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The Jewish Genealogy Association 

Research in the UK

by Gaby LAWS

The following guide is not intended to cover all possible areas of UK research but should be sufficient to get you started.

Census records

These are similar to population registers and generally contain the following information:
The address, name, age, sex, occupation, place of birth, relationship to head and marital status.
The census, taken every 10 years from 1841, is available for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1911.

London - Big Ben


  • Ages in the 1841 census are not exact but rounded up or down
  • Place of birth is not shown in the 1841 census, only whether the person was born in the county or not, or foreign.
  • The 1911 census contains more information, the number of years married and the number of living children and the number of any who have died.
  • The 1911 tends to have a more detailed place of birth, but not in all cases.

Census records online

1939 Register

Currently only available on Findmypast this contains the full date of birth, occupation, address and name of each individual in UK including Northern Ireland. Frequently there are 2 family names shown where the person has changed their name ie Silverman and Silver etc. Some individuals have been excluded where they may still be alive for privacy reasons. (subscription or pay to view required).

BMD (Births, marriages and deaths) Civil registers from 1837

Civil registration registers or indexes are available on both Ancestry and Findmypast and are also available free of charge these contain the name, year, quarter, page number and place of registration. Later registers contain the age at death (from 1866) and mother’s maiden name on births (from 1912). Having found a record, you will need to purchase the certificate from GRO to see more information.

Oxford Circus
London - Oxford circus
  • The Birth certificate has date and place of birth, full name and maiden surname of the mother, forename(s) and sex of the child the informant's name, address and relationship to the child, full name and occupation of the father if married to the mother (or if he attended with the mother and signed the registration entry) from 1969, the place of birth of both parents
  • The Marriage certificate has date and place of marriage, marital status of the bride and groom, whether by banns, licence or certificate, current address and occupation of the bride and groom, names and ages of the bride and groom names and occupations of their fathers ('full age' indicates that the person was over 21) names of witnesses
  • The Death certificate has the name of the deceased, their occupation, or the name and occupation of the husband, if a married or widowed woman, date and place of death, name, address and family relationship if any of the informant, given age date.

Jewish Records

Piccadilly Circus
London - Piccadilly Circus


    Passengers who arrived in the UK between 1878 and 1960 from ports outside Europe and the Mediterranean available on Ancestry. Also passengers leaving the UK between 1890 and 1960 are on both Ancestry and FindmyPast
    Alien Registration Cards- over 600 immigrants arriving between 1918 and 1957 to the London area. Only small sample are available
    Alien arrivals 1810-1811, 1826-1869 on Ancestry

Naturalisation records

Other Records and Resources:

GenAmi Library

  • The Jewish Victorian, by Doreen BERGER, recueils de faire-parts in British newspapers, 2 volumes : 1861-1870 & 1871-1880
  • Mariages à la grande synagogue de Londres by Angela Shire (1791-1850) & by Harold & Myriam Lewin (1791-1885)
  • New Synagogue records, CD-Rom, par Angela Shire
  • Bevis Mark, synagogue portugaise de Londres : Mariages (2 vol.), Décès, Naissances (circoncisions)
  • Jews in Bristol par Judith Samuel
  • The lost Jews of Cornwall, Keith Pierce, Helen Fry
  • The Jews of Devon and Cornwall, catalogue d’exposition
  • The Jewish Free School, par Dr Jerry Black
  • A History of the Jews in England, par Cecil Roth
  • The Great Synagogue London, par Cecil Roth
  • London, par Elkan Nathan Adler (grand rabbin)
  • Think and Thank, The Montefiore Synagogue of Ramsgate
  • Numerous files (Great Synagogue, Hambro Synagogue, Western Synagogue…)