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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 22, Number 36 | September 12, 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.

Medical Files of Displaced Persons Are Being Restored
Arolsen Archives reports that funding from Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) has made it possible to restore and digitize 21,934 envelopes containing medical records of Displaced Persons from 17 DP hospitals. The patient files contain medical histories, examination records, and X-rays.

Additional information can be found at

Hungarian Jewish Town Record Books Purchased By Jewish Institutions
Seven rare ledgers from the 19th and 20th centuries containing records of pre-Holocaust Jewish communal life in what is now Hungary have been removed from public auction and jointly purchased by the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives (HJMA), along with the National Library of Israel (NLI).

Among the documents are thousands of birth, death, marriage and other communal records from six different Jewish communities, many of them from the Holocaust era, which have not yet been digitized.

Additional information is at

THE Genealogy Show: Winter Event to Be Held from December 3–5
The UK-based THE Genealogy Show: Winter Event will be a virtual conference held from December 3–5. Their first virtual event was held last June. The conference is now accepting applications for speakers through September 17. Persons who register for the event will be able to participate live and download lectures through January 4, 2022.

Additional information can be found at

FindMyPast Retrieves Gazetteer Information for UK Censuses
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter reports that FindMyPast has added a new feature to help researchers learn more about where their ancestors lived. FindMyPast’ s 1891, 1901 and 1911 UK census transcripts now provide key information on the surrounding local area. Sourced from FindMyPast’s Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1895, transcripts now provide valuable contextual information and color maps on the cities, towns, villages and parishes our ancestors called home.·

The company states that by automatically connecting census transcripts to more than 25,000 Gazetteer entries from every county in England and Wales, researchers around the world paint are given a fuller picture of their ancestor’s lives.

Additional information is at

FamilySearch Adds 7.5M Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 7.5M index records, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, England, Finland, France, Guatemala, India, Liberia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Samoa, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Zambia.

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 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
Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939–1947
U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681–1935
New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820–1957

The first item is a good source for Holocaust survivor/victim information.

A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Italy, France and “Portuguese” Communities
Avotaynu has just published Dr. Beider’s second book on surnames of the Mediterranean region: A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Italy, France and “Portuguese” Communities. His first book of the Mediterranean region is A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Maghreb, Malta and Gibraltar, published by Avotaynu in 2017.

Why “Mediterranean region” rather than “Sephardic.” Because Dr. Beider has the preciseness of a person who got his first doctorate in Applied Mathematics. He notes that the surnames of the region include names based on Arabic, Judeo-Arabic, Berber, Hebrew, Aramaic, Spanish, Judeo-Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French. There are also Ashkenazic surnames in the region.

The book is 882 pages, hardcover. Cost is $89.00 plus shipping. Addtional informaton, including the Table of Contents and sample entry, can be found at
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