SA Jewish Rootsbank

The South African Jewish Database

Jewish Migration and Genealogy

About the Register

The names and various other pieces of information about each new arrival to the Shelter were recorded by hand in a series of Registers. As each Register was filled, another was started. The entries were kept fairly systematically, and these Registers are the source of the data in the Database. There are altogether some 25 "main" volumes and five "supplementary" volumes.

Entries from the first 13 main Registers, numbered 1 to 13, which were in use during the period 1896 to 1914, have been captured into the Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter Database at the University of Leicester, under the direction of Prof. Aubrey Newman. The total number of persons covered in the Database exceeds 43,000.

The series of Registers continues on into the 1980’s, with Registers numbered 14 - 25, but the interest of the University of Leicester research project ends with the commencement of the First World War in 1914. Throughout that period the Shelter was located in Leman Street, London.

There are four gaps in the record due to missing register volumes which are presumed to have been lost in Mansell Street when the building in which they were stored was bombed during World War II. One of these gaps - from 24 June 1905 to 28 November 1907 - falls in the period covered by the Poor Jews’ Temporary Shelter Database.

Table 1 below shows the periods covered by each of the 13 Registers in the Database.

Table 1Periods covered by the Register Volumes
129 May 18969 Jul 1897
212 Jul 189721 Apr 1899
321 Apr 189928 Jun 1900
429 Jun 190031 Oct 1901
51 Nov 190119 Dec 1902
619 Dec 190230 Oct 1903
71 Nov 190330 Oct 1904
814 Aug 190426 Dec 1904
927 Dec 190423 Jun 1905
1029 Nov 190728 Sep 1909
1128 Sep 19095 Sep 1910
125 Sep 191027 Nov 1911
1331 Jul 191311 Sep 1914

The Supplementary Registers

In addition to the 13 main Registers, five so-called supplementary registers have been found which, for unknown reasons, duplicate or partially duplicate some of the entries in the main registers. These supplementary registers have been numbered 2a, 3a,...,6a.

Dr. Smith is studying the occurrence of these duplications and trying to understand why these supplementary registers were kept. Table 2 shows the periods covered by the supplementary registers.

Table 2Periods covered by the Supplementary Register Volumes
2a1 Nov 189713 Dec 1898
3a13 Dec 18981 Dec 1899
4a1 Dec 18997 Jul 1900
5a1 Jul 190210 Oct 1902
6a1 Jan 190324 Feb 1903