Highlands and Lowlands


Two views of Edinburgh

Scotland's first synagogue was built in Edinburgh and opened in 1816, with a cemetery opening in 1820. Glasgow has had Jewry since the 1790s but it wasn't until 1823 when the first synagogue opened and 1832 for the first cemetery. These two cities remain the main dwelling places of today's Scottish Jews. There are/were small Jewish communities in Ayr, Dunfermline, Falkirk, Greenock and Inverness.

Research Favourites

Harvey Kaplan is Director of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre at Garnethill Synagogue, 127 Hill Street, Glasgow.  Searching records by appointment on Friday mornings, otherwise by arrangement.   Harvey has compiled the Historical Database of Scottish Jewry, with records of over 20,000 Jews in Scotland pre 1945,  and will search these.  His fees are very reasonable and he will do a preliminary search beforehand. Contact Harvey at  harvey@hkaplan.freeserve.co.uk

"Another source which I have had success with is  Poor Relief Applications for Glasgow which can be searched by Des Garrity. He will do a search to see if the person you are researching has submitted an application and if there is one then for a charge he will photocopy the information (can be 3 pages) and forward it to you. Another source is the The Glasgow Hebrew Society, 222 Fenwick Road, Giffnock, Glasgow G46 6UE. Another great source of information on Lithuanian Jews in Scotland is John Millar.   There was a sizeable community in Bellshill, Lanarkshire and they worked in the mines.    John has a wealth of information about them and has written a book called Lithuanians in Scotland. And don't forget The Mitchell Library, in Glasgow.   They have a great website and the librarians in the research rooms are extremely helpful. They also have a very efficient e-mail communication." (All the above was submitted by Carole)

Scotland has a lot of records on line, for a fee you can search but it's cheaper to order in person from the Record Office in Edinburgh. See this URL to start you off: www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk  This website has the 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses on, but not the earlier ones. You do have to pay for the records on this website. It is 6.00 a time, you get 30 credits and it lasts for 168 consecutive hours. If you have any credits remaining after that time, you can latch on to them by paying another 6.00. It is a good site in many ways as you can print off the certificates instead of paying 7.00 for them and you know exactly what you are getting. But we wonder if people with few queries could share credits in some way. [Some of the above information was supplied by Theresa Stewart based on her own research and the help she received from other list members when she queried Scottish research]

Harvey suggests you read some of these:                                                                                                              

Brook, S: The Club-the Jews of Modern Britain, London, 1989 (chapter on Glasgow)
Collins, Dr KE: Second City Jewry: the Jews of Glasgow in the Age of Expansion, 1790-1919, Glasgow, 1990
Collins, Dr KE (ed): Aspects of Scottish Jewry; Glasgow, 1987
Collins, Dr KE: Be Well!: Jewish Immigrant Health & Welfare in Glasgow 1860-1914 (2002)
Collins, Dr KE: Go and Learn: the International Story of Jews and Medicine in Scotland; Aberdeen, 1988
Collins, Dr KE: Scotland's Jews - A Guide to the History and Community of the Jews in Scotland; Glasgow, 1999
Conn, A (ed): Serving Their Country- Wartime Memories of Scottish Jews, Glasgow, 2002
Daiches, Prof David: Two Worlds - An Edinburgh Jewish Childhood, Sussex, 1957
Daiches, Prof David: Was - A Pastime from Time Past; London, 1975
Edward, Mary: Who Belongs to Glasgow? - 200 Years of Migration, Glasgow, 1993, (chapter on Glasgow Jewry)
Hutt, C & Kaplan, HL (eds): A Scottish Shtetl - Jewish Life in the Gorbals, 1880-1974; Glasgow, 1984
Kaplan, HL: "Odyssey", Shemot, Spring, 1993
Kaplan, HL:  "Four Photographs Solve a Mystery", Shemot, 2/4, October, 1994
Kaplan, H L:  "Jewish Cemeteries in Scotland", Avotaynu, Vol.VII No 4, Winter 1991
Kaplan, H L: " North of the Border: Jewish Monuments in Scotland",  "The Future of
Jewish Monuments in the British Isles-Conference Abstracts", 13; October, 1991
Kaplan, H L: "Passage to America through Scotland" in Avotaynu, Vol V, No 4, Winter 1989
Kay, Billy: Odyssey - Voices from Scotland's Recent Past, The Second Collection (chapter on Glasgow Jewry), Edinburgh, 1982
Levy, Abraham: The Origins of Glasgow Jewry, 1812-1895; Glasgow, 1949
Levy, A: The Origins of Scottish Jewry, JHSE, 1958
Phillips, Abel: A History of the Origins of the First Jewish Community in Scotland: Edinburgh, 1816; Edinburgh, 1979
Reisz, Matthew:  "Glasgow"; Chapter 8 of: Europe's Jewish Quarters; London, 1991
Scottish Annual Reunion of Kinder: Recollections of Child Refugees from 1938
to the Present, Glasgow, 1999

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Revised: 04/24/05 10:16:26 +0100.