Find Jewish Genealogy Records and Other Religions

By | January 24, 2017

Have you ever wondered what religion your ancestors followed? Well then this article will help you find Jewish genealogy records for your family history research. And there is also resources discussed here for both Anglican Clergymen and English Presbyterians.

My Ancestors Were Jewish

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Religion plays a significant part in many people’s life’s today. This is definitely true for our ancestors as there were many chapels, churches and synagogues that were dotted all over the United Kingdom.

Although I am not a religious person I do respect the fact that it has shaped many people’s life’s today, as well as our ancestors. The church has played a significant part throughout British history. After the church is where our family were baptised, married and ultimately were buried.

With this in mind I wanted to include an article on this site that will help you find your religious roots. Many branches of my family were religious. Although, I have not found any trace yet as to whether they held any positions within the church. Who knows maybe if I dig a bit more I might find a clergyman in my family.

However, you may find during your genealogy research that a member of your family did indeed hold such a position. And so you if you do then would most definitely like to find out more about them. It’s what genealogists like to do, we like to dig and poke wherever we can.

For each of the following three religions I have included a brief history, some facts and a description of various notable positions within each faith. From these brief introductions I hope to inspire you to learn more about your religious family history.

Three Books That Will Help You Trace Religious Ancestors:

My Ancestor Was An Anglican Clergyman     My Ancestors Were English Presbyterians or Unitarians

My Ancestors Were Jewish

Please note:

These books are available to you in the US and the UK. They will cover what it is for you to have religious British ancestry. They will show you where you can look for such religious records and how you can overcome problems in your research.

The majority of these books are available in the Kindle format. So once you have purchased them then you can immediately start to trace your ancestors. There is no waiting for a book to arrive in the mail.

The only exceptions are the ‘English Presbyterians or Unitarians‘ and the ‘Jewish‘ books that you can get from Amazon UK. These are only available as a paperback, and not in Kindle format unfortunately.

If you do wish to purchase a paperback then there are links available when you go through to the Amazon product.

==> Check Out How To Trace Your Family’s Ancestry Jobs <==

My Ancestor Was An Anglican ClergymanMy Ancestor Was An Anglican Clergyman

Clergymen were and still to this day reside over spiritual rituals. They teach many of the of religion’s doctrines and practices. This role within the church is also referred to as a cleric or churchman.

In Christianity there are many different formal and informal positions. And so with each of these positions there are different level of responsibilities and duties.

Anglican Clergyman
Book Type Kindle
File Size 8394KB
Pages 89 pages
Author Peter Towey
Publisher Society of Genealogists Enterprises Ltd
Published September 8, 2015
Place to Buy in US Amazon US
Place to Buy in UK Amazon UK (Paperback)
Also available for Amazon Prime customers!

These positions include:

  • Deacons
  • Priests
  • Bishops

There are also the additional positions of canons, archdeacons, and archbishops that are contained within these orders.

A bishop is responsible for a diocese, which is a group of parishes. A parish is in itself a group of churches. An archbishop is the next step up as they oversee a province, i.e. a group of diocese.

To begin their religious journey clergy are first ordained as deacons. After this they then become priests which usually takes about a year.

Now as I have just mentioned to become clergymen these people would first need to be ordained. This means that they are consecrated, which means in turn that they give themselves to their chosen religion. This ordination sets them apart as they are permitted to carry out various religious rites and ceremonies.

If you do have clergymen ancestors within your family tree then this is an essential book for you.

There are several different topics included in this book, which are:

  • Education and training of the clergy
  • English Civil War sources up to the 19th Century
  • Published sources
  • Structure and hierarchy of the church

With this book you will learn what your ancestor’s role was within the church. You will also find ways for you to collect records and where to search for these vital records for your research.


My Ancestors Were English Presbyterians or UnitariansMy Ancestors Were English Presbyterians or Unitarians

Presbyterianism is a reformed tradition that is within Protestantism. This is a form of Christian practice that was developed by John Calvin. Reformed tradition is also referred to as Calvinism.

Protestantism in itself is a form of Christianity. Protestants believe that there were mistakes within the Roman Catholic Church. And so Protestantism began in the 1500s.

Unitarians belief in the one God and the oneness or the unity of God.

English Presbyterians
Book Type Kindle
File Size 4413KB
Pages 107 pages
Author Alan Ruston
Publisher Society of Genealogists Enterprises Ltd
Published September 14, 2015
Place to Buy in US Amazon US
Place to Buy in UK Amazon UK
Also available for Amazon Prime customers!

I hope you got your head around all that as it can become quite confusing!

Presbyterians themselves follow a ‘Book of Order‘ that regulates common practice and order. They believe in education and lifelong learning.

Presbyterians had become in the 17th Century the largest Noncomformist denomination within the UK. They had dissented from the Church of England. However, by the early 19th Century their position had reversed and they had become the smallest.

With help from this book you will get tools and resources that you can use to trace your Presbyterian ancestors within England.

You will be able to track down baptism, marriage and death registers that still exist today. Together with these there are other records that are explored in the book that you can use for your genealogy research.


My Ancestors Were JewishMy Ancestors Were Jewish

Judaism is the religion of the Jews, which spans more than 3,000 years. It is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions. Judaism is the religion and way of life for the Jews.

The Jews belief that there is only one God, and wants people to do what is just and merciful. The people of the faith also belief that all people are created in the image of God. They also belief that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

Book Type Kindle
File Size 5381KB
Pages 79 pages
Author Dr Anthony Joseph
Publisher Society of Genealogists Enterprises Ltd
Published September 3, 2015
Place to Buy in US Amazon US
Place to Buy in UK Amazon UK (Paperback)
Also available for Amazon Prime customers!

And in my opinion don’t we all want to be treated like this?!

There is an estimated 14 million Jews worldwide. That is roughly 0.2% of the world population. 43% of Jews can be found in Israel, while another 43% live within the United States and Canada. The remaining 14% are scattered throughout the world.

There are 7 different roles or positions within the Judaism faith:

  • Rabbi – Teacher and decider of matters of religious law
  • Chazan – Cantor, who leads congregation in prayer
  • Gabbai – Volunteer who assists with Torah readings
  • Kohein – Descendant of Aaron, the original High Priest
  • Levi – Descendant of the biblical Levites
  • Rebbe – The leader of a Chasidic community
  • Tzaddik – A righteous person with spiritual power

With so many Jews in the world today it is quite probable that your ancestors were indeed Jewish. They may have even reached any one of the positions listed above.

This book will guide you through the resources that you can use to find your Jewish ancestors within the United Kingdom. There is also a chapter within the book that can take your research outside of the UK.



Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope you enjoyed this article that helps you find Jewish genealogy records and other religions. If you think that this post will be helpful to others then please share it with friends and family using the social media buttons below.

If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Author: Owain

Hello, Owain here. After researching my family history for a number of years I wanted to give back to the genealogy world. So here you will find guides, tips and product reviews that will help you on your genealogy journey.

12 thoughts on “Find Jewish Genealogy Records and Other Religions

  1. Francis Donaghy

    Great article Owain. I like how you broke the positions within the church structure down. For some strange reason I’ve a slight fascination with the Jewish faith, so always interesting to read about this faith.

    1. Owain Post author

      Hi Francis,

      As I mentioned in this post I am not a religious person. So it was a learning curve for me, which I also found quite interesting. I like learning new things.

      Despite not being religious I feel it is important to include such resources on this genealogy guide website.

      Thanks again,

      1. Francis Donaghy

        Hey there Owain.

        Yes, I’ve got to agree that faith does have an important part in genealogy, from the historical and record keeping aspects.

        Well done again, Francis.

        1. Owain Post author

          That is so right Francis. Before Civil Registration for us genealogists this is the only way that we can trace our ancestors. With the help from parish registers we can build our family tree.

  2. Marlaine

    Hi Owain,
    Great post! I AM a religious person, so I completely understand the fascination with discovering your ancestor’s religious past. I come from a long line of believers in Jesus Christ, and while the faith is my own, it has, in a sense, been passed down to me from my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and likely, farther back. I’d love to learn about how “the first one” came to faith in God! I’m sure it would be a lovely story! Great topic for a post on this website.

    1. Owain Post author

      Hi Marlaine,

      I am glad that you like the post. As I have mentioned here I felt it was only right to add this resource here.

      Parish register contain so much information that can help us. So I appreciate the many different religions and faiths in this regard. Also, as a side note although I do not believe in God, I do believe that we should treat each other with respect and equally.

  3. Furkan

    I am actually half European from my father side (half Romania and half Bulgaria) and it will be cool to know about religious family history. According to you, which book will be a right fit for me?

    1. Owain Post author

      Hi Furkan,

      The main religion of these countries is Orthodox. Therefore I would not recommend any of these books for you.

      In time I will be adding more resources. Once I have found something that could benefit your European ancestry then I will let you know.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of any further help in this matter.

  4. Eric Cantu

    Finding where we came from is such a fascinating topic. Really cool that you have these resources here available through your blog. Thank you for this post!

    1. Owain Post author

      Thank you Eric for your comment. It is great to know where we came from. And this is something that I had not yet covered on this site.

  5. Craig

    Fascinating stuff indeed. I had no clue you could buy books on ancestry within religious circles. Presbyterianism has spread all over the World of course. In Kuala Lumpur, where I live now, we have a Presbyterian Church called St. Andrews (patron-saint of Scotland).

    I wonder if the English Presbyterian book covers only England? I’m sure some of the clergymen had to move overseas too, like Malaysia for instance. I think it’s great that you can get these on kindle now, what a good idea.

    1. Owain Post author

      Hi Craig. It is interesting how both the British and faith has spread out across the world. To all corners in fact.

      Primarily this book is for English ancestors. So if settlers To other countries did come from England then this book could be useful to you.

      As you say it is good that these books are on Kindle. It means that you can order it and get it straight away. You can then begin your search immediately as you do not have to wait for books to arrive in the post. Sometimes this is easier for us this way.


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