George Rigal 1925 – 2012
We are sad to report the death of one of the great servants of Anglo-Jewish genealogy. George’s knowledge was encyclopaedic and his generosity in sharing that knowledge was unsurpassed. With nothing more than the most basic information – a name and a date, or an address – you could be certain that, within a short space, of time he would produce a mass of relevant data, invariably adding
“He/she was a cousin of Margaret’s great uncle so-and-so”. It sometimes seemed the whole of Anglo Jewry was related to Margaret!
George was a founder member and unstinting supporter of the JGSGB where he held a variety of positions with grace and distinction. For many, he was the first person they met on joining the Society and his presence in the Library ensured that new members went away enthused and better informed.
He was also a patient and tireless seeker-out and transcriber of genealogical records, producing invaluable work on 19th century Jewish charities, on marriages at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue at St John’s Wood, and perhaps most especially. on insurance policies taken out by Jews in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. His work was always marked by punctilious attention to accuracy, allied with a keen interest in the broader picture, and he was generous to a fault in sharing it with fellow researchers.
George will be missed by all who knew him, but his passing will be felt across the globe by many who never met him but who, possibly without realising it, benefited from his great knowledge and his generous spirit.
We extend our deepest condolences to Margaret, his wife of 57 years, and to all his family, and wish them Long Life.