Help with finding details on family from Alexandria, Egypt #sephardic


I am asking for a friend of mine.  She has been trying to determine details regarding her great grandmother especially her maiden name, origins and where her burial plot is in Alexandria, Egypt.  Apparently she had been told there was a fire that destroyed many of the records.  The details she does know are as follows:

  • Her great grandmother's married name was Fortunata Asher and she was married to David Asher.  
  • They lived in Alexandria, Egypt, although she understood her great grandmother was originally from Italy
  • She knows that Fortunata was buried in a Jewish cemetery in Alexandria but is unsure exactly where
  • Her great grandfather was Sephardic and she does have a picture of him in a fez in Alexandria. 
  • Apparently any surviving family left for Paris during the great depression and so there is no link into Egypt today
My friend has tried in the past to find information but so far no luck.  Does anybody have any ideas?  Are there any researchers out there that have expertise in this area?

Many thanks for any help that can be provided.

Anne Kestenbaum

Abuwasta Abuwasta

Dera Anne,

Please ask you friend to mail me directly where and in which websites or Facebook groups she was looking at. Is there anything written at the back of the photo?

There where at least 2 ASHER families in Alexandria at the late 1920s beginning of the 1930s in a productive age, alas none of the fathers was.

Jacob Rosen



I would think that there would be record of the immigration to France of family and that might yield information.  

My wife’s family is from Egypt and she suggests first and most useful is to join the Facebook group “Egyptian Jews”.  It’s a highly interactive group and likely the information you have would trigger discussion or suggestions.  Next for background and context and information is Historical Society of Jews from Egypt.  We think they have a Facebook group and website. 

Also I believe that the Avotanu project was collecting and documenting surnames info and doing DNA work on middle eastern Jews.  

And if she wants to get deep into it, especially for the sake of documentation and history it might be a good idea to do DNA test and especially maternal DNA test of a couple of family members that might lead to some leads by triangulation.

My understanding is that you will not find any available records from the Egyptian government and since there a literally only a few Jews left in the Country you won’t find and databases on burials.

Hope these ideas are helpful,