02 September 2008

UK: GenPals Jewish Cemetery update

I returned from my extended trip to the US and found this email from Gaby Laws with a UK Genpals Cemetery Project update.

Tracing the Tribe is happy to cover this excellent project and has previously written about GenPals here and, more recently, here.

Genpals.com now features the following additions to the website:

London: Bancroft Road, Old Maiden Lane Synagogue Cemetery (48 stones)
This cemetery is in a sad state of decay. Many of the remaining stones are severely damaged and frequently offer scant clues as to whom they commemorate.

Yorkshire - Bradford Scholemoor Cemetery (34 stones) & Hartlepool Jewish Cemetery (19 stones)

Kent, Halfway (Queensborough) (8 stones)
There are now two sets of photos. The most recent is from this summer, while the other set was taken in January 2007, when a plastic flower was been placed in front of each grave. This occurred a few days following Holocaust Memorial Day, but extensive local research has failed to find the mystery visitor or the flower significance.

Hope Street, Old Burial Ground (11 stones)

Wales: Glamorgan (Merthyr Tydfil Cefn Coed - 12 stones), Swansea - 14 stones); Gwent (Brynmawr - 1 stone, Newport - 1 stone)
Dr. Helen Fry, co-author, "The Lost Jews of Cornwall": has generously made available her private collection of photographs. We cannot overestimate the value of this archive, nor sufficiently express our gratitude to her for making it available to the project. These are as yet incomplete and additional photos for these and other Welsh cemeteries are very welcome.

Devon: Plymouth Hoe Old Burial Ground (28 stones) & Exeter (25 stones) (more to come)
The project seeks additional pictures for these cemeteries.

Hampshire: Aldershot (31 stones).
This cemetery has now been fully recorded (pre-1927). Photographs were taken before the cemetery was desecrated and many stones irreparably damaged. Other photos, after that year, feature among those desecrated. Alder shot also includes a tragic story.

A visitor drew Laws and Shires' attention to some "lost burials" in a non-Jewish (municipal cemetery); click here

A short article in the local Evening News (1959), reporting on the ‘mystery’ of Jewish burials at Doughty Road, suggests that the 13 Jewish burials found were the result of disease striking a ship from Russia and that the bodies were landed at Grimsby. But it also concludes that this is more of a legend than fact..

However, a much earlier report in the Jewish Chronicle of 1874 seems to hold a more plausible answer as to why Jewish burials had taken place in a cemetery they describe as Christian.

In the 1870’s there was no Jewish burial ground in Grimsby, so burials took place in Hull. However, when small pox hit the area in early 1870’s, Health Officials refused permission for the bodies to be transported to Hull for fear of spreading the disease further. As a result, those who died of small pox were buried at Doughty Road.

An article in The Evening News 1959 reports that there were 5 women and 8 children buried there. It lists the names of three of the women: Rebecca Baranov, Deborah Baranov and Berthe Emily Hyman. The rest remain nameless.

and also here for background. "Our research into the above hit upon this which we felt we had to include even though we don't yet have photos of the tombstones. Immigrants from Russia traveling to America; click here:

‘In a lonely corner in the little Hebrew graveyard out in the country near Grimsby …’ is how the Jewish Chronicle begins their report on the burial of 5 immigrants from Russia who died on board a steamship in 1908.

The burials took place at Nunsthorpe Jewish Cemetery and the tragic incident that lead to their deaths is well reported in various newspapers of the time.

These reports give a small insight into the experiences of immigrants from Russia on their way to a new life.

At least 3 of the immigrants were from the same family: Miriam Woloff, the eldest was 19 years old, Blumah, 15 years and Michel, 11 years. The others 2 were Pesach Leib Ronin 35 years and Schije Kuperstein 32 years.

Gaby Laws and Angela Shire add:

Our thanks to all those who have contributed photographs and to all those who have taken the time to add their comments via our on-line contact facility. We value your support and welcome your input.

Take some time and visit GenPals' very interesting resources at the links above.

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