This information is to help you to get the best out of our SynagogueScribes as well as understanding Hebrew names and abbreviations used.

  • Basic search
  • Advanced search
  • Keyword search
  • Individual details

The Basic search

This allows you to do a simple search using the family name and/or first name that you are looking for.

Please note that spellings can vary so you can search using just the first 3 letters of the name you are looking for.

For some names there may be over 75 results, in which case you will be presented with a warning that only the first 75 entries are shown and a recommendation to use the advanced search.

Advanced search

This widens the search criteria.

Where searches based on Family Name\Forename produce too many records, try combinations based on Family Name\ plus event\ plus +\- 5 years, or single year date. Please note that not all entries contain an address or Hebrew names so we recommend you only use these if there have been over 100 results with the basic search, and after you have tried adding a year, or a range of years.

Where searches based on Family Name\Forename produce too many records, try combinations based on Family Name\ plus event\ plus single year date. Cohen + marriage + 1820 produces a handful of results, whereas with no year entered there are over 100 results.

Examples of searches not using the family or foremane field
Event = birth
Date = 1810 +\- 5
Father’s Hebrew name = Shmuel
12 matches plus one with uncertain date

Event = Marriage
Hebrew Name = Issachar
Date = 1820 +\- 5
10 matches

Address = Petticoat
Produces over 75 Results

Address = Petticoat
Event = Marriage
19 matches

Hebrew Name = Isaac
Event = Marriage
produces over 75 results

Hebrew Name = Isaac
Event = Marriage
Synagogue = GSM
produces over 75 results

Hebrew Name = Isaac
Event = Marriage
Synagogue = GSM
Year = 1835 +\- 5
40 matches

The following search criteria are especially useful for particular record sets where there are few recorded Family Names, for example: Burial (DPL), Marriage (NSM) and (NSK) Circumcision (BSMS) As a general rule in these examples, it is not practical to check the +\- 5 year option box as the 100 maximum results may be exceeded. To lessen the number of results even further, include NR in the Family Name box.

Event = Burial
Synagogue = DPL
Year = 1805

Event = Marriage
Synagogue = NSM
Year = 1812

Keyword search

If you have not found what you are looking for, you should try the keyword search. This allows you to search for any words that appears in the individuals’ details.

Probably best used for word that may appear in a person’s name but are likely to be a place of origin or occupation ie Amsterdam or Pencilmaker.

If searching for an address it is best to search using the partial street name ie Fireball for Fireball Court or Gravel for Gravel Lane.

Individual detail

We have transcribed as much information as could be gleaned from each record therefore empty fields mean that this information was not in the record or could not be read or interpreted.

When looking at a marriage record result there is a link to the spouse’s individual details. Other than for marriage records there are no links to other family members although there may be information in the notes section to help you find additional family members.

NR: Used in Family Name or Forename fields only: Indicates no name was entered in the original register. Using this as a sole search parameter will bring up too many records but can be used in conjunction with other criteria in the Advanced Search

Square Brackets:

May be used in the following circumstances but never as part of search criteria.
Always used round the day\month portion in the Date field 1795 [4 May].

Where a family or forename has not been used in the orginal register but is either implied in the rest of the record or is known from other records regarding this particular individual or family. In Family Name Field: NR [RAPHAEL] In forename field NR [Jane]. In some circumstances where such an attribution seems highly probable but where we lack full supporting evidence, the name included in the square bracket will be followed by a question mark: NR [RAPHAEL?]

Round Brackets:

Are used to enclose a person’s status in the forename field; n/r (child); n/r (widow), (MN) equals married name and appears against the family name of married women

Titles & Abbreviations

Bat Daughter of
Ben Son of
(MN) Married Name
PMR / P’M Parnas uManhig (President)
SGL Segan Leviyah (Levite)
Sh’Z Shaliach Zibbur (Reader or Cantor)
ZL Zichrono liveracha (May his memory be for a blessing)
Privileged member
Seat holder or privileged member of the synagogue

Stillborn / Infant,     Abortion / Miscarriage

The Hebrew terms for Stillborn, Abortion, Miscarriage, and Infant, used in some of these records may have different usages today. In some instances the meaning is quite clear, but others are less so, and Morse and Susser frequently differ.

Still can’t find your ancestor?

Check your spelling for the Family name. Did you enter ISSAC(S) instead of ISAAC(S)?
Check the century: Did you enter 1908 or 1708 instead of 1808?
A good proportion of these early records do not include English family names, have you exhausted all the Hebrew name options?

Apart from the Burial Records (DPL), all records from the registers listed on the Sources page (link?) have been included in the database so, if you still haven’t found your ancestor, it may be that the event took place outside of London or, even, outside the UK, or was recorded by some organisation not covered by this database.