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Jewish Records

Nature of Source

Records generated from within the Jewish community and other records relating to the community. The evolution of Jewish life in England did not result in a central Jewish authority gathering and collecting records on individuals. Therefore, Jewish records are not found in centrally housed places. Records tend to be dispersed amongst various libraries, museums and local synagogues.

The following records are relevant for Jewish research. Some records are specifically Jewish in nature and others non-Jewish.

Jewish Records
A date of circumcision can be important as Jews were lax in registering births. The records were not kept by the synagogue authorities but by the Mohel, the ritual circumciser, as his personal property. Because of this most records are unaccounted for and are no longer in existence. The few registers that do survive provide an approximate date of birth as circumcision takes place eight days after the birth, however the registers often only supply the first name. In more recent times a circumcision certificate contains a wealth of genealogical information and includes: parent's names including the mother's maiden name, address of parents, parent's date of marriage, parent's place of marriage and the child's date of birth.

Bar Mitzvah
The bar mitzvah is a religious ceremony celebrating a boy’s transition to adulthood at the age of thirteen. The only genealogical value of establishing the date of the Bar Mitzvah is that it provides an approximate date of birth, thirteen years prior to the Bar Mitzvah.

Get (the religious document of divorce)
Orthodox Jews wishing to separate must obtain a Get, the Jewish document of divorce, before either party can remarry in the faith. Gets rarely have information of genealogical value other than the Hebrew names of the individuals.

Synagogue Records
Seat holder lists can place a person at a particular location at a particular time and could be used to track the movements of a person. Many Jews (especially orthodox Jews) lived within walking distance of the synagogue and therefore would have lived within the vicinity of the synagogue. The Jewish Museum and the London Metropolitan Archives in London hold some synagogue histories and lists of members.

Non-Jewish records
Insurance Policies
A surprising number of Jews insured their London property against the risk of fire from the outset of the insurance business in the mid 16th century. Many policy registers from notable companies such as Hand-in-Hand, Sun and Royal Exchange are available amongst the London Guildhall records now housed at the London Metropolitan Archives.A typical entry will include the following information: name status, occupation and address of policy holder, number, name of agent, location of agency, names, occupations and addresses of tenants.

School Registers
St Paul’s School originally based in Hammersmith was the first public school to accept Jews and Clifton College in Bristol was the first college to have its own Jewish section (Polack House). The Society of Genealogists holds lists of school registers and where to locate them. School admission books will usually provide the name of the student, the address, date of birth and admission date. Sometimes the books will reveal previous and future schools.
The Jewish Free School was founded in 1732 at Ebenezer Square, Spitalfields and in 1822 moved to larger premises nearby at Bell Lane. It is estimated that over a third of all British Jewish children may have attended this school and by the end of the nineteenth century the school had taught over 4,000 pupils. The school’s admission and discharge registers (1869 - 1939) are extant and held at the London Metropolitan Archives in series LMA 4046. The registers have been digitised and the images loaded onto the Moving Here web site.

Newspapers and Magazines
The London Gazette may be of value for tracing an individual who arrived in the UK in more recent times especially as successful naturalisations were announced in the Gazette. The Gentleman’s Magazine often reported on the lives of wealthy Jews and is useful for births, marriages and deaths announcements. The Jewish Chronicle, first published in 1841, is the main publication for birth, marriage and death notices and a surprising amount of genealogical information is packed into a typical entry. The archive of the newspaper is available from the British Library Newspaper Collections. The entire run of the Jewish Chronicle has been digitised and is available for searching and downloading for Jewish Chronicle subscribers at their web site. A collection of newspaper cuttings on prominent 19th century Jews and places was collated by E de Haas. The bound and indexed volume is available for consultation at the Jewish Museum in London or available to search on the museum’s library catalogue)

Printed Pedigrees and Biographies
A number of Jewish pedigrees are held at the Society of Genealogists and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. The Leopold Muller Memorial library based in Oxford contains the Kressel Archive, an archive of some 12,000 biographies of leading Jews from the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Apart from the standard information of genealogical value, Jewish wills might provide clues of a country of origin as the deceased might have left legacies to people in that country.

Naturalisation and Denization records
For a variety of reasons many Jews applied for British citizenship and the Naturalisation Papers available from The National Archives provide important genealogical information. They give the length of time resident in Britain, address, name of spouse, status, occupation, country of origin and the names of the guarantors. More detailed information is often supplied such as full addresses of the applicant, names of children, date of birth and names and nationality of parents. Some people including Jews and Catholics were unable to swear the oaths of allegiance and supremacy as part of gaining naturalisation. Instead, they used the denization procedure until the requirements for the oaths were withdrawn in the 19th century.

Immigration and Refugee Records
Jews fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe in the 19th century and Germany and German controlled territory before WWII led to a wave of immigration to the UK. Relevant sources include Certificates of Arrival of Aliens held at TNA in series HO 2. These certificates constitute an official record of aliens arriving at British ports between 1836 and 1852 and give the alien’s name, nationality, occupation, date of arrival and the last country visited. Another possibility is the lists of Immigrants and Returns of Alien Passengers made by masters of ships covering 1836 to 1869 and found in series HO 3. The records are unindexed and arranged by year of arrival.

The so called Metzner Index compiled by Len Metzner is an alphabetical index in two volumes containing the names of Germans, Poles and Prussians arriving in Britain between 1847 and 1869. The names, which include many Jews, are extracted from TNA seriesHO 2, certificates of arrival of aliens and HO 3, ships lists of aliens. Another useful resource for finding names is a book entitled ‘The Jewish Victorian: Genealogical Information from the Jewish Newspapers, 1861-1880’, transcribed and edited by Doreen Berger. The book contains pedigrees of hundreds of families as well as births, marriages and deaths within the community. These titles are available at TNA library. Search the library catalogue for more details. The Metzner Index is also available at the London Metropolitan Archives or for purchase from the Anglo German Family History Society who also have other indexes compiled by Len Metzner. Also see the publication Catalogue of Len Metzner Indexes and Guide to Further Research Material published by the Anglo-German Family History Society Publications.

The Jews’ Temporary Shelter founded in 1885, provided a resting place for Jews passing through London on their way to other countries. The register entries available from the London Metropolitan Archives provide the following information: name of inmate, age, place travelled from, status, number of children, occupation and destination. Many new arrivals would have sought poor relief from the Board of Guardians who ran the Poor Law Unions or from the Food For The Jewish Poor. The organisation was founded in 1854 in Spitalfields, East London to supply basic food twice weekly to poor Jews, especially immigrants, and later on to those who were sick or elderly. The records are held at the London Metropolitan Archives in series ACC/2942. The records from the Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor again in Spitalfields are held at University College London covering the years 1854-1872.

The Jewish Refugee Committee now known as World Jewish Relief lists 40,000 Jews who fled Nazi persecution in Europe giving dates and places of birth, nationality, occupation, home address, date of arrival and address in the UK. Many of these immigrants were unaccompanied children and the operation is now referred to as the Kindertransport.

All Jews were expelled from Britain in 1290 and later readmitted around 1655 during the rule of Oliver Cromwell. Jews were exempt from Hardwicke's marriage Act of 1753 which stipulated that all marriages must take place in an Anglican church and only after the publication of banns. Sephardim Jews originated from Spain and Portugal in 1492 and the Ashkenazim came from Eastern Europe mainly from Russia and Russian controlled territories from the 1880s. Jews settled all over Britain from large cities to small towns. A community could establish a synagogue if ten males were present to form a minyan.

Jewish Names
Every Jew is given a religious name known as shem ha'kodesh shortly after birth. The shem ha'kodesh consists of the person's Hebrew given name, followed by "son of" or "daughter of," followed by the Hebrew given name of the person's father. This naming arrangement has genealogical value as the naming pattern reveals the name of the individual and the father's name. Unfortunately, there are cases where the Hebrew name bears no relation to the father's civil first name. The naming patterns of the Ashkenazi Jews from central and eastern Europe also provide genealogical information. It is customary for a new born to be named after a deceased relative, thus narrowing down the date of death (the first son is named after the paternal grandfather and the second after the maternal grandfather). In more recent years it is also customary to name a child's middle name with the relative's name. Finding common names could suggest common ancestry. In the Sephardim tradition, naming offspring after a living relative is considered a way of honouring that person and is therefore common practice.

Also see
Holocaust (Shoah) Records
Jewish Registers
Passenger Lists
Surname Origins and Distribution
Yizkor Books & Shtetl Records

Where Found

London Metropolitan Archives (Includes the proceedings of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, 1806-1995, papers from the United Synagogue and from the Office of the Chief Rabbi, the Beth Din records, records from the Federation of Synagogues including the Sephardi synagogue Bevis Marks, Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation archives dating from the mid-17th century. The records relate to the Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City of London and other Congregation Synagogues and include birth, marriage, burial and circumcision registers, Jew’s Free School, Westminster Jew’s School, London School of Jewish Studies and Jewish welfare organisations. See the LMA guides:
Records of the Anglo-Jewish Community at London Metropolitan Archives
Jewish genealogy: a summary of sources at London Metropolitan Archives
Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (The library includes more than a thousand books and other items relating to genealogy, genealogical CD-ROMs, Maps and leaflets, collection of Yizkor [Memorial] books and surname indexed family trees)
The National Archives (Various series of records. See the Research Guide: Jews and Jewish communities in Britain 18th-20th centuries)
The Jewish Museum London (The collections mainly include social history material including a photo archive and information on occupations and trades associated with the Jewish community. The museum also holds synagogue records including copies of marriage and burial registers and bound copies of the Jewish Chronicle. The museum’s catalogue is incorporated into the website
Bishopsgate Institute Library (London Collection: Various holdings relating to the Jewish community especially around Bishopsgate and Spitalfields)
Society of Genealogists (Various resources including publications of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain and the Jewish Historical Society which includes transcript of synagogue records. Collections include the Colyer Fergusson Collection which has pedigrees compiled from a variety of sources and newspaper cuttings mainly dealing with obituaries; the Hyamson Collection which consists of pedigrees; the Mordy Collection which consists of a card index of information on individuals and families. The collection was filmed by the Mormons in 1984 with new material added until 1993. The collection is available online as part of the Knowles Collection at with a Research Wiki article available here)
Jewish Chronicle Archives
Leopold Muller Memorial Library (The library is part of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and based at the Clarendon Institute on Walton Street, Oxford. The library is merged with the Bodleian Libraries. The special collections include the Kressel, Elkoshi and Hugo Gryn collections all searchable on SOLO. The Library also holds many journals, periodicals and newspaper cuttings. The library holds a Yizor Book collection, the largest set of its kind in Europe)
Scottish Jewish Archives Centre
The Irish Jewish Museum
Manchester Jewish Museum
Liverpool Record Office (Merseyside Jewish Community Archives. The Liverpool Record Office holds the archives of the Merseyside Jewish Community from the 18th century to the present day)
National Archives of Ireland
Synagogue records

Period Covered

1656 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Birth, marriage, death dates, education, personal, biographical, career, occupation, address

Further References

Adler, Michael. British Jewry Book Of Honour 1914-1918 (Two volumes), Naval & Military Press

Amsel-Arieli, Melody. Jewish Lives: Britain 1750-1950: Pen & Sword Books, 2013

Arnold, Arthur P. Apprentices of Great Britain [Jewish entries] 1710-73: Jewish Historical Society of England, 1968

Black, Gerry. Jewish London: An Illustrated History Breedon Books, 2008

Cowell, John. Furriers, Glaziers, Doctors and Others: a History of the Preston Jewish Community: Cowell, 2009


Cox, Jane. Tracing Your East End Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2011


Dobson, David. The Jewish Presence in Early British Records 1650-1850: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014  

Englander, David. A Documentary History of Jewish Immigrants in Britain, 1840-1920: Leicester University Press, 1994


Gandy, Michael. Family History Cultures And Faiths: How Your Ancestors Lived And Worshipped: TNA, 2007


Goldberg, David J. The Story of the Jews: Andre Deutsch, 2014


Grenville, Anthony. Jewish Refugees from Germany and Austria in Britain, 1933-1970: Vallentine Mitchell, 2009


Hundert, Gershon David (ed). The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe: Yale University Press, 2008 (The online version is available at


Jolles, Michael. A Directory of Distinguished British Jews, 1830-1930, with selected compilations extending from 1830-2000: Jolles Publications, 2000


Joseph, Dr Anthony. My Ancestors were Jewish: Society of Genealogists, 2002


Kadish, Sharman. Jewish Heritage in England: An Architectural Guide: English Heritage, 2006


Kershaw, Roger. Immigrants and Aliens. 2nd ed.: TNA, 2004


Kitching, Paula. Britain's Jews in the First World War: Amberley Publishing, 2019  

Kolsky, Rachel & Rawson, Roslyn. Jewish London: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Visitors and Londoners: New Holland, 2012


Kurzweil, Arthur. From Generation to Generation: How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Family History: Jossey-Bass, 2004


Leventhal, Michael & Goldstein, Richard. Jews in Britain: Shire Publications, 2013


Mawer, Bryan. Sugarbakers: From Sweat to Sweetness: AGFHS Publications, 2011  

Metzner, Len. Catalogue of Len Metzner Indexes and Guide to Further Research Material: Anglo-German Family History Society Publications, 2001


Mokotoff, Gary. Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy 2010 Edition: Avotaynu, 2010


Mokotoff, Gary & Sack, Sallyann Amdur. Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust: Avotaynu, 1991


Rosenblatt, Stuart. The Yidiots Guide to Irish Jewish Family Ancestry: Varsity Press, 2011


Rosenstein, Neil. The Unbroken Chain: Biographical Sketches and Genealogy of Illustrious Jewish Families from the 15th-20th Century: Computer Center for Jewish Genealogy, 1990 (Traces the descendants of Rabbi Meir Katzenelnbogen of Padua through 16 generations to the present. More than 25,000 people are identified as descendants)


Russell, Charles & Lewis, Harry Samuel. The Jew in London: London, 1901 (Includes a coloured map , similar to the Booth maps, by George Arkell of the Jewish population as at 1899, although the accuracy for some areas is open to question)


Steel, D & Samuel E. Sources for Roman Catholic and Jewish Genealogy and Family History: Society of Genealogists, 1986


Street map of Jewish East London 1889: Old House Books


Wenzerul, Rosemary. Tracing Your Jewish Ancestors: Pen and Sword, 2014


Wenzerul, Rosemary. Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in the United Kingdom: Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, 2011


Wenzerul, Rosemary. Genealogical Resources within the Jewish Home and Family: FFHS, 2002


Williams, Bill. The Making of Manchester Jewry, 1740-1875: Manchester University Press, 1976 (Preview available from Google Books)


Williams, Bill. Jewish Manchester: An Illustrated History: Breedon Books, 2008




Aaron, Sam. A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Lithuania; Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, 2011


Beare, Arlene. Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Latvia and Estonia: Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, 2001


Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza. Synagogues in Lithuania: Vilnius Academy of Arts Press, 2010


Fifer, Susan. A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Poland: Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, 2007


Levitt, Ellen. The Lost Synagogues of Manhattan: Avotaynu, 2013


Levitt, Ellen. The Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn: Avotaynu, 2009


Levitt, Ellen. The Lost Synagogues of The Bronx and Queens: Avotaynu, 2011


Saks, David. Boerejode: Jews in the Boer Armed Forces 1899-1902: 2010


Wenzerul, Rosemary. Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Germany & Austria: Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, 2001


Jewish Name Reference


Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland: Avotaynu, 1996


Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire: Avotaynu. 1993


Beider, Alexander. Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names: Avotaynu


Beider, Alexander. Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia: Avotaynu


Gorr, Shmuel. Jewish Personal Names: Avotaynu


Guggenheimer, Henrich W., and Eva A. Guggenheimer. Jewish Family Names and Their Origins: An Etymological Dictionary: KTAV, 1992 (View online at Google Books)


Kaganoff, Benzion. A Dictionary of Jewish Names & Their History: Schocken Books, 1977


Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames: Avotaynu, 2005



Organisations (Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain) (International Institute for Jewish Genealogy) (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. Site includes online access to the Jewish Genealogy Yearbook) (Museum of Family History. Online virtual museum dedicated to Jewish genealogical research) (Scottish Jewish Archives Centre) (The Irish Jewish Family History Society. The society hosts the Irish Jewish Family History Database which includes records of birth, marriage and death as well as school and occupation details dating back to the 17th century. The database also includes Alien Registration records of 1914 to 1922)
Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston (Information on Jewish History including: Settlement Patterns, Synagogues past & present, Cemeteries, Funeral Homes, Newspapers in Massachusetts) (Israel Genealogy Research Association: Membership and free registration to the site is open to all those interested in genealogy no matter what country they were born in. The site hosts videos, webinars, articles from the Internet Genealogy Magazine and research guides including Latin America by Daniel Horowitz, Poland by Jean-Pierre Stroweis and United Kingdom by Rosemary Eshel. The Association hosts the online All Israel Database providing access to transcribed records from a variety of sources. See below for details) (The Jewish Museum London) (The Jewish Historical Society of England) (Jewish East End Celebration Society) (The Irish Jewish Genealogical Society. The site includes a searchable database of more than 48,000 individuals who lived in Ireland between 1700 and the present day)  
Archives (The Survey of Jewish archives in the UK and Ireland containing descriptions of Jewish archive material held in archive repositories and privately in the UK and Ireland) (Leopold Muller Memorial Library: Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. The library holds various special collections including the Kressel, Elkoshi and Hugo Gryn collections all searchable on SOLO. The Library also holds many journals and periodicals. The library is found at the Clarendon Institute on Walton Street, Oxford and is merged with the Bodleian Libraries) (Search for Jewish collections held at UK institutions)) (The Susser Archives) (Online collection of millions of digitised items including photos and texts from European museums, libraries, university and research libraries and archives)
(Google Cultural Institute: Explore and discover exhibits and collections from Jewish museums, galleries and archives across the world) (The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. The archives hold the archives of hundreds of Jewish communities, as well as of local, national and international Jewish organizations and the private collections of many Jewish personalities. The Archives now hold the most extensive collection of documents, pinkassim [registers] and other records of Jewish history from the Middle Ages to the present day) (Center for Jewish History, New York: The Center for Jewish History is the home of five preeminent Jewish institutions, including the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute, dedicated to history, culture and art. The site includes research guides, collections search and family history databases)
Research (JewishGen Jewish Communities and Records - United Kingdom: The website contains details of more than 1,200 congregations including current communities and those that no longer exist. The site has an A-Z selection of recommended websites for those researching UK Jewish Genealogy and a link to the JewishGen UK Database) (JewishGen: Databases and other extensive resources for researching Jewish ancestry including calculator tools, InfoFiles providing information on topics of relevance to Jewish genealogical research and discussion groups) (Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog) (Avotaynu Online: The site is intended to stimulate collaboration among genealogists with a particular focus on Jewish genealogy. This includes coverage of conferences and meetings, DNA studies, online family trees, social networking that have an impact on Jewish genealogy. Leading participants in these areas will provide in-depth reports on events and discoveries on a regular basis) (Exploring 20th century London: The site combines collections from 19 London museums, libraries and archives including the Museum of London, the London Transport Museum, the Jewish Museum, London and the Bishopsgate Institute) (Sugar Refiners & Sugarbakers: Various resources for those with ancestors involved in the in the sugar trade including a 41,000+ Names Database, locations of sugarhouses with maps and history and a directory of sugarhouses) (Sephardic Genealogy) (Harfield's 1894 Commercial Directory of the Jews of the United Kingdom, free download)
(MyHeritage: Compilation of Published Sources: Harfield's Commercial Directory of the Jews of the United Kingdom, 1894)
(Jewish Ancestors?: A Blog about UK Jewish Genealogical matters from The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain) (JGSGB Members Area: Educational Leaflets including French Jewish Genealogy, Jewish Newspapers of the UK, Kindertransport at the National Archives) (Jewish Museum London Online exhibition: Yiddish Theatre in London) (London Jews in the First World War: We Were There Too) (Jewish Web Index. A compendium of thousands of links relating to Jewish genealogy research sorted in alphabetical order by country or subject) (19th Century Birmingham Jewry) (History of Stepney and Mile End including a section on the 'Burial-grounds of the Jews' with some transcriptions of those buried) (History and guide to Jewish immigration and transcriptions and images of original documents including photos) (Jewish Roots) (Jewish Religious Records) (Irish Jewish Museum Genealogy Guide) (International Jewish Cemetery Project, British Isles) (Publisher of books, maps & CD ROMs of interest to persons who are researching Jewish genealogy) (Research articles, forums and transcribed records including burial and marriage registers, shul and school lists, name changes, Jewish Chronicle announcements and naturalisations) (The Jewish community and the port of London) (Jewish history in Great Britain) (History of Jewish life in Great Britain including a directory of relevant museums and archives)
(Stepney Branch of The South West Essex And Settlement Reform Synagogue. The site includes a section on the old Jewish cemeteries & synagogues of the east end) (Survey of London: Histories of Whitechapel. The site allows users to share and explore the many histories of Whitechapel’s buildings and places. The map displays information about every building in Whitechapel with a linked history if available and the facility to overlay modern buildings onto maps including Ordnance Survey 1873 and Rocque 1746) (Jewish East End of London Photo Gallery & Commentary: London's East End Synagogues, cemeteries and more) (Jewish Family History Resources) (Jewish Genealogy Portal: A Guide to Jewish Projects and Resources on Geni. This Portal is a guide to significant Jewish genealogy umbrella or resource projects on Geni and is divided into geographical locations) (Victorian London Cemeteries, including Jewish Cemeteries) (Victorian London Churches, including synagogues) (Jewish Genealogy Wiki, links, resources & databases) (Notebooks relating to the London Jewish community taken from The Charles Booth Online Archive) (Guide to the Hebrew manuscripts and books collections at the British Library and a guide to the Hebrew and Yiddish periodicals and newspapers. The British Library holds over 650 Hebrew and some 250 Yiddish periodical titles. There is also small number of journals in European languages and various official publications issued by Israeli government departments)
(HaChayim HaYehudim Jewish Photo Library: Image library featuring synagogues, cemeteries and Holocaust memorials from around the world) (Crestleaf: Jewish Genealogy: 101 Resources for Finding Your Jewish Ancestors: A Comprehensive Collection of Jewish Genealogy Resources)
(SephardicGen. The Jewish Surnames in Medieval Spain that Survived in the Sephardic Diaspora compiled by Mathilde Tagger)
(Online edition of the YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. The encyclopedia provides the most complete picture of the history and culture of Jews in Eastern Europe from the beginnings of their settlement in the region to the present)
Research Articles (Beginning Jewish Research by Barbara Krasner-Khait) (Jewish Research by Gary Mokotoff) (JewishGen Mythbusters. Top ten myths of Jewish family history research) (FamilySearch Research Wiki: Jewish Genealogy Research) (FamilySearch Research Wiki: Jewish Search Strategies) (FamilySearch Research Wiki: Jewish Genealogy) (Tracing Jewish Roots) (Researching Jewish Ancestry) (TNA Guide: Looking for records of an immigrant) (Jewish genealogy blog)
(Jewish Gem's Genealogy: Mining for Your Elusive Ancestors. Blogging about information related to Jewish genealogy found on foreign language websites, including names, events, resources, etc)
(The Settlement of Germans in Britain during the Nineteenth Century, by Panikos Panayi) (Jewish Genealogy Basics: List of Jewish Genealogy Mailing Lists) (The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute of the Center for Jewish History: Research Guides covering a number of topics such as Starting Your Family History Research, Synagogue Records, Holocaust Research, Jewish Names and Finding an Ancestral Town as well as country specific research including Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Great Britain and Lithuania) (Foreign alphabets including Hebrew and Yiddish) (Nu? What's New is a weekly Internet magazine published by Avotaynu providing information of interest to persons tracing their Jewish family history)
Overseas Research (European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative: Information on Jewish burial grounds in Europe) (Jewish Heritage Europe: The site is an online clearinghouse for resources, news and information on Jewish monuments and heritage sites all over Europe. The site has sections on numerous countries including the UK providing communal contacts and links to Jewish museums and heritage sites, cultural and research institutions, publications, news items and tourism and genealogy links)
(European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative. The project has the objective of protecting and preserving Jewish cemetery sites across the European continent through delineation of cemetery boundaries and the construction of perimeter walls and locking gates) (The International Jewish Cemetery Project: The project aims to catalogue every Jewish burial site in the world)
(National Museum of American Jewish History)
(Israel Genealogical Society, incorporating the Jewish Family Research Association Israel) (Museum of Family History: The Synagogues of New York City including Synagogues of the Lower East Side. The site includes the address of each building, and where available, the names of the rabbi, synagogue president, synagogue sexton and cantor. Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, or Staten Island are included, as they are included in other lists on this site. There is also a separate list for the Lower East Side synagogues) (The Synagogues of Europe Past and Present: Photos of synagogues from 22 countries) (Historical Jewish Press Site: Digital versions of Jewish newspapers) (Routes to Routes Foundation: Guide to the Jewish records and other relevant records such as vital records, census returns and voter lists held in the archives of Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine. The Archive Database allows searches for individual places showing the material available with guides to accessing the material) (The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe: The encyclopedia provides a history and culture of Jews in Eastern Europe from the beginnings of their settlement in the region to the present) (Institute for Jewish Research Archives: Online guide to the archives of the YIVO cataloguing more than 23 million documents, photographs, recordings, posters, and films dealing with the life and culture of Jews around the world especially East European Jewry, Yiddish literature and language and the Holocaust) (Judaica Europeana: The site aims to identify content documenting the Jewish presence and heritage in the cities of Europe including photos, postcards, recordings as well as several million pages from books, newspapers, archives and press clippings) (Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research - Jewish Digital Archive Project: The site aims to record Jewish social history in South Africa) (Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities. Information about the multivolume series: Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities) (Sephardic Ancestry. A Resource Website for Researching Sephardic Jewish Lineages. You will be able to find the main archives in the country and a synopsis of their content You will find the Church archives as well as the Diocese that each Archdiocese covers and University Libraries)
(Finding and getting copies of Jewish records in Poland) (Jewish Family History Centre, Prague, Czech Republic: Toledot aims to coordinate genealogy projects, to develop Jewish genealogy databases, to cooperate with other institutions and to preserve heritage of those who lived and formed that heritage) (The Canadian Jewish Heritage Network: This site brings together online catalogues and digitized archival material of the Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee National Archives and the Jewish Public Library Archives of Montreal. The site has genealogy-specific database containing family history resources available in the partner institutions) (Guide to Canadian Jewish Genealogical Research, compiled and edited by Bruce Brown for JewishGen Education) (The Jewish Genealogy Association of France)
(YIVO Digital Archive on Jewish Life in Poland. The online collection includes manuscripts, posters, photographs, music and other artifacts) (Dovid Katz website: Litvish [Lithuania]: Atlas of Northeastern Yiddish. The atlas in progress seeks to determine the historic external borders, the internal differentiation and the cultural and linguistic structure and characteristics of Lite the territory of traditional Jewish Lithuania)
(Magyar Zsido Lexicon [Hungarian Jewish Lexicon], published 1929) (History, Adoption, and Regulation of Jewish Surnames in the Russian Empire by Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paull & Dr. Jeffrey Briskman)

Online Databases

UK & Ireland
Online Catalogues (Access to Archives [A2A] for the Partial whereabouts of records including the records held at the London Metropolitan Archives of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and other Jewish organisations) (Jewish Chronicle Archives from 1840. The Jewish Chronicle, based in London, is the world's oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper and contains details of births, marriages and deaths that occurred within the British Jewish community) (Online access The Jewish Chronicle newspaper archive dating back to 1841. The Jewish Chronicle, based in London, is the world's oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper and contains details of births, marriages and deaths that occurred within the British Jewish community) (Transcribed records including burial and marriage registers, shul and school lists, name changes, Jewish Chronicle announcements and naturalisations) (JewishGen & JGSGB United Kingdom Database: More than 220,000 records for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar and the Republic of Ireland extracted from a variety of sources, including synagogue birth, marriage and burial/cemetery records, census records, school records, business directories, the 1851 Anglo-Jewry Database, the Islington Jews Database, Jews' Free School Admission Registers, c 1856-c.1907, JewishGen Family Finder and others. The collection incorporates databases from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain and is a joint project with JewishGen) (The Susser Archives available at JewishGen)
(Jewish Records. These records with linked images contain Births, Bar Mitzvahs, Betrothals, announcements, Marriages, Deaths, Obituaries, Wills, Synagogue seat holders, Killed in Action, Jewry Roll of Honour, Roll of Service and Tombstones to be set)
(The British Jewry Book of Honor 1914-1920: The dataset contains nearly 57,000 colour images and transcripts of the original document. This two volume book was published in 1922 to record and honour the contribution made by the 50,000 Jews who served in the British and colonial forces during the First World War) (Sugar Refiners & Sugarbakers Database: A database of some of those involved in the sugar refining industry, mainly in the UK, 16-20C) (Consolidated Jewish Surname Index: Information on mostly Jewish surnames that appear in 42 different databases containing over 7 million records) (Various transcribed lists including: London Jews Database, first half of 19th century; Jewish Labour and the London Poor in 1851; Jewish Chronicle Birth Marriage and Death announcements and others) (Including Jews' Free School registers & Internees Index: Internees at Liberty in UK. Digitised images from British Jewry Book Of Honour)
(Military Genealogy Forces War Records: Transcribed and searchable records from the Jewry Book of Honour . The book lists over 50,000 Jewish servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice in WWI by giving their lives) (FamilySearch Community Trees: Jewish Families Knowles Collection: The collection contains information on more than 300,000 Jews from the Americas, British Isles, Caribbean, Europe, the Orient and Africa. Building on the work of the late Isobel Mordy who compiled any information she could about the Jewish people from many sources including Jewish records, civil records and personal family records, the collection links individuals into family groups. More names are added continuously) (Historical Record Collections including the International Genealogical Index. The IGI may include only limited information on Jewish families but is certainly worth searching)
(Jewish Synagogue Seatholders. Online access to The Jewish Synagogue Seatholders) (Tower Hamlets Archives Collection, Princelet [formerly Princes] Street Synagogue, Spitalfields, Marriage Register, 1897-1907) (Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter Database, Leman Street, London, 1896-1914)
(Jewish War Graves: Searchable memorial site commemorating more than 2,300 Jewish soldiers who served in the British armed forces during World War II and gave their life. A full list of servicemen can be listed for each cemetery) (Irish Jewish Genealogical Society: The Irish Jewish Family History Database. The database, compiled by Stuart Rosenblatt, contains information including births, marriages and deaths on over 50,000 individuals who lived in Ireland between 1700 and the present day) (Association of Jewish Refugees Journal archive. Online access the back catalogue of the AJR Journal, formerly AJR Information, back to the first edition in January 1946. Users can search the entire series or browse individual editions)
Worldwide (Databases from Britain, Europe and across the world of Jewish related records, including burials, marriages, business records, names being researched and census entries. Look for the Special Interest Group [SIG] for the country being researched) (JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry: More than 2 million records from more than 4,900 cemeteries [or cemetery sections] from 104 countries) (JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry: Database of names and other identifying information from Jewish cemeteries and burial records worldwide, from the earliest records to the present) (Historical Jewish Press: Digitised editions with original images of Jewish newspapers published in various countries, languages, and time periods. Full-text search is also available for all content published over the course of each newspaper's publication) (Various lists of Jewish refugees and other databases. French language site) (Jewish Data: Databases that mainly include transcribed and indexed entries with images from Jewish cemeteries from the US, Canada, Germany and Israel. A variety of other sources are also included) (FamilySearch Community Trees: Jewish Families Knowles Collection: The collection contains information on more than 300,000 Jews from the Americas, British Isles, Caribbean, Europe, the Orient and Africa. Building on the work of the late Isobel Mordy who compiled any information she could about the Jewish people from many sources including Jewish records, civil records and personal family records, the collection links individuals into family groups. More names are added continuously)
Europe (The Riga Rabbinate vital records: Index to 19th-century and early 20th-century Jewish vital records of Latvia) (Latvian State Historical Archives, Vital Records of Latvia's Rabbinats) (One-Step Holocaust and Eastern Europe search forms) (Searching the 1933 German Jews Database in One Step. The database holds records of Jews resident in West German communities (not including Berlin) as defined in the Nürnberg laws in 1933. The project was initiated by the International Tracing Service who contacted communities in the 1960s asking them to compile lists of Jews who had lived within the area and what happened to them) (German War Memorial Website. The inscriptions commemorate German and Austrian soldiers killed in various wars throughout history including WWI and WWII. The project includes the RJF Memorial Book which memorializes Jewish WWI casualties of the German armed forces) (Internet database of the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery at Okopowa Street and the Internet database of Jewish cemeteries in Mazovia. Searches can be carried out by surname only) (Residence permits issued at the Prague police headquarters, 1850-1914) (People expelled from the University of Vienna, 1938) (Preobrazhenskiy Jewish cemetery, St. Petersburg. Use the Google translator at (The Routes to Roots' Eastern European Archival Database, record holdings of Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine) (Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, JRI-Poland: Indices to 19th century Jewish vital records of Poland) (Digitized Collection of Jewish Records: Database of about 5000 digital copies of Jewish vital, communal, organizational, legal, immigration, school, and other categories of records of genealogical, historical and memorial value originating from the area of the former Austrian province of Eastern Galicia, subsequently Poland) (Courland Area Research Group: 1912 Courland Directory north-western Latvia) (The GerSIG Name Adoption List InDEX [NALDEX]: Compilation of lists of surname-adoption by German Jews. The lists provide previous names, some include extensive information about the whole family, some list the occupation and/or marital status of the head of household) (JewishGen Germany Database: Datasets include ‘Jewish Families of Northern Germany’; ‘The Hessen Gatermann Index’ which contains more than 31,500 Jewish records from northern and eastern Hessen, Germany with links to the actual documents located at the Hessen State Archives site; ‘Aufbau Survivors Lists’; ‘Jews in Würzburg, 1900-1945’; ‘The 1933 German Towns Project’)
(German Phone Directories, 1915-1981. This database contains telephone books covering the years 1915-1981 for five of Germany's major cities: Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Munich) (Germany: Meyers Gazetteer. Each place searched in the database is linked to the original gazetteer entry as well as showing modern and historic maps and Catholic and Protestant parishes and Synagogues in the area)
(Jüdische Gewerbebetriebe [Jewish Businesses in Berlin, 1930-1945]. Database of Jewish businesses in Berlin developed by the Humboldt University in Berlin)
(Lodz Cemetery Database, Poland: Search for persons buried in the Cemetery at Bracka Street in Lodz. Searches of the cemetery records can also be carried using Stephen P. Morse website) (National Library of Latvia: Digital library offering newspaper and magazine titles in Latvian, German, and Russian, 1895-2000) (Digitised and indexed Eastern European trade and street directories including the 1932 Palestine Directory and Handbook; Warsaw business directory for 1896; Warsaw telephone directories; Yizkor Books and other material. A complete listing of the available directories and Yizkor Books can be found on the home page) (Latvian National Digital Library: Digitised editions with original images of newspaper and magazine titles in Latvian, German, and Russian, ranging from 1895 to 1957 with a full text search facility) (Database of Historic Addressbooks: Transcribed entries from around 373 pre-WWI directories covering around 6,872 places in Germany and former territories under German control)
(Jewish Places. Information and photos about Jewish heritage sites in hundreds of German towns and cities. These include communal sites such as synagogues, Jewish cemeteries, and mikvaot but also secular sites such as Jewish sports clubs and cafes. Users will also be able to contribute their own information)
(Akevoth: Jewish Genealogical research in the Netherlands: Records include registers of births, circumcisions, deaths, funerals and marriages and census returns. The site also has a collection of family trees and information on the historical Jewish areas) (Amsterdam City Archives. The Archives have made all their 18 million scans of indexes and inventories free to view and download. Records include: Immigration Records; Person Cards; Passports; Family Cards; Population Registers; baptism and burial registers) (Jewish Gem's Genealogy: Mining for Your Elusive Ancestors. Various transcripts taken from foreign language sites) (Site for Jews of Unterfranken, Bavaria, Germany. German language site containing information on individuals) (Latvian and Lithuanian Jewish cemetery lists, compiled and maintained by Aleksandrs Feigmanis) (GenTeam: Indexes to birth, marriage and death and cemetery records for the Jewish community of Vienna as well as other Jewish and civil records covering Austria and adjoining countries. Datasets include: House owners of the county of Salzburg in 1829; Index to Prague Jewish marriages between, 1784-1804) (Czech Republic Church Books, 1552-1935; Slovakia Church Books, 1592-1910. Both dataset include Jewish congregations) (The National Archives Czech Republic: Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Jewish Religion Communities from the years 1784-1949. Details of the database in English can be found here and detailed instructions on using the site written in English can be found at the JewishGen Discussion Group SigLists [registration required])
USA and Canada (Data from JewishGen and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) (Aufbau Indexing Project: Index of births, engagements, marriages, deaths and other special occasions that appeared in the New York German Jewish newspaper, 1934-2004) (Library and Archives Canada: Naturalization Records, 1915-1951. Produced by the Jewish Genealogical Societies of Montreal and Ottawa from annual reports of the Secretary of State and in the Canada Gazette) (American Jewish Year Book: Browsable or searchable editions of volumes of the American Jewish Year Book from 1899 to the present) (The Ancestor Hunt: Historic Jewish American Newspapers Online: Free historical newspaper links to help you find historical newspaper articles about your ancestors by state and county) (Digital images of the Cincinnati based American Israelite weekly newspaper from July 1859 to June 1867. The website is not searchable, however the DVD edition is searchable) (Carnegie Mellon University Libraries: Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project: Online access to searchable and digitised editions of Jewish newspapers published in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania composed of the Jewish Criterion [1895-1962], the American Jewish Outlook [1934-1962], the Jewish Chronicle [1962-present], and the Y-JCC series [1926-1975]) (Multicultural Canada: Searchable editions of the Canadian Jewish News, the Canadian Jewish Review and the Jewish Western Bulletin) (Online access to the burial records of the Montefiore Cemetery, Queens County and the New Montefiore Cemetery, Suffolk County both in the New York City region) (Online access to the burial records of the Mount Ararat Cemetery, State of New York) (Online access to the burial records of the Mount Carmel Cemetery, State of New York) (Online access to the burial records of the Mount Hebron Cemetery, State of New York) (Online access to the burial records of the Mount Judah Cemetery, State of New York) (Online access to the burial records of the Mount Lebanon Cemetery, State of New York) (Online access to the burial records of the Mount Moriah Cemetery, State of New York) (Online access to the burial records of the Mount Zion Cemetery, State of New York) (Online access to the burial records of the Riverside Cemetery, State of New York)
Other (Online access to the records of the Rookwood Jewish cemetery in Sydney) (The Mount of Olives, Jerusalem Cemetery Records: Name index with photos of the 150,000 estimated graves on the Mount) (Records of applications between 1904 and 1914 of Jewish emigrants from the Russian Empire through the Jewish Colonization Association or the Jewish Territorial Organization) (SephardicGen: Beirut Jewish Cemetery Tombstone inscriptions prepared by Nagi Georges Zeidan) (Eretz Israel Records Indexing: Transcribed records produced by volunteers from the Israel Genealogical Society covering a variety of subjects with more than 100,000 records. Some data sets are only available to members. Datasets include Change of Names in the Palestine Gazette,1921-1948; 1915 Census of Tel-Aviv; Censuses of the Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land, Alexandria, Sidon [Saida] and Beirut compiled by Sir Moses Montefiore between 1839 and 1876) (All Israel Database: Various databases covering the Ottoman Administration, - 1917, the British Administration, 1917-1948 and the Israeli Administration, 1948- onwards also allowing you to search names in Hebrew or Latin letters) (The Montefiore Endowment: Censuses of the Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land, Alexandria, Sidon [Saida] and Beirut, compiled by Sir Moses Montefiore taken in the years 1839, 1840, 1849, 1855, 1866 and 1875) (SA Jewish Rootsbank: The South African Jewish Database: Jewish Migration and Genealogy. The aim of the project is to create a comprehensive database of records and information relating to Jewish immigration to South Africa between 1850-1950 from England, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus sourced from records such as passenger arrival lists, naturalization lists, community records, records of marriages, births and deaths, family trees. The site includes The Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter Database)