No 130 - Summer 2017


Jews of Tunis

Gilles Boulu
Jewish Family from Tunis: The De Paz family
The author draws up a panorama of the De Paz family. Belonging to the Livornese or Portuguese Jewish community of Tunis they arrived from Italy in the Regency at the end of the 17th century. The first branch included international merchants specializing in the purchase of Christian captives and the chartering of ships.Using new sources such as matrimonial registers, the municipal civil status of Tunisia and the records of the Consulate of France in Tunis archives Gilles Boulu - who is attached to this family on the maternal side - has been able to trace their genealogy up to the 20th century.

Francine Belaïsch Scemama Castro
The Castro and Scemama families from Tunis. When genealogical research confirms family memory and reveals facts unknown so far
This paper follows the book ; Actes de propriété, ces maisons de Tunisie qui nous habitent encore published in 2016. It combines family narrative with facts derived from genealogy. Born in Tunisia at the time of the WWII in a family of Jewish leaders the author lived her youth in the exceptional environment of the country at a time when, despite tensions, people of various origins shared their daily lives until Tunisia independence. A Jewish woman of plural origin raised in a family of engaged lawyers open to the expectations of the Tunisians she felt the need to convey the history of her Jewish Tunisian and Iberian ancestors – among whom 'caïds' who managed the Bey's finances and members of the Jewish intelligentsia, attracted very early by the France of the enlightenment of which they adopted the nationality at the time of the Protectorate. She discovered the science of genealogy by finding a descendant of her great-grandfather, Caïd Chalom, who was leading a fruitful research agenda, culminating in a publication in Genealo-J. But if certain family narratives have been verified and clarified the study of genealogy has also revealed surprises and secret information...

Anne-Marie Baron & Pierre Baron
The Attal family: between Tunis and Leghorn
The family whose history we briefly relate here is our common paternal grandmother Anna Vittoria Attal's. It has a double interest concerning the history of the Jews in Tunisia. First she followed a different road from the Jews of Leghorn who settled in Tunisia between the 17th and the 19th century. Secondly this family experienced such a success story that they rapidly became integrated to the city « good » Jewish society.

Thierry Samama
Sources and bibliography on the Tunisian Jews
Tunisian BMD records were mandated by the French protectorate in 1886 and local nominative sources are very limited before that date. There nonetheless exist many foreign sources relevant to Tunisian Jews; some of which are substantial and allow the production of genealogies back to the early 19th century. The paper lists basic tools for the genealogy of Tunisian Jews.

Anne-Marie Fribourg
Madame Bloch's multiple identities
Through an example the paper once more describes how Jewish women's identity in France at the beginning of the 19th century could fluctuate.


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