Thanks for writing. It's nice to know that all that information that I typed in found its way to someone who could make a connection!
A few notes:
--I actually spoke to Peter Hikel on the phone several months ago after tracking him down via family and the internet, and learned a few things from him. Perhaps most importantly, I learned that Solomon and my great-grandmother, Fahima ("Fannie") Hikel, were brother and sister, and that the Hikel family came from the city of "Saida"--modern-day Sidon. You can learn more about Sidon here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidon
--So, given the town they originated from, the Hikel family was clearly what we would today call Lebanese. But as you point out, most people who came to the U.S. from the region we now call "Lebanon" around the turn of the century would have been described in immigration documents as originating in "Syria" or "Greater Syria". That's simply because Lebanon per se didn't exist when Solomon Hikel and his siblings came to the U.S.---the whole region on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean during those years was known as "Greater Syria". So, our ancestors were definitely Lebanese, but they weren't called that at the time. (As a side note, a lot of Lebanese who live in or hail from Sidon like to claim that they aren't even Arabs, but are instead "Phoenician".) Here's some information about "Greater Syria", in case you're interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Syria
--Thanks for the additional information about Curley (by the way, he was born in the U.S., right? Solomon was already in the country by the date of Curley's birth (1914).); once I get my act together on Ancestry.com, I will add him to the larger family tree that I've been assembling---the one in which I'm including all of the siblings of my direct ancestors.
Thanks again for writing!
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