Re: Using DNA matches to find Jewish ancestors #dna

rv Kaplan

There have been Jewish communities in Scotland for over 200 years, reaching a peak of around 20,000 in the 1930s-1950s.  Today, there are an estimated 5-6,000, with formal communities in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and St Andrews/Tayside.

At the time of mass emigration from Europe to the USA in the late 19th/early 20th century, many thousands of Jews transmigrated through Britain.  There was a sophisticated system whereby agents in Eastern Europe sold tickets covering each leg of the journey. This included sailing from eg Libau to maybe Hull, Grimsby or Leith, then travelling by train across to the major ports of Liverpool or Glasgow.  From there, they would board a ship to the USA or wherever.  Many immigrants came to Britain - including Scotland - and stayed here for months or years, then decided to try their luck in the USA, South Africa, Canada, Australia etc.

There's a common immigrant story that unscrupulous crews told the passengers disembarking at the east coast ports in England/Scotland that they had already reached America - but this is now contested by academic research and is mostly an immigration myth.

Harvey Kaplan
Scottish Jewish Archives Centre


On Tue, 22 Sep 2020 at 15:11, sjgwed via <> wrote:
Maybe 25 years ago, I met a bunch of Scots at a resort in the Caribbean, and they said they were Jews. Apparently, in the late 19th c. when their ancestors from eastern Europe left a European departure point for the US, their boat made a quick stop at a dock in Britain to pick up more passengers. Thinking they had arrived in the US, some Jews disembarked... and stayed!

Susan J Gordon
New York
ZBARAZ - Bialazurker
SKALAT - Schoenhaut, Lempert

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