Saturday 28 July 2012

Jewish Genealogy in Scotland

The main source for Jewish genealogy records in Scotland is the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre in Glasgow’s Garnethill Synagogue. The Archives Centre has a number of resources specifically for tracing Jewish family history in Scotland, including:

• A computer database which cross-references over 70 sources, such as: cemetery records, synagogue registers, naturalisations, charity subscription lists and school admission registers. This database contains records over 38,000 Jews in Scotland

• The records of the 17 Jewish cemeteries in Scotland

• Synagogue registers of births, marriages and deaths and copies of some circumcision registers

Glasgow Jewish newspapers

• Records of congregations, social, welfare and cultural groups, youth groups etc.

• A collection of records relating to Jewish refugees from the Nazis in the 1930s who fled to Scotland, as well as Holocaust survivors

You can contact the Archives Centre at:
Scottish Jewish Archives Centre
Garnethill Synagogue
129 Hill Street
G3 6UB

Monday 23 July 2012

New Online Resources for Scottish Research

Saturday 7 July 2012

How Strongly Do You Feel the Affiliation?

Genealogy is about connecting. I personally have a pretty low need to affiliate. Don't quite understand the tears and hugs after a week long event (training, conference, mission trip, vacation). But genealogy is my passion (some say obsession). And it's all about connecting. A bit of a dichotomy.

I was once speaking with a second cousin. Suddenly a lightbulb went on when she said, "I've been feeling very Fowler this week." Fowler is the line we connect through. I totally understood what she meant. I was a Carrick that week, having done a great deal of research on my Carrick line and was overwhelmed reading about the death of William and his only son, Andrew (18), in a mine as the shaft they were riding on at the end of their shift broke it's cable causing them to plummet 184 feet to their doom.

When I was in Scotland, I spent several days immersed in the Haddow line - my paternal grandmother's family. So much so, that I definitely felt the affinity. I have been researching the Haddows for years. I have connected with several distant cousins who all connect to a single line but then branch off from a different offspring. I became known as the "go to" person for anyone setting out on or who was "stuck" in their Haddow research.

But when I was in Scotland recently, my focus was on a more recent generation. My grandmother and her siblings. I was able to access information that was far more recent than what is available online. I now know their stories, their successes, their challenges, their tragedies. I was able to drive out to the small little village where they lived. I managed to get photos of their headstones. When I returned home, I sat and wrote out the story of the Haddows, at least of this particular generation of Haddows, to share with my cousins. It was such a labour of love being able to share what I had learned. Our granny died when we were all quite young. Three of us then emigrated to different countries, so lost the connection to the story after Granny passed away. Our fathers weren't much for sharing family stories about their parents or grandparents, so we were all in a bit of a vaccum. Now, however, we are all feeling a lot more Haddow.

How strongly do YOU feel the affiliation when you research? Do you feel particularly connected to one particular branch? Is it fleeting or lasting? How has it impacted your understanding of who you are?