Gary Mokotoff

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Gary Mokotoff (born April 26, 1937) is an American genealogist who focuses primarily on Jewish genealogy. He is the first person to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies for which he was president (1989–1995).[1] He is the author/coauthor of a number of books including Where Once We Walked, a gazetteer which provides information about 23,500 towns (citing 37,000 place names) in Central and Eastern Europe where Jews lived before the Holocaust, How to Document Victims and Locate Survivors of the Holocaust, and Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy. He was co-editor of Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy.

Mokotoff is also known for his application of computers to genealogy. Among his accomplishments is co-authorship of the Daitch–Mokotoff Soundex System;[2] the JewishGen Family Finder,[3] a database of ancestral towns and surnames being researched by some 84,000[4] Jewish genealogists throughout the world and the Consolidated Jewish Surname Index.

He is co-owner of Avotaynu, a company that publishes books of interest to Jewish genealogical researchers as well as the journal Avotaynu.[5] He is/was on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations including the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies,[6] Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), Association of Professional Genealogists, Jewish Book Council, Association of Jewish Book Publishers, and JewishGen.

He was a pioneer of the computer software industry, joining IBM in 1959. He developed systems software that IBM supplied with its early commercial computer, the IBM 1401.


  • Mokotoff, Gary and Sallyann Amdur Sack, Where once we walked: a guide to the Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust, Teaneck, N.J.: Avotaynu. 1991 (first edition) ISBN 0-9626373-1-9
  • Mokotoff, Gary, How to document victims and locate survivors of the Holocaust, Teaneck, N.J.: Avotaynu. 1995 ISBN 0-9626373-8-6
  • Mokotoff, Gary and Warren Blatt, Getting started in Jewish genealogy, Bergenfield, N.J..: Avotaynu. 1999 ISBN 1-886223-10-6
  • Mokotoff, Gary and Sallyann Amdur Sack with Alexander Sharon, Where once we walked: a guide to the Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust, Bergenfield, N.J.: Avotaynu. 2002 (second, revised edition) ISBN 1-886223-15-7
  • Sack, Sallyann and Gary Mokotoff eds., Avotaynu guide to Jewish genealogy, Bergenfield, N.J.: Avotaynu. 2004 ISBN 1-886223-16-5
  • Mokotoff, Gary ed., Every family has a story, Bergenfield, N.J.: Avotaynu. 2008 ISBN 978-1-886223-36-3
  • Mokotoff, Gary, Getting started in Jewish genealogy-2012 Edition, Bergenfield, N.J..: Avotaynu. 2011 ISBN 978-0-9836975-1-0


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