International Jewish Cemetery Project - Scotland
For Community Information, see also Edinburgh on JCR-UK.
Dundee Central Library has Gravestone Inscriptions from Jewish Cemeteries compiled in 1953 by Sidney Cramer, a member of the Scottish Genealogy Society. Cramer transcribed Hebrew and English, details from some 260 tombstones in Jewish cemeteries in Edinburgh and Dundee. The list of 29 burials in the oldest Jewish cemetery in Scotland-Braid Place, Edinburgh-can be compared with the list offered by Abel Phillips in his book, A History of the Origins of the First Jewish Community in Scotland-Edinburgh 1816 (1979). Cramer's list, in some cases, gives additional details of names and dates. *Burial Registers are held by Mr. J. Riffkin, Recorder, c/o The Synagogue, 4 Salisbury Rd., Edinburgh EH16 5AA; source: Scottish Jewish Archive Center list of burials, 127 Hill St. Glasgow G36UB United Kingdom supplied by Harvey L. Kaplan, MA, 1/L 11 Millwood St. Glasgow, G41 3JY
I have photocopied Mr. Cramer's manuscript records of Scottish Jewish gravestones that are in the library of the Scottish Genealogy Society (SGS, of which I am a council member). I have begun to check Mr. Cramer's records against the stones that are now visible. I photographed all the readable stones at Newington Cemetery and started on the stones at Piershill Cemetery where there are around 1200 plots. Mr. Cramer only did the earlier stones. I have asked for funding for the completion of the photography (about 190 UK pounds) and am waiting on a reply. Mr. Cramer's records did not always have the whole text of the gravestone. He wrote in cursive, some of which a bit difficult to read (also like my Hebrew cursive!) I also want to double-check everything. For instance, I found a stone from the 1920s from Newington that I cannot find in Cramer (unless it is misplaced). Once I collate all the photos with Mr. Cramer's records and produce maps, I will begin to type up the Hebrew and English text and then attempt a preliminary translation of the Hebrew. I presented this project to the committee of the SGS and await their comments at the next council meeting. I envisage finishing the photography of the stones by the end of this year  and the typing up by the end of next summer. By 2001, I trust I will have finished the translation and indexing and will have incorporated the fresh burials up to then from all the Jewish internments in Edinburgh. The SGS also plans to film all the lair and burial records of all Edinburgh cemeteries in the next few years so that we can make a start on getting our volunteers to transcribe and type them up. Then, I will scan them and import them into Word for indexing. I should be able to include all the Jewish lair records, even where they do not have a stone, into my work. Source: Karl Ian Ransome, 4 Cleekim Road, Edinburgh, EH15 3HU Scotland, UK
- Braid Place Cemetery aka Sciennes House Place: 8 Braid Place was used 1790-1867 - 29 burials; (SJAC) source: list of burials at Scottish Jewish Archive Center, 127 Hill St. Glasgow G36UB United Kingdom supplied by Harvey L. Kaplan, MA, 1/L 11 Millwood St. Glasgow, G41 3JY.
Oldest Jewish cemetery in Edinburgh. Oldest tombstone may date from 1832. Sciennes House Place (formerly Braid Place Cemetery): "In 1816 a piece of land was purchased in Braid Place (now Sciennes House Place) and became the first Jewish Cemetery in Scotland. Dr. Daiches in his account, The Jew in Scotland mentions that in the early years Glasgow Jews brought their dead to Braid Place for burial until they acquired a burial place of their own. The cemetery is small, with about 29 headstones, and is situated between a tenement and a disused police station. ... When the cemetery became full a portion of land was acquired in Echo Bank Cemetery (now Newington Cemetery) and when that too became fully utilized the Jewish community purchased a piece of ground in Piershill Cemetery." Source Alan Wilson [November 30, 2000]
- Calton Hill Cemetery: has tombstone dated 1790.
"In 1795, the Town Council sold a plot of ground on the Calton Hill to Hermon Lyon, a Jewish dentist, to provide a burial place for himself and his family. In 1816, a synagogue was opened at 4 Salisbury Road, and a cemetery acquired." Source: The Jewish Travel Guide. London: Jewish Chronicle, 1992.
- Echobank Cemetery: a.k.a. Newington Cemetery: Sciennes Hse. Pl., E9 (behind the police station in Causewayside). Used 1860s - c1918; source: Scottish Jewish Archive Center list of burials, 127 Hill St. Glasgow G36UB United Kingdom supplied by Harvey L. Kaplan, MA, 1/L 11 Millwood St. Glasgow, G41 3JY.
. Cramer's* record of 130 burials in Echobank (Newington) Cemetery, Edinburgh (1869-1945) is the only list extant. Those buried here include Rosetta Defries (born in Amsterdam in 1778; died in Edinburgh in December 1869) as well as the rabbi for 40 years up to 1918, Jacob Furst and his wife.
"Newington was allowed to fall into disrepair until the city council was forced to step in and place a compulsory purchase order on it. In places the vegetation is so thick that it is impossible to walk and in the few areas that have been cleared it appears that some headstones have also been tidied away. Near the entrance on Dalkeith Road is the Jewish section, this became the main Jewish burial ground in Edinburgh once the cemetery in Sciennes House Place was full. When Newington became fully utilised a plot of ground was purchased at Piershill Cemetery." Source; Alan Wilson [November 30, 2000]
- Newington Cemetery: see Echobank Cemetery
- Piershill Cemetery: World War I to date with more than 1,000 Jewish burials in Jewish section. Source: Scottish Jewish Archive Center list of burials, 127 Hill St. Glasgow G36UB United Kingdom supplied by Harvey L. Kaplan, MA, 1/L 11 Millwood St. Glasgow, G41 3JY,
. Also see: Avotaynu, Winter 1995, p.57; submitted by Dan Orzech. About 1200 graves.
"Piershill is an unremarkable cemetery (from a photographic viewpoint), the majority of the headstones being 20th century and all looking very similar. There were however two things which interested me here, the grave of The Great Lafayette and the very crowded Jewish section ... This is the third Jewish graveyard in Edinburgh, Piershill being used once Sciennes House Place and then Newington became full." Source: Alan Wilson [November 30, 2000]
- http://www.jgsgb.ort.org/bury03.htm has additional information. [December 2000]