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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Jewish Will Extracts 18th – 19th Century

SynagogueScribes are delighted to announce a brilliant new addition to our special section featuring Secular Records. 

Ranging from 1682 to the late Nineteenth century, from towns across the United Kingdom and  places as far afield as New York, Jamaica, and Australia, from the wealthy slave-owner to the humble general dealer, from Silversmiths and Quill Dressers, Book Sellers, Publicans, Orange Merchants and  Cattle Salesmen, these abstracts reflect the extraordinary diversity of Jewish life across two centuries.

You can search for individual names by selecting "Jewish Will Extracts 18th – 19th Century" on the main search page for Secular Records - this will bring up persons of the selected name who have left a Will, or persons with that name featured in Wills left by others; or you can browse the full list from the link further down the same page.

We cannot always be certain of the "Jewish" bona fides of those we have included; some, such as Rebecca HART MYERS (NA 585) were clearly born Jewish but died outside the faith: others, such as Isaac SCHOMBERG (NA 612) were possibly even more removed from the faith of their forebears: others leave us pondering.   Our editorial policy in this matter has been based strictly on personal choice and should not be taken as conclusive one way or the other.

These extracts were prepared, and generously contributed, by David Alexander

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Burial Grounds at risk in the UK

Back in 2008 Jewish Heritage UK reported on 'Burial grounds at risk' with a list of 9 Jewish cemeteries:

Exeter, Bull Meadow
London, Bancroft Road
London, Hackney [Lauriston Road)
Ipswich, Salthouse Lane
Merthyr Tydfil, Cefn Coed
Manchester, Prestwich Village
Sunderland, Ayres Quay
Swansea, Mayhill
Wolverhampton, Cockshutts Lane

And in 2009 the follwowing burial grounds were added:
London, West Ham Cemetery
Birmingham, Betholom Row Cemetery
Glasgow, Craigton Cemetery
Liverpool, Deane Road and Green Lane (Tuebrook)

CemeteryScribes has been able to record all remaining tombstones found at Bancroft Road, Lauriston Road, Sunderland - Ayres Quay and Wolverhampton - Cockshutts Lane. The latter 2 with the help of generous supporters of our project. We also have some photos of Ipswich - Salthouse Lane, Merthyr Tydfil - Cefn Coed, Exeter - Bull Meadow, Swansea - Mayhill and London - West Ham Cemetery.

As a result of local community efforts, restoration work is underway for Liverpool- Deane Road Jewish Cemetery and their hard work and dedication has recently been rewarded by a well-merited Grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund. Again, following a great deal of research and lobbying,  Bancroft Road is scheduled for restoration by Jeecs & the United Synagogues.
Obviously all restoration requires large amounts of money and in this day and age with our pockets being stretched in every direction its not always possible for the relevant bodies to put these tasks top of their lists.
However, there is no great cost involved in taking photos and that does at least serve as a form of preservation of what is there now. So if you are reading this and live near to, or plan to visit :

Exeter, Bull Meadow
Ipswich, Salthouse Lane
Merthyr Tydfil, Cefn Coed
Manchester, Prestwich Village acquired in 1841 - the second oldest burial ground in Manchester
Swansea, Mayhill
Birmingham, Betholom Row Cemetery dating back to 1823
Glasgow, Craigton Cemetery opened in 1880

Please take a few photos for us!