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February 3, 2012

Waleed Moujaes and Salwa Mariam Wills commented on Jane Webb's post in
Hi from Australia Can anyone help? I am tracing my family and am really confused about the name. Is there any public records office that you can get information from as far back as the 1800's. My great grand father and uncle were known as Jack and Nayef Ayoub but Nayef's immigration records say Naif Yazbak. I have been told that the name was ayoub yazbak moujaes but cant find any evidence of this. So i am seeking immigration and family birth records. Hope someone can help.
    • Salwa Mariam Wills Hi Jane. I also live in Australia, where about's are you from? Both my parents are from Shweir, and Immigrated some 50-60 years ago. I'll ask Dad today about your family. Dad has a wonderful memory even at 87 years old. Love to hear from you. My parents and family live in Melbourne. I live in Rural Victoria. :O)
    • Jane Webb I live in Northern Victoria. I will send you a friend request and then maybe we could inbox each other. Thanks
      Jane Webb I cant seem to find you when I search your name only your page could you try from your end to friend me
      Salwa Mariam Wills Absolutely. It's because my personal profile is Private. Will do now.
      Jane Webb thanks
      8 hours ago


    • Waleed Moujaes Dear Jane, your great great grandfather, Ayoub, is my great grandfather's brother. Your great great grandfather's name is Ayoub Yazbeck Moujaes. I talk from time to time to some of your cousins ( my cousins!) mainly Joanne Ayoub, and spoke a couple of times to her dad, Alex Ayoub. One of Jack's grandchildren, Janine Eaton visited us in Lebanon few years ago. I now live in the US. I can share more info about the family later.
      18 minutes ago
    • Salwa Mariam Wills Thanks so much Waleed :o) I appreciate your help. I spoke to Jane today, she'll be so happy!! I told her that I had some Moujaes' as FB friends. She is going to be thrilled. :O)
      16 minutes ago
    • Anwar George Kenicer I love success stories of Family search like these.
      Congrats Jane on finding your family in Shweir, Lebanon.
      7 minutes ago
    • Anwar George Kenicer Thanks to Salwa for keeping the inquiry alive so that it caught the attention of Waleed Moujaes in USA. To some, such request can be like trying to find a needle in a hay stack and could take years or a lifetime without finding the answers. In this case, Jane was among the lucky ones.
      about a minute ago


More info about Sawaya Family:


Part One : Sawaya name:  Surnames: SAWAYA., SAVOIA, SAVOIE, SAVOY

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.





From: anwar
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 5:25 PM
To: 'Nat G'
Cc: Habeeb Nacol; Matar, George
Subject: RE: Shweir Guestbook

Hello Natalie, 

And Aloha to you too.  

Does it mean you are in Hawaii?

Welcome to your hometownís web page.

I will cc a couple of people who may know family connections.  

Best regards,


Nacol Family

From: Nat G [mailto: natalie dgilliam @ hotmail dot com]
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 2:51 PM
To: anwar at
Subject: RE: Shweir Guestbook


Good afternoon.

I am related to the shweir family through my Grandfather- Mitchel Nacol.  Mitchel married Carlye Ramey and their children are Harvey, Steven, and Deborah.  My mother is Deborah Nacol and she married David Gilliam. My sister's name is Vanessa Gilliam.



- -
- - - - -
- - - - - - - -
- - - - -
> Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2008 20:00:08 -0700
> To:
Nat G [mailto: natalie dgilliam @ hotmail dot com]
> Subject: Shweir Guestbook
> Welcome to
> Tell us about yourself and how you're related to the Shweir family.
> =========================
> Your message:
> Might Be The Best Ever Yet
> =========================

From: Matar, George
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 7:57 AM
To: Nat G
Cc: anwar2
Subject: RE: Shweir Guestbook

Hello Cousin Natalie

Ghassan cut and pasted your guest book entry on the Bulletin Board, I saw it yesterday and I did respond to it.  So here is how we are related, your Momís grandmother Regina and My grandmother Melia are sisters, the daughters of Farris Gibrael Moujaes.  They were sisters to Khalil (His great grandchildren are still in Dhour Shweir); Ibrahim (his daughter is also in Dhour); Nazha, Habib and Aziz died without leaving any descendents;  All of Reginaís and Meliaís descendents are here in the US

The whole Mitchel Nacol Family visited Lebanon around the summer of 1965 or 66.  and spent 2-3 weeks there.  I met you mom, and both Randy (Steven) and Harvey for the first time, I joined them on a couple of trips round the country.  Itís been a few years since Iíve seen your mom, I think it was during your grandfatherís funeral, I believe at that time she was still living in Houston, Has she moved away?

Your Cousin Michael (Randyís son) is practicing Law in Houston, he moved here from Beaumont a couple of years ago.  I believe he shares the same law office with May Nacol (Williamís daughter).  Point is you have a lot of family here, you also have lot of relatives on both the Nacol and the Moujaes families in Shweir, Michael went and visited with them few years ago.

You also have some relatives in San Jose (my nieces).

Email me or call me at 832.607.1445 if you need more information.

Give my regards to your mom and Dad (I can not remember if Iíve ever met him), and if they still live in Houston I would like to invite them over or take them out for dinner

George E. Matar, P.E.

Principal Process Engineer

Phone 713.845.7804

In Search of  Nahra - Nohra - Nuhra  Roots

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Joseph [mailto: info (at) shongololotours (dot) co (dot) za ]
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 9:30 AM
To: anwar
Subject: Re: Shweir Guestbook

Dear Anwar,

My grandfather - Seba Nahra - came from Dour El Shweir. He died in Durban, South Africa in 1945 at the age of 74 - therefore he must have been born in Dour El Shweir in approximately 1871. He belonged to the Greek Orthodox or Syrian Orthodox Church.

Initially he (and his brother) immigrated to Australia in the 1890s (?)  He married there and had a daughter named Melbina. She (and her mother) might have returned to Lebanon - but of this, I am totally unsure and I do not even know the name of his first wife.

In the early 1900s - I believe between 1903 and 1907 he moved to South Africa and married my grandmother Annie Rouanna (Peters). At some stage (upon arrival ?) he changed his surname to Joseph.

I have been told that his brother Alexander (?) and his wife Rose/Rosie/Rosalie (?) moved to the USA from South Africa in the 1920s(?).

The last known address of him we have - was Governor Nichols Drive, New Orleans - but this was in the 1920s/1930s(?)

There is an old family story that another Nahra brother, George (?) immigrated to South America.

I know that a distant cousin of mine - Koumi Nahra - was living in Beirut until quite recently. I have been told that he might have moved to Australia.

I would greatly appreciate any information - no matter how vague - regarding the Nahra family.

Further it is my intention to visit Dour El Shweir in the future to study birth records/archives etc. Any information in this regard would also be greatly appreciated. Please help me in my search.

Warm regards from South Africa,

Mark Joseph (Nahra)

In Code:    [ info (at) shongololotours (dot) co (dot) za ]


Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:30 PM
To: 'Mark Joseph'
Cc: Riad Khunieser ; Nadia Benab ; G Matar; Ghassan Zghaib ; Joseph Nohra
Subject: RE: Shweir Guestbook -In Search of Nohra - Nuhra Roots

Hello Mark and welcome to your hometown website.  


I will copy several people who may be able to connect more pieces to the puzzle which we hope it will lead to connecting with your distant cousins.


I will also post this on the BB and the Family tree web page.


Here are some links to Nohra - Nuhra:

I see that Ghassan beat me to it... :)

Attention: Hobeika, Moujais, Abou Samra, Ghosn, Haddad, Nohra and Benab families, check this link to see related family tree - courtesy of Nadia Benab & Hashem Hashem:


Best regards,




Morie - Mirry - Merrey - Meri3y - Branch of Moujaes Family
Amazing coincidences

An intersting entry in the GuestBook
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Ghassan Zghaib
Site Admin

Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Posts: 354
Location: Laval, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: 15 May 2008 05:46 pm    Post subject: An intersting entry in the GuestBook Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster

Following is an entry written by Laura Morie:

My grandfather Fred Morie, emigrated ultimately to Alberta in the early 1900's from Shweir, they first landed in Ellis Island (US) and then travelled to St. John's in New Brunswick, Canada and then made their way to Edmonton, Alberta.. The family ended up with different last names because of the language difficulties, so some are Murray, some are Morie. They left behind their beloved Shweir and I was very delighted to find you on the web. I grew up listening to stories my Grandfather told be at bedtime. I will continue to visit your very interesting pages. Many thanks, Laura
15 May 2008 - Alberta, Canada
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Ghassan Zghaib
Site Admin

Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Posts: 354
Location: Laval, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: 15 May 2008 05:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster


Murray and Morie sound like Merrey which is a branch of the Moujaes family.
I hope Abu Gabriella and Gilbert (Khalil Merrey's sons) can shed a bit of light on your granfather's origin.
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Habeeb M. Nacol

Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 212

PostPosted: 15 May 2008 06:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster


I am almost certain that you are right. Morie is Mir3ee. Let me tell you this eerie story that happened to me. As you know, I am in the jewelry business. About fifteen years go this elderly Canadian woman (eightyish) by the name of Morie came to the store with a younger lady that lived down here in Houston. To make the story short, the old lady was curious about my accent and asked me from where I came from. I told her that I was from Lebanon.

To my surprise, the woman told me that her parents were Lebanese also. To my amazement, she told me that her father came from a little town in Lebanon called Shweir. She was floored when I told that that Shweir was my birth place as well as my hometown. She also told me that her nephew had just returned from there and he had met the childern of his uncle George Mir3ee. George is the grandfather of Gabriel and Toni! Toni's daddy Khalil is like a brother to me.

The only thing that I remember about the old lady was that she told me she lived in a city north of Calgary and that here family was in the furniture business. I hope this rings a bell with Laura.

Laura welcome to the web page of your ancestors.
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PostPosted: 16 May 2008 08:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster

Amazing coincidences... I just alerted Laura to these new discoveries and to the link to this post. We look forward to welcome Laura and her family. I will also put a copy on the Family Tree 2 web page.

-----Original Message-----
From: Laura Morie [mailto: balesl (at) shaw (dot) ca]
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 9:19 AM
Subject: Re: Shweir Guestbook

That is great news, the world really is a small place indeed. Shweir must be very special; where people make such an effort to stay in touch where ever they may be. Fifteen years ago that would have been Olga, Georges daughter (they lived in Hanna, Alberta (just north of Calgary) she had a daughter, Marilyn  that lived in the United States. George was my grandfather's brother. I think that my grandfather Fred and his brother John came over first and then his sister Mary,  brother George and one other ( this one died )  followed, including their mother. I believe my great-grandfather stayed in Shweir.

So my grandfather Fred Sr., had three children, Noweta, John (Jack) and Fred Jr. Fred Jr.was my dad, he passed away in 2001.Noweta( daughter she is still living and is 83 ) had no children, Jack (who passed away in 1999) had 8 children, 7 are still alive, and my dad had 2 girls. I am fascinated and want to find out everything that I can..  Mary (my grandfather's sister still has two daughters twins, that are 95 years old and living in Edmonton, George has at least one son still alive named Marshall. I would like to know what transpired with my great-grandfather and the family that stayed in Shweir.. To that end I am grateful and thrilled for your assistance.  I have attached a picture, the hair color is to keep the gray away.

Cheers for now.



Saliba /Saleeby Web site
A great web site for the Saliba / Saleeby Family - Mostly in/from Btighreen
Also check out Family history, it goes back to the Crusaders...


Beverly Ann Coleman (Weber)
My maternal grandmother Leeza Shalita Ackle, migrated to the USA in the late 1800's through Ellis Island, a teenager. She being a Maronite Catholic, I'm wondering how I could find a baptismal record since Dhour Shweir was her birthplace. Can you assist me in finding the church she might have been a member of? Thank you
24 January 2008 - Texas Note: -  Hello Beverly Ann and Welcome to your grandma's town web site.

I have digital photos of about 60 - 70 % of the church records that go back to about early to mid 1800s. I am hoping to put them in a searchable data base, but so far, I have not found the key persons to do make that transformation. I do not have the Maronite church records yet. Do you know your grandma's parents names? was her maiden name Shallita? Did she become Maronite by marriage? I will post your inquiry on the Family Tree 2 web page, just in case one of our readers has more info than I. Good luck. Anwar

If anyone has more info or suggestions for Beverly Ann to find her roots, please contact her at her email which is posted in code to minimize spam:   bacoleman (at) suddenlink (dot) net 


Lets make May: Family Awareness Month
The best gift you can give your family is their roots, history... Create and/or expand your Family Tree

Family Awareness Month
Summer 2007 project opportunity:  $1,000 - $2,000
Build Shweir Family & Church Records data base in Excel

You will be amazed how many people from around the world are searching for their roots, family and heritage connections.  Read some of the posts on the Guest book and Bulletin Board.... 

Attention: Hobeika, Moujais, Abou Samra, Ghosn, Haddad, Nohra and Benab families, check this link to see related family tree - courtesy of Nadia Benab & Hashem Hashem: 

Brazilian Shweir Family Connections-  Check these communities leading to Shweir:
Festa Chueire - Familia Chueire - Familia Choueri - Shuery, Choueri, Chueri -
Brasil - Libano - Familia Merege (or Merhege- 90 members) and another Merhege-(30 Members)     

All of the links above except one are from Shweiry descendants in Brazil posted on one website.  Imagime if we were to add other websites and other countries like N. America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia...  Visit these communities above.  You may find a long lost cousin.  I did.  Hundreds of them.  Remeber, Shweiry means a person from Shweir.  Many of them have other family names when they left Shweir... for example:   Naamatallah Merhege emigrated to Brazil around 1910 his name became Antonio Merege Choueri.  Read more about the three Merhege brothers at:  

Now, the children and grand children of those who emigrated long ago, are searching for connection to their roots.  Here is one example:  Familia Choueri "I'm Carolina Choueri. Pedro Merege told me about you.  My great-grandfather called Miguel and his wife called Zebeide.  Do you know somebody with these names?" 

Carolina's Grand dad's last name could be Sawaya, Moujaes, Khnaisser, Merhege, etc.  Key is that Miguel was married to Zebeide.  Do these names ring a bell to someone? 

To pique your interest:  The family is offering $100 reward for most complete information submitted about any of the following: 

1.  Shweir Family Connection for Dr. Klee in Australia.  -  See and
2.  Shweir Family Connection for Frankie Goodson -  See
3.  Shweir family connection for Carolina Choueri's grand parents, Miguel (Mikhael) and Zebeide Choueri (see above).
4.  Nicola Shaya Khnaisser (Abu Daoud as of Nahr Abu Daoud, yes, Shakeeb's grand dad) Family tree and connection as it relates to the sub families of Shaya, Eid, Nasr, Abi Nader, Shaheen, ...
5.  Shweir Merhege Family that is related to Deeb & Saada Merhege.  Their daughter 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.  More info on

Brazil: Descendants of Deeb Merhege "Merege" ReUnite after almost 100 Years
Meeting Shweirys in Brazil + Descendants of Merege and Samaha/Tabsharani/Khenaisser meet