Do your background reading

Once you have established where your ancestors came from and explored the local records, you can fill in gaps in the information that you have by investigating the circumstances in which your ancestors lived and migrated, and how they were affected by the wider patterns of history and movement.

There is a wealth of literature and many an expert on Jewish history. You might investigate what your ancestors’ lives would have been like over the generations and in what context they abandoned an old way of life. If you can’t pinpoint exactly where your ancestors came from, you can make educated guesses about their experiences based on the patterns of the time.

For more information and background reading, have a look at the following:

My Ancestor was Jewish by Dr Anthony Joseph
Jews of Britain by Paul H Emden
A History of the Jews in England by Cecil Roth

The Yizkor Books, which focus on particular localities, are also a useful resource once you have pinpointed your ancestor on the map.

The website of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain: www.jgsgb.org.uk
For more information about researching your Jewish ancestry: www.jewishgen.org
For a website dedicated to migration to Britain: www.movinghere.org.uk

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