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German SIG



Contact: German Special Interest Group Convenor Jeanette Rosenberg by phone (see your JGSGB membership list for details) or Email

Are you researching German-speaking ancestors? Would you like to start, but don't know where to begin or have you reached a 'brick wall' or just want to share information?

Novices, intermediate and experienced researchers are all welcome at the German Special Interest Group of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain.

Please feel free to contact me if you need assistance with any aspect of your German Jewish Genealogy. I may not always have the answer but I might just know someone who does!

About this SIG:
Like our sister Special Interest Group at JewishGen, GERSIG, our coverage includes other German-speaking areas such as Austria, parts of Switzerland, Alsace, Lorraine, Bohemia and Moravia.

The JGSGB German Special Interest Group meets quarterly, we have over 100 members with a core group of about 20 who attend meetings regularly

If you would like to find out more about the Group, please get in touch - because new members are always welcome! Remember you don't have to attend meetings or to live in London to be a member!

Whether you want to volunteer or only want to share information, do get in touch.

Places to Visit:

1. UK

Wiener Library
29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP
Tel 020 7636 7247
Please contact them first! For more information visit

2. USA

Center for Jewish History USA
15 West 16 Street, New York, NY 10011 USA
Tel +212-294-8313

The Genealogy Institute offers a wealth of resources to help explore and discover your family history. You can contact the Genealogy Institute by e-mail, or pay a visit while in New York. The Centre's website contains a virtual exhibit on the genealogical resources, genealogy fact sheets, a section on frequently asked questions and much more. Constituent members of particular interest are:

Leo Baeck Institute USA
15 West 16th Street NY NY 10011 USA
Tel +212 744 6400 Fax +212 988 1305

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 USA
Library and archive of data from Yiddish-speaking lands.
Tel + 212 246 6080

3. Germany

The Central Archives for Research on the History of the Jews in Germany
Zentralarchiv Bienenstr. 5 69117 Heidelberg Germany
Tel: +49-(0)6221/164141 Fax: +49-(0)6221/181049 

The German Center for Genealogy [Deutsche Zentralstelle für Genealogie]
Postfach 04002 04109 Leipzig Germany

Useful Books for German Jewish Research

Bentz Edna M. If I Can You Can Decipher Germanic Records (24th ed. November 1999) ISBN: 0961542004 San Diego USA

Dietz Alexander, Mordy Isobel (ed.) (1988) The Jewish Community of Frankfurt - A Genealogical Study from 1349-1849 Edward Goldsmith of Vanderher Publications Cornwall UK

Ellmann-Krüger Angelika G. with Luft Edward David Library Resources for German-Jewish Genealogy.1992 Avotaynu NY USA

Elon Amos, (2004) The Pity of it All: A portrait of the Jews in Germany 1743-1933, Penguin Books, London, England

Manx National Heritage (1994) Living with the Wire: Civilian Internment in the Isle of Man during the two World Wars. Manx National Heritage, Douglas

Rose Emily C, (2001) Portraits of Our Past - Jews of the German Countryside. The Jewish Publications Society, Philadelphia USA. See review in Shemot.

Skyte, Thea and Schoenberg, Randol and Wenzerul Rosemary, eds. Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Germany & Austria. 2001 JGSGB

Thode Ernest German-English Genealogical Dictionary 1992 Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. ISBN 0806313420.

Thode Ernest. Address Book for Germanic Genealogy. 6th Ed. 1997 Genealogical Publishing, USA

Towey Peter, Tracing Your German Ancestors (An Introduction to). Federation of Family History Societies & Anglo-German Family History Society. Bury Lancashire UK ISBN 1860060935

Uncapher Wendy K Lands of the German Empire and Before 2000 Origins Janesville WI USA


There are absolutely hundreds of websites of use to people researching their ancestors in Germany, but these are a few of the more useful ones:

Portal to many former communities

Anglo-German Family History Society

Austria-Czech Sig

German Genealogy Home Page
This is a great site for those starting or continuing their German genealogical research. The list of frequently asked questions is an excellent place for beginners to start.

German Jewish Special Interest Group (GERSIG)
Their purpose is to present and preserve genealogical information about the Jewish communities in German-speaking regions and to trace ancestors and better understand
the lives they led. Their coverage includes other German-speaking areas such as Austria, parts of Switzerland, Alsace, Lorraine, Bohemia and Moravia.

Letter to the Stars
Austria Holocaust website

Leo Online Translation Service
English German and German English translations

Old German Professions, Occupations and Illnesses
translated from German into English language