Research in Lebanon #sephardic

Barbara Algaze

Thank you to those who responded so generously regarding my request for
assistance with Research in Lebanon.
Below is a summary of the responses, for anyone who is interested in the

Barbara Algaze
Los Angeles, California

1) Lebanon, as we know it today, is a fairly "young" country. It was part
of the Osmanian Empire once and therefore part of the Levant. Depending on
your friend's national identity, there is the possibility to look up the
church books of those communities. There's a fairly comprehensive digitized
book on births, marriages and deaths in the "British factory" of Aleppo.
Having written that, be aware, that in the past people would travel long
distances to attend church services once or twice a year, or the minister
would travel ... I have family >from Görz and Fiume eg whose records are kept
in Trieste for that reason. I also have ancestors >from Aleppo AND Beiruth
(or Beyrouth as it was also written). Their records are partially found at
the British factory, parts can be found in French archives in Paris. The
French were very centralized and very organized! Also it is worth googling
old books or snippets >from old books, entering all you know about the
ancestor in one hundred and fifty ways. By doing this, I managed to find out
more about the family in Syria/Lebanon than family in Germany. There is also
a good website with information on the Levant.
If you are interested in a researcher, I can pass on an address. He helped
me with another Levantine family line >from Gibralter.

2) The Montefiore Census took place in the Holy Land and in Sidon & Beirut
between 1835 & 1875 see
They were recently translated and transcribed and are searchable on line.

The Website Les Fleurs de l'Orient is searchable has a number of family genealogies
including those >from Lebanon as well as those families who may be connected
to the Farhi family see the article by Alain Farhi at which contains
many resources including names of families and other helpful information.
The article details several internet resources including a private chat
group B400 (

And a useful book: The Jews of Beirut: The Rise of a Levantine Community
1860s-1930s, Tomer Levi (Lang Peter 2012)
There is also the Lebanese Historical Society who take genealogy requests by
email see

3) Try the
Another potential resource could be The Jafet Library at the American
University in Beirut, Lebanon

4) There are some databases on Lebanon on There are
censuses for Beirut and Saida as part of the Montefiore censuse of Eretz
israel Jewish population. Go to: and use the 'advanced'
search engine.

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