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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 22, Number 34 | August 29, 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.

It Is Webtember at Legacy Family Tree Webinars
Every Friday in September, several live and pre-recorded webinars will be available on the Legacy Family Tree website—30 sessions in all. You can join for as many live sessions as you like, and the pre-recorded sessions will be free to view through the end of the month. The sessions cover a large number of topics and focus areas, from DNA and photo scanning to Afro-LatinX heritage in the Old West to overcoming genealogical angst.

Complete information can be found at

POLIN Museum Offering Genealogical Research Services
The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews located n Warsaw is now offering professional genealogical research services. For many years, the Resource Center at the museum has been providing support to all visitors who are looking for their roots and wish to discover the fate of their ancestors, build family trees, or deepen their knowledge of the history of Jews in their localities.

They state that the Center's staff has many years of experience in genealogical research and conducting source queries. Responding to numerous requests and enquiries regarding genealogical research, the Museum is introducing a new family research service at the Resource Center.

Complete information can be found at

Sephardic Genealogical Society Posts More The 50 Lectures
The Sephardic Genealogical Society has posted more than 50 lectures of interest to persons researching their Sephardic roots. View the lecture topics at The organization has a web presence at

Summer Issue of AVOTAYNU to Printer
The Summer issue of AVOTAYNU will go to the printer this week. Some of the topics in the issue are:
   • Finding an Ancestor’s European Town of Origin
   • Matzeva (Tombstone) Reading
   • New Family Roots Research Section at Yad Vashem Archives
   • New York Genealogical and Biographical Society
   • Landsmanshaftn and Town Clusters
   • Genealogical Records on Sephardim in the Amsterdam City Archives
   • Industrial Removal Office Records
In addition, there are the usual columns: From Our Contributing Editors, U.S. Update, Ask Dr. Beider, Book Reviews and From Our Mailbox.

The complete Table of Contents is at Subscribe to AVOTAYNU at

USHMM Lodz Ghetto Inhabitant List Now Complete
Peter Lande reports that the Lodz Ghetto Inhabitant List of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is now complete with the addition of surnames D through K. You can request and immediately receive digital copies of the original documents through email.

Access to the list is at

Excavations at Destroyed Great Synagogue in Vilnius Uncovers Ark and Platform
Jewish Heritage Europe reports that discoveries in their just-completed sixth season of excavations at the site of the destroyed Great Synagogue in Vilnius include full exposure of the Aron Kodesh (Torah Ark) and the Bimah (platform). The team of Israeli, Lithuanian and North American archaeologists even discovered a delicate silver Yad, a pointer used to read from the Torah, in the soil in front of the Bimah.

The Great Synagogue was built in the early 1600 and ransacked and torched by the Germans during World War II. The postwar Soviet regime tore down the ruins and in the 1950s built a school on the site.

The article can be read at

No Published Additions to FamilySearch This Week
There were no published additions to FamilySearch this week.

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.

Updated Collections
Connecticut, Federal Naturalization Records, 1790–1996
Find a Grave Index, 1600s–Current
Florida, Naturalization Records, 1847–1995
Illinois, Wills and Probate Records, 1772–1999
Louisiana, Wills and Probate Records, 1756–1984
Maryland, Wills and Probate Records, 1635–1777
Missouri, Wills and Probate Records, 1766–1988
New Jersey, County Naturalization Records, 1749–1986
New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659–1999
Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786–1998
Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683–1993
Rhode Island, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1802–1945
Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779–2008
Texas, Divorce Index, 1968–2015
Texas, Marriage Index, 1824–2017

Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy: 2020 Edition
More a getting started guide than a beginner’s guide, it is meant to convince the reader that tracing one’s Jewish ancestry can be done. The resources described are primarily Internet resources. The Internet has revolutionized family history research. What used to take days or weeks now takes minutes or hours because of the wealth of resources on the Internet. It describes in detail such resources as JewishGen, Morse One-Step site, FamilySearch,, MyHeritage and many more sites. It alerts the readers to what types of documents of their ancestors will aid in their research—such records as birth, marriage, death, Immigration, census and naturalization records.

Cost is only $16.50 plus shippng. Addtional informaton, including the Table of Contents, can be found at

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