Galkoff family history
Galkoff's shop front, 29 Pembroke Place
Born in 1877, Polish-Jewish immigrant Percy (Perec) Galkoff (Gelkopf) came to England in 1905 after being discharged from the Russian Imperial Army. Arriving at an East Coast port, Percy headed to Birmingham before settling in the Brownlow Hill area of Liverpool. Volunteer research has traced the Galkoff family back to a village in Poland called Warta in 1813 - read more about tracing Percy Galkoff's Polish routes on the blog.
Detail of Percy Galkoff's birth record, from an 1878 Polish document
Galkoff’s shop in Pembroke Place, Liverpool quickly became a recognisable location and gathering-place for both locals and newly arriving Eastern European Jews. Percy quickly advanced to become a prominent member of the community and a successful businessman, attracting both Jewish and non-Jewish clients. Galkoff’s deep green tiles are now a sole reminder of the once thriving Jewish community in the area.
Percy Galkoff's naturalisation certificate, dated 6 September 1916 © The National Archives, ref. HO334/80
Percy Galkoff's personal details on his naturalisation certificate are given as:
- Full name: Percy Galkoff.
- Address: 29 Pembroke Place, Liverpool.
- Trade or occupation: Butcher.
- Place and date of birth: Sheratz, in the Province of Kalich, Russia, April 1880.
- Nationality: Russian.
- Married, single or widower (widow): Married.
- Name of wife: Bertha.
- Names and nationality of parents: Zelick Myer and Yachie Galkoff. Russian.
Percy Galkoff established his business as a butcher soon after moving to Liverpool, around 1907, and added the beautiful green tiles to the building in 1933. The tiled shop façade is now on display in the Museum of Liverpool - and you can explore more of Liverpool's beautiful historic tiles in our 'On the tiles' trail!
Percy’s son Sydney carried on the trade, opening a branch in Wallasey. Butchering became such a part of the family that they even created a ‘Galkoff’s Sausage Song’, sung here by Ivor Galkoff, Percy’s grandson.