The Knowles Collection

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Jewish Genealogy  > Knowles Collection

Introduction to The Knowles Collection[edit | edit source]

Over 40 years ago, Todd Knowles began the search for his Great-Great Grandfather, a Polish Jew. The quest to learn more has led to research in major historical Jewish communities worldwide. The information gathered quickly became more than just records of his family. These records became the Knowles Collection.

Description[edit | edit source]

The Knowles Collection is six databases that include records of the Jewish people. The six databases are:

The great advantage of the Knowles Collection is that it links together into family groups, thousands of individual Jews (over 1,436,000 as of May 2021). Until now, many of these records were available only at the Family History Library, or from private archives or individuals.

Current totals for the Knowles Collection (as of 18 November 2021)

  • Africa and the Orient - 43,682 people
  • British Isles -  228,619 people
  • Europe -  479,775 people
  • North America -  641,424 people
  • South America and the Caribbean - 21,453 people
  • South Pacific Islands - 21,684

Updates about the collection, and helpful clues for research can be found at

This record contains[edit | edit source]

  • Surname and forenames (continually being added)
  • Links to ancestors
  • Dates where available
  • Places where available
  • Source citations where available
  • Notes where available

Before using this record know[edit | edit source]

  • Name of person to search for
  • Approximate year of birth
  • Where the person lived

Where to access the collection[edit | edit source]

Search this collection through tips included at the Knowles Collection blog.

How to search the record[edit | edit source]

  • Search by the name of your ancestor
  • View the sources
  • View the notes

Tips[edit | edit source]

It is possible that as families moved throughout the world they found themselves in the records of different countries. Therefore, it is wise to check multiple database for your ancestors.

The collection is constantly being added to, so it should be checked at regular intervals.