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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 22, Number 21 | May 23, 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
Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

Jewish Cemetery Clean-ups by Volunteers and Others
Continue in Many European Countries

Every year Jewish Heritage Europe posts round-ups of various initiatives and projects aimed at restoring and cleaning-up Jewish cemeteries all over Europe, which take place throughout the spring, summer and, in some cases, also during autumn. Most of these actions are carried out by volunteers, and some initiatives take place within the framework of longstanding international volunteer programs.

This year’s report identifies projects in Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Read the report at It identifies which specific cemeteries are under restoration.

Jan Meisels Allen Wins Access Award
Jan Meisels Allen, Chair of the Public Records Access Monitoring Committee of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) has won the Shirley M. Barnes Records Access Award of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council.

Since 2003, Meisels-Allen has been the chairperson of the Public Records Access Monitoring Committee. She served on the IAJGS Board of Directors from 2004–2013. In 2015 she was awarded the IAJGS Volunteer of the Year award. In 2013, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) awarded her the President’s Citation. In addition to her international and national work, she has served the boards of local Jewish genealogical societies in California.

The complete announcement can be found at

MyHeritage Adds Filtering Option to DNA Matches
MyHeritage has added a filtering option to their DNA Matches function that permits the user to limit matches to only those who are members of a certain Genetic Group. By filtering matches based on a Genetic Group, users will be able to further pinpoint which matches come from a specific location or region, giving deeper insight into how you are related to the person.

Additional information is at

Spring Issue of AVOTAYNU to Printer
The Spring issue of AVOTAYNU will go to the printer this week. Some of the articles in the issue are:
   • (An Analysis of) Jewish Given Names
   • Websites and Addresses Useful for Polish Genealogical Research
   • Russian Empire Passports (as a source of genealogical information)
   • Another Approach to Study the Fate of Relatives Affected by the Shoah

All told, there are 12 articles in the issue plus the usual columns: From Our Contributing Editors, U.S. Update, Brick Walls, Book Reviews and From Our Mailbox.

The complete Table of Contents is at Subscribe to AVOTAYNU at

1950 U.S. Census on Track for 2022 Release
Despite the pandemic, the U.S. National Archives has stated that details of the 1950 census are on track to be released on April 1, 2022. The Constitution requires that a census be taken every decade, and the results remain closed and sealed until 72 years later, when the National Archives releases them to the public.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and employees who were suddenly working remotely, preparations for next year’s release of the 1950 census continue, and the timeline remains unchanged.

The complete announcement can be found at

JewishGen Talks: Researching Jewish Families in America—Focus on Southern Jewish Resources
The subject of the next lecture in the series JewishGen Talks will be “Researching Jewish Families in America: Focus on Southern Jewish Resources.” It will be given on Tuesday, May 25 at 2pm Eastern Time online via Zoom.

This is the first lecture on a series called “Researching Jewish Families in America,” which highlights archives, museums and historical society collections of interest to family historians from around the United States.

Registration is at no charge with a suggested donation. Register at

ITV Announces Three-Episode Series of Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace
The UK television network, ITV, has announced that Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace will emerge once again at 9pm on Monday, 24 May. The three-episode series will be broadcast over three consecutive nights.

The program is a spin-off from the ITV series Long Lost Family, which helps members of the public reunite with missing parents, siblings and other family members. Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace focuses on foundlings – people who were abandoned as babies and often adopted. Using DNA testing and genealogical detective work, the team behind Long Lost Family help the people featured find their birth families.

The announcement can be found at

New Website: “Family History TV”
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter reports a new British website devoted to lectures that teach how to do family history research. Its name is “Family History TV” and is located at Rental prices are about US$4.14, which translates to £3.00

Additional information is at

FamilySearch Adds 5.7M Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 5.7M index records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. Those identified with a dagger (†) are church records only. They include records from Australia, Austria(†), Brazil, Colombia(†), El Salvador(†), England(†), France, Germany(†), Kiribati, Liberia, Mexico(†), Nicaragua(†), Papua New Guinea, Paraguay(†), Philippines(†), Samoa, South Africa, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela(†) and Zambia(†).

Nearly 4M images are for Australia, Victoria, Wills, Probate and Administration Files, 1841–1926, but very few (2,167) are currently indexed. Massachusetts, Boston Tax Records, 1822–1918 added 158K index records. New York Land Records, 1630–1975 added 380K index 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 has added/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.

Updated Collections
Canton, Stark County, Ohio, Directory, 1913
Texas, Birth Index, 1903–1997
Charlotte County, Virginia, Births, 1875–1878
Hawaii, Marriage Certificates and Indexes, 1841–1944
Lithuania, Vilnius City Directory, 1915
Romania, Jewish Census, 1942

Additions to FindMyPast This Week
Some of the additions to the FindMyPast collection possibly relevant to Jewish family history research are:
   • Scotland, Modern and Civil Births 1855–2019
   • Scotland, Modern and Civil Marriages 1855–2019
   • Scotland, Modern and Civil Deaths & Burials 1855–2021

The complete list can be found at

Do You Subscribe to AVOTAYNU?
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 37th 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.

Subscribe now at

Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2021, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved

To change an e-mail address, send a request to

To subscribe to AVOTAYNU, The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, go to

To order books from our catalog, go to

To contact us by postal mail, write: Avotaynu, Inc.; 
794 Edgewood Ave.; New Haven, CT 06515

Telephone  (U.S.) : 475-202-6575