WOOLF and CROSCOMBE Familes


The Woolf family in Exeter

The History of the Jews in Poland (Wikipedia article). It is thought that Isaac Woolf and his family probably came to England from Poland during the period 1790 - 1800.

The Susser Archive. This is the collection of Rabbi Bernard Susser, of records pertaining to a number of Jewish communities in the South-West of England.

Ashkenazi Jews (Wikipedia article).

Naming Patterns, This article by Edwin Lawson gives a brief explanation of surnames, as used by the Jewish communities. It was not until the early 19th century that Jews started to use family names in the way that had become common in the West hundreds of years previously. Each person would be given a "sacred" name as well as a "common", or day-to-day name. Hence Marcus Woolf (who appears in the 1841 census as "Woolf Woolf" and in the 1851 census as "Marcus Woolf") was commemorated as "Ze'ev ben Mordecai" at his death in 1860. I believe that means that his father's name was Mordecai, his "sacred" name was "Ze'ev" (Hebrew for "Wolf") and his "common" name was Marcus. Apart from his death certificate (a civil document), we have not yet found any Jewish records for Isaac Woolf (Michael's father), so we know nothing about his parentage.

Michael Woolf's Army Career

Flyleaves from Mary Ann Woolf's (nee Croscombe) Bible

A Timeline of the Woolf and Croscombe Families

Date Reference Details  
1790-1810 Probable arrival of family in England from Poland.  
1809 Probable date of marriage of Isaac Woolf to Leah. Leah was born in Exeter in about 1791 and would have been a member of the existing Jewish community in the city when Isaac and his family arrived.  
1810 Birth of William Woolf, son of Isaac and Leah, in Exeter (date derived from William's marriage certificate and census records).  
1812   Birth of Myers Woolf, son of Isaac and Leah, in Exeter (date derived Myers' marriage certificate and census records).  
1819   Birth of Henry Woolf at Exeter. He was probably another son of Isaac and Leah  
1821   Birth of Ezekiel Woolf, son of Isaac and Leah, in Exeter (date derived Ezekiel's marriage certificate and census records).  
1825 31st July: Birth of Michael Woolf at Exeter, son of Isaac and Leah  
1829 Birth of Rachel Woolf in Plymouth, daughter os Isaac and Leah  
1833 Birth of Priscilla Woolf in Exeter, daughter of Isaac and Leah  
1838 GRO Marriage Certificate for William Woolf and Ann Levi. The marriage took place at 46 Chapel Street, Plymouth, according to the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish faith.
1840 GRO Death Certificate for Mary Crosscombe in Exeter, 13th november 1840. Mary (nee MacDonald) was the wife of Philip and mother of Mary Ann Crosscombe, Michael Woolf's wife.
1841 HO107/227/10 Census of Brixham, Devon, showing Aaron Wolf, born c.1822.
1841 HO107/725/3 Census of St Botolph, Aldgate, London, showing David Wolf born c.1785
1841 HO107/247/11 Census of Kingsbridge, Devon, showing Jacob Wolf born c.1776, a hawker born abroad. The names Jacob and Isaac were interchangeable in the Jewish community, so this is possibly Michael Woolf's father.
1841 HO107/267/5 Census showing Leah Woolf and children Michael, Rachel and Priscilla living in Prospect Place, Exeter. The "y" in the right-hand column signifies that they were all born in the county of Devon.
1841 HO107/725/3 Census of St Botolph, Aldgate, London showing Michael born c.1771 abroad. As yet we know of no link between Michael and Isaac
1841 HO107/269/6 Census of Plymouth showing Hyman Woolf born c.1826 living in Frankfort Street
1841 HO107/710/11 Census of Splitalfields, London, whosing Isaac Woolf born c.1796 abroad.
1841 HO107/267/8 Census of Exeter showing Moses Woolf, a shopman born c.1823 living in Fore Street. The "n" in the right-hand column signifies that he was not born in Devon, altough he was not born abroad. The names "Moses" and "Moss" were interchangeable in the Jewish community
1841 HO107/274/3 Census of Devonport showing William Wolf, born c.1811, living in Market Street.
1841 HO107/269/6 Census of Plymouth showin Woolf Woolf (born overseas c.1786, a teacher of Hebrew) and his wife Kitty, in Willow Street. In the 1851 census (see below) he was called Marcus Woolf.
1841 HO107/294/9 Census of Lyme Regis, Dorset, showing Ezekiel Woolf (born c.1821, a servant), Michael Woolf (born c.1811, an optician) and Morris Woolf (born c. 1826, an optician). If Ezekiel was the brother of Michael (born Exeter 1825) then who was this Michael Woolf? They were living in Coombe Street at the house of James Reynolds, a vuctualler - it may possibly have been a guest house.
1841 HO107/266/1 Census of Exeter showing Philip Croscombe, tailor, living with his family in Goldsmith Street after the death of his wife Mary.
1845 GRO Marriage certificate for Myers Woolf and Phoebe Abrahams, which took place at 64 Cambridge Street Plymouth according to the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish faith
1846 GRO Marriage Certificate of Ezekiel Woolf to Elizabeth Peyman in Abingdon, 30th March 1846. Note that the marriage took place in the (Christian) parish church, rather than a Jewish synagogue.
1850 GRO Death Certificate for Isaac Woolf, hawker of Exeter, dated 28th January 1850. This gives Isaac's birth date at around 1774.
1851 HO107/1520 Census of Finsbury showing Ezekiel Woolf (b.1821) living with his family at 84 Charles Street
1851 HO107/1868 Census of St Sidwell's, Exeter, showing Henry and George Wolfe staying at the Bullers Arms. George was shown as a travelling stationer, and Henry as a travelling jeweller.
1851 HO107/1525 Census of Whitechapel showing Leah Woolf with her daughters Rachel and Priscilla. This was about a year after Isaac's death, and very shortly before Rachel's marriage to Isaac Moss. Note that Leah was born in Exeter around 1791, which means that she was not part of the group of Jews (which included Isaac) that arrived in Exeter around that time.
1851 HO107/1532 Census of Whitechapel showing Michael Woolf (b.1814) and his wife Rachael. Here Michael is shown as a fruiterer - could this be the same person who was living with Ezekiel in 1841 but noted as an optician?
1851 HO107/1595 Census of Farnham, Surrey showing Myers Woolf (born c.1812) a traveller from Exeter.
1851 HO107/1878 Census showing William Wolf (b.1810, Exeter, a pawnbroker) and his family living in Buckwell Street.
1851 HO107/1869 Census showing Philip Crosscombe, Tailor, living in Mary Arches Street, Exeter
1851 HO107/1879 Census showing Marcus and Kitty Wolf living in Catherin Street, Plymouth. Marcus and Kitty are both noted as having been born in Poland, and were contemporaries of Isaac. Marcus was also a witness at the marriage of William Woolf in 1848.
1851 GRO Marriage of Rachel Woolf (Michael's sister) to Isaac Moss of Whitechapel (Quarter 2 of 1851)  
1854 GRO Marriage of Michael Woolf and Mary Ann Crocombe, 2nd February 1854
1854 GRO 5b/185 Marriage or Philip Crosscombe and Susan Crimp at Exeter (Quarter 3 1854)  
1855 GRO Birth of Priscilla Charlotte Woolf, daughter of Michael and Mary Ann, at Hampton Court  
1857 GRO Marriage of Priscilla Woolf (Michael's sister) to Samual Romaine at Houndsditch (10th March 1857).  
1861 RG9/277 Census showing Samuel and Priscilla Romaine with their daughter Hannah living in Towe Hamlets. Prsiclla was the daughter of Isaac and Leah Woolf.
1861 RG9/2143

Census showing Ezekiel Woolf and his family living in Pershore Street, Birmingham. Ezekiel is shown as a general dealer, but it is clear from th birth places of his children that he travelled (2 pages).

1861 RG9/1447 Census showing Henry Woolf (born c.1819 Exeter, a jeweller) living with his wife Martha in Union Street, East Stonehouse, Devon.
1861 RG9/270 Census of Whitechapel showing Leah Woolf living with her daughter Rachel Moss, her hsband Isaac Moss and their family.
1861 RG9/1436 Census of Plymouth showing William Woolf (boen c.1810 Exeter) living in Clifton Place with his wife Ann and son Solomon.
1861 RG9/1398 Census showing Philip Crosscombe, tailor, and his second wife Susan living in Mary Arches Street, Exeter (two pages)
1861 GRO 5b/69 Death of Philip Crosscombe at Exeter (Quarter 4 1861)  
1861 GRO Possible death of Myers Woolf (Michael's brother) in Hastings, Sussex.(Quarter 1 1861)  
1861 RG9/259 Census of Bethnal Green showing Phoebe Woolf (widow of Myers) and her family. This would have been just a few weeks after the death of her husband.
1862 GRO Birth of Caroline Hannah Woolf, daughter of Michael and Mary Ann, at the Tower of London (30th July). Caroline was Christened at the church of St Peter Ad Vincula 31st August 1862.
1865 GRO 6d/70 Death of Leah Woolf in Birmingham (Quarter 1 of 1865). It is possible she was staying with her son Ezekiel at the time.  
1870 GRO Death of Priscilla Romaine (Michael Woolf's sister) Quarter 4 of 1870.  
1871 RG10/555 Census of Tower Hamlets showing Isaac and Rachael Moss and family living in Nottingham Place (two pages)

1871 RG10/3106 Census showing Ezekiel Woolf (now a watchmaker) and his family, living in Pershore Street, Birmingham
1871 RG10/2121 Census showing Henry Woolf and his wife Ann living in Windsor Street, Plymouth. With them is their niece Hannah Romaine, daughter of Samuel and Priscilla - Priscilla had died a few months previously.
1871 RG10/509 Census of Tower Hamlets showing Isaac Woolf, born c.1794 in the Netherlands. This is probably the same Isaac recorded in the 1841 - it is doubtful that he is connected to our Woolf family as those from The Netherlands were mainly Sephardic Jews.
1871 RG10/2061 Census showing Michael Woolf and his family living in Russell Street, St Sidwells Exeter. Michael is shown as a Chelsea Pensioner. For some reason Caroline is not listsed (she is not on the next page either!) - I suspect this is a simple error on the part of the enumerator.
1871 RG10/2122 Census showing William and Ann Woolf living in Plymouth
1872 GRO Deat of William Woolf (Michael's brother) in Plymouth  
1877 GRO Death Certificate for Mary Ann Woolf, wife of Michael, at Exeter 23rd March 1877.
1878 GRO Marriage Certificate for Michael Woolf and Anna Andrews, 2nd January 1878.
1881 RG11/269 Census showing Rachel Moss, now a widow, living with her family in Citizen Road, Islington (2 pages)

1881 RG11/2986

Census showing Ezekiel Woolf and his family living at 94 Smallbrook Street, Birmingham (2 pages)

1881 RG11/583 Census showing Henry Woolf (born c.1819 Exeter) lodging at Waterloo Street, Lambeth
1881 RG11/2157 Census showing Joseph Woolf (born c.1862, son of Ezekiel) lodging in Dawlish, Devon
1881 RG11/2151 Census showing Michael Woolf and his family living in Parr Street, Exeter
1882 GRO Death of Ezekiel Woolf (Michael's brother) in Birmingham (11th March 1882)  
1886 GRO Death of Henry Woolf (Michael's brother) in Plymouth  
1891 RG12/1697 Census showing Michael Woolf and his family living in Yeovil Place, Exeter
1891 RG12/119 Census showing Michael Woolf (the fruiterer) living with his family in Gordon Square, London
1891 RG12/2428 Census showing Rose Woolf and her shildren living with her brother-in-law, Samuel Clements, in Birmingham. Rose was the wife of Isaac Woolf, son of Ezekiel. Samuel Clements is listed as an aerial gymnast!
1901 RG13/2041 Census showing Michael Woolf and his family living in Sandford Street, Exeter
1901 RG13/2882 Census showing Rose Agnes Woolf living with her family in Birmingham. Rose was now a widow (of Isaac Woolf, son of Ezekiel).
1903 GRO Death Certificate for Michael Woolf in Exeter, 12th August 1903.

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Copyright © C.R.G. Henly July 2007