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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 19, Number 38 | September 30, 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.

Ancestry Australia Offering Free Access to Records
October 1 is Labour Day in most regions of Australia. is offering free access to more than 270 million records through Monday, October 1 (AEST). Take advantage of the offer immediately. Australia is one of the first countries to begin the calendar day. When the offer ends in Australia it is 7am October 1 in Los Angeles. The offer is located at

Historical Newspaper Site Has 185 Million Articles
Update of article that appeared in the September 28, 2014 edition of Nu? What’s New? is a site for searching historical newspapers. It does not digitize newspaper collections but instead acts as a comprehensive search engine currently linking to 29 other websites that have digital indexed newspaper collections. Its two largest links are to the Trove collection of the National Library of Australia and to Chronicling America of the U.S. Library of Congress. Their statistics show they link to 3,657 newspaper titles containing 185 million articles. A list of newspapers can be found at Eleven newspapers have the word “Jewish” in their title, all from the United States.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 4.7 Million Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, more than 4.7 million 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 Argentina(†), Australia, Colombia(†), England/Wales, France, Lesotho(†), Liberia, and the United States (Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia). More than 3.8 million of the index records are for “England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858–1957.”

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.

Wanted: Human Interest Stories for Winter Issue of AVOTAYNU 
We now are working on the final stages of getting the Fall issue of AVOTAYNU into print, but we are also looking ahead to the Winter issue which is special in two ways. For the past 31 years, AVOTAYNU has devoted a portion of each Winter issue to genealogy human interest stories. Stories are typically about how genealogy affected people’s lives, whether it be the researcher or the people they are researching. Deadline for submission this year is December 1, 2018. If you would like to share such a story with AVOTAYNU subscribers, submit it by e-mail to When possible, illustrations should accompany the article. In 2008, Avotaynu published 72 of these human-interest stories in a book, Every Family Has a Story. A sample story in the book that originally appeared in the Winter 1998 issue of AVOTAYNU can be read at

New Family Histories In Print. Also in the Winter issue, AVOTAYNU lists Jewish genealogical family histories that have been published in the preceding 12 months. Books published earlier are also eligible for inclusion if they have not been previously reported. Please present information about the book in a specific format: author; title of book; years covered; brief description, including family names researched; libraries in which book has been deposited; price and ordering information. Submit the information by e-mail to The deadline date is also December 1.

You can subscribe to AVOTAYNU at

All Lithuania Database Now Has More Than 2 Million Records
The Litvak SIG’s All Lithuania Database now has more than 2 million records, according to Russ Maurer, Litvak SIG’s Records Acquisition and Translation Coordinator. The organization recently added 76,627 lines of new data. The collection includes data taken from censuses, conscriptions, lists of residents, tax/voter lists, vital records, internal passports and other sources.

The database can be searched at

Lodz Ghetto Lists Added to USHMM Database
Peter Landé reports that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) has added 33,494 name records/documents to the Holocaust Survivors and Victims database taken from “The Elders of the Jews in the Lodz Ghetto” (Przełożony Starszeństwa Żydów w Getcie Łódzkim) database. These names were taken from reel 204 of the USHMM collection RG 15-083M, and list names of Jews on transports to and from the Lodz ghetto.

You can search/request and immediately receive digital copies of the original documents in your email. Search at

Article: “iPhone Tips”
Hal Bookbinder has published his 36th article on Practicing Safe Computing. Titled “iPhone Tips,” the article shares some functions on iPhones including recovering deleted photos and using your iPhone as a powerful magnifying glass.

All articles published to date are available in a single PDF which includes an index. This resource is freely accessible using the following link:

Hamburg State Archives Destroys More than One Million Death Record
Hamburg State Archives has destroyed more than one million death records for the period 1876–1953. The archives director claimed that almost all the information contained in the files is found in other archived documents.

Historians note that entries such as cause of death and the name and signature of the doctor who made the determination do not exist in alternate sources. Holocaust historians state that in many cases these certificates provided important clues in cases of so-called euthanasia murders.

Additional information can be found at

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 
 Google Custom Search engine
 Download or print articles

 Cost is $35 (one-time charge).

 Additional information at

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
Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
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