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greyingrey
13-03-13, 14:29
I fear this is another of my questions without an answer, but I'll try. As you know (???) my gggg grandfather, Lyon Asher was a Jewish immigrant (first seen in Britain in 1820) He married a woman born in England. Is there any way I can find out if she was Jewish, or do you just trace her family back as far as you can & then, when you lose them, you don't know if that indicates a point when they came to Britain (if they were Jewish immigrants) or if you've come to a "normal non Jewish family brick wall" ?

Val wish Id never started
13-03-13, 15:00
I wonder if The Beth Din is any help? here is a link I have got marriage contracts from them this link will tell you a bit about the wife being Jewish
http://www.theus.org.uk/support_services/find_your_family/marriage_records/

lennon2011
13-03-13, 15:37
Cheers for that link Val, it may just help me proove to my Nanna that her Grandmother was a Jewish German.

greyingrey
13-03-13, 20:23
Thanks a lot, Val. As I didn't know I'd got Jewish ancestry till I started this lark, the issue of how strictly they adhered to their religion & for how long, intrigues me.

Val wish Id never started
13-03-13, 20:50
nor did I know, its not easy to research them is it ? but that Beth Din site also has burials so worth a look.
By the way I found some of mine married twice once in a Synagogue in a Church ? was surprised at that too.

This is one marriage in 1857
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/iexec?htx=View&r=5538&dbid=1623&iid=31280_194827-00149&fn=Abraham&ln=Rose&st=r&ssrc=pt_t6737403_p-1235603541_kpidz0q3d-1235603541z0q26pgz0q3d32768z0q26pgplz0q3dpid&pid=2163626

and him using a different name in 1860 marrying the same woman
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=freebmdmarriage&h=11352615&ti=5538&indiv=try&gss=pt&ssrc=pt_t6737403_p-1235603541_kpidz0q3d-1235603541z0q26pgz0q3d32768z0q26pgplz0q3dpid

Olde Crone Holden
13-03-13, 23:48
If they married in synagogue, then she was Jewish too, almost certainly. If you can find the synagogue marriage record it will give you a wealth of information.

Some Jews married in synagogue AND in church because they thought that made the marriage "legal" in this country. It did...but Jewish marriages, however they are performed, are also legal in this country.

OC

greyingrey
14-03-13, 08:20
Thank you all.....the father of a fellow descendant told her that her g grandfather formally broke all ties with the Jewish faith & that would tie in with my g grandfather suddenly starting to call himself James instead of Joseph (not that Joseph is particularly Jewish, but, by calling himself James, he would have been following the English non Jewish tradition of the first son being named after his father...but he's anglicised Jacob to James) I feel sad that I was cut off from that culture...but, then again, I suppose it's a thing you can't do by halves

LorraineJ
14-03-13, 15:12
My husband's family are Jewish and it occurs to me whether the Jewish marriage contract (a ketobah sp?) may be of help.

Val wish Id never started
14-03-13, 16:34
I got a Ketubah for one of mine from The Beth Din and it told me quite a bit except I couldn't read it had to have it translated.

greyingrey
15-03-13, 12:19
Thanks for the suggestion....is this the same as the document I have for my grandparents ? My grandmother was rabidly CofE (anyone who attended any other church was the Sperm of The Devil) & I often wonder if she knew about her husband's family's Jewish roots. When she died, we found (& I have) a most impressive fully legally executed document (in English) from the time that they got engaged. It lists all the items the husband is to bring into the marital home. I've been told that this is part of Jewish tradition. I wonder what she made of it ? Maybe he told her it was a family tradition, not a Jewish one. Obviously, it wasn't used as an "official contract" because they were married in a CofE church. Maybe my grandmother's fierce religious attitude was defensive

Olde Crone Holden
15-03-13, 13:09
Grey

As I understand it, that contract is actually proof that a Jewish marriage has taken place, lol. There does not need to be any official ceremony, all there needs to be is the written contract of goods AND that the groom gives the bride a ring of "known value".

Belt and braces I reckon, in your grandmother's case, lol.

OC

greyingrey
15-03-13, 13:30
Oh, thanks, OC...that makes the document even more valuable from a family history point of view

Olde Crone Holden
15-03-13, 13:39
In an Orthodox Jewish home, the marriage contract would be framed and displayed in pride of place in the home, rather as we would display our wedding photos.

OC

greyingrey
15-03-13, 13:51
This is all SO interesting.....my grandmother couldn't have been unaware of his Jewish roots, could she ? (My grandfather died before I was born but he used to make my (non Jewish) mother's life a misery by making jokes about her large nose....saying she looked like a Jewess & should be pushing a barrow....which is exactly how his family started out....he must have spent his whole life pretending)

Olde Crone Holden
15-03-13, 23:28
No, she almost certainly knew - and if SHE didn't, then those around her would!

I don't think he necessarily spent his whole life pretending. I think many Jews simply stopped advertising the fact that they were Jewish, for very obvious reasons. My late MIL was Jewish, but attended C of E church with her husband and son. She did not keep kosher, nor were there any other "signs" of her being Jewish and as far as I know, she didn't attend synagogue. But when she died, she had a Jewish burial

OC

greyingrey
16-03-13, 17:45
He may have had a Jewish wedding contract to please his family & a CofE church wedding to please his wife.

There must have been quite a period in Notts & Leics, when you heard someone had the surname of Asher, that you automatically assumed they were Jewish/had Jewish roots (rather like Cohen ) I wonder when that changed ? I'd guess it certainly wasn't the case in my grandparents' & parents' generation, so most of the Ashers must have left/"not advertised" their faith. It makes me sad, but I don't quite know why

Olde Crone Holden
17-03-13, 00:14
Grey

It makes you sad because no human being should ever feel they have to conceal their racial origins or their religionfor fear of persecution.

OC

greyingrey
17-03-13, 08:54
Exactly, OC....my gfather's jibes at my mother were obviously hardened by the background of years of family suffering. ( though that didn't help her unhappiness at the time) Maybe he feared he'd get grandchildren who'd look "typically Jewish" & that they'd suffer.

Sorry, chaps, but another thought has come into my mind.....as I believe (?) that the Jewish faith was considered to pass down the female line, would a non_Jewish woman have been allowed to enter into a Jewish marriage contract?

Val wish Id never started
17-03-13, 14:46
according to the Beth Din site No ,its on that link I put up somewhere shall try and find it.

Val wish Id never started
17-03-13, 14:48
Marriage Authorisations - granted by The United Synagogue (from c.1845) to give permission to a local Rabbi to conduct a marriage ceremony. The Authorisation is granted after the authorities are satisfied that both parties are halachically Jewish or that they have an acceptable Certificate of Conversion. The Marriage Authorisation gives amongst other information:-

greyingrey
17-03-13, 15:55
That is very interesting....I don't know if they had a ceremony conducted by a Rabbi, or if they just had this document drawn up & executed. I'll have a look & see who drew up/witnessed it

Olde Crone Holden
17-03-13, 23:23
A Marriage authorisation isn't the same thing as a Marriage Contract. You might need to google to clarify the marriage contract - it's a while since we were all involved in Wallaby's thread, lol, which is where most of us gained our Jewish knowledge!

It may have been that even though he was a lapsed Hebrew, in his mind a marriage was conducted by the giving of a contract, so that's what he did. Just because you abandon your religious observances doesn't mean you necessarily abandon the ingrained customs that go with your racial origins. I hope that makes sense!

OC

naomiatt
18-03-13, 09:38
Do you know what year he married and the name of the bride? There are a number of older records around e.g http://synagoguescribes.com/blog/ http://www.cemeteryscribes.com/ You can apply for a Hebrew Marriage Authorisation if it took place after 1845....a ketubah is presented at the wedding and is the marriage contract http://judaism.about.com/cs/jewishweddings/f/ketubah.htm....
http://www.theus.org.uk/support_services/find_your_family/marriage_records As OC said, she was Jewish (or she would be a convert) to marry in a synagogue or be married by a Rabbi. The Hebrew MA provides http://www.jgsgb.org.uk/marriage-authorisations If she was a convert you can tell from the MA. I can help to translate, or try to.. : ) I think I might be duplicating some of what's been said already so ignore me if I have, FTF is playing up a bit on me.

greyingrey
18-03-13, 11:57
Thanks very much for the help of you both....I'll pursue the matter further & report back in due course (& that'll serve you right) It's not only feeling you have to hide/give up your religion....it's all the cultural stuff that goes with it, that should be a part of me too (if that makes sense)

naomiatt
19-03-13, 03:57
Yes, it does make sense : )

greyingrey
19-03-13, 20:47
Thanks, Naomi. I know my ancestors have changed religion over time. I was brought up in that peculirly English CofE tradition a lot of people have of being nominally CofE but regarding yourself as broadly Christian but doing your best to ignore formal religion apart from christenings, weddings & funerals. As I've said on another thread, it looks as though one of my families stayed R Catholic after the Civil War (but only for a short period) & another family was non-conformist.. (until the end of the nineteenth century)...but they've already had their influences, I'm sure (after all, any of us who have Christian families from England or Western Europe know that if we go back far enough we'll find Catholics. It comes out in small ways...when I was a child we always had fish on Fridays...though there was no bar on eating meat....without any idea at all where it came from & a lot of Protestant families did the same) But this was much more recent...it's the music, the art, the way of looking at things, the humour. I do appreciate quite a bit of it, but it's not the same as when you've experienced within the family.....even if that involves tremendous family runctions because of religious differences

kylejustin
20-03-13, 01:17
when I was a child we always had fish on Fridays...though there was no bar on eating meat....without any idea at all where it came from & a lot of Protestant families did the same)

elizabeth I either took advantage of this custom, or implemented it, i can't remember which. anyway england was under constant threat of invasion during her reign, either by scotland, france or spain. so she implemented days when no one was allowed to eat meat, therefore causing a need for more able seamen to supply fish. in this plan, she had made enough men for a navy when the time called for it. and the plan worked, because she defeated the spanish armada in 1588.

naomiatt
20-03-13, 03:32
Also, a lot of Jewish people converted to Christianity, often forced to do so. I think there's even a rumour that Christopher Colombus was Jewish. As Wallaby feels I'm sure, sometimes there is something within you that can't really be explained.