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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 16, Number 23 | June 7, 2015

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.

Morse Site Shut Down Over Copyright Dispute
The entire Stephen P. Morse One-Step site at has been taken off the Internet because an individual filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint stating the site violated her copyright. Specifically, the woman says a picture of her shown in a yearbook displayed at the Morse site is her property and should not have been used without her permission. Morse hopes to have the matter resolved by June 16.

The site is hosted by whose policy is “While GoDaddy is investigating the claim [of copyright infringement], GoDaddy, at its sole discretion and without any legal obligation to do so, may notify the alleged infringer it will lock down the domain name(s).” It would appear its policy is guilty until proven innocent. GoDaddy, as an Internet Service Provider, has thousands if not tens of thousands of web clients, so their policy is a quick solution to a potential problem.
also has yearbook photos at its website. I am sure they would treat such a DCMA inquiry differently.  The pcture at the right, taken from a
Columbia University College of Pharmacy yearbook, appears on

It is unlikely that the woman is the copyright owner of a picture in a yearbook, but it brings up a matter that is very important to family history researchers. Who owns the copyright to a creative work such as a photograph or a family history written by a professional writer? The answer is the creator of the work. If you have someone write a family history and pay thousands of dollars for the effort, the writer stills holds the copyright. If you get into such a circumstance, have a written agreement transferring the rights to you.

IAJGS Conference Offering Option to Those Who Cannot Attend
Can’t make it to the conference but wish you there to hear the lectures? The conference planners are offering you an option. “IAJGS On-Demand 2015” will bring more than 50 of the best programs from the 35th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy to your computer screen. Subscribers will have access to the lectures for up to a year. “IAJGS On-Demand” subscriptions are $149 for the full package or $55 for one day. A discount of $50 will be given to anyone with a full conference registration.

Registration for this service will be open shortly. To receive a notification of registration, write to

Website Identifies Archives in Israel
Rose Feldman of the Israel Genealogy Research Association reports that the National Library of Israel has launched a list of 465 of the more than 600 archives in Israel. The list is available in both English and Hebrew. It includes archives name, telephone, e-mail, manager name, and links to the archives Facebook or website if they exist. The site is located at There is also an interactive map of all the archives at

Feldman reports that these two pages are part of the IAN (Israel Archives Network) Project, which is part of the “Landmarks” Project, a large-scale national initiative to promote preservation and exposure of and access to cultural materials for the public at large using up-to-date means. The IAN Project brings together the National Library of Israel and the State Archives, under the auspices of the Prime Minister's Office, in order to create an infrastructure and unified standards to ensure that the unique material preserved by the various heritage archives in the State of Israel will be properly preserved and broadly accessible to the Israeli public at large in a convenient and uniform format in the near future and for generations to come. 

All Galicia Database Adds Search-By-House Number Feature
The All Galicia Database has added yet another search parameter to its search engine: searching by house number within any town with more than 25 records. This means that analysis of events taking place in the same house over nearly one hundred years—based on any type of record where a house number was noted (birth, death, tax, school, landowner, notary, etc.)—can now be made with the data at the site, which is located at

For example, searching for persons named Horn living in Buczacz produced a house number of 118. Going back to the search engine and now searching for anyone associated with house #118 produced the names of other persons living at that location.

The All Galicia Database now has 320,394 records from 138 different sources. Its search engine has a large number of ways to search the database including given name, surname, located within a given number of kilometers from a specific town, house number in a specific town, and recently added records only. It is also possible to sort the results in a variety of ways.

JewishGen Announces Updates to Memorial Plaques and JOWBR Databases
JewishGen Memorial Plaques Database (MPD) now has more than 82,000 Records. It can be accessed at MPD includes data on memorial plaques and yizkor (memorial) lists from synagogues and other organizations. In many cases the actual memorial plaque is shown. These plaques usually include the person’s name, date of death (based on the secular and Hebrew calendar) and Hebrew name (which includes the patronymic). Where the plaque is not illustrated, the site provides information on how to contact the institution that has the plaque.

For a complete listing of the institutions currently in the database, go to Persons interested in volunteering to add plaque information from their local synagogue can find instructions at

JOWBR, the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry, now has more than 2.4 million records. It is located at For each deceased person there is identifying information from cemeteries and burial records worldwide; in some cases, the actual tombstone.

Recent additions are from Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Ukraine and the United States. A complete cemetery inventory is at There are more than 100 countries cited. Adds Virginia Vital Records has added an index to Virginia vital records, many as recent as 2014. They include birth records (1864–1999), marriage records (1936–2014), death records (1912–2014) and divorce records (1918–2014).

Avotaynu Anthology of Jewish Genealogy
 All back issues of our journal AVOTAYNU from 1985–2011

    • 27 years   • 105 issues   2,900 articles  • 7,000 pages 
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 Cost is $35 (one-time charge).

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Number of articles in Anthology by topic:

Algeria 8
Argentina 21
Australia 36
Austria 17
Austro-Hungary 7**
Belarus* 26
Belgium 24
Bermuda 1
Book Reviews 289
Brazil 25
Bulgaria 5
Burma 1
Canada 94
Caribbean 9
Cuba 3

China 10

Computers 21
Conferences 52
Costa Rica 1
Croatia 3
Cyprus 1
Czech Republic 33
Denmark 2
DNA 25
East Europe– Gen’l
Egypt 11
England 125
Estonia* 5
Europe-General 25
Finland 1

France 102
Galicia 20
General 233
Germany 173
Gibraltar 1
Greece 12
Holland 83
Holocaust 177
Hungary 46
India 6
Iraq 3
Iran 5
Ireland 2
Israel 125
Italy 14 
Latvia* 26

LDS 29
Libya 1
Lithuania* 71
Methodology 84
Moldova* 5
Morocco 18
New Zealand 13
North Africa 2
Poland 118
Portugal 21
Rabbinic 57
Romania 33
Russia 46** 
Scotland 27
Sephardic 42
Serbia 2

Slovakia 1
South Africa 22
South America 1
Spain 13
Sudan 1
Sweden 5
Switzerland 27
Syria 3
Tunisia 3
Turkey 22
Ukraine* 57
United States   227
USSR 92**
Venezuela 1
Zimbabwe 1

* Also see Russia and USSR ** Also see individual countries
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