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Re: Lebanese- Syrians in South Carolina/Salem or George
Posted by: Nelson Jorge (ID *****5706) Date: April 04, 2004 at 08:02:13
In Reply to: Lebanese- Syrians in South Carolina/Salem or George by Amanda Oliver of 3600

Amanda,

Unfortunately, the "family name" George will not get you very far... It is a patronymic, a personal name based on one's father. It is common in Arabic to take the father's first name as your second name, followed by the actual family name (if it existed) or the paternal grandfather's name.

This means that family names may actually change over time so it's quite a pain to research family history in Lebanon! Your best bet would be to try to find the naturalization papers for your grandfather. The name of the village should be in there.

"George" is a common name for Christians (Jerjes or Jirjis or Jires in Arabic) and never used for muslims (so I have been told). That should narrow the search a bit...

My grandfather left me with the exact same problem: his "family name" in the new country was George (Jorge in Spanish) which is no help at all. Fortunately for me, one of his brothers arrived at a later date and had the good sense of keeping the real family name (Hosni). This same brother later became a Brazilian citizen and his naturalization papers contained all the information I needed to find the village.

Good luck in your search,

Nelson Jorge (Hosni)


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