Places of origin of British Jews #unitedkingdom

Jill Whitehead

I am on the editorial board of Landsmen, the journal of the Suwalki Lomza
Interest Group, which covers an area of current NE Poland and SW Lithuania.
Its readership is mainly US based but it also covers the areas that Suwalki
-Lomzers went to (often quite early compared with other Ashkenazi
1850s-1870s is quite common) such as Great Britain (and many went to
Northern England or Scotland), France, Sweden, South Africa, Australia,
Canada, Mexico and Argentina.

In a number of cases, migrants lived in the UK for a number of years and
then moved onto some of these countries. But if they naturalised in UK they
stayed in UK, although not all of those who stayed naturalised.

The SL SIG is often frustrated that British records are sparse because this
group arrived early and because they tended to land at ports such as Hull
and Leith, and other places on the British North Sea coast, where early
records were not kept.

However, the best way of finding places of origin would be to look at
naturalisation certificates, where those who stayed did naturalise. However,
I understand that a programme to digitise naturalisation certificates
stalled due to public expenditure cuts by the British Govt.

Could the JGSGB and other groups lobby for digitisation (Kew would get an
income stream >from this so it would be ultimately self-funding) so that a
search could be made for places of origin which for the most part are on the
certificates? The actual towns or gubernia (county or province)(or both) are
usually given. This would be a great resource for all, not only those from
Suwalki Lomza gubernias.

I would be interested to learn what is possible.

Jill Whitehead
Sutton, Surrey

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