//Genealo-J/, /publication of the Jewish Genealogical Society of France,
Issue 139, October 2019 has just been published.
Leghorn (Livorno in Italian) has been for many centuries the hub of the
Jewish communities and trade in the western Mediterranean Sea since the
grand-duke of Tuscany decided in 1591 to welcome the Jews in this city.
Alain and Liliane Nedjar, with Gilles Boulu, have begun to digitalize
and analyze the very rich archives of Leghorn.To demonstrate what can be
obtained >from these archives as well as >from Tunisian and French
sources, these authors treat in details the Busnach family. The first
known Busnach, named Micael, was expelled >from Oran (Algeria) by the
Spanish in 1669 and settled in Leghorn. He had 4 sons: Said, Ilel, Abram
and Naphtali. Said had no child but his three brothers were the
ancestors of extended families which are described by the authors. Some
members settled in Tunis and came back to Leghorn. Others commuted >from
Algiers to Leghorn and Tunis. Some went to Malta and to Minorca. Several
detailed family trees are given.
Robert Romano's paper is divided in two distinct parts. He first tells
the history of his grandfather Reuben Romano, born in Salonika in 1862.
He was first a very wealthy businessman owning a large quarry. But two
events changed his life: first Salonika was conquered by the Greeks in
1912 and the Greek government seized Reuben's quarry since he could not
prove his ownership. Then, on August 18, 1917, a terrible fire destroyed
most of the Jewish neighborhood and Reuben was completely ruined. The
family lived in misery until they decided in 1931 to migrate to Paris.
Alas, on November 5, 1942, the French police arrested a great deal of
"Greek" Jews. Reuben, aged 80, his wife, two of their children and
several of their grandchildren were deported to Auschwitz and
assassinated.In the second part, the author tries to understand the
origin of the surname Romano which is found all over Europe but
especially in Spain and Italy: Sicily, northern Italy and even,
surprisingly, Rome itself. According to him, this surname derives not
from Rome but >from Romania, the name under which the Byzantine Empirewas known in its time.
Anne-Marie Faraggi-Rychner also deals with her ancestors >from Salonika.
They were "protected" by the French consulate, a privileged statute due
to their activity as "drogman" or interpreter. Simon Farach (ca. 1750 -
1838) is attested as drogman and protected in 1775. His offsprings are
given for three generations.
Nadia Hofnung, nee Darmon, describes the most noteworthy members of her
Algerian family. Rabbi Mordekhai Darmon (1730- Oran 1815) was the head
of the Jewish community of Mascara and well appreciated by the local
Ottoman authorities, the bey of Mascara and the dey of Alger. When Oran
was taken by the Turks >from the Spanish in 1792, he moved to this city
where he refounded the Jewish community. When France conquered Algeria,
two brothers, Amran (Oran 1815-Mascara 1878)and Mardochee (Oran
1826-Tlemcen 1898)Darmon became official interpreters in the French
army. Amran played an important role during the revolt of Abd-el-Kader
to protect the Jews stuck between the two armies. He was given the
"Legion d'Honneur" in 1852 and the French citizenship by an imperial
decree in 1865. Mardochee lived longer and had official roles as
judiciary interpreter and member of the city council. As his brother, he
was given the French citizenship in 1866, four years before the Cremieux
decree applied to all the Jews of Algeria. Diane Esther Darmon**(Tlemcen
1892 - Grenoble 1979), the grandmother of Nadia Hofnung, lost her mother
when she was 11 days old. When she was only 15 years old, she married
Sadia Darmon (Lamoriciere 1884 -Beni Saf 1943) who was a rabbi and an
erudite person. When WWI begun, he volunteered in the French Army and
became chaplain. He was gassed in 1916 and lived the rest of his life
with pulmonary problems.