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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 14, Number 46 | November 24, 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 and Associated Press Bring AP Archives Online has collaborated with the Associated Press to make 50 years of news stories—in their original wire copy format—available online. There are five collections. 
All can be found at

Associated Press, Name Card Index to AP Stories, 1905–1990. This is an index of every person who appeared in an AP report during that time period. The cards were updated when additional references were made for the person rather than creating a separate index card for every mention. For example, there were AP reports about the World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in 1981. Persons mentioned in the reports are in the index.

Associated Press, Service Bulletin, 1904–1927. The Service Bulletin was an internal AP publication with the purpose of communicating the “General Orders” of AP’s General Manager. It is unindexed.

Associated Press, Stories and Newsfeatures, 1937–1985. This collection includes AP news stories (1937–1985), which were selected by news librarians for microfilming to create an internal news archive of more than 700 reels. The set was not meant to be complete but to include only those stories of national or international importance. I had trouble using the database. For the keyword field, the site stated “e.g., pilot or Flying Tigers.” Using either of these search parameters produced no results. Apparently the Subject field is mandatory. Searching for “Flying Tigers” with a subject field of “Aviation” produced results. Similarly “Guadalcanal” produced no results but “Guadalcanal” and the Subject “Navy” produced 2,627 hits.

Associated Press, Subject Card Index to AP Stories, 1937–1985. Similar to the Name Card index, except it is by subject. A single card may contain multiple reports on the subject. “Flying Tigers” produced reports of the famous American volunteer group as well as the airline with that name. Placing the two words in quotes produced results only for the volunteer group.

Associated Press, AP World, 1943–2001. An internal publication intended for both AP staff and member newspapers; the magazine has documented the work of AP journalists.

The announcement of the collaboration can be found at

New Irish Genealogy TV Program: Tar Abhaile
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter reports a new Irish genealogy TV program called Tar Abhaile (Come Home) in which Irish volunteers find descendants of Irish emigrants and reunite them with living relatives in Ireland. This approach can have tremendous appeal to other groups such as Jewish and Italian who left their countries for better opportunities in other countries and lost contact with relatives who remained behind. It can have particular interest to Jewish families who lost relatives in the Holocaust and may not be aware of survivors.

In the case of the Irish program, after they track down living descendents, the program reaches out, inviting the descendants back to their spiritual home, to share local knowledge, walk the land of their ancestors, show them their final resting places and where possible, introduce them to long-lost living relatives.

The program is narrated in the Irish language, with English subtitles. However, most of the conversation is in English. Additional information is at as well as in an article at A video of the first episode is available online at

The program is narrated in the Irish language, with English subtitles. However, most of the conversation is in English.

Vilnius Vital Records
Litvak-SIG has reported they have translated 110,824 records for the city of Vilnius and posted them to the All Lithuania Database at Another 17,573 records have been translated and are available to qualified donors on the Vilnius DRG Shutterfly site. There are about 78,000 additional records to translate. You can make a contribution to the Vilnius District Research Group on the LitvakSIG website's contributions page at A list of surnames in the most recent batch of birth records (1901–1915) is at

Another Collection of Holocaust Oral Interviews
The Oral History Division of the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has 900 Holocaust audio interviews and transcripts in their archives. They include interviews conducted in the early 1960s when the reservoir of survivors—especially those who were adults during the war—was much larger and for many survivors these interviews were the first time they had given an account of their experiences. The website is at

Werner Frank Book Receives Prize
Werner Frank’s book, The Curse of Gurs: Way Station to Auschwitz has won second prize in the Landespreis award, a Regional/State Prize [Germany] for home research. Frank is one of the founders of the JewishGen German Special Interest Group (Ger-SIG) as well as a founding member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Conejo Valley. What is little known to genealogists is that he was also a pioneer of the computer software industry, as a founder in the 1960s of Informatics, one of the first computer software companies. Informatics was the first organization to use the word “database” to mean a collection of computer records.

In his award-winning book, Frank traces the fate of Baden Jews in the Nazi era. His research found he had 700 members of his family out of the 6500 imprisoned in Gurs. The jury observed that his book resulted in remarkable and extensive research that encompassed Frank's widespread family. Werner donated the €1300 award for the further study of Jewish history. Information about the award (in German) is at

Avotaynu Business
Reminder: A Chanukah Present to Nu? What’s New? Readers. Until Erev Chanukah (November 27), the items we offer—BOOKS ONLY—are available at a discount according to the following schedule:
   • Purchases more than $50 – 10% discount
   • Purchases more than $200 – 15% discount
    • Purchase more than $300 – $20% discount

A list of books we offer is at When you check out, just use the Discount Code SPECIAL and enjoy the benefits. Order now!

Reminder: Human Interest Stories for Winter Issue. Deadline for submitting human interest stories to be published in the Winter issue of AVOTAYNU is December 1, 2013. It you would like to share such a story with AVOTAYNU subscribers, submit it by e-mail to

Reminder: New Family Histories in Print. The Winter issue of AVOTAYNU also lists Jewish genealogical family histories that have been published in the preceding 12 months. The format to follow is: author; title of book; years covered; brief description, including family names researched; libraries in which book has been deposited; price and ordering information. Deadline for inclusion is December 15, 2013. Send submissions to

Contribute to the Success of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy
Help support a dynamic institution that in its brief existence already has been the catalyst for such benefits to Jewish genealogy as the Beider-Morse Phonetic Matching System,  Sephardic DNA and Migration project, inventorying the Paul Jacobi Collection of 400 prominent Ashkenazic lineages, the Proposed Standard for Names, Dates and Places in a Genealogical Database, and a system for Integrating Genealogical Datasets.

Visit the IIJG website at and read about these developments, as well as  ongoing and proposed projects.

Make your tax-deductible contribution by credit card or PayPal at Click the Donate link. If you prefer, mail a check to Avotaynu Foundation,  794 Edgewood Ave., New Haven, CT 06515, USA. Make the check payable to “Friends of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy.” Donations are tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
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