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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 18, Number 27 | July 16, 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
There will be no edition of Nu? What's New? next week. I will be attending the annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

Countdown to the Conference
The 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will begin exactly one week from today, July 23, at the Disney Swan Resort in Orlando, Florida. If you decided not to attend but wish you could gain the benefits of participating in many of the lectures that will be presented at the conference, there is an inexpensive alternative: IAJGS LIVE!

For only $149, from the comfort of your home (or favorite Internet café), you can listen to more than 60 of the lectures being given live, or on demand until November 1. These lectures have been chosen from the more than 200 talks being presented and are designed to appeal to the veteran genealogist as well as the beginner. I will be at the conference and have already identified more than 30 lectures/meetings I plan to attend.

Visit the IAJGS LIVE! Site at View the schedule. Sign up to attend the lectures from the comfort of your home, live or on demand.

Announce Fall Season of Finding Your Roots
Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. returns for a fourth season this Fall. It wil explore the family trees of celebrities including Aziz Ansari, Scarlett Johansson, Larry David, Garrison Keillor, Amy Schumer, Ted Danson, William H. Macy, Mary Steenburgen, Ana Navarro, Christopher Walken, Ava DuVernay, Bryant Gumbel and others. The show begins on Tuesday, October 3, and runs through December 26, at 8:00 pm ET on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Check your local television schedule to determine the PBS station and time in your area.

Gates also will be the speaker at the banquet of the 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. His topic will be “Genealogy and Genetics in America.”

Article Compares DNA Testing Services
 Family History Daily has published an essay titled “Which Genealogy DNA Test Is the Best? A Detailed Comparison Guide to Help You Decide.” They have included Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage DNA, AncestryDNA and 23andMe in their comparison because “these four companies are the main providers of genetic genealogy tests in the current market.” They identify 17 factors to consider in determining which is best for the consumer including such factors as cost, current size of database, privacy concerns and turn-around time. The report can be found at

FamilySearch Adds More Than 6 Million Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, more than 6 million indexed records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Brazil, Chile, France, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Peru and Russia (church records) and the U.S. states of New Jersey and Ohio.

Nearly 4M new items are Brazil Civil Registrations. Also included are more than 500K index records added to the 1895 New Jersey census.

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.

New Collections
U.S., Obituary Collection, 1930–2017
U.S., WWI Troop Transport Ships, 1918–1919

Updated Collections
U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s–Current
U.S., Cemetery and Funeral Home Collection, 1847–2017
U.S., Homestead Records, 1863–1908
Cass County, Missouri, Cemetery Index, 1875–1954
New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917–1966
U.S., Navy and Marine Corps Registries, 1814–1992
Mississippi, Naturalization Records, 1907–2008

JewishGen Plans Course on New York City Resources
Did your family live in New York? There are many interesting research possibilities in the Big Apple. JewishGen’s Intermediate Course, “Breaking Brick Walls in the United States,” will focus on New York Resources. This course will be especially useful to those who visit New York City. It will have suggestions on where to research, where to wander and how to get there.

If, despite basic online research, you have not yet found the Hebrew names, birth year or town for your U.S. immigrant ancestors, consider this course. It focuses on the more esoteric documents our ancestors generated, naturalization, military and governmental records, death records (probate, obituaries, cemeteries), and local archival research.

The course includes a personal mentoring program; students use JewishGen’s online FORUM, post an ancestral branch, set goals for research, and work one on one with an instructor. Eight text lessons can be downloaded to read at your own pace and an optional field trip to a New York archive will be scheduled. Read the course descriptions and requirements (8–10 hours per week) at

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

Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2017, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved

To change an e-mail address, send a request to

To subscribe to AVOTAYNU, The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, go to

To order books from our catalog, go to

To contact us by postal mail, write: Avotaynu, Inc.; 
794 Edgewood Ave.; New Haven, CT 06515

Telephone  (U.S.) : 475-202-6575