Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Jewish Genealogical Resources in England

I note from many American blogs that mention is made of the fact that many Jewish families in America originated from England.

We have in England a wealth of information for Jewish genealogists. Jews were expelled from England in 1290 and were eventually readmitted in 1656 by Oliver Cromwell following the Civil War in 1649. Yes, we had a civil war long before the American Civil War.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB) has a wealth of information on British Jewry and many Americans are members. The JGSGB promotes and encourages the study of Jewish genealogy. It assists all those tracing the family history of their Jewish ancestors. It encourages Jewish genealogical education and research and promote the indexing, transcription and preservation of old records.

There are numerous other resources which I will try a list over the coming weeks.

The JGSGB is constantly advising members of new resources:

Deceased Online http://www.deceasedonline.com/  is the first central database of statutory burial and cremation registers for the UK and Republic of Ireland.  It is a unique resource for family history researchers and professional genealogists.

When families chose not to have a religious burial for their loved one, they often used a municipal site.  This paid for website may be useful in searching for members of your family Until the creation of this website, to search these records you had to approach about 3,000 burial authorities and nearly 250 crematoria in the UK alone, each independently holding their own registers, mostly as old fragile books, because no official central repository exists.

Deceased Online is working to change this by making it possible for burial and cremation authorities around the country to convert their register records, maps and photographs into digital form and bring them together into a central searchable collection.

The growing database, holding records mainly from the 1850s onwards, can provide invaluable information for researching family trees, and can reveal previously  unknown family links from other interments recorded in the same grave.

Only this week it was announced that the records of 800,000 people buried in the UK's largest cemetery at London's St Pancras and Islington Cemetery have gone online thanks to the completion of a major digitisation project.

Records can be searched for free by surname and other names, with images of all the original documents available to download on a pay-per-view basis.  The new additions bring the total number of London records on the site up to more than a million.

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