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Abou Rjeily Family Index - updated on:

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Atallah is the first known person with whom the Abou Rjeily Family started in the 17th century in Mount Lebanon.
He is the son of Nasr and Nasr is the son of Merjan. Nasr has a brother called Nader from whom descend the two families: Nader and Berberi.

Merjan belongs to one of the Christian families who came from Hawran (Now in Syria) to Kesrouan (Mount Lebanon), then to Jbeil (Mount Lebanon) after the Islamic conquest in the seventh century. His family settled down in Barbara for a long period of time in order to preserve its beliefs.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century. Atallah moved to the Ktéléh village in Metn (in the valley between Metn and Aley), which was one of the feudalities of the Lamaï princes, and precisely prince Murad el-Lamaï.

Atallah got married and had four children: Elias, Farès, Yaghi and Dib.

When his sons grew up, they showed great enthusiasm in serving prince Murad. Atallah visited the prince to congratulate him for an achievement he made. The prince addressed him in front of his followers: “this is Abou al-Rijal” (Father of the men), to thank him for the services he and his family rendered to the prince. Then Abou al-Rijal became the official name of his descendants, who were proud of this nickname; it became common and later it was converted into the name “Abou Rjeily”.

The descendants of Atallah multiplied until they had a fight with the Lamaï princes, sons of Murad. The family decided to leave the province and to move to another area, in compliance with the traditions at that time. Part of them went to Bhamdoun, Hab Ramoun, Ramliéh and the villages that were controlled by Abed el-Malak family and settled down there. Another group headed to Bekaa Valley. When that group arrived at Chbaniéh, which was one of the feudalities of Kaed Bey el-Lamaï, one of prince Murad cousins, the prince forbid them to go to the Bekaa and forced them to go back to the village of Deir Khouna close to Ktéléh, which was then a part of his feudality. Kaed Bey tried to reconcile them with his cousins, the Lamaï descendants of Murad. Many of them returned to Ktéléh and the others stayed in Deir Khouna. The Abou Rjeily family in Beirut, Chiyah, Taltita[8], Chbanié, Hammana, Kab Elias, Zahlé, Baalbeck and Kfarzabad[9] descended from these two groups. The branches who live in Mazraat el-Nahr, Rishmaya, Kfarmatta, Ser Jbeil, Benwayté, Deir El Kamar, Wadi el-Deir, Amik, Tehzaniyé and Ain el-Sindiyani (All these villages are located in the Chouf county in mount Lebanon to the south of Aley County) descended from the group who went to Bhamdoun, Hab Rammoun and Ramlié.
At the end of the 19th century and before World War one, Many Abou-Rjeily left Mount Lebanon and immigrated to the Americas along with the waves that almost emptied Mount Lebanon from its christians.
They settled in the United States: Bourjaily, Abojaily and Aborlleile; in Argentina: Aburgeily and Aburllaily; in Brazil: Abourejaili and Bou-Rjaili, in Canada, Australia, France, Sweden and many other places.


The founders of the Bourjaily and Aborjaily branches in the United States.

Ferris Mansour Bourjaily (1875)
ID: Ferris/Mansour/Assaf/Atallah/Elias/Ferris/Elias/Atallah/Elias/Atallah
Spouse: Turkman Bourjaily (1875).
Date of arrival to the States: 1904.
Children: Alice Bourjaily (1893), Monte 1 Bourjaily (1894 -1979) and Toufic Bourjaily (1895-1899).
Origin: Ferris originated from Kteleh in Lebanon and Turkman from Kab Elias in Lebanon
Residence: Lowell, Massachusetts

Notes: Turkman migrated to the states with her three children in 1901. She was followed by Ferris in 1904

Shaheen Mansour Bourjaily (1878-1953)
ID: Shaheen/Mansour/ Assaf/Atallah/Elias/Ferris/Elias/Atallah/Elias/Atallah.
Spouse: Julia Saad (1883-1958).
Date of arrival to the States: 1911, Julia followed him in 1920.
Children: Mary (1904), Nazerra (1906), and Esma (1909), Frederick (1924) and Ferris (1921)
Origin: Shaheen and Julia originated from Kteleh.
Residence: Detroit Michigan

Notes: Shaheen is the brother of Ferris. Shaheen and Ferris had a brother called Daher

Nimr Assaad Aborjaily (1876-1937)
ID: Nimr/Assaad/Najm/Berjas/Atallah/Elias/Ferris/Elias/Atallah/Elias/Atallah.
Spouse: Kameele Aborjaily (1893)
Date of arrival to the States: 1905, Kamelee arrived to the States in 1913.
Children: Eugenie Aborjaily (1914), Arthur (Assad) Aborjaily (1916), Mary Aborjaily (1918), Alfred Nimr Aborjaily (1921-1987), Lillian Aborjaily (1923), Georges Aborjaily (1925) and Elizabeth Aborjaily (1929)
Origin: Nimr originated from Kab Elias and Kamelee originated from Bhamdoun.
Residence: Lawrence Massachusetts

Notes: He migrated to the states in 1905 through Ellis Island. He went back to Lebanon in 1912, married Kamelee Bourjaily from Bhamdoun and came back to the states in 1913. He run a store with his brother James (Najib) who was already in the country in Lawrence Massachusetts. He then moved to Boston where he died in 1937.

James Assaad Bourjaily (1883)
ID: James/Assaad/Najm/Berjas/Atallah/Elias/Ferris/Elias/Atallah/Elias/Atallah. His lebanese name is Najib
Spouse: Julia Habeeb (1885)
Date of arrival to the States: 1905
Children: Mabel Bourjaily (1903), Nellie Bourjaily (1905), Josephine Bourjaily (1911-1958), Helen Bourjaily (1913), Alice Bourjaily (1914), Ernest Bourjaily (1923), Yvonne Bourjaily (1926)
Residence: Lawrence Massachusetts, then El Paso, Texas

Notes: James migrated to the states probably before 1905. He lived in Lawrence Massachusetts where he used to run a store with his brother Nimr. He left MA around 1936 and went to El Paso, Texas where he opened up a store of liquor. He remained there for the rest of his life.

William Samuel Bourjaily (1898)
ID: William/Samuel/Elias/Najm/Berjas/Atallah/Elias/Ferris/Elias/Atallah/Elias/Atallah. His lebanese name is Wadih
Spouse: Rose Bourjaily (1907)
Date of arrival to the States:
Children: William II Bourjaily (1926 ) and Lila Bourjaily (1940).
Origin: Kab Elias, Lebanon
Residence: Cleveland Ohio.

Notes: Rose is the daughter of: Khaleel/Youssef/Najm/Berjas/Atallah/Elias/Ferris/Elias/Atallah/Elias/Atallah. Her mother was Naheel Bourjaily.

Louis Sr Samuel Bourjaily (1906-1968)
ID: Louis Sr/Samuel/Elias/Najm/Berjas/Atallah/Elias/Ferris/Elias/Atallah/Elias/Atallah. His lebanese name is Elias
Date of arrival to the States:
Children: Louis Jr Bourjaily (1932), Paul Ronald Bourjaily (1937), Mary Anne Bourjaily (1943) and Richard Bourjaily (1948)
Origin: Kab Elias, Lebanon
Residence: Western Springs, Illinois, USA.

Notes: Louis came over from Lebanon through Marseilles as Elias Saleem Aborjaily. He is the brother of William Samuel Bourjaily. He was headed through Ellis Island to Cleveland where his brother, Bill, already lived and had a small grocery store. He never knew his father who died before he was born. But his mother, Rifka ultimately came to Cleveland to live with her sons until she passed away.

There are other Bourjaily / Aborjailys living in the states such as: Najm and John Bourjaily, sons of Youssef/Najm/Berjas /Atallah/Elias/Ferris/Elias/Atallah/Elias/Atallah.
Najm lived in New York Syracuse and John in Boston, Massachusetts. No information is available about him.
John married Mary (Sadia) Habeeb and they had two children: Frederick and Katherine. Click here to view their branch. They lived in Boston, Massachusetts. They originated from Kab Elias in Lebanon


Theodosius VI, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch

He is Spiridon Abou Rjeily, the son of Salim / Bechara / Saber / Elias / Atallah / Elias / Atallah.

He received his early education in Ashrafieh, Beirut at "Ecole des Trois Docteurs", and at "Kasibiya" school in Damascus. Then he joined the Theological Academy of Balamand Monastery near Tripoli in north Lebanon.

In 1905 he was ordained sub-deacon by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, His Beatitude, Gregorius IV.

In 1908 he was sent to the Archdiocese of "Diyar Bakr" in northern Iraq for 3 years to learn the Turkish language. He came back in 1912. Later on, he was sent to Istanbul to learn the Greek language.

In 1914 he was appointed as a liaison officer between the Antiochan patriarchy and the Turkish authority to serve the orthodox Christian communities in Syria and Lebanon.

In 1915 he was ordained priest and then he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by the Patriarch Gregorius IV.
At that time, he stayed close to the Patriarch; he was known as the "Translator". In 1923 he was elected Metropolitan Archbishop of Tyre and Sidon (south Lebanon). He held that rank for 25 years, then, in 1948, he was appointed to the Archdiocese of Tripoli by the Holy Synod of the Sea of Antioch and all the East.

On Friday the 14th of November 1958, he was elected as the Greek orthodox Patriarch of Antioch with the name of Theodosius VI.

Sadly, in 1970, he passed away in Saint Georges Hospital in Ashrafieh, Beirut.

His Beatitude was fluent in Arabic, French, Greek and Turkish, and had a working knowledge of English and Russian.

He had two sisters and three brothers:

Mariam (nun in the monastery of Holy Mary in Ashrafieh)

Abraxia (married)

Georgi, Gebran and Najib.

Najib was know to be a very well-educated man.

As Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Beatitude Theodosius VI had spiritual jurisdiction over 1,500,000 Orthodox Christians located mainly in Syria and Lebanon, with large communities in North, Central and South America, and Australia.


The Abou Rjeily reference book edited at the beginning of the 20th century split the family into five lines.
Actually, the lines differentiation became irrelevant because the community has spread all over the world and the individuals are not aware anymore of the lines they belong to.

First line: The Harmouch
Their ancestor is Salloum, son of Nicolas, son of Jabbour, son of Saad, son of Yazbeck, son of Nemr, son of Farès, son of Atallah. Salloum came from Ktéléh to Beirut at the end of the eighteenth century, where he resided in Mazraat el-Arab and got married to Elizabeth, daughter of Harmouch. Then he went back to Ktéléh where he got three sons: Nicolas, Bechara, and Mitri. When his sons grew up, their mother took them back to Beirut to teach them reading and industry while their father stayed in Ktéléh. The three children stayed for a period of time at the house of their uncles: the Harmouch. People called them Harmouch and they were known with this name, as well as their father.
Nicolas, the oldest son, was clever and brave. He volunteered in the attack launched by prince Bashir el-Chéhabi the Great, on the Sanour fortress, to help Abdallah Bacha, the governor of Akka. He showed great courage in the conquest of the fortress. The prince made him Sheikh of Mazraat el-Arab, where he received the seal of the Sheikhdom from Sheikh Younés Badran who married him to his daughter Hawen. Nicolas gave birth to two sons: Asaad and Lutfallah. Once, Prince Bashir asked him to send builders to help his men in a construction site. Instead he sent young boys who were rejected by the prince because of their youth. Some of his enemies denounced him to the prince who sent for him but he did not comply and ran away.
The prince’s men followed him but he killed two of them. As he was walking in a quarry located in the South of Beirut, he passed by some of his acquaintances while they were cutting rocks. They asked him to help them to lift the rock. As they were lifting, they let the rock fall and kill him. After his burial, the man who came up with this idea went to prince Bashir to tell him the story. The prince turned sad and ordered the man to be hanged.
Assaad and Lutfallah, Nicolas’ sons, grew up. Assaad went into politics. The people and the government who appointed him Sheikh of Msaytbé and Mazraat al-Arab for a long period of time loved him. Lutfallah set up in business, made a fortune and had many sons, among them the well-known Halim Abou Rjeily (Harmouch) if Heaven wanted to keep a memory of the Harmouch family through these descendants after the first line of Harmouch disappeared.

Second line: Naoum descendants
Their ancestor is Naoum, son of Nemr, son of Farès, son of Atallah. Those who came to Serjbal and its surroundings are from different lines. Those of the Naoum line took the nickname of their grandfather in order to be differentiated from their cousins. Agapios, archbishop of Tyre and its See, in the Roman Catholic church and his brother, Father Boutros, belong to the Nahoum line.

Third line: The Slaibi
They lived in Chiyah. Their ancestor is Slaibi, son of Saber, son of Atallah, son of Elias, son of Atallah. Many persons were known with the same name, that is why they had to be differentiated. Their names were written with the father’s name, the grandfather’s name and the family name. Throughout the years, the name Slaibi became a nickname.

Fourth line: The Hajjar from Kab Elias
Their ancestor is Youssef, son of Chédid, son of Daher, son of Michael, son of Yaghi, son of Atallah. He came first to the Bekaa, settled down in Maksi (near Kab Elias) where he married a woman called Hajariya, who was the widow of a man from Furzul. They had four children: Murad, Saad, Makhoul and Abdallah. Youssef died when they were young. Their mother took them to Kab Elias. As their father was unknown there, people called them with their mother’s name: Hajjaria. Then the name Hajjaria became Hajjar. They were known as Hajjar, as well as their brothers from their mother’s side.

Fifth line: Abou Rjeily in Kfarzabad
Their ancestor is Elias, son of Yaghi, son of Michael, son of Farès. He was one of the men of prince Farès el-Lamaï in Ras el-Metn. One day, while he was taking care of the prince’s mule, it kicked him. He hit it with a piece of iron. He feared the prince’s anger, so he ran away to Zahlé where he resided in the Musallem’s house. After some time, he got married to the daughter of Hatem Musallem and became a trustee on their properties in Douris (near Baalbeck).
Meanwhile, the famous battle between prince Bashir el-Shahabi and Sheikh Bashir el-Junblati took place in 1824. Mount Lebanon was split in two factions and the consequences of this war were not to be foreseen. The two brothers Mitri Nabhan and Merhi Nabhan agreed to join the two factions: the first one joined prince Bashir el-Chéhabi’s faction and the second one joined Sheikh Bashir el-Junblati’s faction. Prince Bashir el-Chéhabi won the war and the Lamaï prince who controls Ras el-Metn, ordered ordered to seize the properties of the Junblati faction. The village of Kfarzabad in the Bekaa belonged to some supporters of the Junblati party. When the Lamaï prince seized their properties, they asked Mitri Nabhan to intervene for them with the prince in order to cool his anger. They promised to give him half of the Kfarzabad crop in compensation and the prince relented.
When the harvest was completed, Mitri Nabhan went to Kfrazabad to take his part of the crop and resided in the house of one of the Abou Rjeilys, called Jabbour, son of Saad, son of Jabbour, son of Saad, son of Yazbek, son of Nemr, son of Farès, son of Atallah. Jabbour had four children: Saad, Daher, Saab and Michael. They helped Mitri Nabhan to put up the crops. There were few Christians in Kfarzabad. The Druze peasants threatened Jabbour’s sons and Mitri Nabhan understood that he would not obtain the crop after all. So he wrote a letter to prince el-Lamaï in Ras el-Metn asking for help. The prince provided him with a group of his men and another group that came from Zahlé. The two forces met in Tal Arjamouch, near Maalaka (in Zahléh), went into Kfarzabad where they were met by the Druze. A battle took place, in which Jabbour showed great courage when he attacked the Druze with swords. A man from Zahlé, called Makhoul Tabbah, supported him. The Druze were defeated. Since that time, the number of the Christians increased in Kfarzabad. Elias, who lived in Douris, heard about the battle and was looking forward to meet his cousin. So he came to Kfarzabad. After spending many days with his relatives, they refused that he goes back to Douris, so they accompanied him and brought his family back. He settled down in Kfarzabad with his three children: Youssef, Ibrahim and Farès. One of his descendants is Salim Nassif who lived in Zahlé. Elias’s coming to Kfarzabad was the reason for which this line of the Abou Rjeily family settled down there because the line of Jabbour Saad disappeared.
Many members of this family became prominent. Among them, Theodosios, Greek Orthodox patriarch (58-70) and Agabios, archbishop of Tyre in the Roman Catholic church (60s and 70s)

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