Re: Professional genealogist? (Russia to London migration in early 19th century)


Thank you for your questions.
The CMJ is 'the Church's Ministry Among the Jews'. It used to be called the 'London Jews' Society' and the 'London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews'. As far as I can tell it offered a free education, while using this to push people to convert to Christianity. The organisation still exists, and I've been in contact with them about getting access to their archives at the Bodleian library (but they've been very unhelpful).
The most distant marriage certificate I've been able to find is for my ancestor Raphael Marks (he married an Emma Furse in 1859 [in a church and she seems to be Christian] and their oldest son [my ancestor - also called Raphael Marks] was a pupil at the CMJ school in 1861). Also in the 1861 census, it states that the Raphael senior was from 'Russia'. Our oral family history has it that Raphael moved to London from 'somewhere in the east' and that he was a rabbi (this came from a 102 year old cousin back in 2009, but I've not been able to confirm it). On Raphael senior's marriage certificate from 1859, it states that his father's name was 'Samuel' (I don't know if he came to London or not).

The younger Raphael was known to the 102 year old cousin, and so we are certain of his identity (DNA matches also connect me to the descendants of his brothers, who emigrated to the US - the US descendants haven't researched further back than me). While there are some age discrepancies between census records for Raphael junior, I'm sure that the Raphael/Emma above were his parents, as he used her surname 'Furse' as a middle name for one of his daughters (and one of his sisters also had this middle name). 

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