04 September 2008

UK: Searching Jewish ancestors

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain offers a series of well-written guides to researching Jewish ancestors in the UK and elsewhere.

Rosemary Wenzerul's newest book (July 2008) is "Tracing Your Jewish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians." (ISBN: 978 1 84415 788 4; Pen and Sword Family History Books, www.pen-and-sword.co.uk)

This lively and informative guide to researching Jewish family history will be absorbing reading for anyone who wants to find out about the life of a Jewish ancestor.

In a clear and accessible way she takes readers through the entire process of research. She provides a brief social history of the Jewish presence in Britain, with descriptions of the principal communities all over the country. She gives a concise account of the history of genealogy and looks at practical issues of research – how to get started, how to organize the work, how to construct a family tree and how to use the information obtained to enlarge upon the social history of the family. She describes, in practical detail, the many sources that researchers can go to for information on their ancestors, their families and Jewish history.

Vivid case studies are a feature of her book, for they show how the life stories of individuals can be reconstructed with only a small amount of initial information. In addition, there are chapters on Jews in the armed forces and Jewish heraldry. Her invaluable handbook will be essential reading and reference for anyone who is trying to gain an insight into the life of an ancestor or is researching any aspect of Jewish history.

A JGSGB council member and trustee, Wenzerul is active in its educational and family history work.

Other publications in the series include "Jewish Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Great Britain," "Genealogical Resources Within the Jewish Home and Family," "Jewish Ancestors: A Guide to Organising Your Family History Records," "Jewish Ancestors: A Guide to Reading Hebrew Inscriptions and Documents" and "Jewish Ancestors: A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in the United Kingdom."

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