Jewish genealogy includes many challenges that mean more frequent and problematic road blocks for the Jewish genealogist than for the non-Jewish genealogist. The following are some of these challenges:

  • Surnames that pass from father to son were not adopted until the late 1700s and early 1800s.
  • Unrelated paternal lines have adopted the same surnames.
  • Related paternal lines have adopted different surnames.
  • Surnames have been adapted to the country where descendants live today.
  • In many cases, traditional paper trail records are lacking.
  • The Jewish population is endogamous (intermarrying).