Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire





Barnstaple and Bideford have both had Jewish communities since about 1760. Between 1760 and 1800 the home of Abraham Ralph, of Barnstaple, was used for synagogue services.

Cheltenham's synagogue was founded in 1849, but its burial ground dates from about 1826. Gloucester synagogue was established in 1792. The earliest recorded burial is dated 1794. This cemetery served Gloucester, Hereford, Ross on Wye and Stroud. The decline in the community in Gloucester probably led to the rise of the community in Cheltenham.

Exeter's Jewish community was re-established (after the great expulsion edict) at the beginning of the 18th Century. A Synagogue was founded in 1763. The small but well-maintained burial ground was opened in 1751. Records of Exeter Jewry can be found in the Susser Archives.

Research Favourites

Bath Jewish Burial Ground-If your relative lived or died in Bath from 1812 to about 1945 you can use this link to see if there are records of them in the historic burial ground just to the south of the city. There are pictures of every gravestone and a transcription of legible inscriptions.

Exeter University Library: This site includes Special Collections, Archive List MS 223 - Trade card collection, 19th century: This small collection contains twenty-nine mounted trade cards for a variety of Devon firms. Most of the firms represented are clockmakers, jewellers, ironmongers, tailors, drapers and dressmakers.

The Devon book and paper trades : a biographical dictionary

Thanks to Eve for the above links.

"The Lost Jews of Cornwall" (Redcliffe Press, reprinted 2000) (Submitted by Michael Sayers)

Bernard Susser: "The Jews of South-West England" are both extremely valuable; moreover, the Susser Archive (which, thanks to Frank Gent, has been put on the web) has a substantial collection of family trees and other material.
In the chapter Early Settlement in his book, The Jews of the South-West of England, Bernard Susser writes:
". . . Nor is [Marazion ... anciently known as Market-Jew] the only town in Cornwall whose name is said to be of Hebraic origin. There is the town of Menheniot, which name, a correspondent to the Jewish Chronicle suggested, is derived from the two Hebrew words, min oniyot, which mean 'from ships'. The current pronunciations of the name  of the Cornish town of Mousehole as 'Muzzle' might also be influenced by Hebrew, as 'Muzzle' is the homonym of the Hebrew word meaning 'luck. It might be objected that the apparent Hebrew origins of the names of these towns is due to mere coincidence. It is known, however, that in the nineteenth century the cryptic Hebrew expression Makom Lamed (= 'L(ondon) place') coined by local Jews when referring to London, passed into general Cornish usage."
[thanks to Eve for this]

Copyright by Sherry Landa & British-Jewry. All rights reserved.
This document last modified Monday, 24-Jul-2023 14:59:44 BST

New Jewish Small Communities:
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