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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 18, Number 19 | May 14, 2017

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.

Postcard Images of Jewish Life in European Countries
Frantisek Bányai of Prague has a website featuring old postcards of Jewish life in virtually every country in Europe. The images are from 1890–1930. The site is located at Mouse over any image and there is a more detailed description of what the postcard contains. There is a search engine that will isolate images by town or type.

It is not possible to right click and save the image. Furthermore, the image quality is not that great. This may be deliberate. Bányai notes that you should contact him if you wish a high-quality copy of a card.

Photographs of Former Jewish Sites in European Countries
Each year Charles Burns travels to Eastern Europe and photographs former Jewish sites in various countries: a synagogue, a town square surrounded by homes and businesses that were formerly owned by Jews, and always cemeteries. He says he does it “to make a small record of a vanished culture and to pay respect to that civilization and to its members.”

He has posted many of these photographs on the Internet at The site’s name demonstrates that most of the images are from Galicia. This does not mean that all the photos come from that area. Burns notes, “the majority of the places we have visited are in the former Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia, but we have also worked in Bukovina, both the Ukrainian and the Romanian parts; other areas within Romania; perhaps in the southern edge of Volhynia; in Podolia; in the area between Warszawa and Wroclaw to the west of Poznan; and in the Bohemian area of the Czech Republic.” There is an alphabetical list of towns at the site.

Burns has copyrighted the images, and he should be contacted for permission to use any of them.

FamilySearch Adds Nearly 500K Records This Week
It was a slow week for Family Search. They placed online only about 500K new indexed records and images. The list can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Cook Islands, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Peru and the U.S. states of Maine and Florida. In addition, 186K records were garnered from

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, which can be greater.

New at
Ancestry has added the following record groups at their site. Note that they do not indicate how many entries have been added. Announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date.

Montana, County Births and Deaths, 1830–2011
Montana, Prison Records, 1861–1968
New York City, Marriage Indexes, 1907–1995

Pennsylvania, Birth Records, 1906–1909
Texas, Marriage Index, 1824–2014
Texas, Divorce Index, 1968–2014
U.S. General Land Office Records, 1776–2015
Web: Missouri, St. Louis Public Library Obituary Index, 1880–2011

Most significant is the new New York City Marriage Indexes, 1907–1995. Reclaim the Records recently placed digitized images of this collection online at, but they are unindexed.

Foreign Passports of Russian Citizens Kept in the Russian Delegation in Berlin, 1876–1924
Marilyn Robinson, editor of Jewish Gem's Genealogy, notes that the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) has placed on its website a list of foreign passports of Russian citizens kept in the Russian delegation in Berlin, 1876–1924. There appears to be about 3,000 entries, many bearing Jewish surnames. The site, which is located at, is in Russian, so use translating software such as Google Translate if you are unfamiliar with the language. The only information provided is the person’s name and year the transaction was recorded at the Berlin office.

You must search in Russian. Use Stephen P. Morse’s English to Russian transliteration utility at to transliterate a name into the Cyrillic alphabet.

MACEVA Provides Annual Report
Jewish Heritage Europe reports that MACEVA has issued its annual report of activities for 2016. MACEVA is involved in maintaining and documenting the last remaining Jewish cemeteries in Lithuania. The report notes that significant work was done in the cemeteries of Svencionys, Kauno Zaliakalnis, Trakai, Zidikai and Linkmenys. Additional information can be found at the Jewish Heritage Europe site:

Attend the 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
23–28 July 2017  • Walt Disney World Swan Resort  • Orlando, Florida

   • More than 250 lectures and workshops
   • SIG meetings and luncheons
    Birds of a Feather meetings
   • Gala banquet
    Access to subscription-only online databases
   • Film Festival
    Network with other genealogists
   • Consult with the experts

Registration and additional information at

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