SYRIA-L ArchivesArchiver > SYRIA > 2008-03 > 1205417517
From: "Lilly Martin" <>
Subject: Re: [SYRIA] Where to start
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 16:11:57 +0200
You asked me where you should start. Do you have access to Heritage Quest
or ancestry.com ? Tell me what your local Public Library might have to help
As to the name DAVE, I am not sure what the original name could be. Could
it be Daoud, or Dawood?
In the 1920 census there is a Joseph DAVE age 22 , born in SYRIA, living at
This was the only DAVE I could find born in Syria, I was using Heritage
I found a Mike DAVIS in the 1910 census, in Pennsylvania, born in SYRIA.
I found a Mike DAVICH in the 1920 census in Johnstown, PA , both he and his
wife say they are born in SYRIA, but they said their mother tongue is
SERBIAN. I think in this case the census taker made a mistake, they were
born in Serbia, not Syria. The census taker might not have even known the
difference between Syria and Serbia!
Here is one thisn I did, which was very interesting to me personally. I
looked at the 1900 census, for the entire state of Pennsylvania, for every
person born in SYRIA. I saved all 593 names of head of household, and
location, and age. If you think your people might be listed, please reply
back to me with a LOCATION.
As for you Alison, can you reply back to me with a TOWN your DAVE family
lived in? Because what I will do is look at that town, not on the name
DAVE, but only looking at the "Born in Syria". In this way I might find
that family first listed by their original name, whatever that might be.
Your Dave family came over in 1910, so I will look at the 1910 census, and
might find them still using the original name! Going by first names and
ages I can determine if it was the same family.
Can you tell me where they were in 1930 census? Can you tell me where to
Another interssting thing I did was this: I saved every head of household of
the Wilkes-Barre, PA location, who were listed Born in SYRIA. I happen to
know this is a very big group. I also saved all person born in Syria in
Cambria Co PA, this would be the Johnstown, PA area. That was another
Concerning other places that SYRIANS lived in PA in the 1900 census:
Pittsburg; Scanton; Johnstown; Philadelphia; DuBois; Pottsville; Ridgeway;
Greene; Addison; Hazle; Woodward; Willkes-Barre; Dunmore; Altoona; S. Union;
Pleasanty; Latrobe; S. Bethlehem; Alleghany; Athens; HAMLIN; uNIONTOWN;
iRWIN; e. pIKE rUN.
If you feel your Syrian ancestors were at any of those locations, please
Another interesting point: the very earliest census I could find that listed
people in PA who were born in SYRIA was the 1880 census. There were just 3
people in the state born in Syria, and none of them were Syrian ethnically.
A. J. Dodds, age 23, at Philadelphia
Christian Gruhler age 10, at Shenendoah, PA
Martan Gruhler age 13, at Shendoah, PA.
I already happen to know who Mr. Dodds is. His father was a Protestant
Missionary from Pennsylvania who founded the church in Lattakia, Syria,
which is the church I attend! So he was born in Syria because of his
The other 2 boys are no doubt the sons of Missionaries as well.
One interesting point about Shenandoah, PA: on the SS LaBretagne, sailing
from LeHavre to New York City 1907, was on board Elias Naseef age 20, on his
way to his brother Ablan Naseef in Shenandoah, PA. He was born at Miksa (not
sure where this is at, whether Syria or Lebanon now).
I feel certain that the missionary family at Shenandoah, PA probably were
the reason for Syrians to settle there. Probably they were told about the
church there, and this drew Syrian to come there, since they had a contact
with that location.
If you know of any Syrian families in Shenandoah, PA please reply to me.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alison Messner" <>
Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2008 2:57 AM
Subject: Re: [SYRIA] Where to start
> Hello Lilly. I am very intersted in finding out about my husband's Syrian
> ancestry. I don't have much information, so I don't really know where to
> begin. His grandmother (Sarah Dave) was from Syria, and I'm told she
> came to the United States in 1909 with her parents (Mike Dave 1883-1968)
> (Anna Dave 1885-??). They settled in Pennsylvania. The only other
> information I have is a U.S. 1930 Census that shows their place of birth
> as Syrian Arab Republic. The name Dave doesn't sound Syrian to me. Do you
> know what it might have been changed from? Do you have any ideas on where
> I could begin my search? Thank you-- Alison Messner
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|Re: [SYRIA] Where to start by "Lilly Martin" <>|