La Bensaudiere

Welcome to Justine Bensaude

March 13th, 2007

Thanks to Fabrice and Céline we have a brand new Bensaude among us. Welcome Justine Bensaude !

Anne-Cécile has married Olivier

October 14th, 2006

Everyone gathered in Garches today to celebrate the wedding of Anne-Cécile to Olivier. After the civil ceremony in the same town hall of Garches where Anne-Cécile‘s parents Agnès and Claude got married, Catholic mass took place in the Saint-Louis church of Garches, where Véronique and François and also Marie-Christine and Michel lived the same moments a generation ago. Now, that is tradition !

Afterwards everyone headed for the Hotel De France in Versailles where a nice party took place late into the night.

On behalf of all Bensaudes I wish the newlyweds a lifelong familly happiness !

Bensaude onion dip

June 6th, 2006

To cover the tip of my vegetables in creamy goodness I accept no substitute. Since I enjoy it so much I asked Véronique for the recipe, and unlike the secret Picklefleisch recipe this one has been cleared for public release… So here it is, just in time for the summer.

In a bowl, blend the following ingredients :

  • 500 g low-fat white cheese.
  • One small pot of creme fraiche.
  • One 4 servings bag of instant onion soup with no croutons.

Cover with a plastic microwave foil and store in the fridge. Add a pinch of paprika just before putting on the table. Do not keep more than two days. Enjoy !

Pictures of The Bensaudiere 2005

December 23rd, 2005

The usual Bensaudes plus the new additions and even more kids, my favorite almond cake and enough Picklefleisch to feed that army… The Bensaudière was once again a success ! For your viewing pleasure to relive these moments and for memory’s sake here are a few lovely pictures of the event

Jose Bensaude’s grave in the jewish cemetary of Sao Miguel

December 22nd, 2005

Jose Bensaude‘s grave lies in the jewish cemetary of Sao Miguel. This is one of several Jewish cemeteries in the Azores.

In 1936, the cemetery had 133 graves of which 105 names are listed in “Benditcha Sea Vuestra Memoria: Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries in the Caribbean and Eastern North America” by David Mayer Gradwohl. This 29 pages paper is available from the Association for Gravestone Studies. The names are also mentioned in the “Genealogia Hebraica. Portugal e Gibraltar” by Jose Maria Abecassis (ISBN 9729542902).

The International Survey of Jewish Monuments mentions that “the cemetery is at the present time [2000] surrounded by factory buildings and shut out from sight by a wall. The monuments are situated horizontally. It suffers from neglect. Crosses mark some of the graves, a well-known island practice, which purported to serve to keep anti-Jewish rhetoric muted.”

Jose Bensaude's grave in the jewish cemetery of Sao Miguel in the Azores

Factual errors in the Genealogia Hebraica

December 22nd, 2005

Having seen it mentioned as a source all over the place, I was very excited about the “Genealogia Hebraica. Portugal e Gibraltar” by Jose Maria Abecassis (ISBN 9729542902).

A few weeks ago I found that Claude Bensaude had taken a look at it. His opinion of Abecassis’ work is very low. Horrified by the amount of imprecisions and factual errors he told me he began annotating the book with corrections, but after a dozen pages he gave up discouraged by the amount of corrections needed.

So if you wish to use the Genealogia Hebraica as a source for your genealogical research, be sure to cross it with other independant sources and take it with a grain of salt.

Bensaude Millenium – Pictures are now online

December 19th, 2005

From the 23rd of July to 3rd of August 2000, descendants of Jose Bensaude met in the Azores. Fond photographic memories of the event have been gathered on a lovely blue compact disc… They are now online for your viewing pleasure, complete with the original captioning !

Bensaude history in the Azores

November 1st, 2005

The Bensaude Millenum meet-up was the chance to listen to a nice university lecture about Bensaude history in the Azores. For those who missed it, here is a small summary found in an interview of Jorge Delmar by Myrna and Harvey Frommer featuring Fatima Sequeira Dias who if I remember well is the speaker we had the pleasure of listening to :

[..] in 1818 [..] the Bensaude family of Morocco came to this volcanic archipelago [..] seeing opportunity in its developing orange-growing industry. They made their fortune trading agricultural products for manufactured goods with England and trading bills of exchange while transporting emigrants to Brazil. In the process, according to Fatima Sequeira Dias, Professor of Economic History at the University of the Azores, they changed the nature of the Azorean economy.

“The Bensaudes had the trade connections that enabled them to link England, Brazil, and Newfoundland with the Azores,” she says. “When they got into the bill of exchange business, that was the beginning of banking in the Azores.” This single Jewish family, she maintains, succeeded in integrating the islands’ economy, establishing a chain of retailers throughout the archipelago who offered imported goods on easy terms, and developing its maritime transport industry. Today a financial empire with international interests, the Bensaudes continue to be the Azores’ chief economic entity. But they are no longer Jewish. Fearful of a Nazis occupation of Portugal, most converted during the Second World War. Vasco Bensaude, the last Jew of the dynasty, died some twenty years ago.

That reminds me that the two following papers by Fatima Sequeira Dias contain rich insights into Bensaude history in the Azores :

  • Uma estratégia de sucesso numa economia periférica: a casa Bensaúde e os Açores, 1800-1873, Ponta Delgada, 1993;
  • A Fábrica de Tabaco Micaelense: 1866-1995, Ponta Delgada, Fábrica de Tabaco Micaelense, 1995;

Bensaudes in Morocco

November 1st, 2005

Searching the Essaouira (formerly Mogador) cemetery records for ‘Bensaude’ yielded the following matches :

Family name  Name           Gender  Birth  Death date
Bensaude     Jais           M       1871   11/09/1929
Bensaude     Rebbeca Ohana  W       1873   16/07/1946

Tombstone of Jais BensaudeTombstone of Rebeca Bensaude

I have no idea who they are nor any knowledge of their contemporary Moroccan Bensaudes. Neither are the people bearing the name of Hassiboni mentioned in these cemetary records. It seems that there is still in Morocco some of genealogical information that we have not yet found…

Jeff Malka from Sephardic Genealogy Resources has put together a short startup guide to Jewish Genealogy in Morocco. Lack of records makes it a tricky field of investigation, but I am sure there are plenty of discoveries to be made. Have fun, and don’t forget to keep us informed about what you find !

Bensaudes in America

November 1st, 2005

Searching the Ellis Island records for ‘Bensaude’ yielded the following matches :

Name of Passenger	Residence  	Arrival Birth
Jacob Bensaude  	 	  	1894  	1834
Jose Bensaude  	  	Lisboa, Port. 	1916  	1893
Jose Bensaude  	  	Lisbon, Port. 	1920  	1893
M. Bensaude  	  	  	  	1894  	1865
Maria Bensaude	  	Lisbon, Port.  	1920  	1899
Mathilde Bensaude  	Lisboa, Port.  	1920  	1890
Mrs. M. Bensaude  	  		1894  	1872

Among them, Mathilde Bensaude matches very well the data I already have. The “M. Bensaude” born in 1865 may be the unknown Hiam Bensaude that I found in the 1881 British census. The others look like no-one already identified… Your help is welcome.

Who are Mimon and Isaac Bensaude ?

November 1st, 2005

I found Isaac Bensaude in the 1881 British census. Mimon Bensaude (whose name is also spelled Maïmon or Mimao in Portuguese) is mentioned both in the life of Jose Bensaude by Alfredo Bensaude and in the Genealogia Hebraica by Jose Maria Abecassis. How are they related to Juda Hassiboni, the father of the Bensaudes ? Where is the missing link ? For now, the mystery remains…

Manette’s Astruc tree is online

October 27th, 2005

Always intriguing me whenever I come to visit Manette, the Astruc family genealogy, after Joseph Télèphe and Elie Aristide Astruc in 1875 is now online. Drawn by Roger and David Kohn and finished on the first of January 1924, it is a very impressive piece of work. I thought the information it contains would certainly be useful to genealogists and other researchers. This whole tree is in the process of being digitized as part of the Bensaude genealogy. This is a hell of a data entry job, but it is two-thirds complete as of now.

The astute reader will certainly have noticed that the picture adorning the top of this page is a piece of that magnificient tree.

Welcome to the Bensaude news outlet !

October 27th, 2005

The one true Bensaudière is published every year at Christmas time and that is good. But what about the rest of the year ? You can now enjoy the online Bensaudière : all Bensaude news, all the time ! This blog is in no way competing with the paper edition, it is a way to complete it with a permanent publishing outlet – the paper edition may even draw on articles first published here.

If you know what the Bensaudière is or if you are a descendant of Jose Bensaude or married to one, then you probably belong here… Your articles will be welcome, so go ahead and create an account so that you can publish them here. Weddings, births, birthdays, the latest progress with your children, Bensaude meet-ups, Bensaude pictures… Anything Bensaude related is on-topic so feel free to express yourself: this blog is yours !

And if you have not yet had the inspiration for an article, please do register so that you can post comments to articles.

The default language is English, but with respect to the international nature of our family, posts in other languages are welcome, especially French and Portuguese.

See you soon… Watch this space !

Send comments, suggestions, criticism, money and death threats to Jean-Marc Liotier.