Shalom Mr. Naim Dangoor
How are you keeping?
I would like to know if you heard about the "Sa'eed"
family in Baghdad
I am heavily researching this, but it is most difficult
to find info.
I know that some of the members of this family married
Sadkahs or were close friends to them.
My original surname was Sa'eed, but my grandfather adopted
("Joseph") in Burma some 70 years ago, after his
I know of 4 Iraqi "Saeed" families, of which
I know how 2 are related. (I am from one of those 2). Let
us label my one as Saeed#1, the 2nd one as Saeed#2. Concerning
the other 2, Saeed#3 and Saeed#4, I don't know how the first
two are related to them, neither do I know how they are
related to each other.
Considering there weren't many people by this family name
(although it is a common given name), I think we're all
related. Moreover considering there were only about 20,000
Jews in Baghdad in 1824, this may imply about 1000 clans.
So how many different "Saeed" could there be?!!
Just about the same amout of different "Sadkah"s
or "Danoor"s, which is no other, respectively!
This is what I have so far:
This is Saeed#1 Lineage: (starting from old to recent=me)
1) Yossef "Saeed" … father to:
2) Reuben Saeed …. (Reuben Yossef Saeed is mentioned
in the diary of Hacham Shemuel Sadkah twice:
First when they were escaping from a plague in 1834 when
"Bet Reuben Saeed and Bet Abraham Gurji" fleed
with H. Shemuel Sadfkah's family (of course H. Shemuel Sadkah
was only 4 at the time, but he is relating this some 50
or 60 years later …) And the 2nd time "…
Reuben Yossef Saeed", but I don't what he is refering
3) Yossef Saeed
4) Shaul Saeed - he took his family to Burma around 1908.
Made aliyah to
Yerushalyim by himself around 1933.
5) Reuben Saeed (my grandfather)
6) Moshe "Joseph"
7) Shmuel Reuven "Yossef" (myself, born Sydney
Australia 1970, Aliyah 1996).
There are two contradicting dates concerning Shaul Saeed:
His death certificate states: died January 1941 at age 72.
Buried on Har HaZetim. I found his kever 1.5 years ago.
Hence he's born around 1868 (assuming he would have been
73 that year). The 2nd one is a cencus of Yerushalayim taken
in 1939 (in the Central Archives, Yerushalayim): this stated
he was 75 at the time. Hence this implies he was born in
1864! Mu gutt feeling is that which was recorded on the
death registry is the correct one. Hence assuming he was
born 1868, it is reasonable to assume his father Yossef
was born 1840. (You will understand why this is important
soon, when I list Saeed#2). And hence Yossef's father Reuben
was born somewhere between 1800 and 1810.
Saeed #2: Starting with the same Yossef "Saeed"
1) Yossef "Saeed"
2) Yiss'haq Saeed – he moved over to Burma around
1850, with his wife Simha and only son Yossef.
3) Yossef Saeed – it is stated in the Musmeah Yeshuah
registry that he passed away in 1912 at the age of 70. Hence,
he was born
1842. And this is around the same time that my grandfather's
grandfather, Yossef was born, as I stated above. Hence obviously
they are both named after their grandfather, the original
4) He had about 9 sons and daughters. I am in contact with
some of their children (whom are elderly by now) and grandchildren.
Two of these sons, married two daughters of Shaul Saeed
It is also listed in the Rangoon death registry that Simha,
wife of Yiss'haq Saeed, passed away in 1905 at the age of
100. Hence, she was born 1905. Assuming that men never (or
rarely) married people older than themselves, it can be
deduced than Yiss'haq Saeed was born somewhere between 1800
and 1805. And this supporsts the orignal estimation of my
grandfather's greatgrandfather, Reuben in Saeed#1 above
where I estimated he was born between 1800 and 1810. Being
the brother of Yiss'haq, It is reasonable to assume that
he too was born somewhere between 1800 and 1805. Moreover,
this supports what H. Shemuel Sadkah mentions in his diary,
where they escaped with " "Bet" Reuben Saeed"
in 1834 … what would be the minimum age that one would
be a "bet" = " house" …. 30! So
this suits the time line.
Hence we can already give a rough estimation as to when
the original Yossef "Saeed" was born. If the elder
of Reuben or Yiss'haq was born 1800, then it is fare to
say that Yossef "Saeed" was born between 1865
and 1880, but unlikely any earlier to 1865.
Saeed #3: This is headed by Duwid "Saeed" . We
will estimate his birth year below.
1) Duwid "Saeed"
2) Reuben Saeed
3) Duwid Saeed = Khatoon Sadkah. I believe this Khatoon
is the daughter of Salah the son of H. Moshe ben H. Refael
Shalom Sadkah, bu this is still under investigation.
4) They had 9 children. I am in contact with some of their
descendants. The youngest of the 9 was Reuben Saeed. He
was born around 1893. The eldest, Hababah, assuming an average
of 2 years per child (could be 1.5 ..) is therefore estimated
to be born around 1877. Hence it can be concluded that Duwid
Saeed was born around 1850. Moreover his wife Khatoon Sadkah
is estimated to be born around between 1862 and 1865 …..
If Duwid was born around 1850, then his father Reuben was
born around 1820, let us say. Then his father, Duwid "Saeed",
the head of the family, was born around 1800, let us say.
Unfortunately, Saeed #3 only knows up to Duwid as the head
of the tribe. If he is born around 1800, then this fits
in with the birthyears of Reuben (Saeed #1) and Yiss'haq
(Saeed #2). It could be that Duwid is a brother to Reuben
and Yisshaq, sons to Yossef "Saeed".
Saeed #4. This is headed by, what is believed to be, Sasson
1) Sasson "Saeed"
2) Abdullah Saeed
3) Moshe "Nakash"
4) He had about 8 children: Yehasqel Ezra, Shaul (passed
away early), Abdullah, Sion Shaul, and a few daughters.
I am in contact with some of their descendants. Moshe Saeed
travelled to Misrayim to learn to be a Sefer Torah silver-case
maker. Hence he changed his name to "Nakash".
He returned back to Baghdad and startedf his family there
….. Yehasqel Ezra, the eldest was born 1890. Hence
it fare to assume that Moshe Nakkah was born around 1860.
Hence it is fare to assume that Abdullah Saeed was born
around 1830. Hence it is fare to assume that Sasson (Saeed#4)
was born around 1800: around the time of Reuben (Saeed#1),
Yisshaq (Saeed#2) and Duwid (Saeed #3)
Hence it is plausible to say that Sasson was also borther
to Reuben and Yisshaq, and to Duwid. Unfortunately, neither
in Saeed#3 or #4 do we have (so far) any other of their
descendants … if so I would expect to find a "Yossef"
amongst them somewhere, as with Saeed #1 and #2. Although
Abdullah the son of Moshe Nakkash had afew daughters and
two sons. The 2nd son he called after his father Moshe.
The first son he called "Yossef". Thi sis pending
further research when I next be in contact with this family
Concerning Saeed# 1, my greatgrandfatehr Shaul, had a sister
"Chahla" (= Rahel). I noticed that the children
of H. Moshe ben H. Reuben ben H. Sadkah ben H. Moshe ben
H. Sadkah Huseein had a son named "Shaul" (H.
father) and a daughter named Rahel.
I would like to know if there is something in common there.
Ie. If the wife of H. Moshe Sadkah, and the wife of Yossef
Saeed (Shaul's mother) were sisters, having parents the
name of "Shaul" and "Rahel". This is
also pending research to the validity of this theory, although
I don't know anything about H. Moshe Sadkah's wife to start
with. Moreover, Shaul's eldest son was Moshe (my grandfather's
oldest brother, after which my fathre is named) , seemingly
he is not named after anyone that I know of , at least on
the Saeed side. And not on Shaul's wife side: the Khabbaza
family. On the other hand Shaul, Rahel (Chahla) and Moshe
are indeed common names to establish a link between this
Saeeed and Sadkah. Yet it is a weak theory, that somehow
must be researched.
If I can't find any links from research, the nI may have
to resort to male DNA testing of the descendants of Reuven,
Yiss'haq, Duwid and Saeed. …
Moreover, I asked myself where does the "Sa'eed"
In the introduction, by Meir Benayahu to sefer "Massa
Bavel" by H. Duwid Sasson, Meir Benayahu lists many
Iraqi surnames and their meanings, and sometimes with sources.
One of the names states "Saeed = Saadyah". This
also has a source "bet". Hence is now in research.
However my guess is that this "Sa'eed" is none
other than H. Saadyah Bekhor ben H. Sadkah Hussein. In issue
367 of the Scribe the Sadkah/Bekhor family is listed. With
one son Duwid, to Saadyah Bekhor. However, Dr. Avraham Ben-Yaakov,
once told me personally there was another son to H. Sa'adyah:
Yossef. Moreover it is quite possoble there were oterh children
to H. Saadyah Bekhor as a member of my X-community in Sydney,
Yahya Bekhor, cannot trace himself to Duwid Bekhor, and
either from the information he gave me, he be the descendant
of Yossef, from the timelirne and birthyears he supplied
me of his ancestors …. It is most likely he is descended
from another son. This is also pending research at the moment.
It is stated from sources that H. Saadyah Bekhor was born
around 1730. (H. Sadkah Hussein was born 1699). Of course
we know he was niftar in the plague of 1772, at the age
of about 42. If so, it reasonable to state that Duwid ben
Saadyah Bekhor, together with Yossef (assuming he existed
according to Dr,. Avraham Ben-Yaakov) and any other sons
of H. Saadyah (eg. Yahyah Bekhor's ancestor) were born arounf
1760 to 1770 (when H. Saadyah was 30 to 40 years old). If
we can take the middle ground and say Yossef was born around
1765 to 1770, then this would fit in with my ancestor Yossef
"Saeed" where I estimated above that he was born
soemwhere between 1865 and 1880! And instead of adopting
"Bekhor" as the surname like Duwid and Yahyah
Bekhor's ancestor, Yossef probably adopted his father's
name "Sa'adyah" as the surname, where he concised
it to "Sa'eed", in the same way that a name such
as "Benny" is concise form of "Binyamin"
etc … so is "Sa'eed" short for "Sa'adyah",
and this is supported in the by the source that Meir Benayahu
brings. Note also that "Sasson" is (one of the)
Hebrew meanings of the Arabic "Sa'eed" or S'adyah"
= "happy". hence the Sasson of Sa'eed#4 may well
have been named after the "Sa'ayah" (or "Sa'eed")
grandfather, where Yossef "Sa'eed" Hebrewsized
it (assuming that Yossef was indeed the father of Sasson
and Duwid, as he was with Reuben and Yiss'haq). Again, carrying
out a DNA test with members of the Bekhor/ or Sadkah families,
with my Saeed#1,#2,#3 or #4, would give me almost immediate
indication as to whether there is any validity to my theories
or not. Where the documents are unavailable or the family
sources are not known, the DNA test may be the only way
to go from here. Although I still want to dig up some sources
until I'm convinced to do DNA …. (Which I may have
to do eventually anyway) ….
So Naim, I would appreciate your comments, also if you
know anything about the "Saeed" family I would
be grateful …. Perhaps you had friends etc ….
Thanks, and tizkeh le'shanim rabboth – tovoth we'ne'imoth
Shmuel Reuven Yossef Yerushalayim
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