Simmonds Family Prayer Book

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May 052018

Simmonds Family Prayer Book

This book, dated 1837, has the inscription “W Simmonds to J L Simmonds”

There is some information about the book on the Blog at Synagogue Scribes: Simmonds Family Prayer Book

Phil Kirby, who is now the proud owner of the book, has kindly contributed 3 pages from the Simmonds Family Prayer Book, along with the following observations.

Wolf Simmonds and his son Judah Lee Simmonds who are recorded in the prayer book appear in the Borough Synagogue records.

Wolf aka William Simmons aka Simmonds was President in 1826/27 and his son Judah Lee an officer in 1867.

Other Simmonds who were in Hamburg and the West Indies sons of Wolf and Eve Jacobs contributed to the Borough New Synagogue.

Phil also has many postings on the British Genealogy Forum in the Jewish Roots section

 Posted by at 8:40 am

Jacobs in Latin America

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Feb 102018

The first Jacobs connection with Latin America that I am aware of is Daniel Jacobs.
He is born, and spends most of his life in England.

However, in 1860 he is living on St. Thomas in what is today the US Virgin Isles, but at the time it was Danish, working as a Clerk.
The family he is living with are called Simmonds and I assume that they are relations of his wife to be. Esther had been on St Thomas since at least 1855

He marries Esther Simmonds in 1862 on St. Thomas.

Daniel and Esther’s daughter Rawner was born there in 1863 and their daughter Sarah in 1865. By 1866 they are in England for the births of Lewis in 1866 and Moses in 1867.

They are back on St Thomas by 1868 when Lewis dies and Benjamin is born there in 1870.

The family all (except Lewis) return to England before 1881. Esther dies in March 1881.

As far as I can see, most of the family remain in England, except for Benjamin.

However there is a Daniel Jacobs of the right age travelling from New York to Liverpool in December 1905. Following this there is a Daniel arriving in St Thomas in 1911.

Daniel’s son, Benjamin, turns up in Guatemala in 1895 and thanks to Lucrecia Peinado I have been able to add some details of the descendants of Daniel and Esther Jacobs in the Virgin Isles and then in Guatemala.

The database has been updated and a new set of photographs added to the Photo Gallery

Lucrecia’s tree on Ancestry can be seen at

One point to note, which confused me a bit, is the change in surnames. Here in the UK we are used to the mother’s surname being given before the father’s.

However Lucrecia clarified it for me:-

In Latin America the father’s last name goes always first, then the mother’s last name. When the woman marries she can, if she wants, use the husband’s last name. It usually comes after her last name preceded by the word «de» meaning «of or from»

Lucrecia has also given me permission to use the photographs from her Ancestry tree and these can be seen in the Guatemalan Jacobs section of the Photo Gallery

New relatives in New Zealand

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Jul 242017

I was recently contacted via the family tree database by Olivia Jameson.

Liv and her family are descendants of Samuel Jacobs who went to NZ via Tasmania and Australia.

Three Jacobs brothers were in NZ in the mid 1860s – details of Samuel can be found on this site :- The Life of Samuel Jacobs

June very kindly sent me some family photographs, these have been added to the Photo Gallery in the New Zealand Jacobs section.


 Posted by at 2:28 pm
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