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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 19, Number 13 | April 2, 2018

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.

News from My Heritage
The public relations department of MyHeritage was busy this past week issuing several announcements.

Customer Support Now 24/7. No doubt recognizing that they have customers all over the world, MyHeritage is now offering customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their support team now includes 138 full-time employees taking phone calls and handling support questions via email. Queries can be about the computer aspect of the company as well as their DNA program. The announcement can be found at

27.1 Million Historical Records Added During March. This includes index to marriage licenses of the New York City Clerk Offices (1908–1972); records of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, and other records kept by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark (1813–1919); newspapers published in Kentucky (1840s–2009); and newspapers published in West Virginia (1930s–2009). There are now 8.96 billion records in their collection. The announcement can be found at

New Mobile App Features: Inbox and Scanner. Inbox is an email-based messaging feature to communicate with other members of MyHeritage regarding DNA matches, Smart Matches and other topics of genealogical collaboration. Scanner is a feature that utilizes your smartphone’s high-resolution camera for scanning old photographs and documents directly into your family site on MyHeritage. Additional information about these features can be found at

Three Improvements to One-to-Many Chromosome Browser. (1) Easily reference your comparison set at all times; (2) Review and contact DNA Matches right from the Chromosome Browser; (3) Indication for triangulated segments from the DNA Match Review page. More complete information can be found at

Conference Scholar-in-Residence is Antony Polonsky
The IAJGS 2018 Warsaw Conference planning committee has announced that Professor Antony Polonsky will serve as Scholar-in-Residence for the conference. Professor Polonsky is the Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust History at Brandeis University. He is an award-winning author of many works on the history of Polish Jews and the Holocaust and he serves as the official historian of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Prof. Polonsky will be on-hand to address the conference for several lectures, including a session “in conversation” where he will be accessible to conference participants.

Additional information about the conference can be found at

2020 U.S. Census to Include Question About Citizenship
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the question of citizenship will be included in the 2020 Census. The question raised concerns that a citizenship question would cause undocumented individuals not to complete the questionnaire and leave a large population uncounted. In my opinion, it is more likely that undocumented individuals will just claim they are citizens, since there will be no requirement to prove you are a citizen. Additional information can be found at

Article on “What is GEDCOM?”
“What is GEDCOM?” is the next article in the Practicing Safe Computing series written by Hal Bookbinder. GEDCOM is the software used to transfer data between genealogical programs or to upload family tree data to a website. The article provides a basic understanding of this tool and introduces GEDCOM X, the next generation. The article is located at

JewishGen Course “Brick Wall or Dead End”
JewishGen once again is offering its three-week class, “Brick Wall or Dead End”, starting April 9. Frustrated and at a loss? Are you at a dead end or just experiencing a brick wall? Are you stumped by a small detail or is there a major avenue you can't get past? This class may help you.

Tuition is $150. Registration opens two weeks before the class starts. Enrollment is limited. Additional information is at

About Canadian Naturalizations
Library Archives Canada (LAC) has a description of “Naturalization Records, 1915–1951” at its website. It includes a link to searching for records by name (1915–1946) and searching by date (1947–1951). The search by name index was created by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal as a project to enhance the LAC site. Additional information can be found at

FamilySearch Adds 316 Thousand Records This Week
The Easter season no doubt slowed down the work of FamilySearch. A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 316 thousand indexed records, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. Those identified with a dagger (†) are Christian-only records. They include records from California, Cape Verde(†), El Salvador, England, Nicaragua, Paraguay, South Africa(†) and Uruguay.

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/updated 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.

Updated U.S. Collections
Michigan, Death Records, 1867–1950
New Hampshire, Marriage and Divorce Records, 1659–1947
U.S., Presbyterian Church Records, 1701–1970
Tennessee, Death Records, 1908–1958
New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917–1967

Ancestry UK Updated Collection
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916–2007

Ancestry Germany
Updated. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851–1901
New. Meinersen, Germany, Births, 1874–1904, Marriages, 1874–1935, Deaths, 1874–1974
New. Saaldorf–Surheim, Germany, Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1876–1983

ITS Library Catalog Now Online
  The library catalog of the International Tracing Service (ITS) is now online. Researchers and visitors can get information in advance about the library's holdings and better prepare their research stays at the ITS.

The library of the ITS features more than 10,000 publications, including 450 journals and periodicals. The library’s holdings chiefly pertain to the history of the Holocaust, incarceration and forced labor under the Nazis as well as the postwar period, particularly regarding the fate of displaced persons.

The announcement can be found at

Attend the 38th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
Registration and additional information at

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