Family Tree                                                        


FAMILY:  Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our own family, an unwise investment indeed, don't you think?     And some of us often treat strangers and coworkers better than members of our family. Do you know what the word FAMILY means?

 FAMILY = Father And Mother, I Love You   
Pass this on to everyone that you care about. I just did...  courtesy of Rouba Khayrallah who got it from  Zeina Khairallah

Abdel Ahad, Abi Cair, Abi Kheir,  Abi Saleh, Abou Jaoudeh, Abou Nader, Abou Nakhleh, Abou Saab, Abou Samra, Aoun, Ataya, Azar
Baaklini, Bader, Badr, Badir, Bou Azar, Bou Kheir, Bou Jijm, Bou Saab, Bou Zeid
Chaaya, Corban, Chalhoub, Chidiac, Chidyak
Dagher, Dahdouh, Dahdooh,
Eid, Emad,
Ghosn, Gosn,
Hawi, Hawy, Halabi, Halaby, Harik, Hariq, Hareek, Imad,
Jafet, Jaffett, Jardak, Jurdac, Jordaq, Jurdaq, Jurdak, Jerdac, Jirdak,
Kasouf, Kassuf, Katoul, Kiamy, Kiame, Kiameh, Kiame, Khamis, Khoury, Korban,
Khneisser Khnaisser, Khuneisser, Khenaisser, Kenicer, Khneiser, Khonaysser, Khunaysir,
Mahfoud, Makdissy, Matar, Mattar, Mojaess, Moujahes, Majors, Moujaes, Mjaess,
Merhej, Mirhege, Merege, Mouchrik, Moshrik, Mushrek
Nasr, Nasser, Nasir, Naufal
Rahbany, Rahbani, Rihbany, Rehbani
Saadallah, Saadeh, Saadih, Saliba, Samaha, Semaha, Sawaya, Sayegh, Sabbagh, Shaya, Shaaya, Shalhoub
Shidyak, Shidiak, Shweiry, Choueire, Choueri, Shuwairy, Shuweiry
Tabsharani, Tabcharany, Tebeshrani, Tooma, Touma
Yaacoub, Yacoub, Yafet, Yaffett, Yared, Yarid,
Zghaib, Zgheib, Zeidan, Zeydan,

Summer project opportunity:  $1,000 - $2,000
Build Shweir Family & Church Records data base in Excel
Yes, we want to preserve our family history, genealogy and traditions
and reward one or more person(s) who is (are) serious to do great genealogy work
we have sample of the searchable Excel data base that we can provide you
Also, we already have digital photos of 50-70% of church records.

Assignment 1:  obtain digi photos of the rest of church records. Convert to searchable Excel data base.
Assignment 2:  Build family trees based on church records, interviews, & other sources - photograph Shweir residents, especially the elderly.

For inquiries, or to submit your qualifications and/or a proposal, please write to (in code):  anwar2 (at) shweir (dot) com


Searching for relatives:   Salimie Mujais: Gradma; Antoine Salim:  grandfather
Searching For info for family of George Gasson Yarid Corban
Dearching for Salami and Medawar Families
Elias Nicholas & Mitri Choueri  

Deeb & Saada Merhej Descendants reconnect since WWI 
Brazil - Shweir Families Reunite after 100+ years:  Bou Zeid Family... 
Dib Franciss from Brazil searching for Shweir relatives  Update:  Happy Discoveries
Tribute to Mama Rose Nasr
Searching for Origin of Khnaisser family by Paul Kneiser in NY, USA
Searching for Hanna/Yousef/Joseph Abdel Ahad
Searching for relatives of the Zeidan Rahbany Family
Searching for Abicair (Abi Kheir), Ayoub Moujaes Family (1888) & Boutros Abraham Sawaya (1889)
First Published Family Tree to post on  Courtesy of Riad
Searching for descendants of Faris Simeon Moujaes (1877-1953)  by Allan Ellis
Khalil Saadeh Family 
Zaidan Rahbany Roots Via Ibrahim Rahbany 
Where are the Zeidans or Zaidans?    Inquiry by Joseph Zeidan  
Searching for your roots in the Ellis Island Records for Frankie Goodson  
Need info on the Naufal Family
1890's, Daghers from Shweir to Mussaytbeh, Selma Dagher, WWI, Odette Haddad... ???  Need more info... 
More Sawaya Family History courtesy of Alfred Michel Abou Nehme Sawaya                  
Remembering Teta Mary Moujaes
  Here are great discussions from Shweir Bulletin Board about family trees:  
1.  Topic:   Preserve Your - Our Family Tree & History  
2.  Topic:   Our family history. In a booklet??? 
 For those Sawayas' your king is coming back Courtesy of James    
Tebechrani Egypt Connection, courtesy of Magdi Tebechrani
Sawaya Origin, excerpt from the book "History of Syria, Lebanon..., courtesy of Salim Sawaya
Dahdouh Family new and old OLD pictures and articles courtesy of Walid Dahdouh   
Baaklini's from Bzebdine family Tree courtesy of Bishop Sam Jacobs            
More emails from Jacqueline Forti about Kiame Titanic Survivor and family roots
A touching email from Jacqueline Forti to Elias Khonaisser
copied from BB
Updates about Tabsharani Family from Mansour Iskandar Harik

Dahdouh Family Tree
Courtesy of Walid Kablan Dahdouh
Baaklini and Shaya Khnaisser old family photos
courtesy of Samih Baaklini  
Descendants of the Saadallah Samaha, Khnaisser & Tabsharani families reunite in California
The George Ghosn Eid Khneisser Family Tree     
The Deeb & Saada Mirhej Family Tree    
The Hanna Khneisser Family Tree
Khnaisser Family Branches
Sawaya's Family possible ancestors  
Tabsharani Family Tree

Families that are a branch of the Moujaes Family Tree    
Families that are a branch of the Rahbani Family Tree   
are working on their family tree    
Khnaisser and Sawaya were brothers   
The story of Grandma Mary Saadallah Samaha, a true pioneer   
Saadallah Samaha Family Tree    

Records of Immigrants arrivals through New York Harbor to Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924 is now available on the Internet.  The databases can be accessed free of charge at 


From: Gilda Nazario [mailto:  gnazario at stumpwebsterlaw dot com  ] in code
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2006 5:41 AM
Subject: Mujais & Salim Family tree

Hello, My name is Gilda Sada Nazario.  My parents were:  Boulos Sada and Marie Louise Mujais Sada.

My mother's family was from Dhour Shweir, her maiden name was Mujais.  My grandmother's name was Salimie Mujais and my grandfather was Antoine Salim, he was a Professor at the American University in Beirut in the 1940's.  Both my parents and my grandparents are deceased and I am trying to see if we have any family over there in Dhour Shweir, and hopefully everyone is safe.

Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.


Gilda Sada Nazario

Hello Gilda,

Thank you for your inquiry.
I will post this info on the Family Tree web page of as well as the Bulletin Board.  
Just in case someone can shed some light about your family.
Also I will copy some knowledgeable Moujaes family members as well as my cousin Riad who is the librarian at the AUB.

Best regards,



Searching For info for family of George Gasson Yarid Corban

From: graham.corban (at) actrix dot co dot nz
Sent: Sunday, July 16, 2006 2:25 AM
Subject: Greetings from New Zealand

Hi Anwar

My name is Graham Corban and I live in Hamilton, New Zealand.  Recently I visited Shweir (19th-24th June), trying to find information on my grandfather and great-grandparents.  I met a lot of wonderful people, including Sandy, who is the secretary to the Major, Dr. Nabil Ghosen.  They gave me your contact details and suggested I get in touch with you as you have the birth records for Shweir and Ain El Sendianeh.

I was wondering if you could find the birth records for my great-grandparents who were:

 Gasson Yarid Corban, died 27th June 1935, aged 75 years (born 1860)

Saleemie Yarid Corban, died 25th March 1954, aged 80 years (born 1874) and my grandfather who was:

George Gasson Corban, died 1971 aged 64 years (born 1907) [these details may not be exactly correct but should be very close].

I would very much appreciate any help you could give me.

No doubt you are saddened and concerned as I am with the recent developments in Lebanon.  It seems as if conflict is never far away.  I hope the situation can be resolved although I must admit it doesn't look good at this stage.

Kind Regards

Graham Corban

Dear Garaham,

 Thank you for your kind email. 

Yes, I am in the process of doing a data base for our ancestors and hopefully do family trees to help visualize the relationships.  I have made digital copies of about 50-60% of the available data form the Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches.  

 My objective is to transform the data from digital images into a searchable database by first or last name, town etc in Excel format.  I will enlist the help of bright students to help in completing the data from the rest of churches and then convert them to searchable data so I can better respond to your requested search.

In the mean time, I will post the info on our Family Tree Web page just in case any of our readers can better respond to your search.   If all goes well, we should have the data complete within 6-12 months.  Inshallah.





Searching for Salami and Medawar Families


-----Original Message-----
From: Anwar2  at]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 6:54 PM
To: 'Marie-Joëlle Salami'
Subject: RE: Searching for Salami Family from Shweir or Ajaltoon

 Hello Marie-Joelle,

Thanks for staying in touch and for the beautiful pictures.
I will be happy to post the pictures on the "Family tree" web page soon and will post something on the BB with a link to the pictures.

Hope you will get more responses.
Best regards,


-----Original Message-----

From: Marie-Joëlle Salami  mj_salami at hotmail . com ]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 2:22 AM
To: Anwar2  at
Subject: RE: Searching for Salami Family from Shweir or Ajaltoon

Hello Anwar

Waleed Moujaes's wife has been very kind and introduced me to one of her uncles who might help me in my research.
I've found the 2 photos joined herewith, but I don't know how to publish  them on your site  : They  were taken in 1936 in Dour el Shweir. The lady in the middle was my mother in law, Aimée SALAMI. She was just married and was visiting her husband's cousins the MEDAWAR or MADAWAR, who ran a hotel in Dour. Perhaps, people seeing the photos on,  might recognise somebody or remember part of the story.....  Many thanks for help

Marie-Joëlle SALAMI,


 Hello MJ,

 Sorry that you had difficulty reaching me at We had to abandon that email address due to getting about 100-200 junk and spam emails a day.  Yes, you were able to reach me on .  (I had to abandon anwar at for the same reason).    I copied and pasted your Guestbook entry below for reference.

We hope with the church records info that we are working on and feedback from other people from Shweir.

 One knowledgeable young person is Waleed Moujaes and he recently married a wonderful lady from the Salamy family in Los Angeles.  Her brother is a Greek Orthodox priest.  Perhaps they could help.  By means of introduction, Here is a link to their wedding:

 Waleed Moujaes email is waleed.moujaes at   globeexpress dot com  I will copy Waleed on this.  Waleed and Michelle, can you help?

 Best wishes,



-----Original Message-----
From: Marie-Joëlle Salami
Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2005 8:12 AM
Subject: Fw: Returned mail: see transcript for details

 Hi !

What else can I do  to reach you ?

MJ Salami

 Your name:  SALAMI Marie-Joëlle

Your message:  We are a French couple, but my husband's grand-parents were Lebanese. They moved to Egypt by the end of the 19th century : Simon SALAMI was a hairdresser in PortSaid. He had at least a sister, Anne SALAMI and a brother, Nemet Allah SALAMI who was a maronite priest in Egypt. Their parents' name was Habile and Theresa SALAMI. We heard they were from Ajaltoune or from Shweir. We'd like so much to learn about the family but we don't know how to proceed to find information.

Date:  1 November 2005 - France


Kristy Khoury
I am interested in finding family in Zahle Lebanon. My Grandmother was Sadie Scaff Khoury and my Grandfather was Amin Khoury.
Thank you for any information.
kakhoury (at) aol [dot] com
1 February 2006 - Denver Colorado Note: -  Hello Kristy,
Welcome to your hometown website.
Hope you will find your family.
I know of a Dr. Kelly Skeff at Stanford University. His mom is from Shweir and he is from Zahle. I do not know if could help you with you with your search. Good luck and stay in touch. For privacy, I edited your email to be in code to prevent spammers and will make a private intro just in case Dr. Skeff could be of help.

Rana Emile Sawaya |
Hi, I am presently living in Lebanon. I previously used to wotk in Dubai and use to get newwletters from you. I would very much like to recieve them again. I am the daughter of Emile Adib Sawaya.Dad sends his regards to anyone that remembers him as a friend or teacher. Best wishes to all.
29 January 2006 - Lebanon

Claude Matar |
Does any Matar know the history of the Matars of Dhour-Ishwair? has any of them left for Syria about 150 years ago and settled in latakia? Has any of them settled in the Druze Mountain of southern Syria around the same time?
28 January 2006 - Los Angeles

jihad georges khairallah |
My father asked me to find his own uncle : Georges Moujaes who émigrated in the 50s to boston Usa. All we know is that george moujaes had a son called Robert who should be approximatively 70 years old
If anyone heard about him please mail to
15 January 2006 - france



Author Topic: Family Tree  - Elias, Nicholas & Mitri Choueri
Laura R Choueri
Member # 344

posted 01-09-2006 12:14 AM      Profile for Laura R Choueri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My fathers dad Elias Choueri (my grand father) had two brothers that we remember, one called Nicholas and the other called Mitri. My grandfather married Najla Gobriel from Hasbayah.

Nicholas remained in Beirut and had four children, Badih, Maurice, Adele and George. Badih had three children, Nicole and two brothers (forgot their names) Maurice had a son called Roy, his wife Alice was Austrian, Adele died and never married, and George never married. Mitri on the other hand, moved to San Paulo in Brazil, we have an extensive family there, and I know none of them, I would like to know who they are and what they do.

Nicole now lives with her husband Richard in Guelph, Ontario in Canada and has three boys, Marwan and Chadi the twins, and Rabih the eldest..

The only member of the Choueri clan that knew the origin of each and every member of the family including the entire Dhour Shweir history was my dads cousin Badih and unfortunately he has passed on.

If any information triggers someone's memory, please email me at laura (dot) choueri (at)chouerirealestate (dot) com

Many thanks
Laura Choueri
Dubai UAE

Posts: 1 | From: Dubai UAE | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Member # 327

posted 02-06-2006 06:44 PM      Profile for Anwar   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Laura, I will copy this and post it on "Family Tree" web page. I will put your email in code to minimize spam. Good luck.
Posts: 52 | From: San Francisco, California | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged



Jessica Youness |
Hello everyone! My name is Jessica Youness and I came
upon this site, by searching for the Sawaya Family. My grandmother was Zaheya Sawaya and moved to North Dakota,
America around 1890 and married Samuel Youness Maloof. Any information on the Sawaya family would be greatly appreciated. My website is
I also wanted to say, the 'Shweir' website is wonderful!
26 September 2005 - Eaton Rapids, Michigan, United States Note: -  Hello Jessica,
Welcome to your family's hometown website. I will add your post onto our Family Tree Web page.
Yes, we have a large Sawaya family contingency in Shweir and around the world.

You have a wonderful website.

There is someone who wrote a book about the Sawaya's in USA but there was no mention whatsoever about Lebanon or Shweir, which makes me question the depth of their research.
at any case, here are the contact info:
Eugene Sawaya
Sawaya Family News
1181 S Parker Rd #105
Denver, CO 80231-2152

$69.99 1-800-555-4094

Miguel Choueri |
Sou filho de Nelson Choueri e neto de Miguel Chuery, que chegou ao Brasil em 1895, vindo de Shweir. Seu nome foi adotado no Brasil, consta que originalmente era Nakhleh Bou Nakhleh Moujaes.
7 September 2005 - Guarulhos - SP - Brasil

Juliana Schuery |
I live in Rio de Janeiro. Four of my great-grandparents came from Lebanon. One of them, Saba, came from Shweir and when he arrived in Brazil, he chose 'Schuery' to be his last name.
Here, he married Nazle Wakim (she came from Beirute around 1909).
My other 2 great-grandparents are Yussef Musse (from Kfar Shima) and Najla Kalarge (from Alayh).
If you have any information about any of these families, please contact me.
18 July 2005 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Note: -  Hello Juliana,
Welcome to your hometown web page...
Congratulations that you have as much info about all four of your grandparents. That is impressive. I visited your web site. It looks good. you and Jessica who also recently signed our guest book appears to have much in common... genealogy. It would great if you too compared notes, etc.
I will post your info on our Family Tree web page.



Brazil - Shweir Families Reunite after 100+ years:  Bou Zeid Family... 

It started by an email sent from Mr. Luiz Renato de Oliveira Chueire from Brazil to George Matar Mr. Luiz was asking if someone could help him to find relatives in Shweir because his grand-grand father KHATTAR BOU-ZEID came to Brazil from Shweir around 1880 and his family name was Bou-Zeid,


Mr. Luiz was asking G. Matar if “Bou-Zeid” family exists at Dhour and if someone could help him and he wanted information about how to get to shweir because he intended to visit Shweir on March 2005.


For me it was a pleasant surprise when G. Matar introduced him to me by email. I was glad to go on with this in order to find out if he is really a relative of my husband and after several researches and after asking the elder in Bou-Zeid family and several email with Luiz, I definitively and with proud introduce Mr. Luiz Renato de Oliveira Chueire as a relative and one of a huge Bou-Zeid family in Brazil


Luiz is a 45 years old, and he lives at the city of Curitiba, southern Brazil, a city with 2 million people. He is married and has 2 sons. The reason he was asking about relatives is that he was traveling with his wife to the Middle East and thought if they could pass by Lebanon to visit the land and the roots of his grand-grand father who came to Brazil from Shweir around 1880.


It was a great surprise for Luiz to find relatives in Lebanon after one century of the emigration of Khattar Bou-Zeid, his grand grand father. Khattar, when arrived in Brazil, changed both first and last names: Instead of “Bou-Zeid” which was not a Portuguese name, he adopted the name “Moises Chueire.


Khattar also came to Brazil with one brother, named EID. They were around 15 to 18 years old. In Barzil they married brazilian ladies, and formed big families. They were christians, and for any reason they have not kept the links with Lebanon.


Luiz was traveling to the Middle East and intended to visit Lebanon if he find relatives. One of his friends knew about Shweir Website and that’s how Luiz contacted G. Matar who introduced him to me.


So, before coming to Lebanon, Luiz traveled to a city in Brazil where one of khattar’s daughters (Luiz aunt) called Zaine, who is 95 years old, and get some information from her about his grand-grand father that she might have.


She had only one picture of her father, at the time he arrived in Brazil.(Please see the attached photo: PIC1.jpg). The man in the right side of the picture, who has the name "Moises" on top of his image, is her father (Khattar) and the grand-grand father of Luiz. The picture was shot in Sao Paulo, a few days after he arrived here, in 1891. He was around 18 years old at that time.


The other two gentlemen are two cousins, also from Lebanon, who came to Brazil with Khattar Moises.


They left Lebanon seeking for better opportunities, and they decided to go to America. They had little idea of South and North America, and Luiz aunt does not know if they knew they were coming to Brazil or if they decided their final destination during their trip.


Luiz aunt also said that one of Moises´s sisters went to Argentina at the same time, and maybe two others to the States.


Khattar father’s name was Abdalah, and his mother´s, Zaine.


After a few months in Brazil, Moises wrote to his family asking them to send his younger brother, Eid to join him in Brazil. He did that because Eid was a terrible young man, so in order to help his parents Moises brought his brother to live with him.


This is all Luiz get from his aunt, whose name is Zaine, for her grand mother. 


Luiz came back also from his visit to his aunt with the below list with all the sons and daughters of Khattar Bou-Zeid:


Khattar married three times. His first wife was Maria de Oliveira, from a traditional family in south Brazil at that time. They married on June 20, 1896, and their children are:


- Latife, born April 7, 1898; she lived a long life, and had children;

- Zarife, born November 29, 1899; she died on November 11, 1903;

- Graciliano, born August 12, 1901; he lived a long life, and had children;


- Salim, the grand father of Luiz, born May 28, 1903; he died in February 1943; he married Aurelia Franco (who died in 1982; her father was from Lebanon, also; his name was Miled Zahur, and he came from Beirut). Their children are Paulo, born in 1928; Carlos (Luiz father), born in 1932; Zelia, born in 1938; and Maria José, born in 1942;


- Waldemor, born January 15, 1905; he died one year later;

- Amélia; born June 12, 1906; she lived a long life, and had children;

- Waldemor (the same name of his brother, who had died), born April 13, 1908; he married and had children;

- Zaine, born July 13, 1909; she is alive, and has a very good health; she has one son;

- Aristoteles, born August 8, 1911; he married and had children;

- Nair, born May 10, 1913; she lived a long life, and had children;

- Cesar, born November 10, 1914; he married and had children;


On February 20, 1916, Maria de Oliveira died, at the age 33. She and Khattar had 11 children, but two died when were young, so 9 grew up. Only one of them is still alive.


On July 10, 1917, Khattar married with Nhá. This is her nickname. She was a very simple and humble woman, and probably Khattar was looking for someone to help him with his 9 children, who were from 18 to 3 years old.


Their children are:


- Joao, born April 10, 1918. He is alive, and has three sons and two daughters;

- Lady, born May 20, 1919; she is alive, and has two sons;

- Anice, born January 23, 1921; she died young;

- Rubens, born July 1, 1922; he did not marry, and died some years ago;


On August 28, 1923, Nhá died. On June 28, 1924, Khattar married with Amazilia. Luiz had the chance to meet Mrs. Amazilia, but her health was not good, and he know little about her life with Khattar.


Their children are:


- Alceu, born September 9, 1925; he is alive, and has children;

- Washington, born November 15, 1926; he died, and had children;

- Dalva, born February 9, 1931; she is alive, and has one son and one daughter.


A Huge family. We knew all these dates because Luiz aunt, Zaine, has a hand written paper with these notes, which were dictated by her father, Khattar, before he died.



Eid, the brother of Khattar also formed a big family. One of his grandsons, Afranio Chueire, is a very good friend of Luiz. And may be in the future he will prepare a list with this branch of the Eid Chueire (Bou-Zeid) Family Tree. 


And at the end, the trip of Luiz to the Middle East was confirmed. He and his wife Marise were at Shweir in March 17, 2005. Unfortunately they only had one day to spend with Bou-Zeid family at shweir- Lebanon. They took a taxi from Beirut and arrived at the”Seha” in Dhour around 9:00 AM, I was waiting for them. It was really an amazing day!

See also attached photos of Luiz and his wife from their visit to their family at Shweir.


Silva Awad Bou-Zeid


Silva, what a great story.  That makes all the effort behind worthwhile. 

Below is the original post:

Author Topic: Accomplishments of
Habeeb M. Nacol
Member # 15

posted 02-05-2005 08:25 AM      Profile for Habeeb M. Nacol     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

I took the liberty of copying a heart warming guest entry that made me feel so good this morning. Friends this is what it is all about!

"Hi everybody.  My name is Luiz Chueire, and you can easily find out that my last name, Chueire, comes from the town of Shweir. My grand-grand father came from this town to Brazil around 1885, with one of his brothers, and they started a huge family in this country. For any reason they changed their family names from Abuzeid to Chueire. We are more than 500 Chueire´s now, and the family keeps growing. It is a great pleasure to visit this site, and I will try to be at Swheir next March, when I will be travelling to the Middle East with my wife.
1 February 2005 - Curitiba, Brazil"

This is the true mission as I see it. Bringing us all back together for the benefit of us and Shweir

Posts: 761 | From: Beaumont, Texas, U.S.A. | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged

George Matar
Member # 4

posted 02-07-2005 07:18 AM      Profile for George Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Yes, ya Habeeb this is what's it all about  .
Luiz Sent me an email recently, with the same message, I got him connected with George Bouzeid and his lovely wife Silva, they are now connected and are corresponding directly, I am sure Luiz will have a wonderful time when he arrives in Shweir... Very rewarding

Posts: 1861 | From: Houston, Texas USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged

Member # 10

posted 02-10-2005 12:01 PM      Profile for GhassanZghaib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Great news Habeeb.  I was born in Curitiba. A great place...

Posts: 727 | From: Laval, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged

Habeeb M. Nacol
Member # 15

posted 02-10-2005 01:43 PM      Profile for Habeeb M. Nacol     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Really? This is a small world 

Posts: 761 | From: Beaumont, Texas, U.S.A. | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged

We hope to hear a similar Happy gathering and story of the Francis Family... as in the post below.

Dib Franciss from Brazil searching for Shweir relatives

----- Original Message -----
From: Dib Franciss
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2005 5:20 AM
Subject: Greetings from Brazil !!!

Dear friends !!   What a wonderful surprise to find this website !!  Congratulations !!!
I am a pianist and teacher in Brazil.  In 1920 my great-grand parents and their children left Lebanon to Brazil and exactly from this city (Shweir). They were Dib Youssef Franciss and Baike Franciss.
I don't know if you know but in Brazil we have the biggest libanese comunity out of Lebanon. I would love to know if there are still some relatives of surname Franciss in Shweir. I would love to contact them.
They never came back to Lebanon and I am very curious to research about our family history.
Can you help me ?
Big hug
Dib Franciss
----- Original Message -----
From: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
To: "Dib Franciss"  dibfranciss at hotmail
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2005 12:44 PM
Subject: Fw: Francis Family

Hello Dib,
I am happy to forward this messages from my cousin Riad Khnaisser in Shweir.
The picture is of a marble plate placed near the altar of our Catholic Church.
It appears that your great grandfather was from the Sawaya family and of course we have a big branch of the Sawaya family in Shweir.
And if the rumor is true (See Family tree about Sawaya and Khnaisser were brothers), then we are possibly distant distant cousins.  :)
Perhaps you would plan to come to Shweir this summer and research further your family tree.  And if you come during the first week of August, you can attend the popular Emigrants Festival in Dhour Shweir.
Hope that helps.  With best regards,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Riad Khunieser"
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2005 4:22 AM
Subject: Francis Family

Dear Anwar,

I don't remember when I read on the BB that someone from Brazil, his family name was Francis, is asking about his family in Shweir, where you couldn't give him an answer.  I will give you this information may be it could help.
Francis family were in Shweir and they had a house in the town. In Mar Butrus Church you can see the name of Salim Na3oum Francis who donated in 1963 to the church, for the name of his grand father the priest Yousef Sawaya 1889 and his father the priest Youhana Sawaya 1863, (the part where the priest stands during the mass, I don't know what to call it), as you can see in the pic.
Like the Yafeth's and others who left Shweir, Francis's have nobody in town any more by this name, but they have relatives with the Sawaya's, Abdil Ahad, Khnieser etc. If you remember where Nasir Casino was, this place  was for Salim before he sold to Mattar.
The last Francis was Salim Na3oum Haykal Francis. His brother was Nasib who left to the USA long time ago but came back to Shweir, for a short period, after his brother's death.
This is all what I could get until now, I hope you could send this info to the young Shweiry in Brazil.


-----Original Message-----
From: Riad Khunieser []
Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2005 10:14 PM
Subject: Fw: Francis Family

Dear Anwar,

I sent you this email one week ago and got no reply, may you be you haven't received it. 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Riad Khunieser"
To: "Anwar2" <at shweir  dot  com>
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 11:07 AM

Subject: Francis Family

             Dear Anwar,

            I am sure your visit to Shweir this year was fruitful in every way, but to me it was more than that. Your work with the churches record is an excellent job done even it isn't finished yet. While I was looking at the records in the laptop which you left, and which I am keeping  at home, I found so many good information about many persons we were trying to find any info. about. To make it short; I am sending you what I found about the Francis family in the Catholic Book. Please if you find it worth sending  to our young man in Brazil, do it. If you do, please tell him that we are still looking for the old files and what we have got till now goes to this period of time (1856).

             Michael Haykal Francis (Ibn Farah) born:23 Feb.1856 baptized: 18 Feb. 1857 in Mar Boutros Church in Shweir; Married to Nour Al 3ayn Abdallah Abd Al-Ahad Feb. 3 1886;  died; 1908

             Najibi Michael... born; Nov. 13,1891; baptized Dec. 1 1891 Mar Boutros

             Adel Michael ... born; Dec 7, 1892; baptized Jan 3, 1893

             Naim Michael ... born May 2, 1897; baptized June 29, 1897

             Malbina Michael ... born Jan. 13, 1901; baptized Feb.2, 1909

             Naom Haykal Francis (Abou Farah) born Aug. 6, 1858 baptized Sept. 14 1858 in Mar Boutros
             Married to Youlyafi Al-Khoury Yousif Sawaya (this is what I could read), Jan. 4, 1888; died 1922

             Salim Naom ... born; July 5 1889 baptized Sept. 2 1889; died Feb. 8, 1963

             Salimi Naom ... born Jan. 12, 1896 baptized Feb. 6, 1896

             Nasib Naom ... born Mar. 2, 1898 baptized Apr. 16, 1898

             Tenuous Daher Francis (Abi Farah); married to Mariam Michael Francis Feb. 18, 1900

             Toufic Tenuous ... born May 27, 1903; baptized June 29, 1903

             Michael Tenuous ... born Nov. 12, 1910; baptized Dec. 11, 1910

             Simian Tenuous ... born May 6, 1907 baptized June 23 1907 died Dec. 5, 1912



Author Topic: Tribute to Mama Rose - Rose Nasr
Member # 26

posted 03-24-2005 10:12 AM      Profile for Victoria     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Do you all know who Mama Rose is?
She is Rose Nasr, the Mother of Tallet Dahdouh.
I saw last summer at the retirement home and I was so happy to see her. She is 100 % pure love, tough love, which a lot of people need. We grew up on her coffee with hal that she prepared with one hand. She looked out unselfishly for everyone and "told it like it is".
Mama Rose your legacy is engrained in our hearts.
One tough lady with one arm raised generations and all of the mista'jrin on Tallet Dahdouh.
Mama Rose, we love you.
Moujaes: Ghada, Soulaima, Sami; Jabir: Khaldoun, Morhaf, Fayez; Nawas: Tarek, Wael; Diamontes: Alecco, Vassily; Hallak: Cico, George, Nina; Mattar: Charlie, Katia, Caroline; Matar: Rima, Elie; Sheikh: Maya; Ayoub: Ghassan,Bert, Marie-Rose, Talal; Rizk: Sami, Salim, ... that were just a few of the kids.


To read the Tribute of Mama Rose on the Shweir Bulletin Board, Click Here




----- Original Message -----
From: Hilda M Kachmar   ( hkachmar   (at) )
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 4:13 PM
Subject: Picture of 1922 Shweir group photo
 Dear Mr. Matar:
In looking carefully at the well preserved picture, I think that the young man on the right ( with fez)  of the top row may be my father.   I know he must have attended Shweir High School because he was from the town of Btegrine and he told me it was too small.  He told me that his uncle was one of the school teachers.  My father's name was Assad Sawaya Sawaya and he emigrated to the Americas in 1928-1930,  when he was about 18-20 years old.  He settled in Havana, Cuba where he married my mother, Hilda,  in 1948. I know we have a lot of family in Lebanon, but will not be able to travel to find out more information.  My father has or had a cousin named Rachid who became a businessman in Venezuela.  He had  two sons whom I met years ago, Bahyet and Mounir, and a daughter whom I also met.  It's been a long time since my father died and we have lost touch with most of the family.  I have cousins who travel between the US and Lebanon and their last name is Harik.
Is there anyway someone can corroborate that the man in the picture is my father, Assad Sawaya Sawaya, from Btegrine.
Thank you for your help.
Hilda (Sawaya) Kachmar

Hello Hilda,
Welcome to your hometown website.
Thank you for your inquiry.
I will be happy to post your message on the Family Tree web page and send it to key people who may also forward it to others. 
Hopefully, someone would have the answer to your question.
In the meantime, please sign our guest book, tell us a bit more about you, your family, are you in Cuba, Venzuela or USA or another country.
Also, we invite you to get acquainted with our family by participating on the Bulletin Board.
With Best Wishes,


Searching for origin and meaning of Khnaisser family... By Paul Knieser

----- Original Message -----
From: pjxk2 @  (email on left has two spaces before and after the @ to avoid spammers harvesting emails for privacy and to minimize junk mail.
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 2:35 PM
Subject: re: Khnaisser family tree on line

hi--      You have a wonderful web site.  In the above family tree, I was just curious if you or anyone I might contact could tell me the origins or meaning of the family name Khnaisser.  I would appreciate any information.
     Thank you.
     Paul Knieser
     Olean, NY

----- Original Message -----
From: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
To: Paul Knieser
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 7:23 PM
Subject: Re: Khnaisser family tree on line
Hello Paul,
Thank you for your inquiry and welcome to
The Arabic meaning of Khnaisser is the small finger on the hand.
There is speculation about the origin... a rumor is that Khnaisser, Sawaya, Sfair and 3-4 other prominent Lebanese family names were brothers who came from Europe, possibly Italy or Germany.  We have no proof of that. See Family Tree link on from bottom of home page.
One unfortunate thing about Khenaisser, Khonaysser, Khneiser, Khuneisser, Kenicer, is that it has the largest diversity of spelling of any family that I have come across and counting.
I am sending a copy of this to several people who may shed some more light including our honorary "Mukhtar bil Mahjar" (Emigrants Mayor) George Matar.
If you tell us more about you and your forefathers, there is a chance that we may be distant cousins.
Best regards,
Anwar George Shaya Kenicer
----- Original Message -----
From: pjxk2 @
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 7:54 PM
Subject: Re: Khnaisser family tree on line

Hi again--
    Thank you for such a speedy reply to my first email.
    My name is Paul Knieser and I am half Lebanese from my father's side of the family.  My grandfather came from Salima in 1895.  He is of the Beshelany family.  He died in 1922 when my father was only six years old.  Although there were ten children in their family none of the had much knowledge of the family background.  I have two aunts still suriving today, one of them is 90, and neither of them knew their grandparents names. 
    For many years, I have had a copy of Fr. Stephen Beshelany's book on the History of B'shele and Salima with all of the wonderful generology and historical information.  Unfortunately it was in Arabic and no one in my family was ever able to read it.  Having had the book vor over 30 years I finally decided it was time to unravel the mystery and I hired translators to help me get the book into English.  It has taken a fair amount of money and an even greater amount of time to accomplish the task.  Half of the book is ready for the printers and I expect to have the final half ready within a couple of months.  It has been a project that has taken years but makes for wonderful reading and research.  There must be at least a hundred thousand people alive today whose ancestors are discussed or mentioned in the book.  .  It allows us to trace many, many families back historically for 400 years naming every major male ancestor along the way. 
    The meaning of Knieser that you related is the same story that I have always heard but I keep checking because I can't seem to make sense out of that in my own mind.  So many Lebanese names are from the trade or business of the people, or tied to geographic regions, that I can't understand how some one  could come up with a name of "Little Finger"...strange.   I wasn't aware of the many different spellings of the name. 
    I was surprised at your story of the three brothers of European origin and would love to hear anymore details of the rumor or tales.  One of my aunt's who died as a child in the 1918 influenza epidemic reportedly had blond hair and blue eyes...not exactly traditional Lebanese characteristics. 
    In my mind I have been trying to think of ways for people to share information, photographs, etc., that they have and what I was picturing is what seems to have been accomplished with  I conceive of a similar site devoted to the families in the book but as of the moment I lack the computer skills and the time to accomplish it. 
    Thank you, so much, for the information that you shared.  I anxiously look forward to any further information that you or your contacts may be able to provide. 
    If I can provide you with any other information, please, don't hesitate to ask.
Hello Paul,
Thank you for your detailed email.
Yes, I agree with you about the meaning of the family name.
You may enjoy reading some related info on 
I will post your communication on that web page just in case someone may read them and share more info than what we have.
Hope you will stay in touch.
Best regards,



Searching for Hanna/Yousef/Joseph Abdel Ahad

angelic ahad, Member # 162 posted 01-23-2003 06:59 PM
Last name(Ahad),(abdel ahad) (Abed El Ahad),
First name- Hanna, yousef, Joseph, (Nagla???)
(some of the information may not be accurate...all from memory)
My father came to the United states in the late 1960's. My birth certificate shows his name as Joseph Ahad. My older brother (John) shows Abed El as a middle name and Ahad as the last. we were told that the men our family reversed fist and middle names through each generation...John(hanna) Joseph....Joseph John(hanna). We are not sure the correct transilation of joseph in arabic. My father arrived in the united states through New York. He married a armenian woman named Helen(my brothers mother).
We’re not sure the circimstances of our fathers resons for leaving lebanon. He never discussed his family. It seemed to be a depressing topic for him. I belive our grandmothers name could be Nagla, Nalia, Nashrella(not sure). I recently discoverd through a friend located in beirut....that they are still living. We have been on so many sites and directiorys searching but havent came up with any good leads.
My father begain living in the San Jose bay area of california in the 70's. he was divorced from Helen. In the 1990's Married a woman from Belize named Ottila(a very sweet woman). And was eventually divorced again. He seemed to dissapear round 1998. He is still living as the s.s office will not provide any more info on him. He is old and due to an accident in the 70's may not have a good memory of much of his life.
Me and my brother are searching for any information on any family living in well as any info on my fathers whereabouts here in the united states.
He has blue/green eyes, speaks english, arabic, french, chrisitan.

Thank you and god bless
angelic ahad

Searching for relatives of the Zeidan Rahbany Family

From: Nabeel Michael Barakat (Saed)
Location: Los Angeles , California
Hi to all. I am so happy to have found this site. I've been trying to find and learn about my parents family and home land for a very long time.  Originally my father is from beit Saed from Rashia Al Wadi, and my mother is from Dhour Shweir (Rahbani, Zeidan) My uncle is Fuad Zeidan, Abo Iskander, worked with the Middle East Air lines. I have relatives in Betighreen ... . Anyone that reads this message and can help me connect I would be very thankful.


Searching for Abicair, Moujaes & Sawaya
 Abicair (Abi Kheir) Family Tree, Ayoub Moujaes Family (1888) & Boutros Abraham Sawaya (1889)

Shirley Abicair-Mudford |
I am the daughter of Naim Abicair (Bou Kheir) and Najla Marida and niece of Aziz Bou Kheir. My dad & mother migrated to Australia in the 1950's separately and met and married in Australia. They had 8 children. I have visited Lebanon a number of times, most recently in 1999 with my husband and two daughters.We have since added a son to the family. We stayed with my Auntie Rita in Shweir and my husband, Ross(Australian) and children really enjoyed their stay.
I have visited most of my relatives in Shweir on my visits and I am interested in putting together our family tree. Has anyone started this as a project in Shweir relating to my family? I would be happy to hear from anyone that can help me.
Hi to all my cousins.
3 January 2003 - Melbourne, Australia
alex ayoub |
your site has helped put me in touch with family of my great grandfather ayoub moujaes who came to australia in 1888 with his son nayef. response from waleed and mounir moujaes has helped answer many questions which have been asked by family for many years as nayef passed away in 1936. my hearty good wishes to all relatives from the moujaes family wherever they are and may this be a happy and prosperous new year. alex ayoub
24 December 2002 - sans souci, sydney.australia.

nick saway |
hello everyone and merry christmas. I was wondering if anyone ever heard of a Batrous Abraham Sawaya who was born in Shweir in 1889. That was my great grandfather. He came over to America sometime between 1900 and 1905 I think. He had a niece Saleemie or Salima Sawaya that lived in Harahan, not too far from where I live. Any info would help. I'm trying to help my grandma figure out our family tree.
22 December 2002 - new orleans louisiana Note to Shirley, Alex & Nick: -  Welcome to your hometown website. Thank you for taking the time to post on Guest Book and share Family Tree info with us. To expand exposure, I will copy your message and add it to the Family Tree web page.

First Published Family Tree to post on

Cousin Anwar,
-I know you like to work with the family tree of Shweirieh. Attached are
four images of an article I was reading yesterday in the journal (Kab -
Elias, Bekaa, Nov.-Dec. 2002)

and I want you to read it because I think you
will like it.


Thank you Riad, this is Great information with reference about many families, some goes back up to 400 years, including Merhej, Sawaya, Shweiry, and Moujaes families.  I did not have a chance to read all of it yet, but I wanted to post it ASAP, before I call it a night.

If anyone wish to translate for the benefit of our cousins who do not read Arabic, I will be happy to post it.

Thank you Riad for the wealth of information that you continue to find.

Searching for descendants of
Faris Simeon Moujaes (1877-1953)

----- Original Message -----
From: alan ellis
To: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 7:08 AM
Subject: hello

I have just found this site and registered.What a godsend!I thought the search for family history would be long and hard,but in this world of gadgets,gizmos and geegaws,Dhour Choueir was just a few k/strokes away with it's own site.Except for the phonetic translation of arabic!!! How many ways is there of spelling dhour choueir,dhour el-chweir,ect,ect,as well as mujaas,majais,moujaes,ad infinitum.I hope that I can contact someone,as I have quite a bit of interesting things that belonged to my greatuncle,Faris Simeon Moujaes(have I finally got his name right?)born circa 1877,died 1953.Lebanese people that I asked,have always told me that shweir is a beautifull place.Maybe oneday,the grandson of a shweirian emigrant should go and have a look.   regards,  alan

----- Original Message -----
From: Shweir Web
To: alan ellis
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 10:44 AM
Subject: Re: hello

Hello Alan,
Welcome to your hometown web page.
Yes, when you mix Arabic phonetic translation to French and English, you will get unlimited spellings.
Glad you found us.  The Moujaes is one of the most prominent and possibly the first family to set roots in Shweir.
I am copying some who are possibly your distant cousins.  Enjoy your discovery.
Anwar Kenicer
----- Original Message -----
From: Alan Ellis
To: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 3:35 PM
Subject: pronunciation

Thanks for your welcome to Your newest member has a question.In Australia,my g/father used the name Charles Louis Simon even though he was a Sayegh.I asked my mum this morning,if she could remember his real name.She remembers as a child that arabic speakers called him (sounds like) el-yes.Could this be Elias. Mum is 90 y.o. and never spoke arabic,being born here of Lebanese parents,who being in business,anglisised their name and only spoke to the children in english.The parents did speak to each other in arabic if needed,which is why mum could only understand some words,but not speak them.Thats assimilation.Hope you can help with g/father pron.  regards,  alan.
----- Original Message -----
From: Shweir Web
To: Alan Ellis
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 4:08 PM
Subject: Re: pronunciation

Yes, Allan, we have Sayegh family too in Shweir... and Yes, el-yes is nick name for Elias... so, based on what you wrote, your grandad original name wad Elias Sayegh.  Hope with our readers, they can put more pieces to the puzzle.

I just posted all this info on the Family Tree web page of

-----Original Message-----
From: Matar, George []
Sent: Saturday, December 07, 2002 11:15 AM
To: 'Shweir Web'; alan ellis
Cc: Nabil Matar; Matar, George; Alfred Moujaes; Habib Moujaes; Waleed Moujaes
Subject: RE: hello


Hello Alan
My Great Grandfather was Farris Moujaes but if I remember his father was Gibrael.  Farris Simaan Moujaes hhmmmmmm it does has a familiar sound to it... My Grt. grandfather was alive around 1877, but for sure he did not live till 1953.  It sure will help to tell us a little more about your mom dad
Yes Shweir has so many different ways of spelling it, but all lead to one location.  I am Partial to Shweir and it seems that this will be the global spelling of it.  Call us at selfish :) :).
Alan, I live in Houstoin Texas, where are you on this planet.  In regards to how pretty Shweir is,check all the pictures, there are so many.  Just to give you a quick Idea.
Dhour Shweir is located at 4,000 ft above sea level, but only 30 mintues from the beach.  Sitting at many balconies you could have a panaromic view that stertches from Mount Sannin all the way to the Mediteranean sea.  on a clear sunset you could see the mountain tips in Cyprus...... Yes you will be more than welcome if you visit.  But take note, Shweir is on the rebound from the civil war so watch out because when it get there you may fall in love with the place and never want to leave.  SO on behalf of all the shweir ieh I say.  Alan, Ahlan wa Sahlan to your hometown web page, glad to have you join our growing Family
George Matar


----- Original Message -----
From:    Waleed Moujaes
Sent: Saturday, December 07, 2002 11:51 AM

Again hello Allan,

I think we are related. I communicated with Alex Ayoub yesterday, and he mentioned you are closely related to his grandfather, Nayef Ayoub Moujaes.
Semaan Moujaes (Faris's father) is my great grandfather's brother. You might know what I will tell you now. Semaan was the first mayor of Dhour Shweir back in the 1860s. All what George said below is more than correct. In fact, Dhour Shweir is a piece of heaven on earth. It was hurt a lot during the civil war, but we are re-building it.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Waleed Moujaes
Member # 17

posted 12-07-2002 09:39 AM      Profile for Waleed Moujaes     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Guys, what an exciting morning today. Isn't it what was founded for??

At last, one of Ayoub Yazbeck Moujaes grandsons (Ayoub is my great grandfather (Shehadeh)'s brother) wrote on

I wrote him an email and was so excited today to here back from him. The most exciting is that I am talking to the right person, and we share some common information, which makes it TRUE.

Below is the communication between Alex and myself.

P.S. Allan Ellis, another long lost relative (see the previous entry) mentioned the name of Faris Semaan Moujaes. Well, Semaan Moujaes is another brother for Shehadeh (my great grandfather). He (Semaan) was the first mayor of Shweir in the 1860s (during al-moutasarifiyya when Lebanon got some kind of "independence" from the Ottomans, if you still remember some history).

-----Original Message-----
From: Waleed Moujaes
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 3:38 PM
To: ''
Subject: Hello

Hello Alex,

I got your message from, and I have a question. My great grandfather's brother, who immigrated to Australia at the end of the 19th century was Ayoub Moujaes, and he had 14 sons!!! Maybe my information is not accurate, but he has 2 sons (I think Nayef and Jack) who both had 14 sons.
Am I talking about the same person?? By the way, 2 of those 14 were with the Australian army and visited Dhour Shweir during WWII.

I've been trying hard for years to get someone from Ayoub's newer generations. Hope I found my lost treasure!! By the way, I say treasure because one of my best hobbies is to try and find lost relatives.

I live in Ohio, USA.
Hope to hear from you soon.


-----Original Message-----
From: alex ayoub []
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 8:23 PM
To: waleed.moujaes
Subject: found at last.

hello waleed your email was a surprise as i thought being so long ago it would be hard to find anyone alive to remember. yes nayef ayoub yesbeck moujaes arrived in sydney approximately 1886 with his father, of whom i have no information. nayef had fourteen children 6 boys and eight girls two of which died very young. nayef brought his brother jack out later and he married a lebanese woman and i think he had 5 or 6 children. nayef married a lady of scottish ancestory named margaret cameron. my father fred was one of the 6 boys nayef had. stan the eldest was in the first world war, and george. edward and alex snr. were all in the middle east in ww11 and visited the family village where i think a hotel at bhamdoun was owned by the moujaes family. i was in the army in ww2 but served in new guinea. many of the family offspring were in them services. you will see an entry by allan ellis whose grandfather was a relative of nayef . i was very pleased to hear from you and maybe we can help each other catch up with the old family history. i live in sydney australia my home address is 297 the grand parade, sans souci 2219. sydney , n.s.w. australia. my younger daughter joanne is over in u.s. at the moment in vegas and then next week off to disneyland with my grandson 12 years old. best wishes to family and self. alex ayoub.

Posts: 255 | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged

George Matar
Member # 4

posted 12-07-2002 10:35 AM      Profile for George Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

WOW, Makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it Anwar?.
Stuff like that happens only in movies.... oh pardon me..

Posts: 980 | From: Houston, Texas USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged

Member # 14

posted 12-07-2002 07:59 PM      Profile for Klee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

I've just heard from Alan too. Isn't it great that there are so many of us out there searching for these connections. Without it would be almost impossible to make contact and would take years ! [Smile]

Posts: 370 | From: South Australia | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged

Member # 122

posted 12-08-2002 01:21 PM      Profile for Oula     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Well,Good work Walid.. It's nice finding more relatives, I wish it could happen to me; I have a limited number of relatives.

And I felt sorry for the planting project in 22 Nov, I was excited, what happened?

By the way, I was talking to George Samaha, he thinks that it's much better to plant the fruit of pine, and not a little tree. What do you think? and the time is still appropriate to plant pine? for ex, can we take some HBOUB SNAWBAR and plant them this week-end? It seems to me easy .

Posts: 16 | From: shweir | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged

Member # 5

posted 12-08-2002 07:27 PM      Profile for Webmaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Wonderful news! Waleed, Alan & Alex, congratulations on your discoveries.

George & Klee, Yes, Yes and ditto and ditto.

You know, some people ask me why I am burning the midnight oil with no benefits... well stories like this makes our efforts that much more worthwhile.

Oula, I hope that you will make similar discoveries with your immediate family. In the meantime, you have become a part of our expanding family.  Your "cousin",


Posts: 382 | From: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged



Khalil Saadeh Family 

----- Original Message -----
From: Don Johnson
To: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com> 
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 10:14 PM
Subject: Dr. Khalil Saadeh

After finding and viewing your website and seeing the picture of Dr. Khalil Saadeh, I thought y'all
would like a picture of his family minus their youngest child, Grace.
Original Message -----
To: Don Johnson
Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2002 1:22 AM
Subject: Re: Dr. Khalil Saadeh
Hello Don Johnson,
Thank you so very much for sending this valuable picture. 
would you please be kind to identify all who are in the picture and if you wish to tell us something about yourself. 
How are you related to Saadeh or Shweir. 
We very much apprciate your thoughtfulness in sharing this picture and invite you sign our Guest book and join us on the Bulletin Board.

Anwar,  Thanks for the updated pictures.  I do not have any other pictures of Dr. Saadeh, but I know there are more

pictures of his children.  Would you like me to forward these on to you has I locate them? 
    I was born in California but have lived most of my life in Texas.  As for the Sawayas in Northern Calif., I would
like to contact them.  The chances are very slim that I could connect, but would you have imagined in your wildest dreams that a damn Johnson would have had a picture of Dr. Saadeh? I used a 55 year old address to locate
Grace Saadeh Nahas' family in Brazil about 20 years ago.
    Thanks again for the fine website.


----- Original Message -----
From: harlopopp
To: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com> 
Sent: Friday, November 29, 2002 2:56 PM
Subject: Dr. Khalil Saadeh

Dear Sirs:

I received a copy of this email from my distant cousin, Don Johnson, who is related to Dr. Khalil Saadeh's wife side of the family.
I am Dr.Khalil Saadeh oldest granddaughter, daughter of his oldest son Ernest Victor.  The picture you received from Mr. Johnson was a copy that I had sent him from the original, which is in my possession, during a time when he was making an ancestry tree of the family (his and mine).
I'm glad he thought of sending you a copy of the picture and if you wish, I can identify those in the picture from left to right:  Nayfeh Nsayer Saadeh (Sofia, Alissar, Raghida and my grandmother), Charles, Arthur, Ernest Victor (my Dad), Dr. Khalil Saadeh, in the center is Antun, the bottom two from left to right are Edward and Salim.  The only one missing is Grace who had not yet been born.
I was raised in Brazil, although born in the US, and returned to the US where I have remained since 1949.  My father worked for the American Embassy in Brazil and did not divulge too much to me about my grandfather Khalil, or my uncle Antun.  Family responsibilities and now age have prevented me, through the years, to be too involved.  I have learned much, through the years, particulrly since the advent of the computer and my interest in family history and the SSNP.   
My brother, Victor Howard, who would be the oldest grandson of Dr. Saadeh passed away a couple of years ago.  When he visited Lebanon in 1967-68 he learned a lot and had passed much of it on to me. 
Only recently have I come to be in touch with my cousin Sofia Saadeh and that was by a great coincidence of having been looking for a copy of my grandfather's dictionary.  The book store I had written to about it happened to be in communication with Sofia and thus put us in touch with each other.  I was very delighted for the opportunity since our family seems to get smaller as the years pass. 
Well, I suppose I have bent your ear enough.  Please accept my wishes for success in your endeavor and for your interest in my grandfather and our family, 
Best regards,   Lois N.(Saadeh) Poppelreiter


    I found this letter in my mother's papers along with the picture of Grace Saadeh Nahas.  It may be worth preserving or future researchers.  This is the address I used to find Grace's children.



Anwar, I have attached a picture with Arthur Saadeh on the far right.  This picture was found in my mother's photo album.
From left to right are Edward David Nsayer (my uncle), Joe Macaron (my uncle by marrage), Sleman David Nsayer
(my grandfather), and Arthur Saadeh (son of Khalil Saadeh).
From childhood, I had heard about Dr. Khalil Saadeh and Antun Saadeh. No one seemed to have any details. I had
heard stories that I took as fiction or greatly exaggerated truths until I started doing a little research. I guess I couldn't
believe that there were people in our family tree who were "movers and shakers".


Zaidan Rahbany Roots Via Ibrahim Rahbany

Thanks to Riad Khuneisser for sending a picture and data on Ibrahim Rahbany obtained from the Yaffet Library archives of the AUB...

The caption below reads:  Ibrahim bin (bin or ibn means son of) Mitri (lived in Btater, Chouf) ibn Elias bin Mansour bin Bader bin Zaidan bin Mansour bin Jeryes al Rahbany (who lived in Ain Sindyany, Shweir) ibn Yaacoub bin Mikhail, bin Mousa Abi Saad (from Rahia, Akkar) ... 

(there is another sentence about the Ruhbaniah clan, I did not feel I can adequately translate its true meaning... click on the picture, read it and if you are able to translate, send me an email "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>  so I can post it)

The above links of the family tree could take it back to the 1600 or 1700's. 

To read more or see the book by and about Ibrahim Mitri Rahbany, click on this link to take you to the book section of



Where are the Zeidans or Zaidans?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Zeidan" <>
To: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2002 7:05 PM
Subject: Where are the Zeidans (Zaidans)?

I'm a real shweiri although I haven't been to shweir. My father Tufeek Habib Zeidan (born in 1903) left Shweir with his parents (Habib Zeidan and Tamam Dawud Hawi) during Wolrd War One. He ended up in Palestine where he married in 1936. In 1948 he left Palestine to Shweir hoping to come back to take his family to Shweir. He stayed in Shweir about seven months with his uncles, the Hawis. When he went back to bring the family to Shweir he was stranded in Palestine.  My grandmother Tamam Hawi
passes away in 1970 wishing to be buried in Shweir.

My father  passed way in 1979 lamenting the fact that he couldn't be buried in Shweir.  Despite his extensive stay in Palestine he remained a genuine Shwiri refusing to give up his distinctive Shweiri dialect. Both didn't cease telling us stories about their native village. Sometimes , Shweir comes up in my dreams. Can anybody (especially the old generation) shed light on the history of our family? Where are the beloved Zeidans and Hawis?
Please don't hesitate to write me. Many thanks.

Joseph Tufeek Zeidan
Associate Professor
Department of Near East Languages & Cultures
Ohio State University
1735 Neil Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Original Message -----
From: M.K.
Cc: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
Sent: Sunday, November 10, 2002 10:53 PM
Subject: HELLO COUSIN!!!

Anwar kneisser brought a copy of your e-mail to us this evening and my dad and I were so excited to read it...if our assumptions are correct yes we're second cousins, your grand-father "Habib" had five brothers and one sister, the brothers names were: Rashid (my great grand-father), Alexander, Naief, George and Fouad and the sister's name was Mahiba... 

Interestingly my grand-father's name is also Toufik and he had four sons including my father Faissal...

Your great grand-father's name was "Fares Zeidan".
The Zeidan family is one of seven branches of the Rahbany family, as best as we know the branches are: Matar, Mishrek, Katoul, Imad, Zeidan, Assi, Hanna. 

We just put a rough draft of the family and as soon as we have enough information we will happy you send a copy...

to be sure, please tell us more about your uncles and aunts names
We look forward to hearing from you.

Manal and Faissal Zeidan Rahbany





----- Original Message -----

From: onasr
To: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
Sent: Saturday, November 02, 2002 10:40 AM
Subject: The Carslaw House, SSS and Cedar Hall

Greetings, I have visited your Shweir site several times and have read various articles in it with great interest. The pictures too have been a great delight to me. Of particular interest to me is the Ain el Assis section. My very good friend and former school mate Ron Somerville has contributed to this section.
I have studied the cover photo entitled:
Our beloved Shweir Secondary School (SSS) is now a beautiful Evangelical Retreat Center
and I have tried to guess at which building in that photo is the Evangelical Retreat Center. So far I can not be certain! Would somebody at your end be so kind as to describe which building it is?
Also I am a little confused as to whether the Carslaw house and the Retreat are one and the same building or whether they are different buildings and if so which one is the Carslaw house? I had been thinking that the Carslaw had been turned into the Secondary School and then turned into the Retreat but now some confusion has hit me! Also Cedar Hall or Cedar Building has come up and added to the confusion in my mind. Is it a part of the Carslaw house?
Over the last two years I started and have been maintaining a family web site through We have a large extended family that includes the Nasrs, the Jamals, the Mahshis and the Haddads. Originally from Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt our families are now spread out all over the world. In this web site we have some scrolling announcements that we are using as links to other web sites. One of these sites is your Shweir web site. So we are just a click away from the Shweir site. Ron and Donna Somerville are members of our extended family site and are regular visitors to it.
Thank you for the great Shweir web site that you have. Keep up the good work. You are much appreciated.
Thank you also for any help you can give us in identifying the building or buildings referred to in your articles.
Owen Nasr,


Hello Owen,
Sorry for the delay in my response.  I was out of town for a week.
If you look at the main Ain el Assis Picture on its web page, there are two buildings in the center of the picture. the one on the left is the Carslow building, the one on the right with the brick tile roof is Sanneen building, the one on the far right is the Assembly hall and beyond that is inspiration point.
now, the Cedar building is the next left building to the Carslaw building. 
I am copying our team.  if my memory is not as fresh, please correct.
I will post your email in the Ain El Assis section. perhaps some others will contact you.



Author Topic: Help with Ellis Island
Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 06-25-2002 12:08 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

I need some help from someone who is good at finding people on the Ellis Island web site. I only found my father and I know the rest of the family are on there some where. I have exhausted everything I can think of.


Posts: 76 | From: Little Rock, AR. USA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

George Matar
Member # 4

posted 06-25-2002 12:27 PM      Profile for George Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Try Leila Salloum, she wrote a book about the Arabs that were on the Titanic, maybe she has done some looking at the Ellis Island.

She found us and requested information about the Baaklini Family that were on the Titanic, and we helped her a little. I'll send her an email, and see what will happen.

Dr. Klee is exceptional in such search, I hope she will answer you

Posts: 826 | From: Houston, Texas USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 06-25-2002 12:53 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Thanks, George and as usual you always give me that extra little hope that I need to keep looking.


Posts: 76 | From: Little Rock, AR. USA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-05-2002 01:02 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

George,  I never heard from anyone about Ellis Island. I guess I should take that as a "no". Thanks anyway for your help. I sort of feel like you all are my family but as I read the messages I somehow don't fit in. Maybe it is because I was born here and I don't speak Arabic. I have a sister in Mississippi but we are not close at all and that might be one reason why I am searching so desperately for a family. I just mostly go to work and home to my beloved cat. She is my best friend. My mother was an alcoholic and so was my husband so I've had it with relationships.

Sorry for crying on your shoulder but I guess this is just a bad day for me. I'm usually laughing.

Have a good week end and tell Janice hi for me.


George Matar
Member # 4

posted 07-07-2002 05:07 PM      Profile for George Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Why do you think you don't fit in Frankie????? I am surprised!!!

You have been giving this crusade a valiant effort, I commend you for it, and so do the rest of us.
Like I told you before, it would be great if you ever find the answers to your questions. But then again, maybe your search have brought you to your roots and all your prayers have already been answered. You are among friends and relatives now, think hard about that and smile [Smile] [Smile] .
What you will and will not find is not going to change who you really are… You are “Good People” Frankie Goodson of Ain Sindiani

Ghassan Zghaib
Member # 10

posted 07-08-2002 11:56 AM      Profile for GhassanZghaib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Frankie, You cannot pick your brothers and sisters but you sure can pick your friends, and there are lots of them right here in "".

You know, before I could count my friends on my fingers, today I need my toes to count them all.
I'm OK as long as they don't exceed 20

I too have hard times smiling and George has a couple of samples and he still doesn't like them.

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-08-2002 12:37 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Thanks to you all. I am much better today. I don't stay down for long. Too much Lebanese blood in me. I don't give up. You are my family. I hope you like cats!!

Ghassan Zghaib
Member # 10

posted 07-08-2002 09:43 PM      Profile for GhassanZghaib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

It depends how they are served. I personally prefer them well done. [Wink] [Big Grin] (just kidding).

I do have one advise: Never give your cat ARAK.
I know of a man in Shweir who gave his cat arak one day. The cat got so crazy it ended up destroying half of his house.

Now on a serious note, I like cats but not to the point of having one at home (I might changem you never know.

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-09-2002 12:24 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

I won't tell Maggie what you said. You know she can speak English. Sometimes I think she is smarter than I am. Look who is working to support whom. Really, I think if you got to know her you could not help but love her, too. This is how I came about having her. My previous beloved cat had to be put to sleep. One day my Vet. called me and said he had the perfect kitty for me but I said no because it hurts too much when they die. He said please come down and just see her so I gave in and went. Bless her heart, someone had cut her throat and the Vet had shaved her neck from her chin on down and sewed her up. She looked awful. He said she had been badly abused and someone had brought her in. She was not a year old. I reached in the cage to pick her up and she put her little head under my neck and just held on. I said you are mine. I couldn't take her home until the next day because he was giving her antibotic shots. I had to go to the pet store and buy everything again because I threw everything away after Spud died (he was from Idaho therefore the name)and brought her home the next day. They all said they were so glad I was the one who took her because she was going to need a lot of love and understanding and patience since she had been treated so badly. It was a rough first year but now she is the dearest, sweetest most loving pet I ever had. I know, I say that everytime. When I took her back for her first checkup they said is this the same cat we gave you? They were shocked. I said that's what a lot of love will do. Now just think if everyone in the world would put that much effort in getting along with people, what a different world it would be. Giving love is just about the answer to most problems. Everybody and everything reponds positively to love. I give my love to all of you.

Member # 14

posted 07-10-2002 09:22 AM      Profile for Klee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Hi Frankie. I looked at the site to try to help. The Ellis Island site is an excellent one for US families.
I don't know all your ancestors names, but in a previous entry you said your father was Toufik Makhoul. If you check Ellis Island records for "Toufek Makhoule" you find a boy aged 9 arriving on the SS Oceanic from Cherbourg to New York 25th June 1913. Was this your father?
He is in a group of 5 passengers on the ship's manifest, probably a mother and 4 children, travelling to meet her husband Brahim Makhoul, 122 5th Avenue, Seattle, Washington. There is Dahla (35 years, housewife, 5 feet 3 inches, brown hair, grey eyes), Bodia (14 years, servant, 5'6", brown hair, brown eyes), Toufik aged 9, Phillipe aged 6, Kalibe aged 3; all from Syria, and the town looks like Baskinta (but it is hard to read). I don't know how the other surnames you mentioned like Abraham, Hajj and Awad fit in. What was your mother's name, and your grandparents names? What year were they born?

Posts: 354 | From: South Australia | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged

Nabil E. Matar
Member # 11

posted 07-10-2002 09:52 AM      Profile for Nabil E. Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

God Dr. Klee, my friend you are some thing else. Now you know how much the BB and all of us miss you when you don’t write. Any way, 9 more days and I will be headed to Lebanon. I am taking with me some information provided to me by Frankie and if what you discovered are her ancestor s this will be additional information for me to use. Baskinta is close to Dhour Shweir, if I have time I will go there and check too.
Frankie my dear, We will still claim you even if you turned out to be from Baskinta

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-10-2002 12:46 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Dearest Klee,

My father is Toufek Makhoule. Arrived at Ellis Island 25 June 1913. He was 9 years old and the ship was Oceanic. They also have under passenger record his US name Frank Abraham as U.S. Citizen at age 27 years. That is when he got to be a citizen. It also says date of arrival was 19 June 1914. His naturalization papers say he was born 15 August 1908 and arrived 1 Nov. 1915 in NY. It says the ship of travel was France, Port of Departure Le Havre, Seine-Inferior, France and an * with: This passenger is a U.S. citizen. Therefore, this backs up that he is my father because I have his citizenship papers.

My grandfather's name was Brahim Makhoul but my father said he never came to this country. My grandmother's name was Saida and Awad was her last name before she married grandfather. I don't recognize any of the other names you gave me. Maybe they are friends or cousins? My mother was born here and was Irish so forget about that. All the papers I've seen said they came from Mt. Lebanon, Shweir, Syria. But that was a long time ago. I never heard of any relatives in Seattle, Washington. One of his sister's name was Latefe. There are some mentions of Alabama, New Orleans and of course Mississippi that I have heard my father speak of. I think they lived in New Orleans, LA from 1915 through 1917 then Hattiesburg, MS 1917 thru 1918 then Jackson from then on.

I hope I haven't totally confused you. Thank you so much for all the trouble you went to getting this information to me. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

I hope I haven't totally confused you.

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-10-2002 12:52 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Klee, When I printed this message it left off part of the last paragraph so I don't know if it shows up or not so here it is again.  Thank you so much for all the trouble you went to getting this information to me. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

With love


Member # 5

posted 07-10-2002 01:31 PM      Profile for Webmaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Dr. Klee, your research ability is amazing...
You must have tried many different spellings before you found the right one...
When I tried the search for T. Makhoul, I got Tanious and Tomassos... etc...
Even when I followed your prompts, and entered the spelling that worked for you, I was able to get the info on Toufek, but couldnot find the other info you found about the other passengers and town and country. Klee, you are exceptional.

By the way, in the early 1900's, they referred to all towns including Beirut as Syria.

And yes, Baskinta is the next town over from Shweir. coincidentally, my neighbor is from Baskinta and his cousin is the webmaster for the Baskinta web site. I have already contacted him on collaborative effort. I checked the Baskinta Website at and accessed the "Families" web page, but there were no Makhoul. What was listed may not be complete.

Frankie, you may wish to contact the webmaster for Baskinta, his name is Fady Sayah and his email address is . Please tell him I say hello. Ask him about the Makhoul family.

You see Frankie, now with Klee's help, we are adding several important pieces to the puzzle.

Member # 14

posted 07-11-2002 07:21 AM      Profile for Klee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

When you use the Ellis Island website, you need to click on the ship's manifest for that passenger. If you have registered and obtained a password you can view a copy of the passenger list which spreads over two pages. Click on the magnifying glass to enlarge it. Look up the no. of that passenger (line 8 for Toufek) and surrounding him on lines 6-10 are the family and all the details mentioned. It sounds like Frankie is talking about two different people though.
I'll have another look and report back.

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-11-2002 07:32 AM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

THANK YOU, THANK YOU !!!!!!! I will try this again. Before I could not read the manifest page but I will try again. The hand writing was so bad for me. I thank God for you. We are getting closer.

Habeeb M. Nacol
Member # 15

posted 07-11-2002 07:55 AM      Profile for Habeeb M. Nacol     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Frankie, I am reading with interest your quest for your family. Maybe what I know, which is very little may help. Jackson is not too far from where I live. I do know that there are several families there whose ancestors came from Shweir including the Thomas family and the Salloums (Toumas and Moujaes. About forty years ago I carried an "oud" for one of them all the way from Lebanon. Gulfport is another city that has several members of the same families

Maybe an old timer there still has any information or recollections that may give you a clue as to your relations and their names. A good start probably would be through the Syrian Orthodox Churches there. I know that there is one in Jackson. All the Shweirieh at the turn of the century, and for several decades after that used to attend the conventions of the Southern Confederation of Syrian Lebanese immigrants--they all knew each other. Maybe there are people that may still remember.

Member # 124

posted 07-11-2002 08:55 AM      Profile for Hilda     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Interesting investigative work

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-11-2002 12:18 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


Thanks for your reply. How would I go about finding the Syrian Orthodox Church in Jackson? I can call my sister and ask her to look in the telephone book. How do you think it would be listed? She is really not interested in helping me with this. I can't understand it. She is 4 years older than me which would make her 64 but she is pretty much wrapped up in herself and always has been. Can I look this up on the internet? I thought at one time that my father was a member of St. Mary's Catholic church but I can't find that church on the internet. Mother would not let him go to the Catholic church while they were married. I remember when the nuns would come to our house and try to talk to her but she just told them to leave. My mother was an interesting character. But that is another story. Anyway I went to school with a couple of the Thomas boys but I did not know them very well. I have been gone from Jackson for so long now and even when I was there I had very little contact with my father's side of the family. I was caught in the middle of my mother and father and was afraid to say anything about it. I didn't want to make mother mad. I have been working on this for 32 years and now everybody is dead. I could not get anyone to talk about their heritage. My father would say oh, that was so long ago I don't remember and change the subject. One interesting thing for Dr. Klee is that I remember when I was little my grandmother told me her sister was a doctor and went to Australia. If she didn't marry her last name would have been Awad. That's all I know about her. I'm going to the Ellis Island site now and try what Dr. Klee told me to do.

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-11-2002 12:48 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

I found Brahim Makhoul but I don't know where you found the other passengers. How do I do that? That handwriting is so hard for me to read.

Member # 14

posted 07-13-2002 11:56 AM      Profile for Klee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Frankie, use your password to look up the passenger list for Toufek MAKHOULE, magnify, check lines 6-10; you may have to go back or forward to read BOTH pages of the list to see the details.
Also, look up Frank ABRAHAM; there are a few. One was naturalized in Michigan city on Oct 9th, 1911. Another is listed as Female, as it is probably Mrs. Frank ABRAHAM. Look up that one. She was naturalized on Dec 14 1912, a housewife from Sarba, Syria, and her nearest relative in the country from where she came was Yousef Ibrahim EWADE, of Sarbe. Probably a variation of the spelling of AWAD.
Isn't it amazing that we can read this from the other side of the world!
Anyone heard of Sarbe?

B. Hatem
Member # 90

posted 07-13-2002 10:41 PM      Profile for B. Hatem     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Sarba is located near Jounieh,a few kilometers north of Beirut.

George Matar
Member # 4

posted 07-15-2002 07:51 AM      Profile for George Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Frankie, Here is another clue for you. Talking to Alfred Moujaes who has been following this post, he said he asked his Father Gabriel, His dad said that the Makhoul Family in Ain Sindiani were also refered to as the Murr Family. Now there are a lot of Murr in the neighbouring towns. Looks to me that Frankie is in need of a trip to to Shweir. With all the information you have, a couple of weeks in the beautiful Sanin mountains, good clean air, who knows what will happen..... How about it? About this time of the year would be the best time...

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-15-2002 12:11 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


For some reason I can only get lines 12 thru 29. Why can't I get 1 thru 11? None of the Frank Abraham's were my father. Now I don't know how I found it before. I sure am glad I printed it then. Grandmother was never naturalized or got a social security number. Yousef Ibrahim EWADE is very close. Not only is it amazing that we can read this from the other side of the world, it is also a miracle!! But to me a cordless telephone is a miracle!

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-15-2002 12:21 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


I am not very brave right now. It comes and goes. It is scary to do that all by myself right now. Half of the time I'm ready to go all around the world and it scares everybody I know half to death. I will get to Shweir one day. When the "mood" comes I will just have to get up and go. I probably won't plan for it. But I will have to have you tell me how to do everything like the airplane, etc. so you will know when I go. Also I would like for you to teach me how to read the Arabic you all write on the bulletin board. Surely I can learn this since it is the same alphabet. Is there a book I can get? Why is there a number in the middle of a word?

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-15-2002 12:40 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


I forgot to tell you that I knew Makhoul and Murr were the same. I contacted a man who lives in Gulfport, MS and told him about this and he was very interested but knew nothing about it. He wanted me to let him know when I found out something. He was surprised that it was even Lebanese!! Some people. I want to thank Alfred Moujaes for asking his father Gabriel about the Makhoul name. ANYTHING anybody knows is a treasure to me. You never know.

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-16-2002 01:06 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


A girl I work with has an account where she can view census records and she said I can use her account and guess what!!!!!! I found grandmother and my father and one of his sisters. It is the 1920 census of Hinds County Mississippi. They were at the end of the page so I don't know if Uncle Joe and Aunt Mary are on there also. I'm so excited right now I can hardly think enough to figure out how to get to the next page to see. I will have to ask my friend how to do this and of course my lunch hour is over. It says that grandmother, Alice Abraham is head of family, that is her American name, and my father Frank Abraham was 12 years old in 1920 and Aunt Kitty was 14 years old. It says it is roll T625_878, page 28B, ED 17, Image 495, whatever that means. Do you know? More later I've got to get off the internet.

Love to everybody in the world!!!!!!!

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-19-2002 07:28 AM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


I have ordered the microfilm for the 1920 census where I found grandmother and will view it at the family history library here. I will let you all know when I get it and what I find. It looks like I will find several people since there were a lot of people living right next to each other from Syria or Lebanon. Maybe I can find someone alive who remembers something. Hope springs eternal.

Member # 14

posted 07-20-2002 10:34 AM      Profile for Klee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

This is great news Frankie. It sounds like you have found the right family at last. I look forward to hearing your progress, maybe start a new post.
I don't have access to the US census to help.

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-22-2002 08:06 AM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


Here is something interesting. I already told George. In the 1920 census, it says grandmother's birthplace was Syrian Arab Republic. What do you think about this? Please stay in touch with me because I like to tell you when I find something new. I get so excited!! My back is really bad today and the only peace I get is when I'm on this web site talking to you all or checking out another one. I totally forget about the pain.

Member # 5

posted 07-22-2002 11:35 AM      Profile for Webmaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Congratulations Frankie,
Wonderful news... Yes, in the early part of the Century, most regions and towns and cities like Beirut that we consider to be part of Lebanon now were referred to as part of Syria then.

Posts: 323 | From: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 07-25-2002 07:52 AM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


Yesterday I found out how to find the first page of the ship's manifest!!! I had only been able to get the second half. I'm a little slow accessing the manifest and it is so hard to read the handwriting. My friend who works in another division here where I work (and is so smart at doing this) will print it for me on her computer at home. When you get it large enough to read there is no way to print it here on my computer. I guess there is a way but I haven't figured it out yet. I may be slow but I have the patience and determination of Job with this. For the last two nights I have dreamed that I went to Shweir. I guess it is because I have been concentrating so hard on this for the past two days. Last night I even saw George there and I haven't even met him. Also his brother Nabil. I am not brave enough to go yet but I have gotten the forms completed to get my passport. I sure do hope that the answer will be that my family really did live in Shweir. I feel like I know you all.

Your "sister",




Author Topic: Need Info. on the Naufal Family
George Matar
Member # 4

posted 08-05-2002 08:01 AM      Profile for George Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Here is a request from our Newest Family Member Lúcia Pessôa Naufal from Brazil. Your Help will be very appreciated. I copied this from the Guestbook. GM

I´m Brazilian and from my father´s side half Lebanese. My grandmother Marie Barakat Naufal was from Beirut and my grandfather Ibrahim Naufal was from Dhour el Shweir. The only thing I know about him and his family is: His parents were Naumann and Barbara Naufal (I don´t know if I had correctly written Naumann) and he had 5 brothers. If someone can help to know much more about my Naufal family in Lebanon I would really appreciate, first because I would like to know more about my origin and second because I have to help my nephew in a homework.  Thanks a lot!
Lúcia Pessôa Naufal


1890's, Daghers from Shweir to Mussaytbeh, Selma Dagher, WWI, Odette Haddad... ???  Need more info...

Author Topic: a great lady from Shweir/Mussaytbeh
Member # 119

posted 06-06-2002 05:08 PM      Profile for abboud_t     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Dagher, Rizk-Sawaya, Abu Samra...  can you help?

i already posted this story, two months ago, but i barely got any advances in my seach. i thought that maybe the summer would be a good season to start effective researching, and i changed the title of the topic to get to related family.

note: selma dagher was born in shweir in 1898, married Deeb Rizk (his mother was Sawaya). she then lived with her sisters and brothers in mussaytbeh. she died in 1967.(her husband died in 1934 in the collapse of the hotel "kawkab el share2" in beirut. he was buried in shweir - i guess). they used to live in shweir in a land next to the Abu Samra (lacigale) who appropriated the land.    any information is welcome.

It is in inquiry of a certain missing link for the past century that the search for the story has started, time passes and traces are left, yet these traces vanish with time. In order to freeze this moment, I am trying to put bits and pieces, recollecting a story of past memory.

The story is not a recent one. It is located within the timeframe of World War I. The story begins with a young lady, Selma Dagher.

The Dagher family left the village of Shweir, in the late 1890’s, with some other related families, to settle down in the vague terrains of Mussaytbeh, creating small settlements of houses and orchards.
In Mussaytbeh also settled a noble Russian lady (commonly known as el Mama – the mother) who opened her house as a large school for the children of the area. The well educated Selma was hired in that school. She taught Russian, French, and mathematics to the younger generations, and her job provided her with the intellectual expectations she always dreamed about, as well as subsidiary wages to help her old parents in raising her six younger sisters and brothers.

The beginning of the war was accompanied by all sorts of economic disasters, and a lot of families had to sell their houses for a loaf of bread. The Dagher family felt hunger for a while, but Selma organized the household into a “farmer group” in order to develop their gardens into productive cropland. Their system was proved to be successful and was recreated all over the neighborhood, helping it sustain itself during the terrible famine that struck the country in 1915. And a lot of Shweiries migrated again, to live in this “sister community”. Yet migrants were not restricted to the mountains. Selma’s uncle Fouad rented the stables of his mansion to Syriac families who fled from Cilicy (southern Turkey).

As if the country was not drowning enough in its economic problems due to requisitions by the Turks and maritime blocus by the allies, the Turks decided to close all schools, especially those run by strangers or Christians. El Mama refused to close her school, which was transformed with the help of Selma into an orphanage, while food and clothes was distributed to the needy, with the support of the Russian Orthodox Archbishoprics of Moscow and Damascus, as well as contributions from Russian nobilities, and the Czarina herself. It is then that the Russian lady (probably a Yossupov), gained the reputation of el mama, which means mother, in Arabic.

Her old age and increasing loss of sight weakened el Mama, and it is Selma who started running up the whole School-Orphanage, as well as her house (apparently she lost her parents early in the war. An anecdote states she had to go to Amioun on foot in order to ask for support from the Orthodox Archbishopric of Tripoli, headed by H.H. Mgr. Gregorios Haddad. (Funnily enough it happened that her daughter will marry his nephew, but that is another story…).

For her actions and perseverance, Selma Dagher, and probably Lady Yossupov, received a medal from Russia, just before the deposition of the Romanov’s, it is said that she was also ennobled lady in waiting. At the ceremony, she was accompanied by ladies from Shweir (she was spending that summer there).

This war initiated the start of this story, and it is another war, the Lebanese war (1975-1990), which will try to finish it. (Selma died in 1967 after a visit to the Holy Lands of Jerusalem, just before the annexing by Israel). An instant will destroy the traces of this story. A rocket shot by the Syrian Army, which reached the house of Selma’s daughter, Odette Haddad, my grandmother. The documents were lost…and only remained the medallion, which was given by Selma to her granddaughter, May, my mother, in 1965. A premonition of loss, or a will of memory? No one would be able to tell. Yet this preserved the medal from loss, and this medal is trying to write back the story, that of Selma.

if you had the patience to read all this, please do reply if you have any information/comments on the story thank you again for your help.

Posts: 2 | From: Zalka, Beirut, Lebanon | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged

George Matar
Member # 4

posted 06-06-2002 05:29 PM      Profile for George Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Abboud, welcome home buddy
What a fascinating Story and the lady behind it. You know a decade ago I would have asked my mother about her, but alas she is suffering from Alzheimer these days. The story bring back so many memories, My Mother and her sister lived in an orphanage during the Great War, it might have been the one you mentioned.
Abboud you might try to visit Shweir and Go to Adib Aoun Moujaes, he is probably your best source. Adib is in his 90 and is blessed with a wonderful memory. He was a lawyer and wrote several books. His latest is called Shweir Kama Aariftoha. He lives behind the Saydeh Church in Shweir, Everybody knows him, and by the way his dad, if I am not mistaken, was the Mukhtar during that period, so he might have some records. As a lawyer he met many of the prominant people in Lebanon, I have a feeling he might know Selma Dagher
Hey please keep us informed on this.
And add your name to our Guestbook.

Once again Welcome to our Family

[ 06-06-2002, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: George Matar ]

Posts: 782 | From: Houston, Texas USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged

Frankie Goodson
Member # 111

posted 06-07-2002 12:26 PM      Profile for Frankie Goodson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

I think your story is wonderful. I really enjoyed it. I wonder if the man George recommended, Adib Aoun Moujaes, could help me find my relatives? It would have to be someone that old I guess. You all are so blessed by being born in or came from Shweir. All I have is a picture and now I can't even find it but I'll never forget what it looked like. Do you have any idea of how fortunate you are? Please don't ever take your heritage for granted. Family is the most important thing in the world after God!

Please share with us all of the stories that you have.


Posts: 46 | From: Little Rock, AR. USA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

Habeeb M. Nacol
Member # 15

posted 06-28-2002 07:15 AM      Profile for Habeeb M. Nacol     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Dear Mr. Abboud,

Thanks for the compliments in your private e-mail. Your inquiry about Salama Dagher should be of greater interest that it had generated. Ms Dagher is part of the rich history of our Dai3a. Other than Mr. Adeeb 3own, the person that my brother George recommended, I cannot think of another individual that could be familiar with the Dagher family. I left Shweir over forty years ago and my memory is fading somewhat. Maybe Mr. Jameel Eid in Canada maybe of help to you. Or possibly Waleed Moujaes "our unofficial historian"
can think of another older person in Shweir that may know something

Please do not give up on your quest, this Lady must have been wonderful. I hope by bringing up this thread again more interest can be generated that can help you in your search. Best wishes,


Posts: 272 | From: Beaumont, Texas, U.S.A. | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged

Member # 5

posted 06-28-2002 12:17 PM      Profile for Webmaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


That is a very touching article. It reads like a novel except for the fact that it is real.

I will copy and paste this on the Family Tree web page... This way it will remain accessible to all who open that page and have similar interest.

I bet that there are many other people who are on the quest to learn more about their roots, heritage and history... the more we communicate and network, the more windows and doors open up for us and help us add more pieces to the puzzle.


Posts: 313 | From: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged


Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2002 2:48 AM
Subject: photos "a great lady from shweir"
these are three photos, the medal, and Selma Dagher and Did Rizk the year of their wedding 1920. 
best regards
abdallah tabet

Remembering Teta Mary Moujaes 

-----Original Message-----
From: Emile Ferris []
Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2002 11:51 AM
Subject: RE: Dear Habeeb

 <<a copy of this message is being forwarded to the rest of the family, for their information>>

 Thank you Habeeb for your response to my e-mail. I did follow your instructions and was able to locate the picture (although faded) of my favorite person and my father's cousin, Mary Moujaes. May she rest in peace. Not only was she beautiful, she was also so kind and helpful to us when my sister-in-law, the children and I relocated in Jal-El-Dib in January, 1962, until my late brother, Samir Farès Abi-Saleh joined us from Libya. So were uncle Salim and his family. We were always welcome in their home, which was at the intersection down the road from our apartment next to the school run by the Nuns, across the street from the Post Office, I believe. By the way, Kahlil's uncle, whose name I don't recall (probably Bahige), is married to my cousin, Blanche Sawaya; they lived diagonally across the street from our apartment in Jal-El-Dib. All of us, brothers and sisters and most of the nephews and nieces, were born in Alexandria, Egypt. My late dad, Farès Habib Abi-Saleh and my late mom, Tamam Nassif Elias Aoun, were born in Shweir and Jezzine, respectively. We are now scattered all over the Globe, in Lebanon, the U.K., the USA, Canada, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Australia, where one of my cousins live with her children.

 Teta Mary's brother, Bergis Abi-Saleh, was a master carpenter. He also had had his political troubles, so did uncle Salim in 1962, when the PPS tried to overthrow the government of Fouad Chehab. My grandfather, Habib Abi-Saleh was also a carpenter and he died building a house in Shweir. That was the main reason for my late grandmother's emigration to Alexandria, where she had a brother. My grandmother's dad was a Greek Catholic (Melkite) priest, and to this day, the Sawaya family is know as "Beit el Khoury" (the house of the parish priest). My father's cousins in Dhour Shweir were: Botross, Halim, Hala and Soraya.  My grandmother's cousin, Naim Bey Sawaya had a school in the Metn, where my dad had his educational formative years. Of course, he was pulled out of the school when the family emigrated to Egypt and was self-educated, always reading books and a number of newspapers - which we all enjoyed reading as well: Al-Ahram, published by the Takla (Lebanese) brothers, Al Masry (the official newspaper of the Wafd Party, whose founder was Saad Zaghloul), Al-Mokattam, that was published by Gebran Tueny (the father of Ghassan Tueny of Al-Nahar - I met Mr. Tueny in a conference held in NY about the Middle East, back in 1992, I believe, and I mentioned to him that my dad was a friend of his late dad), Al-Bassir, where my dad worked for over 40 year, and was its manager, and Le Phare Égyptien, a French newspaper, published by a Greek journalist by the name of Geronimo. Of course, all these newspapers are now extinct, so is Al-Ahram, as a free newpaper. Only its name and that of its founders appear on its front page. The newpaper was nationalized by Nasser in the beginning of the revolution, which took place in the summer of 1952. We also had access to AL-HODA, which we used to get from New York. As you may have guessed, we are fluent in Arabic and French. We all attended French schools in Alexandria, the boys, Collège Saint-Marc of the Christian Brothers Schools and the girls, the French Nuns.

It is my understanding that Naim Bey Sawaya was the founder of the public school system of Lebanon. His late wife's family, Lahoud, was prominent in the political and military scenes of modern Lebanon; her brother, the General Jamil Lahoud, was also a member of parliament; her son, Georges, was a high ranking officer, and I believe that the current president, Émile Lahoud, is a nephew. Enough of name dropping!

 Please tell me how you are related to Teta Mary. I kept a terrific memory of the years we spent with her company and that of the Moujaes family.



-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2002 1:43 PM
Subject: Re: Dear Habeeb

Dear Mr Ferris,

Yes, this is the same Teta Mary that I was referring to. She was not only wonderful, she was gorgeous! To see her picture at click on the site directory, then scroll down to a black and white picture of Jamil Khneisser. He is the one with the sword and shield on the right. Click on the picture, and you will get to some real old pictures. Scroll down and you will see a picture of a handsome man dressed in traditional clothes by the name of Khalil then you will see a picture of her with a hand gun. Tell me, how are you related to her? Lert me know if you find it.

                                                   Habeeb M. Nacol

Baaklini's from Bzebdine family Tree courtesy of Bishop Sam Jacobs

I would like to share with you that I have put on the web site a list of the Baaklini descendants from Shweir. it is under Family Tree. It definitely is not complete but it is a start. If there is additiional information I would appreciate if you would email them to me: or leave a message on the board. I am still trying to complete  the file for the Baaklini and Germani descendants from
Bzebdine. I hope our site one day will be as effective as yours is. God bless. Bishop Sam Jacobs


Elias Khonaisser
posted 10-21-2001 10:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Elias Khonaisser     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
again, i would like to share with you a breakthrough in bringing family closer together and i am thankful for this great nation we live that has developed and progressed our times so as to pave the way for such tools as the internet. i would like to share with you a story that has started and in which i am thrilled to learn the details.

i received an email from Jacqueline Forti and i would like to share it with you here for many reasons first to show how important this web site has become and how vital it is. and second because i will need all your help here from 3ammo nabil to 3ammo george to 3ammo habeeb and all of you people cause not even my father remember this part of the family.

here is the email:

To: Elias Nasr Khonaisser- Ahlan Ahlan!

Dear Elias I was surfing thru the shweir web site !
What a web site makes me feel so proud of my heritage!

Let me introduce my self to you. My name is Jacqueline Forti
I live in the Usa. in New York. And I am sure you have guessed that we are relatives.

Your great grandmother Salima is the sister of my grandfather Salim Choueri. I had the hnor and the privilige to meet your grandmother Aida, and Grandfather Elias who is my mothers ist cousin. And most of all I met your father Elias when he was i think 4 or five in 1962 that is when I was in Lebanon and up at dhour o know where i came from. I don't know if you heard their names my mother is Marie,I had 2 Aunts Adlere and Rose and an uncle Alfred all are deceased. My Grandmother 's name is Khaytoom but i just cant remenber her family;s name. You also had a great great grandaunt by the name of Affifa. I still have pictures with your grandmother Aida, and your aunt Noha.

Also the Mukhtar is a cousin to me , and what a pleasure it has been for me to find my identity and where we came from. By the way iI was born in Alexandria Egypt. That part of the family that went there. I have a son who is 31 years old he is a Science High school teacher. And I want him to know where his ancestors are.

It is such a pleasure for me to write to you. I found your e-mail on the web. I had also posted an e-mail and what a an honor to hear from all family members. 

I hope you will get my e mail. God bless you and your family.

Jacqueline Forti                                                                         IP: Logged

Elias Khonaisser
posted 10-21-2001 10:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Elias Khonaisser     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
ok this is really exciting for me and i would like to mention that the writer made a mistake in the email my father's name is NASR and not Elias.

my dad was watching the LBC news at 8 i receive this very interesting meail he is 2 feet away from me and i am like do you know a jaqueline forti and he says no and i am like you told me you visited Alexandria Egypt in 1975 so my mother pops in and says maybe it is the people that Nadim Nasr ( god Rest his soul) brought to our house and my mother is like are they from NY and i say YES do you know them?? and silence reigns.

my father says he visited Alexandria Egypt in 75 and met Nassif Sayegh and he says this person was a lawyer.

that is all he remembers but the email was so detailed i will need TANTE AFIFE'S HELP

Tante Afife i hope you are reading this can you help?? i will email you anyway.

i am going to reply to her and i will keep you all posted on how this progresses isn't this exciting??

so all of you help3ammo Nabil can you help maybe?? Anwar anything??


[This message has been edited by Elias Khonaisser (edited 10-22-2001).]

IP: Logged

posted 10-22-2001 02:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Webmaster     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
I will be happy to do whatever I can, cousin... after all I met you on

Although I do not know the people mentioned in the email, I will be glad to post it on "Family Tree" web page so that it will always be available for anyone reading that section to share what they know and hopefully fill in the gaps.

When I posted the first draft of my grandmother's family tree, George Samaha, not only filled in the gaps but had so much more details that he took us back to 1635... wow... that is the power of sharing. And now we have a more comprehensive Samaha FAmily Tree that showed us how the Samaha, Tabsharani, Khenaisser, Harik and many other families are related... Thank you cousin George.

Elias, I hope you will receive similar fortunate responses.

                                                                                                      IP: Logged

Habeeb M. Nacol
posted 10-22-2001 07:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Habeeb M. Nacol     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Elias,  I am so glad that you brought Jacqueline's story to the web page. I have corresponded with her a couple of times, but did not have the know how to transcribe her interesting story into She has so many friends and family in Shweir, and hopefully all her questions will be answered.

Jaqueline, welcome to the family and hope to hear from you often

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
Sent: Monday, September 24, 2001 3:27 PM

Dear Jaqueline,

I was on my computer when I received your lovely note. I am taking the liberty to forward it to Anwar Kenicer, the webmaster of I am hoping that he prints it on the page so that some of our readers can fill in some of the information that you requested. If you browse some of the pictures of the sight, you will see a picture of teta Mary. She was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful women in Shweir. She was gorgeous as an octogenarian!
The children of Elia abu el Rous's names are Edward, Robert--the one that tragically died in a car accident, and the two girls Sonia, and believe it or not Jaqueline.

As for me, I live in Beaumont, Texas and came to the America in 1961. I have heard of Khaitoom, but for the life of me I cannot remember her last name. My youngest brother is George, one of the co-finders of, and is known as the Mukhtar bil Maghreb.

It was so good to hear from you, and hope to hear from you again. Please, write to and I am certain that some or all of your inquiries will be answered. We hear regularly from Shweirieh from both Australia and New Zealand. It is possible that they may also help.

Best wishes,       Habeeb


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2001 3:14 PM
Hello Anwar!

Hi Cousin this is to wish you and all your family a Happy Thanksgiving and May God give you all what your heart desires!

I just want to tell that yes Elias Nasr  e mailed me and I did send him pictures I had he was astonished how close we were related! Believe me it just so beautiflul to find these people on the web from you  as a future cousin, to Mukhtar  who is a cousin, and to HabibNacol,  my God
it is just so overwellming!

I also forgot to tell you that my grandfather Salim married my grandmother they were cousins ( you know we were always told the  family half is greek othodox and half greek catholic)  because of intermarriage between cousins. And they were married in Choueir.  May be one of the elders God
Bless them would remember the Family name of Khaytoom! Also I assume you would have heard of the Maamari,well Tammam Maamari was my mom's 1st cousin, she had Nicolas, Georgette and I think Elaine who married Elias Abou Rous, whose son had a car accident in dhour, and Jacqueline and Sonia. I did meet all these people .    

Web Master you are the best I am sure someone will remember.  I will keep you posted. 

Jacqueline Forti


Hello Jacqueline,
Wow, what a beautiful email.  You just made my Thanksgiving weekend! 
I am glad that you are making that many discoveries about your/our family roots. 
We are hoping to build as many family trees and enlist the elders in the community to share with us as much as they know while they are alert and before they depart. 
I will add your message to the others that I posted earlier on the Family Tree web page in the hope that others can fill in the blanks and answer your questions. 
Best wishes for Happy Holidays and a great New Year!
Your distant (hope not too distant) Cousin,


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2001 11:13 AM
Subject: Very complicated!!

Anwar I just received a phone call from my cousin Abisaleh!  She has asked a few Lebanese from Shweir who are a bit ancient and they say that:


PLEASE HELP! for the life of me i don' t understand it!


----- Original Message -----
To:  "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2001 10:56 AM
Subject: I just cant believe what i read on the web!
Dear Future cousin!

I just cant believe what i jusst read on the web right now!
the story of Adele Kiamie ! and the Titanic! all my life while i was growing up my mother used to tell us the story of her cousin adle on the Titanic! and how they were saved and she was 15 years old and then her hair was all white and so young!  Web master! she is my mother's cousin they are related!  I told you about the Kiamie's here in \New York  Fareed, and he had 2 other brothers, and my aunt Salima Bedr took me to see them here this was in 1963 they are related thru my mothers family! somebody
must know my grandma Khaytoom!   I also read about the Saada Family also they are related! There was a cousin of my mom Youseff (Joseph ) Saada who went and settled in California and when I came here  he called and talked to me! But he is deceased quiet a few years! could all this be related! My god! This is just beautiful.  

Also I told you my Grandfather Salim and Najib Kiamie travelled togher when they were young my grandfather settled in Alexandria and Najib came to the States. Please This is so much History!.  

Thank you Anwar! I know you will  find the puzzle.  Hope to hear from you- Vive le SHWEIR

Jacqueline Forti


Hello Jacquelin,
I have been away for a week and just returned...
My apologies for the delay in my response.
That is exciting news... although that we do not see the complete picture yet, that information is like adding an important piece to the puzzle. 
I will be happy to add that information to the others and hope that someone else can provide more clues to tie other pieces. 
Best regards, 

Kabalan Gergis Dahdouh Family TreeDahdooh JPG 11-01.JPG (186722 bytes)

Congratulations to Walid Dahdouh for being the first from the Summer Computer workshop program to provide us with his family tree... the Kablan Gergis Dahdouh Family Tree.

And here it is... Click on the chart on the right. >  >  >  >  >  >  >

Walid, can you write some history about your family (see sample of others below) and email it to me?  thanks,  Anwar

December 20, 2001:   Walid comes through again with some new and old photos and articles to transfer these treasured data into the digital realm. 

I bet Walid is working on the stories that will go with these old pictures... Look at these newspaper articles from around the world! 

The tall article came from Sat. edition of Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA.  

Dahdouh 12 usa Article.JPG (168282 bytes)    Dahdouh 15 Arabic Article.JPG (56788 bytes)    Dahdouh 13 usa letter.JPG (25457 bytes)  Dahdouh 11 usa MSArticle.JPG (81563 bytes)  

And lets look at these photos... those without a caption, hover your pointer on the picture and it will give you some hints about it in the lower left corner of your screen. 

Dahdouh 2KabalanG+Saad K.JPG (43222 bytes) Dahdouh 8 Saad Kabalan.JPG (47909 bytes) Dahdouh Saad Kabalan 3.JPG (108093 bytes) Dahdouh Geo Kabalan Plane.JPG (47189 bytes)
Dahdouh Saad Kabalan 2.JPG (61854 bytes) Dahdouh Saad Kabalan.JPG (39086 bytes) Dahdouh 10 Toufic Kabalan.JPG (38771 bytes) Dahdouh 7TK+SalimeMoujaess.JPG (26789 bytes)


The Iskandar Baaklini, Amin Nasr Khnaisser & Michel Shaya Khnaisser Families... 

During a visit to Houston, Texas, to attend Shweir on the Beach 2001, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with my second cousin Samih Baaklini whom I have not seen since he was just a young boy back in Shweir 30 years earlier.  It did not take long for us to revisit the good old times and peruse through some of the old photos.  Samih lent me some to scan and feature on this web site.  Here they are.  


Nasr & 


B Iskandar B Mar Abda twr.JPG (15433 bytes) 
Iskandar Baaklini
& Mar Abda Tower
B Baaklinis on roof 62-63.JPG (23096 bytes)

Baaklini Family

On the roof 
with mount Sanneen as a backdrop...
L-R:  Abdo, Chebl, 
Iskandar, Albert 
& Samih
 Circa  1965   B Baaklinis Shaya Nasr.JPG (26411 bytes)L-R:  Michel Shaya, Rizallah Nasr, Albert Baaklini, ?, Affaf Shaya K., Elaine Shaya Baaklini, Egenee Shaya K., Shaya (peeking), Samih B., Janeene Shaya K., Amin Nasr K.& Adballah Shaya Khnaisser B 1st Comn Grp 6-26-61.JPG (75706 bytes)First Communion... June 1968
In this picture, there are two boys &n a girl from the Corban Family, Tony Halabi, Na3eem Ataya, Gaby Francis & Samih Ataya... 
Do you recognize any others??? ...  

B Elaine Samih Tony Summer.JPG (26977 bytes)
Circa 1967
Elaine, Samih, Tony & Samar Baaklini

B Samih Aboona Hannoosh.JPG (25859 bytes)
June 1968
Samih & Aboona Hannoush
B Amal & uncle Albert B.JPG (22366 bytes)
Amal Chebl and uncle Albert Baaklini
B Abdo & Samih.JPG (19498 bytes)

Abdo & Samih Baaklini

B Eginee Shaya & Samih B.JPG (30077 bytes)
Samih & Grandma Eginee Shaya K.
B Michel Shaya Iskndar B.JPG (39574 bytes)
1962 - 1963
Michel Shaya K. 
& Iskandar Baaklini
B uncle Kamal S Samih Summer.JPG (49988 bytes)

Samih & Summer 
w/late uncle Kamal Shaya Khnaisser

B Elias Riad Samih Janeen.JPG (28961 bytes) 
Elias Shaya Khnaisser from Ohio watch Riad, Samih, & Janeen


George Ghosn Eid Khneisser Family Tree

From an email sent on May 17, 2001

My full name is Charbel Elie Girgi Ghosn Eid Khnaisser. I would like to give you a portion of our family tree if it would of interest.  I am a Computer and Communications Engineer and I currently work with a Corporate ISP in Lebanon called Arabia Business Group.  Please let me know if I can do anything for our community.

Best Regards
Charbel Khoneisser
ABG Sales Engineer


----- Original Message -----
From: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
To: Charbel Khoneisser
Cc: G. Matar
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2001 12:59 AM
Subject: Re: Eid Khnaisser Family

Dear Charbel,
How wonderful to receive your thoughtful message. By all means, we would love to feature the Eid branch of the Khoneisser family tree.  We hope that with more family trees posted, eventually we can solve the mystery of how all the Eid, Shaya, Nasr, Abi Nader ... branches of the Khnaisser - Kenicer - Khoneisser .... family are related.  I have a feeling that we are distant cousins.  the challenge is to chart the path on how we are related.  Please send to me the family tree info.  It would be best to feature it as a JPEG.  This summer, I will bring some family tree software and teach in Dhour to whoever is interested.  You are welcome to join. 
Thanks for offering to assist to benefit our Community.  We will keep you posted. We invite you to sign our Shweir Gust Book and communicate with other Shweirieh on the Bulletin Board.  I am sending a copy of this email to our al Mukhtaar bil Mahjar so that he can keep you abreast of new developments.
Sincerely,  Anwar,  
(Full Name: Anwar George Shaya Kenicer)


Dear Anwar,
please find attached the family tree concerning my grandfather George (Girgi) Ghosn Eid Khneisser in 2 formats:
1-word document
2-genopro 1.70 format. I have downloaded this software from family tree software, and the only one that I found that is freeware.
I will try my best to complete the family tree as I can obtain the information from my relatives and then I will send it to you in JPEG format. I prefer in the meantime if we can agree on family tree software that we can all use. We can include pictures as well as more information such as Birth date and occupation.  Best Regards
Charbel Khoneisser
ABG Sales Engineer






The Deeb & Saada Mirhej Family Tree  Deeb & Saada Mirhej Tree.JPG (229795 bytes)

In the early 1900's, Deeb Mirhej was a policeman for the Baladieh.  He and his wife Saada (Yazbeck) were called Abou Mikhayel and Imm Mikhayel after their oldest son Mikhayel.  They had three sons: Mikhayel, Naamatallah & Sabeh and three daughters: Alia, Afifi and Mariam.  

(Please click on the chart on right to enlarge it and see the total picture > >) 

(Photo on left is of Sabeh Deeb Mirhej). 

The sons  emigrated to Brazil and are believed to have settled in or near Sao Paolo, Brazil.  We do not know much about their families and would very much love to add them to this family tree.  

Now what we know more about are the families of the daughters who stayed in or in close proximity to Shweir.    

The following is a bit of information of what we know so far...

Afifi married Jibran Halabi.  They had no kids. 

During WWI, the family needed to escape to safer areas.  Afifi and Alia were in their teens when they were loaded onto a camel, inserted one in each pouch on the side of a camel and made the long and arduous journey to Syria (either Damascus or Souweida).  The friction from the uncomfortable camel ride with each step rubbed their skin raw.  After they recovered in Syria, Alia met Abdo Hishmeh and they got married.  

In the 1930's, after their parents died, the three sisters sold their house which was located above Mar Jeryes for 300 L.L. to Najib Shalleeta, aka Da3week. 

Photo on left is of Alia Mirhej Hishmeh.

When things calmed in Lebanon and Shweir, Alia visited her family in Shweir often.  Her oldest son Elias and daughter Antoinette were born in Shweir.  Alia's family grew up in Damascus.  Her sons became some of the top photographers in Damascus.  Shortly after WWII, her daughter Antoinette married George Shaya Khnaisser and returned to Shweir.  Most of the Hishmeh family now live in or near Brooklyn, NY. USA.  

After Antoinette's husband, George,  died, she and her family emigrated to California, USA

Mariam lived close to Mar Jeryes, near her sons, Jeryes & Shehadeh's homes. She had many cows and when my mom used to visit, she would go to the barn, milk some fresh milk and offer it to my mom still warm.  (Now that gives a whole new meaning to fresh milk).  

My Grandmother Alia used to refer to the mother of Edmon Halabi, owner of ABC, (I believe her name was Maheeba) as her cousin.  Another of Alia's cousins were Mariam Min3em, wife of Ignatious Halabi, John Mirhej, Edward Bou Azar Mirhej.    

Any one who knows more in formation to connect the missing branches, please contact webmaster, Anwar Kenicer, at the following email address:  in code to avoid spam:   anwar2 (at) shweir  (dot) com


 Imagine my surprise that after returning from a wonderful vacation in Shweir, I got this email and a posting in the Guest Book:


Pedro Merege |
I appreciate to contact members of Mirhej family, I'm grandson of Nicolau Merege (Naamatallah Mirhej), and I have found the Shweir's site at the Google search. Today I have sended the family tree of my grandfather by e-mail
30 August 2005 - Curitiba - PR, Brazil
----- Original Message -----
From:  Email in code:   datum (at) onda (dot) com (dot) br
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:32 PM
Subject: Deeb & Saada Mirhej Tree

Dear Sir,  My apologies by my poor english. I'm from Curitiba, Pr, Brazil,.I am looking for my relatives in Lebanon, throug the Google I have located the official Shweir's site.
My name is Pedro Merege, son of Pedro. My grandfather was Nicolau Merege (Naamatallah Mirhej), son of Deeb and Saada Mirhej.
Mikhayel, Naamatallah & Sabeh Mirhej, had his names translated here to Miguel, Nicolau an Antonio Merege, Miguel and Nicolau lived in Itapeva, (São Paulo state), and Antonio lived in Jabuti (Paraná state), but no so far of his brothers in Itapeva. The thre brothers get maried with brasilian wifes and had a lot of sons... descendants. Today the descendants are living in some cities of  São Paulo and Paraná states at south of Brazil. Someones of my relatives are assembling the trees of  Miguel an Antonio families. I have attached the tree of Nicolau (Naamatallah). As soon as possible, we will send some photos of family (I think that we have a photo of Deeb, Saada, Alia and Afife.
In my search, I've encountered anothers Merege, here in Brasil, some Mirhej in Colorado USA, and some Mehrige in Brooklyn NY, USA, can they to be descendants of Alia or Mariam, and relatives too?
Thank you by the opportunity of meet Shweir and part of our origins.  Best Regards
Pedro Merege

----- Original Message -----

From:     Anwar2 at shweir
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: Deeb & Saada Mirhej Tree

Hello Cousin!  :) 
What a wonderful surprise...  We have been looking for you for years. 
 Thank you for your email -  Your English is Great... At least it is far better than our Portuguese. 
Thank you for the family tree info.  I am copying it here and sharing it with some family members in USA, France, and Middle East.  I and all who are copied above (except one) are grandsons of Alia, sister of Afifi and Naamatallah... 
The other person copied is Bishara Abou Nakhle, son of Jeryes and Evelyn, Grandson of Mariam Mirhej.
To get a better picture, review the Deeb & Saada Mirhej Family Tree, on Family Tree Web page of
I just came back from Lebanon and spent a good part of the time with descendants of Mariam Mirhej family...
 I am anxious to share this w/all and look forward to your communication and learn more about as many of you.
With best wishes to you and the entire family,


Pedro included the
following pictures in
his second email

Thank you Pedro



From: Datum      Email in code:   datum (at) onda (dot) com (dot) br
Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2005 2:23 PM
To: Anwar2
Subject: Some Photos

Dear Cousins Anwar,  Here some photos that my grandfather received of his sister Alia, your grandmother, someone at foto 6 are your father. In future mails I send some old letters.

Abraços (like we speak in Brazil)


So Pedro, here are some pictures of some of the descendants: 

Afifi Merhej w/Alia's Fm
Alia Merhej Family: 

Malak, Antone, Joseph,
Samir & John Hechme
& Antoinette Khnaisser
Only living son of
Mariam Merhej Bou Nakhle

Jeryes w/ wife Evelyn
Grandson of Mariam

Saeed Shehadeh Bou Nakhle
at his dughter's engagement
of Mariam

Sonia, Amal,
Salwa & Loudy

Above, 1st pix:  Afifi who was married to Gibran Halabi w/ Elias Hechme & daughter Therez, Violette Oke &
Antoinette, wife of George Shaya Khnaisser, w/ sons: Anwar, Souheil and Sami infront of Khnaisser house in Shweir.


Pedro, I tried to post the family tree you sent in Word doc attachment, but the format did not show well on web.
Please sent to me your address via email so that I can send to you one of the best Family Tree software.

While you are at it, send me your phone # so that possibly we speak in English and/or Arabic.
We will even try to learn some Portuguese. 


Many Thanks to my distant cousin Wagner Jamil Antonio Merege Choeire for preparing this family tree information about his grandfather's family.



Hanna K JPG.JPG (408152 bytes)One more branch of the Khnaisser Family Tree

The Hanna Khneisser Family Tree  

           Click on Chart to Enlarge    >        >         >        >



Many Many Thanks to Kimberly Christmas in Florida, who did this detailed research which became the foundation to produce this fine chart.
Kimberly is Grand Daughter of Mitchell John (Hanna) and Melvina Hawi (She is sister to Iskandar Hawi in Florida) and Great Grand daughter to Fares and Najeibi Khneisser and Great Great Grand Daughter to Hanna Khneisser.  Kimberly, this is quite impressive, thank you very much.  

Also, many thanks to Najib Khneisser in Shweir for forwarding the information to us and many thanks to Ghassan Khnaisser in California who helped fill in the gaps to create this Chart.  

What a great team effort.  

Now, if you can please provide brief narration of history and intresting information and some unique old photos to complement this treasure of a chart... that would be wonderful.  

Eventually, we will connect the rest of the Khnaisser branches like those of Eid, Nassr and Shaya.  

Calling for Elias Nassr Khonaisser and Shakeep Shaya Khnaisser, can you help out?  

Your first cousin to distant cousin, depending on where you are and on which tree, 

Anwar George Kenicer


Khnaisser Family Branches 

 This is a starting point to get more info about the Khnaisser Family:  

So far, we have the following branches:

Abi (or Abu) Nader
Nasr or Nassr 
Shaya or Shaaya

Any one with more information about a branch or History, please contact webmaster (in code:  ) or post your info on the new Shweir Bulletin Board.

Sawaya's Family possible ancestors

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alfred Sawaya"
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 11:21 AM
Subject: Introduction.

I am not an addict to the computer, but from time to time, I look over the internet and your "" to read something about our emigrants.  I reside at Rabiya in winter time and at Dhour in summer. I want your help to register myself if you feel it is necessary. I shall be obliged if you can e-mail me the procedures to follow.  I am sorry if the text I shall be sending does not concerning the above addresses. I shall be grateful if you can pass it to the responsible and advise me if it can be put in your web page and where. Thank you in advance.

In the course of my preparations to create a family tree of my great grand father "Elias Mansour Abou Nehme Sawaya" my curiosity pushed me to look for the origins of my family and of its name.

The following are the results of my researches and my findings:

Part One : Sawaya name:

During the eight Crusade wars {1096 - 1270) to win back, at the urge request of the Pope residing in Rome, the Holy Land from the Muhamadeens, the Christian armies coming from Europe, mostly from two catholic countries France and Italy, were obliged to camp on the plains surrounding Jerusalem to supervise the blocus of the city or to wait for reinforcements.

Among the Italian military contingents were soldiers coming from a province located on the North-West part of Italy near the French borders, known as the "Savoie". This province was created around the year 800 by the rulers of Sardinia. It was annexed, at the beginning of the XI century to the "House of Savoie" states as a county and elevated to a dukedom in 1416. This "Savoie Duchy" was integrated in to the French territory in 1860 and became "Le Departement de Savoie" and its population was known as the "Savoyards".

The "House of Savoie" was a powerful Christian family which ruled Italy for many years until 1946.

As the crusade wars lasted for more than 100 years a certain relationship took place between the soldiers and the nomads living on these fertile plains. These relationships ended by several marriages.
Due to the difficulty to pronounce the grooms' family names, these were altered to suite the local language and for easier pronunciation The families that originated from the Savoie or bore this family name became
the "Savoia" which means coming from.....  Through the years and from generation to generation this name was altered to read "Savoya" and finally became "Sawaya".

Part Two : Shweir name:

In 1244 the Muhammadeens reconquered Jerusalem and declared war against the Christians. The latter fled toward the mountains and took refuge in the valleys where the climate was warmer in winter and the lands rich in water springs and more fertile.  The Sawayas took refuge in a valley with several water springs. They
joined their efforts to improve their way of living.  They built their houses around a powerful water spring which constituted, later on, the center of the market place of their new village they baptized "Shuweir".  This name is the diminutive of "Shuwar" cliff in English. Effectively the village is constructed on the base of a small cliff called "Ain el Kassis" on top of which American missionaries built a well known school.

Part Three : Inhabitants:

Through the years the Sawaya family grew in number and first names became common among the families. To correctly locate a concerned person the people took the habit of adding a middle name related to an ancestor of that person. That is why, the Sawaya family consists , at present, of 8 branches ; "Touma" Sawaya or "Abou Nehme" Sawaya or "Abou Rizk" Sawaya or "Abou Boutros" Sawaya or "Abou Zeid" Sawaya ( Abou in arabic means, the father of...) or "Wakim" Sawaya or "Khoury" Sawaya or "Assad Chahine" Sawaya.

The same thing applies to the other families that joined the Sawayas in Shweir in later years and now constitute its population. The following names are in alphabetical order excluding their branches: Abdel Ahad, Abou Kheir, Baaklini, Corban, Halabi, Hawi, Kiame, Merhej, Moujaes, Nasr, Rahbani, Sabbagh and Zgheib.

Kindly e-mail your suggestions, which will be much appreciated, to myself and to "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>     .

Thank you for your cooperation.

Alfred Michel Abou Nehme Sawaya 


Dear Anwar,

>From the time I sent to "Shweir" web page my summary about the origins of the Sawayas and you replied to me as Anwar Kenicer, I wanted to write to you asking for some information about your parents. As I recall, my father always said that the Sawayas and the Khoneissers are cousins and that they used to meet and come out with one decision for both families.

For your information my grand father Semaan Sawaya owned a tobacco factory in Shweir and Zahle. My father Michel was the production manager at the Regie des Tabacs. Our property in Dhour is known as Villa Sawaya on your way to Hotel Kassouf. I have been a banker for around 40 years. I retired in year 2000 as assistant general manager from Intercontinental
Bank of Lebanon which was, prior to the civil events, a branch of Continental Illinois National Bank of Chicago.

The purpose of this lengthy introduction is an e mail sent from above subject to your address and which I also received on June 23 without any reference to my e mail address.

For your information, I am receiving, since last year, and from Africa, many such e mails concerning transfer of funds. With the help and advice of my connections at the Central Bank I was able to know that they receive regularly from international institutions, lists of persons involved in such transactions and who ended by being pursued by the government of their countries of residency for participating and encouraging the illegal transfer of smuggled funds. Their advice to me was to stay away from such deals in spite of the enormous remuneration which is so high to encourage the person to be involved.

I felt it my duty to inform you about that and apologize for disturbing you in case you already know about such deals.

Best regards.


----- Original Message -----
From: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at shweir dot com>
To: "Alfred Sawaya"
Cc: "G. Matar"
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 3:25 PM
Subject: Re: Family origin and Nigerian Con Artists

Hello Alfred,
My parents:  George & Antoinette Shaya Khnaisser (Many spellings) more info about Khnaisser and Sawaya's on the "Family Tree" web page.
I get dozens of  letters each month from Nigerian crooked people claiming their need to transfer $8 - $152 Millions to overseas accounts.  What they try to do is get a person's account number and steal what ever money that unsuspecting person has in it.
I know of a person who spent over $800,000 in his attempt to get his hands on the promised $45 million.  So far he did not get anything.  I am aware of others who were killed when they went to Nigeria and suspected something was wrong....
Do not be tempted... The State Dept. has a web site to combat that... I do not have the link handy now, but will look for it if you need to.  I would like to suggest for you to post the valuable information you listed here on the Guest Book.  Please write as detailed info since there is another Alfred "Bou-Raad" Sawaya on the Guest Book.  You can find him by entering Sawaya name at the bottom of the GB page and click Search.  This way, many more people would recognize who you are and communicate with you.
Also, join us on the Bulletin Board.  the family can benefit from
someone with your knowledge and background.
Best to you and your family.

Excerpt from the Shweir BB:

Author Topic:   For those Sawayas' your king is coming back
posted 02-11-2002 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for james     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Rome, Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Italy's exiled royal family hopes to return to the country from neighboring Switzerland as early as June, Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, the grandson of the last king of Italy, told newspaper La Stampa in an interview.

Italy's Senate, or upper house of parliament, yesterday voted to lift a 54-year-old ban preventing the male heirs of the family from returning to Italian soil. Two votes are necessary in each chamber to amend the constitution and avoid a referendum.  We hope to return ``if not by the summer then at least before the end of 2002,'' the paper quoted Emanuele Filiberto as saying. Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia, Emanuele Filiberto's father, said the family plans to enter the country at Naples, the city from which it went into exile in 1946, and hopes to meet the Pope. 

Senators voted yesterday by 235 to 19 in favor of ending the ban, with 15 abstentions. Italians opted to abolish the monarchy in a 1946 referendum and the ban on entering the
country was written into the new republic's constitution two
years later. 

posted 02-12-2002 04:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Klee     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Good luck Sawayas, your kingdom awaits
Princess Hilda, where would you like to visit in Italy after Naples?
Maybe a Carnevale, Italian style.

IP: Logged

Ghassan Zghaib
posted 02-12-2002 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GhassanZghaib     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
... and since I'm a half Sawaya, from now on you have to address as 1/2 hiness Ghassan Zghaib Sawaya.  Now, where's my heritage? 
IP: Logged
B. Hatem
posted 02-12-2002 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for B. Hatem     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
James, You think they'd be coming to the Eid al Mughtaribeen?

(let it) B.


Ø      -----Original Message-----
 From: Salim Sawaya []Savoie History of Syria 621.JPG (132510 bytes)
 Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2002 7:46 PM
 To: Matar, George
 Hi George How are you,
 I'm sorry for not staying in touch with you guys lately even though I'm a faithfull reader on, especially your jokes, your pictures....

Ø       Regarding my old story concerning the Sawaya's ancestry, I found during my search this book untitled "HISTORY OF SYRIA / Including Lebanon and Palestine" by "Philip K. Hitti" The Professor of Semitic Literature on The William and Annie S. Paton Foundation from Princeton University, and here's a clipping from this book backing up my story that the Sawaya's origin is Italian. 

Ø       Please send my regards to Elie Abou Kheir and Anwar Kenicer.  By the ways are you planning to visit Dhour this summer??
 Best regards
 Salim Sawaya





Many thanks George Mkhail Naoome Abou Rizk Sawaya Al Muhtaram for providing us with the following insight on the origin of the Sawaya Family as per  excerpts from a book by Najib Afandi Mkhail Savoia titled:  Safeenat Al Najat 

Savoia N Sons.JPG (31449 bytes) Savoia Najib.JPG (34078 bytes) Savoia cover.JPG (11069 bytes)  
Savoia p 54.JPG (19706 bytes)
p 54
Savoia p 53.JPG (19170 bytes)
p 53
Savoia p 52.JPG (19207 bytes) 
p 52
Savoia p 57.JPG (28731 bytes)

p 57

Savoia p 56.JPG (27287 bytes)
p 56
Savoia p 55.JPG (22531 bytes)
p 55


Posted by Salim Bahij Sawaya on March 13, 2001 at 06:36:16:

Hi, my name is Salim Sawaya from Dhour Shweir,I am the art director of Dar assayad publications. I was very pleased when i discovered this site. My fathers name is Bahij Wadih Touma Daoud SAWAYA and he is cousins with “Laila, bint Adib Touma Sawaya” and I think that Mr Jamil Eid from toronto knows my parents. I've been searching for the SAWAYA ancestors for a long time now, and I am trying to verify the accuracy of the story told from father to son in my family. it goes like this:

As foreign princes became more and more numerous and land upon which they can rule became scarce, they came to the orient to conquer new land. Amongst these crusaders were five brothers and one sister who came to what was known then as Syria but unfortunately they were abducted by Arab tribes. While they were prisoners, an Arab Prince wanted to forcefully wed the girl, but one of her brothers managed to sneak to the bedroom of the Arab prince and he disguised himself as his sister and
eventually killed the prince before he could consume his marriage. The brothers and their sister escaped to Shweir where they hid in the mountains.  

Those guys were Italian from the Savoia family, which by time turned into Sawaya for easier pronunciation.  twenty years ago when I went to italy for the first time, whenever I said my name as Sawaya the italian people would always correct it and tell me Savoia. And one year ago, I was in Morano, and this guy told me when i said my name: “You are royalty, our king is also a Savoia”.  I would like to know if anybody else knows this story, or another one concerning the Sawaya Origins.  

Salim, Welcome to your Hometown web site.  Webmaster

Posted by Klee on March 13, 2001 at 17:31:53:

In Reply to: Sawaya's Family possible ancestors posted by Salim Bahij Sawaya on March 13, 2001 at 06:36:16:

Hi Salim. This is a very interesting and detailed story and such old stories often have some truth in them.
I searched the web and found a lot of general information. Summarising it, apparently the House of Savoy ruled in Northern Italy since the eleventh century. They trace their lineage to Umberto Biancamano (Umberto of the White Walls) who became Count of Sabaudia (Savoy) in 1032 and was believed to be descended from the House of Saxony. Over the centuries, the Duke of Savoy held numerous titles by hereditary right, including the title of King of Jerusalem from the 1600's. The ancient chivalric orders of Saints Maurice and Lazarus were Orders of Chivalry of the Royal House of Savoy, so members of the royal family could have gone on crusades to the Holy Land. We know that there was a crusader presence in Lebanon. The Italian rulers also had battles to keep the Muslims out of southern Spain and battles against the Turks. There was a disasterous Battle of Malta. The title of King of Italy dates from 1861.
Have you seen the family tree page where there is an item saying "there were five brothers who came to central Lebanon: two of them, Khnaisser and Sawaya settled in Shweir, the other two brothers were Shemali and Sfair settled in Kisserwane, the other brother died in transit, possibly from Germany (whether they were vacationing in Germany or that is where they came from, we do not know yet)". The link with Saxony mentioned earlier would be consistent with this. Often there are meticulous details recorded on royal births so you might be able to find a link eventually.
You might be interested in further details on the Savoia, the Royal House of Italy, at

Dr. Klee, what a wonderful and thoughtful response.  Great cyber research.  Your depth of knowledge is impressive.  Thank you.  The team at  

Posted by Hilda on March 14, 2001 at 05:12:03:

In Reply to: Sawaya's Family possible ancestors posted by Salim Bahij Sawaya on March 13, 2001 at 06:36:16:

This is an amazing story...

It is hard to corroborate, but there must be some truth to it...especially when the history and circumstances surrounding the whole thing are taken into account...I guess we will all be related in some way a year or two down the line....


Posted by Elie BouKheir on March 14, 2001 at 16:31:59:

In Reply to: Sawaya's Family possible ancestors posted by Salim Bahij Sawaya on March 13, 2001 at 06:36:16:

Hello Hilda, Dr Klee and Salim,

We have so much to be proud of, a rich past and an exciting future with the The book about Jesus Christ Shroud owned by the Savoya family, the Kings of Turin in Itally. What you are saying Salim is true, the Sawaya's family Ancestors are the royal family of Turin, Itally. I think the book's title is"The Shroud of Jesus Christ", and it is available in the industry.

Elie BouKheir (Treasurer) 

More Family Trees are on the way... 

Tabsharani - Tebcharani - Jafet - Yafit Families

----- Original Message -----
From: "A. G. Kenicer" in code <anwar2 at>
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2001 11:42 AM
Subject: Re: Jafet - Tebsharani - Tebechrani Family Tree

Yes, Yes.  I am very happy to read Arthur's Entry and thank you George for your comments and forwards to Fouad & Nabil.  It looks like "Dhour El Choueir" is alive and well in Brazil... just look at Arthur's email address!  A thousand welcome to Arthur and the first member of the Jafet family who is related to Tesharani family and by further extention to the Khenaisser
family.\  I have added two more names to this response... Sami Techerani in Brazil and Mansour Iskandar Harik in New York. I will post Arthur's message onto the Techerani section of the Family Tree web page and it will appear with the next update.
This will help to do a great and more extensive family tree.
Happy Holidays,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matar, George" <>
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2001 7:43 AM
Subject: RE: New Entry in Shweir Guestbook

Hello Arthur

I read your entry into the guestbook with such delight.  To hear from the Jafet family is an honor to this site we are always so excited to hear from our people in Brazil.  Shweir is so appreciative to all the Jafet contributions, but mostly for keeping contact with their origins in Shweir.  Nami Jafet's Statue still is the center piece of our village's SAHA.  Right in front of the  Baladieh, and you can see it in several of the towns pictures.

I will copying our Webmaster Anwar on this email, Family trees is his favorite project on the web page he's going to be so delighted to get this.

Arthur welcome to your hometown web page we are so glad to have you join our growing Family

George Matar

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 8:37 PM
Subject: New Entry in Shweir Guestbook

You have a new entry in your guestbook:

Name: Arthur Jafet
Email: <>
Location: São Paulo, SP Brazil
Time: Friday, December 14, 2001 at 20:36:32

Comments:     It is of great honour to contribute to and paticipate in this website, related to every aspect of Shweir and its people, in order to promote cooperation, friendship and consciousness towards our cultural heritage and origins;  between the Lebanese, and shwerites in particular.     

My parents are called Benjamin Jafet Neto and Sonia Abdalla Jafet. My paternal family descends from the Tibshranys down towards the Jafet family.  Chedid Yafith Tibshrany(1836-1882)-respected educator at the local Orthodox convent school, Mar Elias- was married to Utrosh Farah (1844-1923), also a Tibshrany, from Baskinta. There children were Nami (1860-1923), Benjamin (1864-1940), Bassil (Basilio)(1866-1947), Mikhail (Miguel)(1869-1908), Hala (1872-1937) and Hanna (João)(1875-1959).

Benjamin Jafet was the first of the Jafets to emigrate to Brazil. He married Alzira Assad, son of Assad Makhul Tibshrany and Sada Haddad. Benjamin and Alzira had ten children, in São Paulo:  Genoveva, Monira, Elias (my grandfather), Alberto, Eduardo, Alexios, Leonor, Amelia, Emilio and Waldomiro. Elias Jafet married Yvonne Khoury, from Beirut, and had four children:  Jacqueline, Benjamin, Marcello and Elias Jr. Benjamin Jafet Neto(grandson of Benjamin Jafet who emigrated to Brazil) is my father. He married my mother Sonia Abdalla and had two children: Fabio and Arthur. In 1985, Mark Gene Farah, from Portland, Oregon, wrote about the history and family trees of certain branches of the Tibshranys.

Whoever is interested in more information, my emails are:  


An email about Tabsharani from Mansour Iskandar Harik
From: <>
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2001 8:35 PM
Subject: Tebcherany family tree

My name is Mansour Iskandar Harik and I would like to commend the efforts of  the gentlemen who are working on the Tebcherany family tree.  I would like to draw their attention to few things about the Brazil branch which probably they already know. My grandmother was a Tebcherany.  Her name was Malake Yazbek Tebcherany .Her father was Hanna Yazbek Tebcherany and she had four brothers and one sister who emigrated to Brazil circa 1905 and were known there as the Yazbek family , similar to the Yafits who are Tebcheranys yet went under the Yafit (Jafet) name.  The four brothers were Abs, Mansour, Siman, and Najib. The sister was Shams and got married to the Kfoury family. Abs Yazbek was a  highly educated man who was the inspector  of the Russian Orthodox Missionary schools in Mount Lebanon (Miscobiyyeh schools) prior to emigrating to Brazil. 

 In the 1920s and 30s he taught Russian and Arabic in Sao Paulo and worked in  commerce with his brothers.  He married a niece of the late Nehme Yafit and had eight children.  His siblings had their families as well.  Among the surviving children and nephews of Abs are Oswaldo YazbeK who served on the board of club Monte Libano in Sao Paulo and Dr. Amilcar Yazbek who still has a clinic and a house in Rue Bon Pastor in Ippiranga in Sao Paulo (excuse my spelling).  I
 visited them in 1974 and 1990 and learned that Rue Bon Pastor was totally  inhabited by Shweiriyyeh seventy years ago. I also visited my aunts Labibe and Najla Harik and their families. My aunt Labibe God rest her soul was married to the late Tannous Daher Tebcherane who is originally from the Kfar Akab branch of the Tebcheranys.   

My grandmother was the only member of the Yazbeks that stayed in Shweir and did not emigrate due obviously to the fact that she was married to my grandfather Mansour Harik, had a family, and for some reason did not want to leave.         I hope I did not bore you with  these details, and that you will be able to incorporate it in your family tree  project.         

Regards    Mansour Harik    New York

Hello Mansour, 
Thank you for this very valuable family history.  This is very important and with your permission, I would like to post it on the "Family Tree" web page of  Also, I am sending a copy of this to my second cousin, Dr. Fouad Tabsharani, who is in the process of updating the Tabsharani family tree.  
We invite you to sign our Shweir Guest Book... you will find many people you may recognize like Sami Tabsharani who is Fouad's cousin and lives in Brazil. Best regards,
Anwar Kenicer

----- Original Message -----
From: "beatriz tebechrani" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2001 4:33 PM

Hello Mansour,

I'd like to thank you very much for your attention in answering our
questions about the family , especially about Jibb. We know that it was
usual the union between members of the same family, for example, between
>From the Jafet (Yafit) family I have the following information:

1 - CHEDID was NAMI's son, who was JAFET  TABSHARANI's son (XVIII century)
2 - UTRUCH was FARAJ TABSHARANI's daughter.
3 - Chedid was married to Utruch and had six children: Nami, Benjamim, Miguel (Michel), Basílio, João (Hanna), e Hala. All the children emigrated to Brazil
4 - Nami (1860-1923) was married to Afife, who was DIB and MALAKA NACIF TABSHARANI 's daughter. They had thirteen children: Chedid, Nagib, Ricardo, Frederico, Carlos, Gladstone, Roberto, Emma, Nabiha, Wadih, Malaka, Matilde and Hortência. Nami's complete name, which appears in his diploma  from Lebanon University is NAMI CHEDID JAFET TABSHARANI. He was the leader of the Lebanese community here in São Paulo.
5 - My father Gabriel (Gibran) Dib Tebechrani  worked for more than forty years in a textile factory , owned by Raphael and Gabriel brothers, who are Miguel (Michel) 's son, so they are Nami's nephews. Raphael was married to Matilde (his cousin, Nami's daughter).  Until my father's death , in 1980, I had some close  relation with these two brothers ( while I was studying at the University, I also worked for them).
6 - My father told me that he came to brazil and that he was close to an aunt, whose children Antônio, Afif and Malvina I met and I sometimes stayed at their home. All of them had Jafet as a family name.

I'm telling you all of this just to say that although I know that Jafet and Tabsharani belong to the same branch , I don't know for sure which is the closest branch between my grandfather Dib Tabsharani and Jafet.  And I'm greatly interested now that you tell me that the Yasbeck belong to the same branch; I also  heard here in São Paulo that Lutfalla and Assad families are also related.
I also have some information that says  the origin of the Tabsharani family is related to a region in Lebanon. Our ancestors would be the owners of some foundries. I have much more information, but it's not clear.
Let's do some research about it. 
Thank you very much.
Best regards,

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2001 6:52 AM
hello Sami          
I enjoyed your message and your info coincides with mine but I am surprised you have not encountered any of the Yazbeks.Try to look up Dr Amilcar Yazbek on Rua Bon Pastor   Ippiranga ,he has his clinic and house there. He is the son of Mansour Yazbek the brother of Abs Yazbek Tebcherany.
Try also Oswaldo Yazbek in Sao Paulo. He is  the son of Abs who had also another son who was a well known doctor in Sao Paulo by the name of Kamal Yazbek who died few years ago. His son Ricardo is a well known architect engineer.The yazbek, Yafit, and Dib are definetely from Shweir but I am not sure about the others.  
I am sure that you know that Tebcheranys exist in other towns in Monte Libano such as Btighreen, Kfar akab, Baskinta, Douma, and possibly Zahle.      
Let us keep studying this history, and stay in touch           
Mansour Harik


The Tebechrani -Tabsharani Family are building theirs...    Dr. Fouad Tabsharani in San Francisco and his cousin Sami Tebechrani in Sao Paolo, Brazil are putting the finishing touches on their family tree before featuring here on the web. 

Today, February 2, 2001, Webmaster met with Dr. Fouad Tabsharani and enjoyed a pleasant lunch near Fouad's office in San Francisco.  Fouad gave me a floppy disc which contains a digital picture of the Tabsharani Family Tree.   

And    H E R E   I T   IS   .  .  .  .  .  . 

               Click on the chart on the right to enlarge   >    >     >      >           >

The following is a copy from the Shweir Guest Book:    

-----Original Message-----
 From: Magdi Tebechrani []
 Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 12:22 AM
 Subject: re Tebechrani Family
  << File: Carte pour Magdi Tebechrani >>

Mr Matar  its by luck that i discovered that the name Tebechrani is  a big family, as i grew in Cairo egypt we were the only Tebechrani in Cairo, except that in the late sixties , my father discovered another Tebechrani in  Alexandria.
 I am 51 years old a Pharmacist married to a french canadian with 2 daughters Dalia and Maggi.
 I have a brother  Mounir who live also In Montreal with his wife with 1 daughter Aline and a son MIchel My father he is 91 years old the only survivor of his family of 6 children, my mother Marie Dekki she is also alive in Montreal, they left Egypt in the 80's .
 what i know that my Grandfather came to Egypt from Lebanon as young boy with his sister, she get married and stayed in Alexandria, and my grandfather married an egyptian girl ( MAthilde Fahmi) and he gets 6 children 4 of them died in the typhoid in the early 40's i think that hit Egypt, they were 3 Girls and 1 Boy Alphonse who died before he see his son ( Georges Tebechrani ) who lives in Montreal also.
 I hope just to know from what village in Lebanon my grandfather left.
 Strangely i met a lebanese poet., when he saw in my drugstore told me that his uncle Nicolas Tebechrani who live in Beskanta or something like that , that i have the same face ,,hmmmm strange in fact.
 if you would like to see some photos of my family i'll give you a site to see some. Thanks in advance.   Magdi
 the site is


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Matar, George" <>
To: <>; "'Tebsherani Fouad'" <FOUADT@AOL.COM>; <>;
"''" <Manny318@AOL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 5:49 AM
Subject: RE: re Tebechrani Family

 Good Morning Magdi,  
You might be in luck, Baskinta is across the valley from Shweir located on the base of Mount Sanin.  There is a family tree about the Tebechrani on our web page, as well as several Tebechrani are in our guest book.  I am sorry to say that our guest book is not that user friendly to locate names by family, we are working on improving that.
 I am Copying Dr Fouad T in California, Also Sammy in Brazil and Mansour Iskandar Harik who also contributed to the Tebechrani family tree.
 I recommend you to revisit <>  and specifically the "Family Tree" sub directory, There is lots of information on your Family, maybe there is a link somewhere.  Good Luck
 George Matar


Name: Sami Tebechrani
Location: São Paulo, SP Brazil
Date: Sunday, November 19, 2000 at 05:59:12

Hello! It’s amazing! I feel at home at . My name is Sami Tebechrani, I’m married to Beatriz Zamboni and we have two children, Alexandre Zamboni Tebechrani and Frederico Zamboni Tebechrani. I live in São Paulo, Brasil. My father Gabriel (Geebran) Dib (Deeb) Tebechrani (1899-1979) was born in Shweir, son of Deeb Tabsharani and Maddoul Saddallah Samaha. He came to Brazil in 1928. My cousin Fouad and I are preparing our family tree to send you. It was a great pleasure to see in my cousins’ messages and pictures: Fouad, Joseph and George (from California); my nephew Gabriel’s message (from Batatais, São Paulo state), and also Rosalie Sawaya and George El Khouri (from São Paulo); my friends George and Georgette Rouston (from El Shweir) who we had been with last August, when my wife and I were in Lebanon. They were very kind and took us to beautiful and interesting places there. Yes, we went to El Shweir to make my dream come true: to meet my uncle Wadih, my aunt Salimeh, my cousins and to get in touch with my origins. Those were marvelous days. Their hospitality was unbelievable. I send my best regards to all my daddy’s countrymen and their descendants.

Webmaster's Note:  What a wonderful message.  Hello cousin Sami and family: Welcome home, to your Shweir.  Although we never met, I can see exactly how we are related by looking at the Saadallah Semaha Family Tree below.  My Grandmother Amalia is #32 and your Grandmother Mother Maddool is #33.  They were Sisters.  It is messages like yours that make it worthwhile for our team at  Our reward is when we read about your Making connections with long lost relatives....  Visiting your homeland.... Making a difference in your community and the community of your forefathers.  Stay in touch.  We look forward to meeting some day. 
Your cousin, Anwar George Shaya Kenicer

Excerpt from Shweir Guest Book postings by Dr. Fouad Tabsharani:

Date: Friday, November 24, 2000 at 12:51:05
Just to add a comment of my childhood memories for you Anwar, our webmaster, and your family. When my Dad Wadih Tebechrani went to work with his uncle Sabeh Saadallah, who was an architect and immigrated to Jerusalem in 1936 two years later he sent for his cousin George Shaya, your Dad to come and work with him. My Dad quit working with his uncle Sabeh and went on his own earning his own wages by driving a truck. When your Dad, uncle George, came from Lebanon he stayed with my Dad and worked with him. My Dad got married in Jerusalem

CONTINUE.....and uncle George stayed with us. I was born in 1937 and years later I vividly remember your Dad carrying me every where we went up to the age of six years old. Even when we met years later in Lebanon, your Dad even reminded me about how he took care of me, and hinted few stories about how mischievous I was. I think these were the old good days...God bless his soul.  

Webmaster's comment 
Hello Fouad, 
What a pleasant surprise to read some touching memories about our forefathers.  These are some things I never knew about my father till now.  Thank you very much for sharing these precious  bits of our families' history with us.  
Your cousin

The Baaklinis are working on their family Tree.  the following is a copy from a posting on the Shweir Bulletin Board:  

Posted by Bishop Sam Jacobs on November 28, 2000 at 17:45:51:  

I have been working on the Baaklini Family Tree for over 37 years. My parents were from Bzebdine el Metin. But my father mentioned that there two other Baaklini brothers, one of whom settled in Shweir. I am interested in making a contact with any members of the Baaklini family living in Shweir presently. Please respond. Thanks.

Posted by George Matar on November 29, 2000 at 07:59:32:

In Reply to: Baaklini Family Tree posted by Bishop Sam Jacobs on November 28, 2000 at 17:45:51:

Hello Bishop Jacobs
I emailed all the Baaklini that I have email addresses to, and I am sure they will be able to help you. Keep us informed and it would be an honor to post your Family tree on our web page.
Good luck and thank you for visiting our site.
Stay in touch.

Families that are branches of the Moujaes Family Tree

  Family Relations 

There has always been a controversy, which of the two families are bigger, Moujaes or Sawaya.  I don’t know if anybody really kept a count.  But regardless both, as all the families in Shweir, are good, I mean great families to belong to.  

Families that are branches of the Moujaes Family Tree:

In Brazil, Pierre Moujaes told me that Moujaes family has many sub families including:
Khoury, Ghosn, Aoun, Hobeika, Saadeh, Kablan and Makdissy

 Families that are branches of the Rahbani Family Tree

 The Author will accept and appreciate any comments or correction. 
If you believe I forgot a branch please forgive me, It has been such a long time since I did a consensus on the village. 

The above information was provided by Nora Matar Moujaes 

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An excerpt from an email sent by George Matar:
.... but Just for the record we are known as Bou Najm in Dhour....Nobody knew my dad as Elias Matar...He was known as Elias Bou Najm......we are also known as Bou Najm Rahbani, and Matar Rahbani not  to mention Matar Bou Najm and any combination of the above. Are we confused yet? I am having a hard time explaining to my wife what's all that mean. So I explain that the Rahbani is the Big Umbrella encompassing lots of families and she says Huh??  I guess Sawaya and Moujaes fit in the same way.    
Can you imaging us three discussing this around a sobia and munching on Kastana, it will be 3 AM in no time flat. I can almost smell the mazoot coming out of my monitor. How's that for a visual? 

An excerpt from an email sent by Hilda Sawaya:
"......the sequence of the names is important in delineating family 's ancestry.  I already explained my name to Anwar.  My name, if it were not for abbreviations, would be Hilda Anis (dad) Tannous (granddad) Touma (great graddad) Sawaya, in that name is inherent the fact that Sawaya is the father of Touma and I don't know who else....Touma had ?13 children and Tannous had seven...  Hence the sequencing of the names is the indicative part... I assume that the sequencing of the names took the place of saying IBin or bin so and so...  
I hope this makes sense, that is how it was explained to me long ago, I wish that there is a way to validate it... let me know the right sequence of your name....if you want ... We can post something to that effect on the web and we'll see what responses we get..."

Web master's note:   

Thank you George Matar.  That is the most entertaining explanation about family relations... wait a second... do you smell something... I smell smoke... Hey George, quick, check your monitor, it could be on fire by now... should we call the fire department?   

And Hilda, thank you for your insights about delineating family ancestry.  Your explanation is going to make it easier for a lot of people to better explain their heritage.   

Now as far as the Khnaisser family... they got a double whammy,  aside from having a more than half a dozen sub family names, like Shaya, Eid, Nassr, Abi Nader, etc., under the Khnaisser "Umbrella", Khanaisser is spelled in more than a dozen different ways.  The Khnaisser family considers those from the Matar, Sawaya and Moujaes family names, to be more fortunate with respect to spelling.  At least it is easy to spell your name and the spelling is consistent.  With all the Khnaissers spellings, it would make the "family umbrella" look like a "family rainbow" of different Khanisser - Kenicer - Khonaysser - Kheneisser - Can I Sir names... which compounds the confusion...  Are we having fun yet?
Now that the family name issue is coming to the surface, we should do something about that to clear up much of the confusion and save us some time explaining how we are related with so many spellings and sub family names. 
Any suggestions? 

Khnaisser and Sawaya were brothers...  
On July 30, 2000, a few Shweirieh got together in San Jose, California.  (see "Announcements" page and photos).  So what happens when the  Moujaes-Matar-Mapar, Kenicer and Sawayas get together.  Well, some fun, excitement and surprises happen.  Laila, bint Adib Touma Sawaya started the excitement by claiming that the Sawaya family was the largest...  oops... time out, we needed a referee... just kidding...  so... we called Jamil Eid Khoneisser in Edmonton, Canada.  Lo and behold, Jamil told us that many moons ago, Khnaisser and Sawaya were brothers.  He said that there were five brothers who came to central Lebanon:  two of them, Khnaisser and Sawaya settled in Shweir, the other two brothers were Shemali and Sfair settled in Kisserwane,  the other brother died in transit, possibly from Germany or Italy.  (whether they were vacationing in Europe or that is where they came from, we do not know yet).  Jamil said that he got that information about 40 years ago from Rashid Sawaya who was like a self appointed historian and charted some old family trees.  Rashid lived in Intelias then.  If you are going from Dhour to Intelias, his house would be on right side near the big Koooe.  So, which family is the biggest?  It did not matter... the important thing is that we learned a lot more about our families.  It was fun and the surprise discoveries were a great bonus.  

Thank you Victoria Ghada Moujaes & Kamal Mapar for hosting such a great luncheon in your beautiful home and giving the opportunity to explore and learn about our heritage.   

If anyone knows Rashid Sawaya of Intelias or the next generation of his family, please let them contact us or give us the information and we will contact them.  We very much would like to get more info and or copies of the old family trees that he put together or any information they may have in this regard.   

To Top of Page


Descendants of Saadallah Samaha, Shaya Khnaisser & Tabsharani families reunite in California 

On June 10, 2001, a memorial service was held for Aunt Nejla Saadallah Samaha Likas , she was the last of her generation.  It was also an opportunity for the new generation to get re-acquainted and discover how some of us are related.  Some of us knew that the Khnaisser's and Tabsharani's were related but did not exactly how, until we looked at the family tree below and low and behold, our grandmothers Amalia (32) and Maddool (33) and were sisters. 

OK, here are names to go with the faces.  L -- R,  On floor:   Anwar Kenicer, Carola Khenaisser,  seated:     Emily Pahl (bint Rose Shaya Khnaisser Metaxas 84), Antoinette Khnaisser, Harriette Varni (bint Hazel Shaya Khnaisser Daher 86), Esther Klipple (bint Mildered Shaya Khnaisser Eassa 87), Robert Klipple, Elias Khenaisser, Vera Striech (bint Hazel Daher), 
Standing:  Margo Tabsharani, Cori Kenicer, Lisa Shaya Walsh, Suzie Pearsal (bint ibn Rose Metaxas), Tim Balvin, Liz Fendel (bint bint Rose Metaxas), Dr. Fouad Tabsharani and George Tabsharani, sons of Wadeeh Deeb Tabsharani.  To see how they are related, click on the Saadallah Samaha Family Tree below.  The numbers above reflect corresponding numbers on the Family Tree. 

Here is another picture, this time with Kathy Tabsharani who took the above picture, and  in case you blinked or were not smiling in the first one... 

Imagine the coincidences, Dr. Fouad Tabsharani worked for many years as chief of the Radiology Dept. for the VA hospital in San Francisco which is 200 meters from his second cousin Esther Klipple's home and did not make full connection until this gathering.  And until this gathering, most of the descendants of Amalia (32) and Maddool (33) had chance to meet and comprehend fully how they are related. 

The story of Grandma Mary Saadallah Samaha, a true pioneer

July 2000                  By Anwar George Kenicer

Since we only have one sample of a family tree,  I will tell you a story about my great grandmother...Grandma Mary Saadallah Samaha:

Hello, my name is Anwar ibn George and Antoinette Shaya (Khenaisser) K enicer.  I have been away from Shweir for about 30 years.  In order for you to better relate to the story, I will give you a little bit of background.  My grandfather Nicola Shaya Kenicer Amelia Samaha Kenicer (Khnaisser... there are half a dozen different spelling of ...Khenaysser) had eight children, three sons (Dawoode, George and Najib) and five daughters (Lisa "Louise", Zalfa, Zahia "Hazel", Rose, and Malakeh "Mildred").  Click on the Saadallah family tree above for better prespective.  My grandfather married Amalia bint George and Mary Saadallah Semaha.  The story begins with Mary, my grandmother's mother.    

The reason most of the Nicola Shaya Kenicer family (or all the women in that family) emigrated to America can be attributed to the boldness and adventuresome spirit of Grandma Mary Saadallah Semaha.  She was an early pioneer and possibly a feminist even before people knew what that word meant?  In the late 1800's, "Grandma Mary" made that bold and fateful decision to come to America. 

(Fast forward)  On Thanksgiving Day in 1989, some family members were gathered at aunt Emily Pahl, (Rose's daughter) in Hillsborough, California when aunt Emily asked aunt Nejla Saadallah Likas (her father Elias Saadallah and my grandma Amalia are brother and sister) on how it so happened that Aunt Louise Jones, Rose Metaxas, Hazel Daher, Mildred Eassa and aunt Nejla came to San Francisco?

Aunt Nejla told us that her grandparents, George & Mary Saadallah, lived in Shweir, Lebanon. They had two sons : Elias and Saadallah,  and two daughters: Amalia "Emily" and Maddool.   

Apparently, Mary was an independent and free spirited lady who got tired of putting up with her autocratic, "old fashioned" and macho husband.  After one incident too many, she left husband & family and after a long journey ended up in Detroit, Michigan, USA. 

After a few years, Grandma Mary either sent for her son Elias or he came to Detroit to bring his mother back home to Shweir.  While in Detroit, he met Badra Shweiry Kasoofe, fell in love and got married.  After a few years, Elias and Badra Saadallah went back to Shweir for 5-6 years.  During that period, in 1898, They had a baby daughter and called her Nejla. 

 In the 1880's, Elias' sister Emily got married to Nicola Georges Shaya Khnaisser (Kenicer etc.) who in turn had a large family as follows:  David, Louise (Lisa), Rose, Hazel (Zahia), Najib, Zalfa, Mildred (Malakeh which means queen), Najib and George. Their father's casual name was "Abu Dawood" meaning the father of his eldest son David. Abu Dawood built a dam across a creek to provide summer irrigation for the large tract of land he owned. Since then, the creek was renamed "Nahr Abu Dawood" meaning the River of the Father of David.  The Dam is still standing and in operation today.

 Some time in the 1880's, Mary Saadallah moved from Detroit to San Francisco. In 1902, Aunt Nejla, her parents, Elias & Badra Saadallah, Elias' brother Saadallah and Lisa (aunt Louise) came to Grandma Mary in San Francisco.  Aunt Louise was 17 years old at the time but they claimed that she was only 12 years old so that she would only have to pay half the cost of the ticket.

In 1904, Aunt Rose came from Shweir.  She was 14 years old.  She stayed with aunt Louise for a while, then moved with aunt Nejla and her parents.

 Jerry Metaxas, a young & handsome Greek fellow knew aunt Louise.  When he met aunt Rose, he fell in Love and planned to get married on April 18th, 1906.  Early that morning, the big Earthquake of San Francisco hit.  Aunt Nejla recalls her mother picking her up from her little bed moments before the brick fireplace chimney collapsed on her bed.  They were stuck inside the collapsed house until rescuers broke the stuck front door and pulled them out.  Aunt Nejla, her parents, Aunt Louise and Rose left S.F. by horse and buggy and stayed temporarily at a dairy farm some where near Palo Alto.  Uncle Jerry was in Vallejo at the time. He came to S.F. 8 days after the quake, found Aunt Rose, got license, got married and went to live in Vallejo.  

 Aunt Hazel came in 1912 or 1913.  Aunt Mildred came in 1921 when Aunt Nejla was on her honeymoon. 

I am grateful to my aunts and cousins who helped me come to America in 1967 and welcomed me to their homes.  I in turn helped bring my family and some school mates.

All of my aunts have now passed away except for aunt Nejla.  She  is now 102 years old and lives in a rest home near San Francisco.

 ... To be continued... any updates or corrections would be appreciated.

 We hope that this story will inspire you to write about your family's history and show how everyone is related.  Seek out your families elders and write down incidents, stories, family members and people as far back as they could remember.  You will end up with a priceless treasure to be passed on from generation to another. 

Thank you Aunt Em for asking that crucial question in 1989.  It  inspired me to begin writing our family's history.  

Here is a picture of L > R:  Rose Metaxas, Louise Jones, Hazel Daher and Mildred Eassa

Below are pictures of aunt Em, aunt Rose & Jerry Metaxas' Daughter




Saadallah Samaha Family Tree 

     Click on box on chart on right to enlarge    >     >       >         >

Please note that this is a rough draft of our first attempt for a suitable Family Tree format for web publishing.  It is incomplete and may contain errors and plenty of misspelling.  Take for example the Khnaisser family.  It is spelled five different ways and counting within the immediate family and siblings:  (Khnaisser, Khenaisser, Khonaysser, Khonaisser and Kenicer).  This is due to the phoenetic translation from Arabic to English by the clerk on duty at the passport office. 

We will be happy to periodically update (add, remove and correct) the family tree.  At least for the time being, it gives us a starting point. 

Many thanks to Georges iben Nasseeb and Salwa Saadallah Samaha for sending us updates on the family tree and history that took back the family tree another three generations to 1600s. 

3nd version:  Please be patient... this is a large file and it takes a bit longer to download it. Since there are same names repeated in the same family, we activated the auto numbering of the software so that it would be easy to refer to a person on the tree.  Since we do not have complete information on some segments of families,  members of the same family may not be listed in the order that they were born.  

The information we have so far on Samaha Ben Solaiman (#1) is as follows: 
He came from Izraa, Horan, Syria in 1635... went to Salfiyeh, Damascus in 1644...  to Kobyat North, Akar and Douma in 1664... to Maten and Shweir in 1665...



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We hope to feature many family history stories and showcase many family trees.  Yours perhaps?