The Knowles Collection: the Jews of the British Isles

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Jewish Genealogy  > Knowles Collection

Use this record to find the genealogy of many Jews from the British Isles. The great advantage of the Knowles Collection is that it links together into family groups, thousands of individual Jews (over 82,000 as of July 2010). Until now, these records were available only at the Family History Library through a complex indexing system devised by the late Isobel Mordy whose collection forms the basis of the Knowles Collection.

This record contains

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

Before using this record know

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

Where to access the collection

Link to this collection through Jewish Family History Resources. Look for the section on Knowles Collection. The database was created in Personal Ancestral File (PAF). Select either PAF Format: Knowles Collection or Gedcom Format: Knowles Collection.

If you don't have the PAF software, download it for free by clicking on PAF v5.2 (Personal Ancestral File). If you have another genealogy software program, open the collection by clicking the Gedcom Format link.

How to search the record

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


There are three types of records in the British Isles collection:

  1. Those which were part of the Mordy collection.These have the original Mordy Index numbers included in the Custom ID field, e.g., ML 31.10.52. In the Notes field, each item is categorized under“General Notes”.
  2. Those which have been added by Todd Knowles.In the Notes field, each item is categorized under“Research Notes”.
  3. Items contributed to the site by others, who are acknowledged.