Author Topic: Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.  (Read 2734 times)

Offline LizzieW

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Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.
« on: Tuesday 25 February 20 11:17 GMT (UK) »
Thanks to DNA testing, I have been in touch with a 4th cousin in USA who was happy to give me information about his parents and grandparents.  I did a bit of research and was able to give him some further information for which he was grateful.  However, I've now started tracing both sides of his family backwards even further to try to find someone who was a parent of my g.grandfather (born about 1858).  Oh dear, each family had about 12 children each.  As I suspected they are Jewish - I have researched all the other branches of my tree and g.grandfather is the only unknown and the only one who could possibly have Jewish blood.  I was told by my aunt that she thought his mother's name was Da Costa.

Of course, many of the births aren't registered - not sure whether that is because they were Jewish or because around the time of their births late 1830s-mid 1850s they just didn't bother. I'm looking for someone who was old enough to have a child in 1858 which means, of course, that they were probably born before birth registration started.  As they won't have been baptised in the Church of England, their names won't be in the Parish records so all I can go from are the census.

I have written to other DNA matches, who also match with the man in USA, one of whom is a 3rd cousin who could have been very helpful but, unfortunately, they haven't responded. 

I can see this is going to be a long haul before I get to the bottom of my g.grandfather's origins, if I ever do.

Does anyone know if there are any Jewish records on line that might be of some help to me?

Offline Milliepede

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Re: Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 25 February 20 11:33 GMT (UK) »
Quote
to try to find someone who was a parent of my g.grandfather (born about 1858)

Can't help with Jewish records but was he born in the UK? 

Who is he with on census, did he name a father when he married?
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Offline nanny jan

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Re: Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 25 February 20 12:02 GMT (UK) »
You might find this site useful:

https://www.jewishgen.org/new/
Howard , Viney , Kingsman, Pain/e, Rainer/ Rayner, Barham, George, Wakeling (Catherine), Vicary (Frederick)   all LDN area/suburbs  Ottley/ MDX,
Henman/ KNT   Gandy/LDN before 1830  Burgess/LDN
Barham/SFK   Rainer/CAN (Toronto) Gillians/CAN  Sturgeon/CAN (Vancouver)
Bailey/LDN Page/KNT   Paling/WA (var)



All census look-ups are crown copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline LizzieW

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Re: Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 25 February 20 12:13 GMT (UK) »
This is probably going to be a bit muddled but I'll just type things as they come into my head. ::)

Well according to all census from when he got together with my g.grandmother he was born in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, London (various combinations of that on various census).  He and my g.grandmother never married - or if they did no-one has been able to find a marriage cert.  My g.gran had been married before and her 1st husband was apparently lost at sea, this info on his youngest daughter's birth certificate in 1878 - but I can't find any evidence of his drowning but nor can I find a death for him in the UK anytime up to when he would have been about 120, so we have to assume he was lost at sea.  I don't know why my g.grandparents didn't marry, perhaps g.gran didn't want to marry again, or perhaps she wasn't sure her 1st husband was lost at sea, or maybe g.grandfather was already married, or perhaps just because he was of Jewish descent or maybe because he was 15 years younger than g.grandmother.  Who knows but no marriage cert, no father's name.

Years ago, many Rootschatters tried to help me find him but nothing turned up.  He called himself George William Wright.  My gran, his eldest daughter was born in 1884 in Hull.  G.grandfather was a fisherman until at least 1893 when his youngest son was born but by 1901 he had a large tobacconist/confectioners shop on Hessle Road (there's a carpark there now for a local supermarket).

On the 1881 census my g.gran describes herself as a widow aged 32 - I wonder if she had already met by g.grandfather by then as her real age was 38.  On the previous census she gave her age as 25 when she was 28 even though she was with her 1st husband who must have known her correct age.  I have her birth certificate so I know her actual age. 

By 1891 g.grandfather is on the census with her and their 2 children, plus 3 children from her 1st marriage, plus a granddaughter the illegitimate daughter of her eldest daughter.  By 1901 the family consisted of my g.grandparents, their 3 children (including my gran) and g.grandmother's granddaughter - who was also the 1/2 sister aunt of my gran although a year younger so they grew up as sisters.

There are trees on Ancestry who show his parents but they are wrong.  A direct descendant of my g.grandfather's "supposed mother" did a DNA test as I did and there was no match.  Not a surprise to me because I knew the information on Ancestry was wrong.  This man has now deleted the wrong info from his tree, but even though I wrote to the other tree owners, I don't think they've deleted my ancestors from their trees.

My aunt (my dad's sister) said that g.grandfather's mother was called Da Costa but her eldest sister burned her photograph and all paperwork relating to my g.grandfather when my gran died, saying "We don't want to be bothered with all that".  I guess they knew there were Jewish ancestors but didn't want to believe it, especially as it was only 1951 when my gran died so information about the concentration camps etc. would just have been known.

When my parents married, someone asked my maternal gran if my mum was marrying into a Jewish family so, obviously, people already thought they were Jewish.  We were always told the ancestors had come from Spain or Portugal, but so far I've only traced a man born in Holland in 1813.  The other interesting thing is that although my dad didn't mention Da Costa as a name he did say that his g.grandfather's ancestors were cigar manufacturers and the ones I've traced so far (from the information given to me by my 4th cousin in USA) is that many of them were cigar manufacturers.

My feeling is that g.grandfather was illegitimate and was either taken in by a family called Wright, or he changed his name as an adult.  I have seen records of him from Hull archives as a fisherman and done research on the vessels he sailed on but haven't got any further in finding his birth.  I did find a Mate's certificate but, unlike many others, it only gave his place of birth as London, rather than an address and no date of birth.  From census I've assumed he was born in 1858 and when he died in June 1935 his son gave his age as 77 which fits.

Clear as mud!!

Thank you nanny jan, I'll see what I can find on there.


Offline nanny jan

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Re: Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 25 February 20 12:22 GMT (UK) »
My sympathies.....I have a similar problem.  My avatar is my gt. grandpa but he never married gt.grandma. I was told he was from a Russian Jewish family when I was in my teens (a very long time ago).
All I knew was the name he used, that he was disowned by his family after taking up with gt.grandma, and that grandpa's family were sometimes visited by "Uncles Solly and David", who were connected with the fur trade in London. That is all my grandpa (first born) told me. 
My DNA test revealed 6% Ashkenazi....so my grandpa was right on that point!  Yes, I have tried looking for a Solly or David working in London in the fur trade.....there's quite a few.  ;D
Howard , Viney , Kingsman, Pain/e, Rainer/ Rayner, Barham, George, Wakeling (Catherine), Vicary (Frederick)   all LDN area/suburbs  Ottley/ MDX,
Henman/ KNT   Gandy/LDN before 1830  Burgess/LDN
Barham/SFK   Rainer/CAN (Toronto) Gillians/CAN  Sturgeon/CAN (Vancouver)
Bailey/LDN Page/KNT   Paling/WA (var)



All census look-ups are crown copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline LizzieW

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Re: Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 25 February 20 12:53 GMT (UK) »
It's like looking for a needle in a haystack.  At least from my contact with the man in USA, I now know a little bit about my ancestors, but which is the direct line I have yet to determine.  I do wish my 3rd cousin would answer my message to him, that might help me determine which branch I should be following from my 4th cousin.  Why do people have their DNAs done if not to connect with their relations?

I did have a theory some years ago. On the 1871 census I came across an Ellen da Costa born 1829, who had a friend called Emma Wright born 1828.  She is actually shown as friend on the census which is quite unusual.  Anyway my theory was that as Ellen and Emma were obviously close friends, Emma would have introduced Ellen to her family which included a brother called George Wright.  Now putting 2 and 2 together and making 5, I thought maybe Ellen got pregnant by her friend's brother and my g.grandfather was the result.  ::) ::)  Of course, I've no proof of this and I've yet to find any connection with the people I've found so far. 

Offline Annette7

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Re: Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 25 February 20 14:20 GMT (UK) »
Looking at a tree on Ancestry is your George William Wright the man who served in the Royal Navy from 1878 until 1888?   It's just that this George William Wright appears to 'disappear' after 1881 (when serving on the 'Achilles') and when your George William 'emerges' in 1891??

(By the way, it's only the last census that states Bethnal Green as birthplace - 1891 and 1901 just state London).

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Offline LizzieW

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Re: Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 25 February 20 15:09 GMT (UK) »
Quote
Looking at a tree on Ancestry is your George William Wright the man who served in the Royal Navy from 1878 until 1888?

I don't think so.  Is there any information about where this man was born?

All I know is that he was a fisherman and in 1888 was on a ship called Gratitude sailing out of Hull and in 1890 was part owner of one called Pioneer whose register closed in 1893.  I have a half 2nd cousin once removed (descended from the youngest daughter of my g.gran by her 1st marriage!) whose grandfather worked with my gran's brother in Hull and so they knew him and knew he'd been a fisherman before opening the shop on Hessle Road.  There is a query about where he got the money from to open a large shop as his wife was a washerwoman and he was a fisherman. There is a suggestion from my half 2nd cousin's family that he owned/part owned a ship that was wrecked and he got compensation money.  When he died in 1935 his assets only amounted to 100.  The half 2nd cousin's family have said that he was a very generous man and that as the ship was near the fish docks he used to give cigarettes and tobacco for next to nothing or free, to his mates.  I don't know what happened to the shop, we did find out purely by chance that an Indian family had bought it in the 1960s, but what happened between 1935 and 1960ish I have no idea.  There is nothing in his will apart from he left all his assets to his youngest son to be dealt with as he thought fit or words to that effect.

Yes, I know it is only one census which states Bethnal Green, but as he completed that form I guess he decided to put the exact place rather than just London or Middlesex.  I'm waiting for the 1921 census to see if there is any more info on there. 

Offline LizzieW

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Re: Still searching for g.grandfather's origins. He was probably Jewish.
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 25 February 20 15:15 GMT (UK) »
I see there is a tree on Ancestry that has George William Wright born on 25 February 1858, married to two American women (not at the same time) and dying in 1930, yet the 1911 census they show is of my George William Wright and he certainly didn't die until 1935. 

There's also one showing his parents as Henry Wright and Priscilla Galliers.  That is also wrong, that is the one where a direct descendant of Priscilla Galliers did an Ancestry DNA and there was no match with my DNA.  Some of these trees on Ancestry are just a work of fiction. ::)