Philip Jacobs (c. 1771 – 18- Wife

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This is an update on a 2014 post.

To date we have never been able to identify a wife for Philip.

Back in 2014 I was contacted by Anne Piccoli asking me if I thought his wife was Wilmot Gilbert as reported on two Ancestry Trees.

Anne was sceptical about the claim, especially as the surname was Jacob not Jacobs and I was in agreement with her.

Today, the number of Ancestry trees with this connection is 93!!

To me, this smacks of the Ancestry disease, whereby people (often newcomers to Family History) assume that because it is on an Ancestry tree it must be true and blindly copy it without doing their own verification.

I have decided to try and see if I can effectively debunk this idea.


I have looked at the information cited on the various trees, and information which is known on the Jacobs Tree website and tree.

Ancestry Tree Citations

  1. The majority of the Ancestry trees cite Banns and Parish Marriage entries.
    1. Phillip Jacob and Wilmot Gilbert
    2. Dates in Dec 1793 & Jan 1794
  2. A Land Tax Return from 1811
    1. Philip Jacobs, Newman Street
  3. Will Extract dated 1845
    1. This clearly lists his occupation as Glass and General Merchant
    2. Lists his siblings and children
  4. England & Wales BMD Death Index
    1. 1845 JAS Shoreditch 2 276

My Responses

  1. Banns & Marriage
    1. The name is given as Jacob rather than Jacobs. Whilst not definitive in this one incidence, at all other times it is always Jacobs.
    2. I find it inconceivable that he would have ‘married out’ at this time. Other descendants did leave the Jewish faith, but much later on.
      1. See 3c below.
  1. Land Tax Return
    1. I believe that this may well be a Land Tax Return for Philip, son of David.
  2. Will Extract
    1. I have a copy of the full will, not just an extract.
    2. Unfortunately there is no mention of a wife in the will.
    3. However, there are two definite references to Synagogues
      1. He wishes to be buried in the burial grounds of the Great Synagogue
      2. He bequeaths money to both the Great Synagogue and the New Synagogue.
    4. Children
      1. The only child I can find for Wilmot & Philip is a daughter in 1795

It is my believe that the information both for and against the Wilmot Gilbert theory is greatly on the side of his wife not being Wilmot Gilbert.

It would appear to me that the only information offered for Wilmot as the wife, other than that which I have, is the Parish Marriage and I find this completely incompatible with the family being Jewish.


  1. The two main pieces of evidence are the marriage banns and the parish marriage entry.
    1. The Banns

2. The Marriage entry

  1. These two documents support each other perfectly.
  2. Unfortunately at the time it was not common to record the name of the fathers so this information is not available.
  3. Likewise no indication of age is given. Philip, son of David would have been about 23 at this time.
  4. Note however that his surname is consistently Jacob and not Jacobs
  1. Land Tax Records – St Marylebone – 1811
    1. This shows an entry for Philip Jacobs in Newman Street. (Jacobs is on Page 14 and the index implies that this is Newman Street)

Whilst I don’t have any information to corroborate this, I think that this could be correct for Philip, son of David – note Jacobs rather than Jacob.

  1. Will
    1. Philip made his will in 1843, two years before his death.
    2. There is no mention of his wife.
    3. However he makes two distinct references to Synagogues
      1. First it is my will and desire that my body be interred in the (burial) ground of the Great Synagogue situate in the Whitechapel Road in the County of Middlesex

      2. I also give and bequeath the sum of ten pounds free from (?) duty [some kind of estate tax?] to the trustees of the Great Synagogue situate in Dukes Place Aldgate in the City of London and a like sum of ten pounds free from (same) duty to the trustees of the New Synagogue in Great Saint Helens Street in the said City of London for the use of the said respective synagogues