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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 14, Number 39 | October 6, 2013
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
Google Limitations on Genealogy Searches
GenealogyInTime, an online magazine, has an article that notes Google has a limitation that can affect genealogy searches. The restriction is that on a given results page, there is a maximum of two results for any website. In retrospect, this seems logical. One would expect that searching for “Avotaynu” would produce an initial result from Google of links to only pages. Instead it is limited to two.

The implication to genealogists, GenealogyInTime notes, is that ancestral records for an individual are not randomly scattered across the Internet. They tend to cluster, often on just one or two websites. The consequence is Google results may give the false impression that there are only two places on a major site like FamilySearch or JewishGen for an ancestor, when, in fact there are many.

The complete article can be found at

BBC Presents The Story of the Jews
The British Broadcasting Company recently presented a five-part series titled The Story of the Jews. The YouTube sites that show the programs are:

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:

JewishGen Offering Course on “Getting Organized”
JewishGen Education is offering a two-week course, "Getting Organized", with 10 lessons on files and folders, handling media files, getting ready to publish and more. The course is open 24/7 on the JewishGen Forum where lessons can be downloaded and performed at your oswn speed.

Tuition for this first class is $18. In 2014, this course will become part of a series of two week courses, and at that time the fee will be waived if you qualify for JewishGen's Value Added Services. Registration is open at Information about Value Added Services can be found at

Future of Censuses of England and Wales
IAJGS vice-president Jan Meisels Allen reports that the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) is looking for guidance from users of past censuses that will help decide the future of the England/Wales censuses. The office is looking to cut costs by streamlining future censuses. Suggested ways include:
   • once a decade, like that conducted in 2011, but primarily online
   • using existing government data and compulsory annual surveys

They have created a Consulation document which can be read at The ONS suggests reading the Consultation Report and then using the online questionnaire which may be accessed at Deadline for submitting the questionnaire is December 13, 2013. There's also a draft document relating to the specific needs of genealogists and social researchers at

The source of the information is Lost Cousins Newsetter.

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
Recent additions to FamilySearch, both indexes and browseable images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from England, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, and the U.S. states of Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. A number have relevance to Jewish family history research including 2.8 million additions to the index to Boston Passenger Lists, 1891–1943. This nearly completes the index which now goes through early 1941. More than 800,000 records were added to Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883–1945, bringing that list up to 1914.

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. Acquires Find A Grave
We sometimes forget that genealogy has its business aspect (except when we pay for our annual subscriptions), and the business of genealogy includes mergers and acquisitions. The latest is that has acquired Find A Grave which has accumulated 106 million grave records and photos. indicated that they will maintain Find A Grave as a free website, will retain its existing policies and mode of operation. There are plans to bolster the resources dedicated to Find A Grave such as launching a new mobile app, improving customer support, introducing an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements.

The announcement can be found at

Warsaw Museum Seeks More Funding; Opening Pushed Back
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw has exceeded its budget and is seeking more funding from the state and the city of Warsaw. The report says that the opening of the permanent core exhibition has been pushed back to the Autumn of 2014.

The initial finances of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews come from two donations of five million Polish zlotys (about US$1.6 million) each from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Warsaw City Hall. The museum’s building opened in April of this year without its permanent core exhibition. It currently hosts a roster of cultural and educational activities as well as temporary exhibits. Additional information can be found at

USHMM Closed Until Further Notice
Due to the Federal government shutdown, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is closed until further notice. The details of the shutdown are at

To submit a Page of Testimony, go to Click the words “Submit Pages of Testimony (online).”

Join the ranks of Yad Vashem’s worldwide network of volunteers working in one-on-one outreach efforts with Holocaust survivors and members of their generation to recover the names of Shoah victims before they are lost forever. For ideas and resources on how to launch a names recovery campaign in your area, visit Yad Vashem’s Community Outreach Guide for updated program information on the project in Israel and in Russian speaking Jewish communities around the world.

Yad Vashem has provided a 10-minute Pages of Testimony tutorial video at the site to learn how to help survivors and others from their generation to fill out Pages of Testimony. To volunteer for the project or for more information contact
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