Find your Jewish Ancestors
Your one-stop gateway to Anglo-Jewish community records: Synagogue Scribes offers a unique and fully searchable database of London Ashkenazi Synagogue records, with the emphasis on pre UK civil registration, which began on 1st July 1837.
Only a limited number of Pre-civil registration records for Jewish communities in England have survived. Those that remain may require written permission to gain access. And some may be so delicate or severely damaged, as to render public access or digitalization extremely difficult.
In many cases, whole ledgers may be written in cursive Hebrew, with no addresses, English dates or Family Names to aid identification. The bulk of the records contained in this database date between 1791 and 1860, with some either side of those dates and with few beyond 1865. More recently we have been able to add several hundred burial records dating from 1776.
Our data is split into two distinct and separate databases:
Synagogue Records, containing births, circumcisions, marriages, deaths and burials, as documented by the Synagogues Secretaries, Mohels (persons performing circumcisions) or other Community Officials.
Secular Records: data abstracted from civil sources, such as tax records, wills, settlements, subscriptions etc.
Please see the ‘Getting started’ pages for more information on how to conduct successful searches. Do, please, also bear in mind that, when these records were created, there could have been no thought that they would one day be reconfigured into searchable databases and published on the Internet, for the benefit of the ever-increasing number of avid Anglo-Jewish Genealogists, many living in far-flung continents! The scribes of the day worked in dull, dusty corners using quill pen and ink by the light of a flickering candle. The written records are sometimes incomplete and may contain errors. When transcribing information we use only the information shown in the original records although, where possible, we will highlight any discrepancies or apparent errors we notice.
Our sister site, CemeteryScribes records tombstone inscriptions from UK cemeteries and includes photos of the tombstones as well as mini-family trees. Wherever possible, we will cross-link connected records between the two projects.