Jewish genealogy includes many challenges that mean more frequent and problematic road blocks for the Jewish genealogist than for the non-Jewish genealogist. The following are some of these challenges:
- Surnames that pass from father to son were not adopted until the late 1700s and early 1800s.
- Unrelated paternal lines have adopted the same surnames.
- Related paternal lines have adopted different surnames.
- Surnames have been adapted to the country where descendants live today.
- In many cases, traditional paper trail records are lacking.
- The Jewish population is endogamous (intermarrying).