Form
   • three-generation Ancestor Location Form
   • U.S. Immigrant Census Form (a spread sheet which allow you to collect selected information from the 1880–1930 censuses about an individual)
   • Forms Index Sheet (a form that keeps track of all your forms).

One disadvantage I found to all the forms is there is no provision to cite sources. The forms can be found at

Polish Metrical Records Being Digitized
This is more in the category of “get lucky” than a significant resource for Jewish genealogy. The Polish Genealogical Society (of Poland) is in the process of digitizing and placing on the Internet the Catholic vital records of Poland that are located in the country’s state archives and civil registration offices. The records of the latter group are only those more than 100 years old. This is of some interest to Jewish genealogists because prior to 1826 vital records of Poland were not kept by religion and therefore this collection will include Jewish records prior to that year. The site is at If you do not read Polish, it is strongly recommended that you use the Google translate function for your browser, because you will be browsing many web pages.

The project has to be an enormous undertaking; there must be tens of millions of pages to digitize. It seems to be in its infancy because only 43 towns have been completed. Click on the graphic at the top right that says and displayed on the next page is a list of how many towns, by voivodeship (region), have been done. Click on any voivodship that has a value, and it will then display how many towns have been done by powiat (district). Click on a district and finally it will show which towns and which years.

I got lucky. They have digitized the Catholic vital records of the Mokotow ancestral town of Warka from 1808–1909. Many years ago I got a copy of my gggggrandfather’s death record from the Mormon Family History Library. He died on July 24, 1810, in Warka. I was able to locate the record at this site. Now I have a digitize image of the actual page of the register where his death is noted.

Article about Julius Muller
There is an article about AVOTAYNU’s Contributing Editor for the Czech Republic at The Spring issue of AVOTAYNU, which is currently in preparation, has two articles by Muller, “Records of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia: Similarities and Differences” and “1783 and 1793 Censuses of the Jews in Bohemia: Frequency and Categories of Surnames.” Muller’s website is You can subscribe to AVOTAYNU at

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
Some additions to FamilySearch for this week include:

Images Only
Canada, Quebec Notarial Records, 1800–1900.
Chile, Concepcion, Civil Registration, 1885–1903.
Netherlands, Civil Registration, 1792–1952. More than 9 million browsable images from various regions.
U.S., Wisconsin, Probate Estate Files, 1848–1933. Shawano, Green, and Pepin counties.

Images and Indexes
Belgium Civil Registration, 1795–1910.
U.S., Ohio, County Marriages, 1790–1950. They represent about 76% of the county marriage records.
U.S., Vermont, Vital Records, 1760–1954.

England and Wales Census, 1881. Additional fields and family groups added to the index and image links to FindMyPast website.

These are the only additions that I have concluded may be of interest to Jewish genealogists. The complete list can be found at

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