Finding possible Jewish family links #general

John Chitty <jchitty@...>

Hello Listers,
I wonder if any member can help me with a family mystery? I am keen family
historian and have traced several family links, but am at a loss as to how
to verify (or disprove) an old family story. My late mother used to talk
about my Dad's family being connected to the Jewish faith in some way but as
there had been a family estrangement I was never able to track down the

The history is this: My paternal grandmother, Sarah Ann Humphrey nee Davis
(1852-1944) was the daughter of Robert Davis and Ann (nee Reeves). Robert
Davis was a cab proprietor in London, and Ann's father was Levi Reeves, a
farmer >from Wiltshire. One of Sarah Ann's sons was named after his
great-grandfather and named George Levi Piercy Humphrey.

Sarah Ann's husband, Richard Humphrey, was at one time a tutor at Clifton
College in Bristol, which I believe was founded for Jewish students. Further
back in the family tree there are other males with what I believe to be
traditional Jewish names - e.g. Benjamin, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego.

I have no idea how to trace Jewish families as my grandparents were married
in an Anglican church in London and since then the family have been of the
Anglican faith.

One of my queries is this - did Jewish marriages have to be "legalised" in
an Anglican church, as used to happen with Roman Catholics? Or have I got
the family history totally wrong? And did the Jewish religion sometimes
have to be practised in secret?

I do hope some kind person will be able to help me sort out the family
history. There are so few clues, but it may be that someone more skilled
than I am would be able to point me in the right direction for further

Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give me,

Rose Chitty (nee Humphrey)

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