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28 February 2014

Hoop Lane Cemetery, London, England

The Hoop Lane Cemetery, also known as the Golders Green Cemetery is located in the Borough of Barnet, in London. Hoop Lane, which had its first burial  in 1895, is a fascinating place to visit. The first thing that I noticed when I visited a few months ago, is that the cemetery has two distinct parts.

The eastern side of Hoop Lane is a very traditional Sephardic cemetery (above picture), where the gravestones are laid horizontal. The east side is used by the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation. The western part of the cemetery is maintained by the West London Synagogue, and it is a more traditional Askenazic cemetery, the stones being upright (below).

Regardless of which side you visit, its hard not to be in awe of the stories the stones tell. Our ancestors went through so much as they laid down the foundations for our own lives. For example, as with many cemeteries, Hoop Lane has a good number of remembrances for those who paid the ultimate price defending their country.  The stone pictured at the right, marks the death of Lieut. Ronald Lucas Quixano Henriques. who lost his life at the Battle of Aisne on September 14th, 1914. Even though he "Rests On The Field Of Battle", he is remembered here. Just a few stones away a brother is also remembered. We have so many who have died protecting us, may we never forget them.

 History, reminds us how many men and women have died serving their country, however not all who perish during wartime are members of the military. The stone at left marks the Belasco family, torn apart by enemy action on December 14th, 1944. The strength to carry on after 3 family members are lost is remarkable.

 As I walked past one headstone, I couldn't help but stop and soon found myself lost in thought over the events of January 30, 1962 for the families of David and Betty (Jacobs) Goldberg. They had just celebrated a happy event, the marriage David and Betty. Shortly there after, the young couple, while on their honeymoon, died together. I do not know what happened, and reading it I had many emotions, however, I found great comfort in the line that reads "Forever together never to be parted".

I am thankful for all those who have sacrificed so much. May they truly never be forgotten.

The information gathered from the stones has now been added to the Knowles Collection- Jews of the British Isles, and will be available after the next update, which will be very soon.

14 February 2014

Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953

In previous posts on this blog, the births and marriages records of the State of Ohio have been discussed. Now, the death certificates from the state of Ohio for the years 1908-1953 have been added to the Published Collections section at
As of today, the collection includes over 7.3 million images, which were are copies of the original death certificates.

The image above (which can also be found on FHL Film #2022731) is the death certificate of Max Cohen, who was born in 1873 in Latvia. He died on 24 Oct 1936 in Akron, Summit, Ohio. We also learn that he was a widow, his wife Bertha, having preceded him. We also learn the names of his parents, Leon Hyman Cohen and Rachael Mirvis. One very important piece of information which would help the researcher locate all the family members is that even though he died in Ohio, the burial took place in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

When combined with the other Ohio databases mentioned above, people with ancestry in the state of Ohio should be able to build a good picture of their families. This collection as with all the others at is available free of charge from the comfort of your own home.

04 February 2014

Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885 -1950

This past week a large collection of records was added to that should be very beneficial to many with Jewish ancestry. The collection, Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950, includes over 2.2 million images of marriages certificates from various Pennsylvania counties. The collection is name search able and provides some incredible information.
I did a search for a marriage that I knew took place in Pennsylvania in the early 1900's, that of  Nathaniel David Kremer to Effie Bertha Cohen. Using the standard search box at
FamilySearch, I was able to receive the following information.

In addition to the date of the marriage I now know the names of both sets of parents, as well as the estimated dates of births for both the bride and groom. In addition, by clicking on the tab to view the original document it is also possible to see the original Application for Marriage License as well as the Original Marriage License (below).

By being able to view the original documents, we are now able to gain additional information such as the addresses of the bride and groom as well as their occupations. We also now know that the marriage was performed by the Rabbi Louis Silver. This database should be a great access for families in Pennsylvania.