NOBLE FAMILIES OF JEWISH ANCESTRY
Guy Stair Sainty
related publications, the Semi-Gotha, or
Historisch-genealoges-Taschenbuch des gesamted Adels jehuidäischen Ursprunges
of 1912 and 1913, and the Semigothaisches
Genealogisches Taschenbuch aristokratisch-jüdischer heiraten of 1914,
attempted a comprehensive survey of those families of Jewish ancestry who were
members of the titled European nobility (and a handful of non-European royalty
or nobility). These were published at a time when the prestige and influence of
European Jewry was at its highest and represented pride in their achievements
since Jewish emancipation. Unhappily, these rare publications were later to be
used by the nazis to identify families and individuals for extermination and
many copies of these publications were destroyed both by nazi fanatics and by
those Jewish families who had once been proud to have been included.
dates were indicated with the hexagonal Star of David, while a Jewish tomb stone
symbol indicated who died in the Jewish faith, and a Cross those who died in the
Christian faith. Marriage dates were indicated with two bold rings interlocking
if husband and wife both had Jewish blood, while a bold ring with an outline
ring indicated whether only one of the partners was of Jewish ancestry. Two
opposite pointing horizontal arrows indicated divorce, reflecting a Biblical
passage “if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left”. The
genealogical section of the Semi-Gotha
was preceded by a page with the swastika symbol - which meant something very
different in 1913-14 and whose terrible implications were as yet unimaginable.
The frontispiece illustration of the 1913 edition was a portrait of Benjamin
Disraeli, 1st (and last) Earl of Beaconsfield.
families named are sometimes included with titles whose origins are unknown, and
in some cases were assumed. It also included families whose Jewish origins were
at best uncertain and often mythical (Macdonald, for example). The Semi-Gotha
generally gives anyone claiming a title the benefit of the doubt. This list when
completed will include all those families listed in these publications (this
author has made some comments in a few cases where the alleged Jewish ancestry
of someone has been doubted by reputable scholars):
list does not follow exactly the format of the original work but, with the
exception of the first named family, places them alphabetically by family name.
Ethiopia, Emperor of - Menelik II, King of Kings, born 1844 (all of whose family, including wives and husband of Princes and Princesses were included as being of Jewish ancestry).
Alejandro José Aguado (1784-1842) created Marques de Marismas del Quadalquivir and Visconde de Monterno.
Titles inherited (but not rehabilitated) by Napoleon de Talleyrand-Perigord, 2nd
Duke of Montmorency.
Aguilar, Catholic converts in 1720, created Barons and recognized as such by the Emperor 1726.
Aldobrandini, Princes - in the male line a branch of the Borghese family, considered of ancient Jewish origin.
Antonelli, produced a Cardinal, Giacomo Antonelli.
of Arbetta (San Marino).
converts (and in Disraeli’s novel, Coningsby, a Countess von Arnim is one of
the line of Aaron), - Count Salomon Henri d’Avigdor (supposedly) created a Prince by
Napoleon III, although as the S-G admits, this title was not listed officially
Avigdor, Counts, merged with Goldschmidt family.
the line of Aaron), Dukes of Acquaviva - Ancestry traced to a leading Prague Rabbi
in the 14th century, Nobles since 1860 (San Marino), Duke of
Acquaviva (San Marino 1899), Georg Avigdor, Duke of Acquaviva, Papal
Bardeau, formerly Kaufmann, Papal Counts, Herren auf Kornberg bei Feldbach in Steiermark.
Princes (of the line of Jehuda) - the S-G includes the entire family but only lists
a few members, including Prince Constantine who married Princess Tatiana of
16th century converts., styled Counts de Barrême.
of Lousada (? Of the line of Moses), Isaac, Baron Baruch, Duke of
Lousada, by his cousin Lydia Baruch
de Lousada, parents of Emmanuel, Duke of Lousada who married Honorine Lejeune
(also of Jewish ancestry).
Benedetti, Noble (1869), Vincent (1817-1891) a distinguished French public servant and Ambassador to Berlin.
Lithuanian Counts, One served as a distinguished General in the 1780s.
Kings of Sweden - it is argued by the S-G that the Bernadotte family were originally
Jewish, but they are listed as such only in a footnote.
of Wagram ?, descended from Alexandre Berthier, Duke of Wagram, Napoleon’s
faithful aide. His Jewish ancestry was uncertain, hence the (?). Napoleon, 2nd
Duke of Wagram (1810-1887), Alexandre, 3rd Duke of Wagram (1832-)
Bethusy-Huc, Counts, Prussia 1859. Originally Huc, styled Marquis de Bethusy, and later Count de Bethusy-Huc.
Olbrachcice, Counts (Austria) 8 July 1895, Catholic converts in 1764; named Julius, 1st
Count (b. 1837) father of Julius (b. 1862, m. 1904 Princess Elenore Jablonowska,
parents of Hedwig b. 1905 and Roman b. 1906).
Blanc, Count de
(Papal), François, Count de Blanc, father of Marie-Felicie, who in 1880 married
Prince Roland Napoleon Bonaparte. The latter were parents of Princess Marie
Bonaparte, b. 1882, who m. 1900 Prince George of Greece.
Count & Marquis de, Baron de la Motte, Catholic since the 15th
century; named among others Marc Marie Marquis de Bombelles, b. 1744 father of
Charles-Rene, Comte de Bombelles b. 1785, Master of the Household and later
husband of Marie-Louise, duchess of Parma,
and Henri François, Comte de B, b. 1789.
Borghese, Princes - Originally from Germany, becoming Catholics in the late 14th or early 15th centuries. Princes of Sulmona, etc.
Borgia, Spanish and Italian lines of the family descended from Pope Alexander VI, originally Rodrigo Langolo. Created Dukes of Gandia. No names given of current members although both survive.
Burnay, styled Counts, settled in England and Portugal.
d’Anvers, Count (Papal title 1867), of the line of Aaron, for the Antwerp banker Joseph
Mayer Cahen, father of Raphael, 2nd Count, father of (1) Irene, m.
Baron Etienne Gourgaud de Taillis, (2) Raphaele (1874-1899) m. 1891 Prince
Ferdinand de Faucigny-Lucinge; (3) a daughter married Count MoiseNissim de
Cahen de Porre
Absina, Counts Cahen and Marquesses di Porre Absina (Italy).
Cancrin, Nobles (Austria 1786) and Count (Russia), converts in the mid-18th century, settled in Russia and Germany. Georg, 1st Count Cancrin(1774-1845), General in the Russian Army 1812 and Finance Minister in 1823. The German branch was only Noble and several were living at the time of publication.
Cassis-Faraone, Counts (Austria 1783)
converts since the late 18th century; married into Attems and
Mels-Colloredo families; a branch settled in Italy.
Castrioti, (of the same family as the famous George Castrioti Scanderbeg, ruler of Albania), lines in Serbia, Albania, Naples and Venice.
Catti, Venetian Nobles, possibly extinct.
Cheviers, Counts (Papal), originally Fischer, France & Germany.
Cohen, Count (Portugal), for Edward Cohen, of Pretoria, South Africa.
(Bohemia 160), Reichsgraf von Consolati von und zu Heligenbrunn und Bauhof, 3
Aug 1790, probably formerly Cohen,
16th century converts, Another
branch settled in Bolsano and Trieste.
Croy-Chanel, (not connected with Croy family) (formerly Gerothwohl), Converts to
Catholicism since 1800, Nobles, not connected
to the French and Hungarian families of Counts of Crouy-Chanel.
Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin (1804-1881), His grandfather Benjamin Disraeli (1730-1816) settled in England in 1748, father of Isaak (1766-1848), converted to Anglicanism 1817. Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (1876), was sometime Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Dobrowolski, Counts (Nobles, styled Counts), Russian and Polish family.
Doret, Count (Papal),
for Léon Doret, d. 1913.
Economos, Count (Papal), Alexandre, Count de Economos, in the service of the Sultan (living 1913).
in Bohemia, Aron and Albrecht Eppstein named as living 1620, possibly Counts of
Feuerstein, Barons 1757, Counts Feuerstein von Feuersteinsberg 1793 (Bregenz, converts 16th century),
Treuberg, Noble (1807, Prince-Bishop of Eichstatt), Barons (Saxe-Coburg 1809
and Hohenzollern-Siemaringen 1810), Counts
(Saxony 1817). Many named (still extant).
(styled Counts), Netherlands.
Counts, Dukes of Mirabello (of the line of Ruben), existing members not named.
Frise, Count (Papal) original Messels, Henri Messels, Comte de Frise, d. 1893.
Marquis de, (possibly Jewish) named Gaston, Marquis de Gallifet, b. 1830.
Gambamar, Noble (HRE 1764), Baron
(HRE 1790), Counts (Papal ) (Converts 1764), named several.
Goez, Noble (Regensburg 1654), Baron (HRE 1672), Count (HRE 1693), (formerly Trooch) many named.
Goschen, Viscount (UK 1900), (converts) junior line knighted, England and Germany; George Goschen (1831-1907) raised to the Peerage as Viscount Goschen after being 1st Lord of the Admiralty, Ambassador in Constantinople, and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Gradelli, branch of Frangipani (of the line of Ruben), No titles given.
Groi-Hoch, mentioning a Prince Groi-Hoch, with no further information.
Handhierh, Prince - a mention of a Prince Handhierh, with a ?
Harbleicher, Counts (styled), Morris Harbliecher in Paris.
Hebrail, styled Marquis, from the Languedoc.
Donnersmarck, Counts and Princes, named as 15th century converts. It also
names Guido, Count Henckel, 1st Prince of Donnersmarck, who married
(1) 1871 Blanche Lachmann (d. 1884) and left issue by his 2nd
Nobles 1857 Baron
(1877 Saxe-Meiningen), (converts),
styled Counts in Italy, Hiromi Hierschel of this family was a moderately
styled Counts, naming Moser Kaiserling who claimed to be a branch of the Keyserlingk
(Papal) and in France the adoption of the particule.
Kreuz, Nobles (styled
Counts), Germany and Russia.
Hohenlubin, Nobles (HRE 1646, Austria 1884),
Marquis (Papal 1912), Albrecht, Marquis Kubinsky, Ritter von Hohenlubin,
Künigl von Ehrenburg, Counts, Barons von Ehrenburg und Barth (although not of Princely rank included in th princely section), listed two current members, 16th century converts.
Dukes of San Fernando Luis, sometime Dukes
of Levis-Mirepoix. (Their alleged Jewish descent has been doubted by
several eminent genealogists).
Lusignan, Princes de (*in fact an entirely bogus claimant to this title, the pseudo Prince Michael David, although the editors of the S-G did not seem to know this, nor the Czar who seems to have accorded some recognition to the title - their Jewish origin supposed only by virtue of their alleged Armenian descent in the female line, but this was also spurious).
of Taranto, (according to the S-G the Macdonald family were originally of Jewish
origin). Included mention also of the Scottish Macdonalds.
Malcolm, (of the line of Aaron), a gentleman who called himself Imperial Highness and Prince.
of Essling, Duke of Rivoli (of the line of Karaiiten), Victor Massena, 4th
Prince of Essling, Duke of Rivoli, married 1882 Paula, widow of the Duke of
Elchingen, herself of Jewish birth (Heine-Furtado). Of their two daughters, Anne
married the Marquis d’Albufera, heir to the Duke of Albufera (Suchet), and
Victoire married the Marquis de Montesquiou.
Matteis (of the line of Ruben), no title given but listed in Rome and Naples.
Meschtchersky, Princes, no current names listed, but still extant today.
Monroy di Belmonte,
a Prince Eugen named.
Napoleon III, by virtue of the claim that his real father, lover of Queen Hortense, was Carel Henri Berhuel-Badinet (born 1764). The Empress Eugenie, born de Guzman, Condes de Teba, was of Jewish convert ancestry.
originally Miquez, a Spanish Jewish convert family, created Dukes by Selim II, Ottoman
Camondo, Counts and Nobles Italy 1867; named Abraham Salvator 1st
Count (d. 1889); Moise, 2nd Count married ....Cahen d’Anvers
(q.v.); Isaac, 3rd Count b.1911.
Papareschi, 14th century Roman Jewish converts, now extinct - no title given.
of Montenegro, Princes (later King), existing members listed.
Pierleoni (of the line of Ruben or Jehuda), prominent Roman Jewish noble family, extinct in 1582.
Salamanca (Salamon), Counts of Ortenburg in 16th and 17th century Carinthia, originally of Spanish descent. Created Barons of Freyenstein and Carlspach in 1523 and Counts of Ortenburg in 1524.
1890, 1909 and 1911 (Mosaic, titled “Prince of the Captivity” by the Ottoman
Emperor). Naming Jacon David Sassoon, Sir
Albert Sassoon, 1st Bart (1817-1896), his son Sir Edward Sassoon,
Bart (1856-1912), Arthur Sassoon, Sir Philip Sassoon, 3rd Bart (b.
1888), Sybil Sassoon (b. 1894, listed as marrying Earl of Rocksavage, later
Marquess of Cholmondeley), Sir Jacon Sassoon (b. 1853), Edward Sassoon (b.
Soult, Dukes of
Dalmatia, descended from Marshal Soult, claimed to be of Jewish descent.
converts at the end of the 18th century, ennobled 1794, Patricians
1809, Princes 1814, Dukes 1847. Divided into two lines of Dukes
Torlonia and Princes
of Civitelli Cesi The junior line became extinct in the male line and
was substituted with Borghese, also of Jewish descent (q.v.), acquiring the
titles of Prince Torlonia, Prince of Fucino, Canino and Musignano (these last
inherited on the extinction of the male line of Bonaparte di Canino)
The title of Prince of Civitelli Cesi, however, reverted to the senior
line, being attached to a male majorat.