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Genealogy Guide: United Kingdom and Ireland

United Kingdom and Ireland

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB) was formed in 1992 with beginners and experienced researchers joining forces to, among other things, encourage genealogical research, promote the preservation of Jewish genealogical records and resources, and share information. The Society’s members are particularly interested in Eastern Europe, from where many of their ancestors can be traced.

The JGSGB is a membership organization; however, non-members may browse a limited number of online lists at no charge or pay £5 to perform research in the JGSGB library.  Click here for details about what’s available through the JGSGB. The website also provides links to the JGSGB's key partner organizations.


JewishGen’s United Kingdom Database includes birth, marriage, and death records, national censuses (1841-1911), the 1851 Anglo-Jewry Database (covering about 90 percent of Jews living in the British Isles in 1851), and a variety of other records. The database covers mainly England, Wales and Scotland, with a few additions from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.


GenGuide is an excellent research portal, which provides a wealth of information about and links to many genealogical sources for the UK and Ireland.


Genuki acts as a repository of useful information about British and Irish genealogy and provides links to other sites of relevance.  The main focus of Genuki is geographically specific information about the British Isles and its constituent parts.  The information that it provides relates to primary genealogical records (e.g. parish registers and census records) and the institutions which hold them (e.g. record offices and libraries). It offers a useful list of family history and genealogy societies in the UK and Ireland. Genuki also has its own search engine, which searches not only its own pages, but also those of The National Archives, the Society of Genealogists, and Federation of Family History Societies, among others.

The War Graves Photographic Project

The War Graves Photographic Project (TWGPP) has joined with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to provide a searchable database of the photographs of the graves or memorial listings of every service casualty since the outbreak of the First World War.  Researchers may also order a copy of any photograph in the database. 

Marriage Authorisation Certificate Records

The Marriage Authorisation Certificate Records are provided as a collaborative project between The United Synagogue and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain.  Researchers can order certificates for marriages which took place under the auspices of the Office of the Chief Rabbi between 1880 and 1901. The certificates gave permission to local Rabbis to conduct marriage ceremonies.

The Society of Genealogists

The Society of Genealogists (SoG), has made more than 11 million records available online to its members. Non-members may carry out an initial search; however, only members are granted access to full record details. The Society’s collections are particularly valuable for research before the start of civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths in 1837.  The Society has many unique unpublished manuscript notes and printed and unpublished family histories. Its library contains Britain’s largest collection of parish register copies and many nonconformist registers. Along with registers, the library holds local histories, copies of churchyard gravestone inscriptions, poll books, trade directories, census indexes, and a wealth of information about the parishes where researchers’ ancestors may have lived.


Synagogue Scribes

Synagogue Scribes offers a searchable database of London Ashkenazi Synagogue records (1760-1900), with the emphasis on the time period before UK civil registration, which began in 1837.


Irish Genealogy Toolkit

Irish Genealogy Toolkit is a free online guide to Irish family history research, including research how-to’s and links to a great many genealogy sources.  In addition, it maintains a daily blog with up-to-date genealogy news. is operated by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.  It enable researchers to search indexes of the civil registers (GRO) of births, marriages, civil partnerships, and deaths.  The website also operates a search portal that allows users to search across many other record sources, such as census records, military records, and more.


Scottish Jewish Archives Centre

The Scottish Jewish Archives Centre aims to document and illustrate the religious, organizational, social, economic, political, cultural and family life of Jews in Scotland since the eighteenth century. It provides a research facility for the study of a wide variety of primary sources that shed light on Jewish individuals and communities, including Jewish newspapers, synagogue records, cemetery records, and more.


Welsh Newspapers Online

Welsh Newspapers Online, a project of the National Library of Wales, allows you to search and view millions of articles from its historic newspaper collection online. This database includes over 100 newspaper publications from 1804 to 1919.