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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 22, Number 9 | February 28, 2021
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 http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm
Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

RootsTech Connect Is History
RootsTech Connect was held last Thursday through Saturday. According to Todd Knowles, Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch International, more than 1,000,000 from more than 200 countries and territories attended.

The event includes 112 sessions specifically meant for members of the Mormon religion. There is no breakdown as to how many attendees were there for genealogical reasons and how many for religious reasons.

It appears this week is MyHeritage Week
MyHeritage Extends DNA Offer
MyHeritage has extended its offer to upload your DNA data and access advanced DNA features at no charge. Users who have tested with another service can upload their data now through March 7 and gain free access to all DNA features on MyHeritage.

Upload your DNA results from 23andMe, Ancestry, or Family Tree DNA Family Finder at https://www.myheritage.com/dna/upload. It will also get access to their Ethnicity Estimate, Genetic Groups and other advanced DNA tools provided by MyHeritage such as the Chromosome Browser, AutoClusters, and Theory of Family Relativity. These features will remain free forever for the DNA kits you upload to MyHeritage during this period.


MyHeritage Announces Animation of Faces in Still Photographs
MyHeritage has added yet another feature to its photo enhancement abilities. Now you can animate the faces of loved ones in still photos. The company states that this feature “produces a realistic depiction of how a person from an old photo could have moved and looked if they were captured on video.” They have given a name to the feature: DeepNostalgiaTM.

Animate your photo at https://www.myheritage.com/deep-nostalgia. The page includes an example of the animation feature. I found it eerie to look at.

Additional information is at https://blog.myheritage.com/2021/02/deep-nostalgia-goes-viral/. It includes many examples of the feature.


MyHeritage Acquired by Investment Firm
MyHeritage has been acquired by U.S. investment firm Francisco Partners for an estimated $600M. Gilad Japhet, CEO and founder of MyHeritage, said that the company’s 600 employees were enjoying “disproportionately large” benefits from the sale. He said, “Among the conditions I had for selling were that I would continue to run the company, and that we would continue growing, reward our employees and shareholders, and aim for another exit further down the road.

“When I founded the company from my home eighteen years ago, I had a clear vision that drove me, and continues to drive me today – to make family history discovery easier using technology and to unlock the fun in genealogy: the human pursuit that bonds people,” Japhet said in a company statement. “With the help of an excellent and dedicated team, years of hard work, and with constant technological innovation, we created new and exciting ways for people to learn about their origins.”

Additional information can be found at https://tinyurl.com/naw4vjk.


Iranian Jewish Heritage Site Online
Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, reports that there is a website that is a home for Iranian Jewish heritage. Yousef Setareh-Shenas, nearly 15 years ago, created the Persian-language online forum to preserve Iranian Jewish history. The site now contains nearly 40,000 photos, 400 biographies of prominent Iranians Jews, panoramic photos of all of Iran’s total 110 operational and defunct synagogues as well as photos of important Jewish sites like the tombs of Esther and Mordechai.

Most of the site, which is located at http://7dorim.com/Home.asp is in Farsi. A portion is in English.

Additional information about the project is at https://tinyurl.com/mcsbtu3j.


FamilySearch Adds Nearly 10M Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, nearly 10M index records, can be found at https://tinyurl.com/3rus7udt. This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, El Salvador, England, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Liberia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

More than 8M are Church 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.


New Collections at Ancestry.com
Ancestry has added/updated the following record groups at their site. The list with links to individual collections can be found at https://www.ancestry.com/cs/recent-collections. 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.

New Collections
Ohio, Licking County, Hartford Township Records, 1881–1962
Washington County, Ohio, U.S., Newspaper Obituaries, 1884–2013
Carroll County, Ohio, Veteran Grave Registrations, 1817–1980
Ohio, Washington County Court Records, 1810–1930
Plus church records

Updated Collections
Find a Grave for Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and United States


FindMyPast Adds More Than 3.4M Records to Its National Burial Index for England & Wales
FindMyPast, in partnership with the Family History Federation, has added 3.4M records to its National Burial Index for England & Wales. The index now contains more than 16M records from all corners of England and Wales.

After registering, records can be searched at https://tinyurl.com/yjp8r2vs. The announcement can be found at https://tinyurl.com/en88achz.



Make sure the members of your family who were murdered in the Holocaust are not  forgotten. Submit a Page of Testimony in their memory to The Shoah Victims' Name Recovefr Project. Go to http://yvng.yadvashem.org/index.html?language=en. Click the words "Submit Pages of Testimony Online" or “Download Page of Testimony Forms.”

Pages of Testimony are special forms created by Yad Vashem to restore the personal identities and to record the brief life stories of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices. These one-page forms, containing the names, biographical details and, when available, photographs, of each individual victim are essentially symbolic "tombstones". Since its inception Yad Vashem has worked tirelessly to fulfill our moral imperative to remember every single victim as a human being, and not merely a number.  To date there are some two million seven hundred thousand names recorded on Pages of Testimony, written in more than twenty languages, stored for perpetuity in the circular repository around the outer edge of the Hall of Names. Many shelves remain empty bearing witness to the millions of individuals who have yet to be memorialized.

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