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Genealogical Research in Israel


Map of IsraelIn Israel, the two main types of archives relevant for genealogy research are: The Municipal & State Archives, and The Holocaust Memorial Archives.

The Municipal & State Archives

These are useful for finding official documents produced during the following periods:


  • 1. The State of Israel (1948 to the present)
  • 2. The British mandate period (from World War 1 to 1948)
  • 3. The Ottoman Empire period [1815/38 - 1918]*


* Note: The earliest documents of this period are from 1815. These documents, however, are from the German Consulate and not from Ottoman officials. 1838 is when British Consulate records start.


Map of IsraelThe State Archive in Jerusalem is the main source for official documentation from any period. It was established in 1949 and its operation is regulated by the Archives Law of 1955.

It should, however, be noted that not all records are open to public access, especially the more recent ones produced by the State of Israel.


What is available includes:

  • Birth, marriage and death certificates
  • Land Registrations
  • Immigration records from before and after the Israeli Declaration of Independence and other records that can come in useful while trying to locate heirs or families.
  • Collections originating with institutions of the Arab community in Palestine during these periods. There are laws that limit the access to private materials though. In some cases a certain period of time has to elapse from the date the document was produced until it is made public.


The Holocaust Memorial Archives

Sovereign Ancestry Lincolnshire - Israel page image 1This primarily deals with the commemoration of the Holocaust and is a good source for tracing the whereabouts, origins and different stops on the way of Jewish families from mid-twentieth century Europe.

These records are available at three main museums:

  • 1. YadVaShem in Jerusalem
  • 2. Ghetto Fighters Museum in Lohamei Hageta'otKibutz
  • 3. BeitHatfutzot museum in Tel Aviv.


BeitHatfutzot Museum in Tel Aviv holds records of thousands of Jewish family trees people have made during their researches. This database is searchable and accessible to researchers at the place, though some archive services may require a fee to be paid.

The Central Archive for the History of the Jewish People holds records of Jewish communities abroad, and is organized geographically according to pre-1939 national borders. It has records, copies and microfilms from European communities, mainly from Germany but also from England, Russia and many other countries.

Sovereign Ancestry Lincolnshire - Israel page image 2In addition to those, there are numerous smaller museums and associations spread across the country, dedicated to different communities and the fate of their members during and after World War 2. Naturally the above is not intended to be exhaustive but gives a general overview to the situation and as always projects are treated on a case by case basis.

We have a highly experienced native researcher based in Tel Aviv fluent in Hebrew & English and with a good working knowledge of French who can access all of the archives one is likely to need in order to conduct genealogical research. His expertise includes researching family trees [genealogy] and locating heirs to estates without a last will, using both online archives and primary sources.

We can also offer his services of putting together and even escorting the descendants' on genealogy tours as well as, where appropriate, helping them locally prove their entitlement lost Estates.