Issue 119 of Genealo-J is published #france

Georges Graner

Genealo-J, publication of the Jewish Genealogical Society of France,
Issue 119, Fall 2014 has just been published

Bernard Lyon-Caen begins a series of study of several interconnected
Jewish families famous in the fields of furniture, advertisement and
radio namely Chouchan, Levitan, Bleustein and others. The first paper
deals with the Chouchan family. This surname is supposed to come >from
the Hebrew word Shoushan, the rose, and has many orthographic variants
from Szuszan in Poland to Bensoussan in North Africa. The present
Chouchan family originates >from Grodno, on the Niemen river in
Lithuania, and successively in Poland, USSR and Byelorussia. Most of
them left Grodno for France between 1890 and 1914 and almost all of them
became furniture dealers : their shops were often competing in the same
streets ! Some of these firms, such as Galerie Barbes, have reached an
international fame.

Pascal Faustini, who is a known specialist of Lorraine and Metz, focuses
this time on Morocco and the family Harrosch, Harroch, Haroche.
Genealogical research in Morocco is difficult since official records are
only available since 1912. The name Harrosch derives >from the Hebrew
ha-rosh (the head) and is found in the 15th century in Spain and later
many times in cemeteries and documents in several Moroccan cities. A
whole lineage of rabbis can be followed first to a R. Joseph ben Isaac
Harrosch born ca. 1690. He is also the ancestor of my friend Serge
Harroche, who obtained the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012 and whose
genealogy was totally unknown. The family tradition tells that the
Harrosch came >from Spain. Faustini found a very famous scholar Ascher
ben Jehiel, born in Germany around 1250 who travelled to Cologne, Savoy,
Provence, Barcelone and finally settled in Toledo where he died in 1328.
He was nicknamed Ha-Rosh and the nickname Aros is found several times in
Spain before the expulsion 0f 1492. Faustini concludes that the present
Harrosch and Haroche families are descendents of Ascher b. Jehiel.

In Anne-Marie Fribourg’s family, a mysterious “Ovar uncle” was
mentioned, who was said to come “>from elsewhere and >from no country”. An
article traces Howard Dieudonne Loria's route (1866-1947). Born in
Liverpool, French in Egypt; an orphan at 16 in Alexandria, he became a
graduate of the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures of Paris and a
plant manager at Orchamps in the French Jura.

Vital recording for Tunisians was established in 1886 only. The
resulting registers have been available at the Center for French
Diplomatic Archives in La Courneuve for a few years.Yet using them was
very difficult due to their fragmentation and the complete lack of
decennial charts. 25 members of the CGJ have been working for 18 months
to allow survey and research of these vital records. The resulting
database, called Becane, now available on our Website, is a primary tool
for the genealogy of Tunisian Jews. Thierry Samama details this database.

Since its official foundation in 1753 the Jewish community in Luneville
(Lorraine) has been successively made up >from four kinds of migrants;
inhabitants >from Metz and Alsace, inhabitants >from “Alsace-Lorraine” who
wished to remain French citizens after 1871, migrants >from Eastern
Europe, and refugees >from Algeria in 1962 – most of them coming >from the
M'zab (north of Sahara). Françoise Job shows that the melting pot
eventually worked : ashkenaz-sefarad marriages took place.

>from a diary held by Edgard See between November 1, 1942 and October
12, 1943 - the day before his arrest and his deportation - Michele
Feldman traces back her grandfather's life in Paris during the war. She
also analyzes his family tree and finds an ancestor Schlomo See born in
Bergheim (Alsace) around 1718. Among his descendents, she quotes Reissel
See, an heroine during the French Revolution, Camille See, a politician
who obtained the right for secondary education for girls, and Leopold
See, the first Jew to reach the rank of general in the French Army.

Pierrette Ouazana studies a vital record >from Mascara, Algeria, 1856. It
deals with the wedding of Nessim Darmon with Rebecca bent Ouazana. She
explains how is a record to be read, what information can it bring
forward about the family, and how a careful study of a record can throw
light on entangled family links.

On his way >from the Tafilalet,Morocco, to the Holy Land, the revered
Rabbi Yaakov Abehsera passed away in Damanhur, Egypt in 1880. He was the
most famous rabbi of this Moroccan rabbinical dynasty, described by
Mathilde Tagger. His works and descendants are well known. Nevertheless
there exist several versions explaining the origin of his surname
Abehsera (man with a mat, mat maker, sitting on a mat) but only one
version points out at Jubar near Damascus, Syria as the origin of the
family. Which is to be trusted ?

As mentioned in this issue of our Journal, the 4 volumes of the
Proceedings of the 2012 Paris International Conference on Jewish
Genealogy organized by the CGJ are now available. They can be obtained
in English or in French, in colors or in black & white or downloaded
from the website. See our website for details.
Georges Graner (Paris-France)

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