Jacobs of Bristol – Glassmakers

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The question of whether ‘our’ Jacobs are connected to the Jacobs of Bristol crops up from time to time.

As far as we can ascertain, there is no connection.

A number of cousins have looked at this and the clearest information comes from Phil Kirby in his posts on British Genealogy Forum Jewish Roots 10.6.2017. 

Phil kindly summarised the information as shown below:-

See David Jacobs aka Letson c 1726-1809 British Genealogy Forum Jewish Roots 10.6.2017. Gerry and I started to do research to see the Letson name in Germany. You will see some interesting data.

So far, I have seen nothing to link Lazarus Jacobs to our lines. See on JSTOR online ( need to register) Jewish Glass Makers written 1973-75. In her article Zoe Josephs records Lazarus Jacobs as being in Bristol circa 1763. From memory our David Jacobs was in London 1770s or earlier.

We have specific reference to Letson/Litzin in our records but I have seen nothing to identify the parents of Lazarus Jacobs or his siblings. His Coat of Arms identifies Frankfurt am Maine but we have no proof he actually originated from that region.

It is clear from the various articles on Jewish glass making that it tended to be a specialist trade within families and it is possible that the various families were linked through marriages but we have no proof.

From memory there was 1 Letson on Synagogue Scribes we never identified and I wrote to you about this a while ago. We don’t know if that person connected to our lines. 

I have seen no wills so far ( but we don’t have the wills of all our Jacobs assuming they wrote them) that links the Lazarus Jacobs lines to our people nor through marriages. In addition Lazrus Jacobs and his son Isaac married out of the Jewish customs whereas our lines originally did not.

My thoughts are these: 

  1. There is no current data to link the Bristol Jacobs to our Jacobs but that is not to say there is no early relationship. We don’t know enough about his actual birth place/parents/siblings etc
  2. The name Jacobs is often patronomyic but we have Letson as a potential place name whereas Lazarus Jacobs doesn’t other than the Coat of Arms and Frankfurt am Maine. However, that may be his last place of work or living with family and not where they originated from. I have the same in my Crawcour line- Samuel Crawcour saying he came from Frankfurt am Maine in  his earliest trade advertisement in 1773 but the surname and later records show Kracow.
  3. There are no current records which link our line to Lazarus Jacobs or his son Isaac
  4. The pogroms forced Jews to re-settle sometimes quickly and that is likely to explain why Lazarus and  David Letson aka Jacobs moved to the UK

dave

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