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Ski
10-16-2016, 02:32 AM
Hello all,

According to family lore, I am descended from a family of English Jews by the name of Goodman, I believe from Cornwall. At least one member of the family emigrated to the States right around the time of the Civil War. I want to trace this line back as far as I can, and I am looking for information on the Jewish community in England. Is the majority Ashkenazi or Sephardic? Also, how much information are synagogues likely to retain, and how accurate or precise can I expect any information to be?

A Norfolk L-M20
10-16-2016, 10:55 AM
I'm afraid that I don't really know a lot about the subject, except that the Jews were expelled from England during the late 13th Century, and that the expulsion I understand was in effect until the 17th Century. Previously, hostilities here in East Anglia had lead to a series of attacks on Jews in the City of Norwich. If your Jewish ancestors did come from Cornwall, they most likely moved there from the Continent after the 17th Century. A quick internet search does indeed reveal a pretty early synagogue in Cornwall, that could relate to your family:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falmouth_Synagogue

Edit: You might find this report interesting. It looks as though the Falmouth synagogue closed in by 1890:

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/cornwall_news/11244622.Falmouth_Synagogue_artefact_returned_to_J ewish_community_after_more_than_a_century/

and this: there is still a Jewish cemetery there:

http://www.iajgsjewishcemeteryproject.org/england/falmouth-cornwall.html

But no inscriptions of Goodman there:

http://www.cemeteryscribes.com/search.php?mylastname=GOODMAN&lnqualify=equals&mybool=AND

Jean M
10-16-2016, 01:42 PM
According to family lore, I am descended from a family of English Jews by the name of Goodman, I believe from Cornwall. At least one member of the family emigrated to the States right around the time of the Civil War.

Jews arrived in Cornwall from Germany in the eighteenth century. See Bernard Susser, The Jews of South-west England: The Rise and Decline of Their Medieval and Modern Communities (University of Exeter Press 1993).

AJL
10-16-2016, 02:54 PM
There were both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews in England but "Goodman" suggests Ashkenazi and specifically with German origins (probably from Gutmann, Goldmann, or similar). The name goes along with Jean's finding.

Scarlet Ibis
10-16-2016, 03:47 PM
I am descended from UK Goodmans, but they weren't Jewish. I can't help with history, but I [i]might[/b] be able to find someone to contact who might be related to you through that line. Have you been able to find one of the Goodmans to participate in the Goodman DNA Project on FTDNA?

Ski
10-17-2016, 03:59 AM
Thank you, all, for your responses. I have been unable to pull up precious little about this branch of the family. Scarlet Ibis, I didn't even look for a project related to the Goodman surname, but now that I know there is one, I will definitely see what I can find.

FredBats
10-26-2016, 06:49 PM
The problem with Jewish surnames is there are plenty of non-Jewish versions. Just because the name may have German origins doesn't mean they were Jewish even so. Goodman actually has quite a tie with Anglo-Saxons. Some variations & origins are goodman as in literal, god's man as in priest, and the old English Guğmund [battle protection].

If you're really curious join the https://www.jewishgen.org/cure/index.asp and see if there's any legit connection.