Topics

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

jamehar@...
 

I’ve been researching a branch of my family for some time and have hit a brick wall.

I know that my ancestors moved from ‘Russia’ to London at some point in the first half of the 1800’s, and have found UK census records confirming our family’s oral history. I’ve also identified that my ancestor sent his children to a school run by the CMJ  in Palestine Place (although the CMJ has not been forthcoming in sharing records - even though I know the folios I want access to).

I’d really like to answer the question of where in 19th-century Russia my ancestors came from and what drove them to move (particularly for my grandfather, who is 86 and has never known this), but I’ve reached a dead end.

Can anyone recommend an expert who might be able to help me?

rv Kaplan
 

Can you tell us what CMJ stands for please.

Your question is common, as often the census just says Russia, Russian, Russian Poland etc.  Did anyone in the family naturalise (National Archives in London hold the records).  Are there any surviving family marriage documents - ketubot - which would state where in the old country a marriage took place,

Harvey Kaplan
Glasgow, Scotland
 

On Fri, 24 Jan 2020 at 14:02, <jamehar@...> wrote:
I’ve been researching a branch of my family for some time and have hit a brick wall.

I know that my ancestors moved from ‘Russia’ to London at some point in the first half of the 1800’s, and have found UK census records confirming our family’s oral history. I’ve also identified that my ancestor sent his children to a school run by the CMJ  in Palestine Place (although the CMJ has not been forthcoming in sharing records - even though I know the folios I want access to).

I’d really like to answer the question of where in 19th-century Russia my ancestors came from and what drove them to move (particularly for my grandfather, who is 86 and has never known this), but I’ve reached a dead end.

Can anyone recommend an expert who might be able to help me?

Shelley Mitchell
 

Can you share the names of your family members?
--
Shelley Mitchell 
NYC
searching KONIGSBERG/KINIGSBERG, TERNER, MOLDAUER, SCHONFELD - Kolomyya PLATZ - DELATYN. All Galicia. 

Irina Fridman
 

Can you please give the specific info as much as you know, especially about the date/s the family moved? The events in Russia might give a clue as to the reasons for the move, such as the military campaigns for example.

The national archives have naturalisation records, which provide the name of the place of origin. However, it’s hard to advise with no specifics.

What is CMJ?

Irina

jamehar@...
 

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). 

Michael Hoffman
 

CMJ stands for the following, The Church's Ministry Among Jewish People (CMJ) is an Anglican missionary society founded ... A school, training college and a church called the Episcopal Jews' Chapel were built here. The complex ... Today, the building houses the Anglican International School Jerusalem, which is operated by the society.

The CMJ is a missonary organisation that tries to convert us Jews to Christianity.

Michael Hoffman
Borehamwood
HERTS UK

Irina Fridman
 

Ok, now I understand re CMJ. London Society for Promoting Christianity among Jews was particularly active in the 1850s/60s in London, trying to convert Jews, especially those who were struggling making a living. What are trying to establish in their papers? If conversion, you might try parish records for the church where Raphael Marks lived.

Marriage certificate. There were 2 separate documents regarding the marriage - one a governmental record, the other - ecclesiastical. If he was converted, the marriage would have taken place either in his parish or in the parish of his bride. That might throw some clues. The parish records are normally kept in the local records office. If lucky, they will be digitised, and you can search them online. 

Another point about CMJ is that many Jews saw conversion as means of obtaining free education and/or improve their conditions. They might have still practised Judaism. Jewish Chronicle had some articles and letters about this around that time.

Re the reasons of moving from Russia (most likely Russian Empire, which would have included Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania) could be several:
a) Crimean war - conscription, POWs, etc.;
b) desire to avoid conscription into the Russian Army (if conscripted, men served 25 years);
c) antisemitism in the Russian Empire. There was a steady stream of immigration in the 1840s/50s from Russia to England, with London as the biggest attraction, because of the large and established Jewish community and the opportunities, real and perceived, to make a living.

I would suggest to contact:
a) local record office (local to the place of his residence). In addition to parish records, there might be some others, which might provide a clue to his place of origin.
b) National Archives - they'll have immigration records; naturalisation records; incoming passengers.

Also, check Ancestry database and FindMyPast database. I find that combining these databases works best. 

Check all census returns (earliest 1841, which provides minimum information, but later ones give you much more.) You might find that the column "where born" might differ, and might narrow down the search (For example, 1851 census might state "Russia", but 1861 - "Poland".) 

Also, they have immigration and incoming passengers records.

Hope this gives you some leads, and apologies, if I duplicate the search you've already done.

Irina