© Petra Laidlaw

The Islington Jews Database, which contains some 2,300 entries, is an offshoot from the 1851 Anglo-Jewry Database. It is narrower in geographic scope, being confined to people who lived in today’s London Borough of Islington. But its reach over time is much wider, listing Jews – or people whose names suggest they were Jewish – who were resident in Islington at any time between the 1730s and 1840s.

A wide variety of sources has been used, among them George Rigal’s invaluable insurance policies dataset /databases/uk/GR_Insurance_Policies/JewishSurnames.html, the various published synagogue registers, trade directories, newspapers, and a wide range of local rate books. Since a full listing of residents was not introduced in censuses till 1841, these other sources are generally the best available for earlier dates. They give a reasonable picture, it can be assumed, of adult males in settled circumstances. It is much harder, however, to find data on women, children and transients. Here synagogue registers are often the best bet, but even they never collected comprehensive data, and not all registers have survived.

As with the 1851 Database, generally only one address per decade is listed in the Islington Jews Database. If there is an Islington address in the decade, it will have taken priority over any other addresses, even if those were lived in longer. Unlike the 1851 Database, this one does not list family details, except for spouses, whose names – where known – are included as much as anything as an aid to identification. Where the 1851 Database (‘AJDB’) is listed among the sources for an individual’s entry, researchers may wish to cross-refer to that database for the fuller information that can be found there.

The Jewish status of many of the entries is uncertain, especially those living in the 18th century. Given names and surnames can be very suggestive of a Jewish affiliation or at least background. But in cases that lack corroboration, for example from synagogue records, Jewish status should be taken as probable rather than definite.

Any queries should be addressed to, preferably quoting the Islington Jews Database ID number shown at the top right-hand side of each entry.

A book that draws on the Islington Jews Database may be purchased on a print-on-demand basis from

Abbreviations used for Sources

AJDB – 1851 Anglo-Jewry Database (

BMR – Bevis Marks records (

FreeBMD -

GHSB – Lewin, Harold and Miriam, Birth Records of the Great and Hambro Synagogues, 1791-1837

GSM – Lewin, Harold and Miriam, Marriage Records of The Great Synagogue, London, 1791-1885 and Shire, Angela, Great Synagogue Marriage Registers, 1791-1850

HSD – Lewin, Harold, Hambro Synagogue, Register of Burials

HSM – Birth Records of the New Synagogue, Marriage Records of the New and Hambro Synagogues, London


Insurance – Jewish Surnames in Early London-based Insurance Policies (

JV – Berger, Doreen, The Jewish Victorian 1861-70 and The Jewish Victorian 1871-80

NSB, NHSM – Lewin, Harold and Miriam, Birth Records of the New Synagogue, Marriage Records of the New and Hambro Synagogues, London

ODNB – Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (

PCC –Prerogative Court of Canterbury (

Synagogue Scribes –


WLSM – /jcr-uk/London/wls/index.htm

1806 Haggadah - List of Subscribers to an English Haggadah 1806 (

All the records are registered with the

Page created 23 November 2015 LM

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