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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 21, Number 14 | April 5, 2020

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.

Fold3 Allows Access to Holocaust Records at No Charge
Fold3 has made available its Holocaust record collection at no charge. Among the many elements of the collection are:
   • Dachau Entry Registers
   • Flossenberg Entry Registers
   • Mauthausen Death Books

These are the actual documents. As an example, the entry for a Berek Mokotow in the Dachau Entry Register gives his name, date and place of birth, occupation and home address. A cross symbol next to his name indicates he died in Dachau.

The Holocaust collection has more than 1M Holocaust related records, including 26,000 photos from the U.S. National Archives. Usually membership in Fold3 is required to view the collection.

Search the Holocaust collection at Registration is required.

Free Genealogical Webinars Abound Due to Pandemic
A number of companies are offering genealogical webinars at no cost during the time of the pandemic.

MyHeritage. MyHeritage has just announced a series of live “Ask The Expert” webinars. The webinars will focus on the use of the MyHeritage website and how to get more from the service. In each webinar, Genealogy Expert Daniel Horowitz will explain how to use a particular feature of MyHeritage and also will answer questions from the audience. The online webinars will be held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 2pm Eastern U.S. time. The webinars are free, but you do need to register in advance in order to attend each webinar. Additional information is at

Legacy Family Tree. Legacy Family Tree Webinars announced for the month of April they will provide one free webinar from their membership library each day. They have chosen classes on a 7-day rotating theme:
   • Sundays - Methodology
   • Mondays - DNA
   • Tuesdays - Ethnic Genealogy
   • Wednesdays - Technology
   • Thursdays - Around the Globe
   • Fridays - Beginners
   • Saturdays – TechZone
The entire list of webinars, both as a daily schedule and category list, can be found at

FamilySearch. FamilySearch has announced its webinars for April. There will be a total of eleven with five focusing on reading Russian handwriting. The list can be found at

MyHeritage Offers DNA Test for Only $39
MyHeritage is having a Stay-at-Home sale of its DNA testing for only $39 for the entire month of April. If you have been contemplating having your DNA tested and the only obstacle is inertia, now is the time. If you have used other services but not MyHeritage, now is the time.

I have added my DNA to all four of the major testing services: 23andme, Ancestry, Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage. Each has had its own benefits. The most recent disclosure was on Ancestry where a woman was an unusually close match to me but was not on my family tree. I contacted her and she disclosed that one of my first cousins was her birth father who got her mother pregnant but abandoned her.

Order your MyHeritage kit at

Article on How to Date Family Photographs
The UK National Archives has published an essay on how to date family photographs. It provides 10 clues, the first three of which are:
   • Check for written clues
   • Analyze the fashion and hairstyles
   • Consider uniforms and medals

The essay can be found at

New Genealogy-Oriented Television Show: Roots Less Traveled
Ancestry is co-producing a new television show called Roots Less Traveled. It airs Saturdays on the U.S. NBC network. The program follows a pair of family members who bond over their joint quest to learn more about their shared family history.

The premier was presented April 4. It followed an American woman and her biological brother (he was adopted at birth) in discovering their mutual Mexican heritage and a family legend that one of their ancestors died on the Titanic.

Additional information can be found at

JewishGen Course on DNA Test Analysis
JewishGen Education program will have course on “DNA Test Analysis and Discussion” from April 16–May 16. This discussion class will walk you through the steps to analyze the test results that you have received. It will concentrate on the basic autosomal test that shows relative matches going back 4–5 generations. It will also discuss the Y chromosome and mitochondrial testing that examines the paternal and maternal lines, respectively.

Enrollment is at Cost is $150.

JewishGen Education offers free videos, value-added workbooks (free to those who have given $100 in the past 12 months to the JewishGen General Fund) and online classes. Additional information is at

New Zealand Newspapers Online
The PapersPast website of the National Library of New Zealand has digitized newspapers, magazines, journals, etc. from 1839–1950. They may be searched by keyword, range of dates, specific publication or type of content. The website is at

FamilySearch Adds 4.2M Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, more than 4.2M index records, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from American Samoa, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, England, Germany, Germany, Jamaica, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, United States and Venezuela.

A major addition is England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 (1,596,927 records).

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.

FindMyPast Adds More England & Wales Electoral Registers
FindMyPast has added another 116M names to its England & Wales Electoral Registers (1832–1932). It is the site’s single largest set of records.

The voting lists were compiled annually. Information could include:
   • Name and address
   • Description of property
   • Occupation or age (sometimes)
   • Name and address of landlord

Search the collection at

New Collections at
Ancestry has updated the following record groups at their site. The list with links to individual collections can be found at Announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. There is also no indication of how many records were added to the updated collections.

1850 United States Federal Census
1860 United States Federal Census
California, Voter Registers, 1866–1898
Find A Grave Index, various countries
Michigan, Death Records, 1867–1952
Michigan, Divorce Records, 1897–1952
Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867–1952
Texas, Select County Marriage Records, 1837–2015 Obituary Index, 1800s–current

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Each year AVOTAYNU publishes more than 300 pages of useful, interesting information about Jewish family history research that can help you in your research. Now in its 35th year, an index to the first 24 volumes is available to all the major articles.

Published quarterly, our contributing editors from 15 countries throughout the world regularly gather important information that appears in our issues. Our publishers, Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack, are on a first name basis with officials at institutions containing genealogical data throughout the world. 
Some institutions are U.S. National Archives, U.S. Library of Congress, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Leo Baeck Institute,  Yad Vashem and  Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People.

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