From Sidney Ambury to Solomon Hamburg

I've spent some time recently looking at my family tree. I started doing it about seven years ago when I was pregnant with @thecheekster and had some spare time. I found out lots of information, but got stuck on one Great Grandparent: Sidney Ambury born 1885ish. I've spent ages trying to find him on census returns with no success until two days ago when this link came up on a Google search:

I thought that chances were it was the same person. So I started searching for Solomon Hamburg and quickly realised that this was in fact my Great Grandfather's name and that he must have changed it πŸ™‚ Solomon was born at the right time, his father was a tobacconist (Sidney's father's occupation on Sidney's marriage certificate was 'tobacconist) and his father's name was Benjamin (Sidney's middle name was Benjamin). Suddenly it all made sense.??

So, I now find myself connected to a Dutch immigrant family who came to London from Amsterdam in the 1800s :)) How exciting!

I've managed to trace the family back to the 1750s in Amsterdam and am starting to add flesh to the bare bones. Solomon was one of 10 children of Benjamin and Flora Hamburg who lived in Spitalfields and then Bethnal Green, he went to the Jewish Free School along with his brothers, and maybe his sisters, I've not had time to check yet.

Several of the Hamburg family got married at Sandys Row Synagogue, so I have some interesting links to chase up there too.

I'm very excited with what I've found out and can't wait to find out more….


  1. I was excited to see a tweet about family history come up in my timeline. I love family history, and would be interested in doing some research into Dutch records myself, as my nephews have some Dutch ancestry. But as a person of a scientific bent, would you object to an injection of scepticism? I can’t see how to get from a coincidence of first names and occupations to any degree of certainty in an identification between individuals with different names. I would love to see how it could be done, as it might help me with some of my dead ends. But in the absence of any document declaring the use of an alias, how can you possibly know that Solomon Hamburg is the same person as Sidney Ambury?

  2. Hiya,Thanks for your interest and your comment. I agree that I don’t yet know for certain that Solomon Hamburg was Sidney Ambury, I may never know for sure 😦 But I think that there is a reasonable amount of evidence to suggest that it may be him. I didn’t mention in my post that I’ve now remembered a great aunt (Sidney’s daughter) saying many years ago that there were Hassidic Jews in the family. Solomon disappears after the 1901 census and Sidney appears in 1910. It is definitely not conclusive proof, but I feel that it is true. I hope that further investigation will provide more evidence :))Sue

  3. Do you know the Author, Lesley Brown? His book might provide his research notes that will help you establish the veracity of the name change.

  4. Hi SueI’m a newbie to these forums so bear with my mistakes. I agree with omp199 that ‘genealogy without documentation is mythology’ but nevertheless the information looks promising. Marvellous what a Google search will turn up. I teach basic genealogy at U3A here at Armidale and I always tell my students to try Google – you never know what you will get.

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