Americans of Jewish Descent

Americans of Jewish Descent

Genealogies of America's First Jewish Families

Welcome to

Welcome to, a new resource for genealogical and historic information on Americans descended from Jews who arrived in the United States before 1865. Not just a database of Jewish names and genealogies, is a compendium of individuals of all religions who made America their home and who contributed to the dynamism and energy of the United States uses 21st century technology tools to allow genealogists and historians to analyze and view the data in new and exciting ways. The website allows:

  • Multiple search options – users can find all individuals with the same surname; birth, death, burial, and event place names; or cemetery names
  • Immediate view of Ancestor and Descendent charts in multiple formats, printable in PDF format for off-line review.
  • Easy navigation from person and place through comprehensive hyperlinks.
  • The ability to recreate communities in a particular place or time, even though individuals may be unrelated.

About The Project

In 2003, David Kleiman, president of Heritage Muse, had a vision. What if the tiny print and complexity of Rabbi Malcolm Stern's "First American Jewish Families was available in an online, full-fledged genealogy database? And what if the genealogies unearthed by Stern were supplemented by new reseach, including resources that were not available in 1988, the last edition that Stern edited?

Stern's work was available online in PDF form at the American Jewish Archives and is a good resource for many genealogists who want to see basic information on their ancestors. However, genealogists and scholars who want to tap into the complexity of the research and the dynamism of the early American Jewish community, need a more updated and comprehensive source. fills that need. Here you will find biographies of key individuals, historic notes, and images of individuals, cemeteries, headstones, homes, and synagogues linked to these families.


The genealogy web software that supports this site is The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding© [TNG], written by Darrin Lythgoes. His database-driven software allows us to present more than 45,000 individuals -- with the ability to search and generate personalized reports seamlessly.

Sample Data

You can see how the site works and what information is here by logging in as a guest with the user name "demo" and password "1654." You will be able to view the descendants of Isaac Levy (d. 1695)for five generations and experiment with generating family charts, checking sources, and looking at the images we've included. If you want more, please join the AOJD-online family.

Images and Documents

Most of the images of people, documents, headstones, and places have been gathered by David & Kate Kleiman and the Heritage Muse staff from archives, newspapers, government documents and individuals. The source of the image is included in its description, and all images are watermarked for AOJD use only. Reproduction rights for those images protected by copyright are in the works, and more will be appearing every month. Check out the Repositories page for names and locations of the archives you may want to visit for your own research.

Early American Jewish Research

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Deserunt, at.


Thumbnail Image 1

Featured Family

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Excepturi, atque.


Untitled Document