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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 22, Number 14| April 4, 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.

Happy Easter
Happy Easter to our Christian readers.

Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 7–8
Are Your Family Members Recorded in the Shoah Victims’ Names Database?
Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day, will be observed this year starting Wednesday evening, April 7 through Thursday, April 8. Make sure the members of your family who were murdered in the Holocaust are not forgotten. Submit for each a Page of Testimony in their memory to the Shoah Victims’ Name Recovery 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 m-illion 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 to fulfill their moral imperative to remember every single victim as a human being, and not merely a number.

To date there are nearly 3 m-illion 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 m-illions of individuals who have yet to be memorialized.


Submit Names of Holocaust Victims to be Read at Yad Vashem
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, names of Holocaust victims are recited in Yad Vashem’s Hall of Remembrance and the Hall of Names. The public is invited to participate in this ceremony, reading names of relatives and friends murdered in the Holocaust, or reading names of victims provided to them by Yad Vashem from the Central Database of Shoah Victims Names.

Those who would like to have the names of their loved ones who perished in the Holocaust read at Yad Vashem on Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day but cannot come to personally read them are invited to submit names they would like read via an online form. A volunteer who participates in the ceremony will read the names at the name reading ceremony.

The ceremony will take place in the Hall of Remembrance on Thursday, April 8 at 11:00 AM - 12:45 PM and will continue, if needed, from 13:00 - 13:45 in the Hall of Names. All names must be submitted by April 5.

Submit names at https://forms.yadvashem.org/read-names. No more than five names can be submitted.

Ancestry UK Offering Free Access Through April 5
Ancestry UK is offering free access to their collection through April 5, 11:59pm UK time. Only registration is required. No credit card information is requested.

Access the site at https://www.ancestry.co.uk/. No promises, but…I signed off my Ancestry account and went to the site as a non-user. When I searched for “Mokotoff,” I received results that included American records. It is possible this free offer produces results for all Ancestry web sites.


Polish Jewish Cemetery Project Given Grants
Jewish Heritage Europe reports that more than half a dozen projects to document, maintain, and/or restore Jewish cemeteries are among 26 Jewish heritage and culture grants awarded by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Jewish cemetery grants include the towns of Andrychów, Będzin, Janowiec nad Wisłą, Milówka, Myślenice, Nowy Targ, Ryglice, Tarnowskie Góry andWadowice. In addition, an award was given to the Fundacja Zapomniane for a project called “Reference Points towns – Marking 40 Jewish War Graves with Wooden Matzevot.”

The other grant-winning projects included Jewish culture festivals, publication of a Jewish guidebook to the Jelenia Gora region, publication of an English translation of a book on the Litzmannstadt (Łódź) ghetto by Joanna Podolska, and various commemorative and educational projects.

Additional information can be found at https://jewish-heritage-europe.eu/2021/04/01/ poland-jewish-cemetery-grants/.


FamilySearch Adds 5.5M Records This Week
March 2021 Sets New Record of More Than 32M New Index Entries
FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in March of 2021 with more than 32 m-illion new indexed family history records from all over the world.

A list of additions for the week to FamilySearch, 5.5M index records and images, can be found at https://tinyurl.com/nv2kpufj. This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Kiribati, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Samoa, South Africa, Spain, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Zambia.

A good number are Church records. Other items include:
   • Canada, Ontario Tax Assessment Rolls, 1834–1899, 499,842 records added
   • Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1871–1998, 173,225 records added
   • Massachusetts, Births, 1636–1924, 43,669 records added

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.

Updated Collections
U.S., Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s–current
South Carolina, U.S., Death Records, 1821–1969


Additions to FindMyPast This Week
Some of the additions to the FindMyPast collection possibly relevant to Jewish family history research are:
   • England & Wales Deaths 2007–2020. More than 353,000 new records. England & Wales Deaths 1837–2007 were previously in the collection.
   • Ireland, Northern Ireland Deaths 1998–2020. More than 5,000 records added to this collection. The entire collection now stands at more than 92,000 records.
   • Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, Mentioned in Dispatches 1940–1945
Unique to Findmypast, this useful index can help you trace high–flying family members from World War II.

Additional information is at https://www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/new/catholic-death-raf-records.


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 Recovery 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 m-illion 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 m-illion 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 m-illions of individuals who have yet to be memorialized.

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