*   Pulling it All Together
Search Tracing Your Roots  *

* Introduction
* Caribbean
* Irish
* Jewish
*Tracing Jewish Roots
*Jewish Perspectives on UK Records
*Religious Records
*Service Records of Jews
*Records in Other Countries
*Holocaust Research
*Pulling It All Together
* South Asian


In this section * * * * *
Useful Guidelines*   Organising and Documenting Your Research* Interviewing Family Members Questions* JGSGB web site and other useful Family Tree Databases*   
Internet Sources*   list of useful websites for family history research*   
Further Reading and Viewing*   Book and Video Suggestions on Jewish Ancestry*   

Genealogy is not only about finding names and creating family trees of our ancestors. The social fabric of the societies our ancestors lived in, the local histories of the towns, the reasons - historical and familial - for migration and the health, education and welfare of the family must all be brought into consideration.

Below are some useful guidelines to assist in this task.

The staff of a tailor's workshop in Cheetham, Manchester.
The staff of a tailor's workshop in Cheetham, Manchester, photographed shortly before World War One.
* Moving Here catalogue reference (MJM) PD680/19

*Useful Guidelines*top of page

Percy Levy's Certificate of Registration under National Registration Act 1915
Percy Levy's Certificate of Registration under the National Registration Act 1915.
* Moving Here catalogue reference (JML) 1993.4.1.p27
  • Plan ahead
  • Organise family members to take care of material such as files, documents, oral history interviews, photographs and other memorabilia. If you have a lot of material filed on computer, back it up and send copies to other family members.
  • Organise and reference your material. For guidance on referencing we suggest reading a number of articles on the subject by Lisa Thaler. For details, follow the link to Organising and Documenting Your Research*.
  • Document all facts that you know about, such as locations of cemeteries and graves.
  • Record any oral history interviews that you conduct. Every relative has a story to tell: their earliest memories, school days, achievements, career, engagement, marriage, honeymoon, divorce, family and friends, for example. Remember to respect the feelings of your interviewee who may not wish to recall various parts of their lives. There are many guides to interviews and methods of recording and transcribing the content. A useful example is given in: Rosemary Wenzerul (Ed.), Jewish Ancestors? A Beginners Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Great Britain , Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, 1999, revised edition 2002. Rosemary Wenzerul has compiled a list of 30 suggested, useful Interviewing Family Members Questions*; please follow the link for these.
  • Make a family tree, on paper or by using any one of numerous suitable software programmes. Organise your material, files and future research programme, and preserve and label all material, preferably using acid-free paper where necessary.
  • Collate all research results into books and reports. Incorporate photos into software programmes. Share your research results freely with family.
  • Organise a family reunion and use it to collect more family material.
  • Donate copies of your family tree and documents such as marriage certificates, naturalisation certificates etc. to your local Jewish Genealogical Society.
  • Contribute your family tree to a database. The main one focusing on Jewish families is the Jewish Genealogy Society of Great Britain (JGSGB) Family Finder. For details of the JGSGB web site and other useful Family Tree Databases*, please follow the link.
Copy of birth certificate of Alice Keidanski (later Chapp)
Copy of birth certificate of Alice Keidanski, born in Berlin on 18th October, 1905. Alice became engaged to Paul Chapp in 1934 and in 1938 they both left Germany for England to escape the Nazis.
* Moving Here catalogue reference (JML) 1998.39.20

*Internet Sources*top of page

Although it is not possible to do all your family history research on the Internet, it can be an immensely useful source of information, and provides forums in which you can share your research and queries with others. Link here for a list of useful websites for family history research*.

*Further Reading and Viewing*top of page

Reading around your subject is almost as important as doing primary research: with a good understanding of the political and social history that affected the lives of your ancestors you will be better able to place your own research in context, and to find new avenues to explore. Our Book and Video Suggestions on Jewish Ancestry* are good places to start.

Creators: Dr Saul Issroff

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