Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Barocas, Uziel, Behar, and Related Sephardic Families

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Project Tags

view all



This project is intended to facilitate genealogical and historical collaboration among those interested in the Barocas, Uziel, Behar and Related Sephardic families now or formerly found in Israel, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, South America, the United States and other points all over the world.

How can you participate?

(1) Add your branches to the Geni tree. This is a 100% shared collaboration and the tree belongs to all of us. You are welcome to add in-laws, new branches and any other members of the family that interest you. But please do not duplicate existing entries.

(2) Upload photographs and documents to the tree. Primary materials are the lifeblood of any historical endeavor and yours are just as valuable as anyone's!

(3) Invite family members to tree. The more the merrier and maybe you may uncover someone with a latent talent for historical research!; and

(4) If you have the last name of Barocas or Uziel, and think you may be related to our family, please participate in our Y Chromosome DNA study of the family as a means of sorting out the branches of the tree. We actively encourage family members to participate in the DNA project by contacting Geni Curator Adam Brown.


An email from Victor Barocas in 2001:

Hello from Victor Barocas of Atlanta (Duluth) Georgia USA.

I will enclose a short history of Barrocas/Barocas/Barokas that I sent to Harrison Barocas - my great nephew for a school project. It is as follows:

Hi Harrison,

I will give you an overview of the Barocas Family and some of the other family names associated with The Barocas (Barrocas, Barokas, Uziel, Ouziel, Cohen, Fins) and Behar (Ereza/Eshkenazi) sides of your family (to name just a few).

Your Great Grandfather was Samuel Isaac Barocas. He was the grandfather of your father and it was who your father was named. He was born in 1904 in Corlu (pronounced Chorlu) Turkey. Corlu was a provence of an ancient area known as Rodosto (today it is called Tekirdag - pronounced Tee-keer-dy-ag). The grandchildren, like your father, called him Papa Sam.

Your great-great-grandparents on the Barocas side were Isaac Uziel Barocas and Reina Barocas-Barocas (note that she was born Barocas and when she married Isaac Uziel Barocas who was actually her first cousin - she became Reina Barocas-Barocas).

Your great-great grandfather, Isaac Uziel Barocas was actually born with the name Isaac Uziel. When he was just a baby, he was adopted by his aunt (Amatha/Amada) and her husband Salti Barocas; he was actually the uncle of Reina Barocas Barocas... wow is that confusing?

Reina Barocas Barocas, your great-great-grandmother was the daughter of Judah Barocas and Rosa Finz (Fins) from Corlu Turkey. Some time in the mid 1800's he was getting water from the well in Corlu and he was shot and killed by a robber. Judah Barocas was your great-great-great-granfather. Judah also had brothers, in fact - one of his brothers was Chelebe - and Chelebe was the grandfather of our cousins from Cuba who live in Atlanta (since 1954) who spell their names Barrocas (Salavdore, Esther Notrica, Rebecca Selber and Dr. Albert). In addition, Judah had another brother "Salvadore" and two sisters, "Bolisa" and "Susanna". The father of Judah Barocas was "Solomon" and his wife was "Reina" Mizrachi. Solomon's Father was Joshua (a/k/a Salvadore). That will take you back 8 generations on the Barocas side.

Reina Barocas-Barocas, on her maternal side is descended from The Cohen Family of Tekirdag and Corlu. Her maternal great grandparents were Estrella Cohen and Leo ouziel. Her great grandmother was Estrella Cohen. Her maternal great grandmother - Estrella Cohen gave up, on her death bed, her son Isaac Uziel for adiption to her sister Amatha/Amada Cohen. Much later, in the United States, we had other cousins marry and they were Pearl Azose (my aunt through marriage) and Nat Barocas (the baby brother of my Father). They were second cousins - once removed. Uncle Nat was very handsome and served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He later became a top executive with Prudential Life Insurance in Seattle, Portland and finally Los Angeles. He received many awards through his synagogue in business and after retirement as a great humanitarian. Again, Aunt Pearl is descended from the sister of Isaac Uziel. Her grandmother - Rachel - was his sister. Her grandparents were Rachel Uziel and Solomon Azose of Seattle. Her parents were Leo Azose and Eliza Amon.

Your Great-Grandfather, Samuel Isaac Barocas came to the USA as follows:

The ship that arrived with your great-grandfather, Samuel Isaac Barocas (a/k/a Salti Barocas) and his mother and brothers was: RE E'ITALIA. Ships records list: REYNA BAROCAS AGE 39; AMADA BAROCAS AGE 17; SALTI BAROCAS (my father / known as Sam) AGE 15; LEON BAROCAS AGE 8. LIA (Leo) BAROCAS AGE 6.


She was a 6,560 gross ton ship, built by Sir J. Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland (engines by G. Clark Ltd, Sunderland) in 1906 for Lloyd Sabaudo of Italy. Her details were - length 430ft x beam 52.7ft, two funnels, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 15 knots. Accommodation for 120-1st and 1,900-3rd class passengers. Launched on 22nd Dec.1906, she left Genoa on her maiden voyage to Naples, Palermo and New York on 6th Apr.1907. Her first voyage after the Armistice from Genoa to Marseilles and New York started on 27th Apr.1919 and in 1920 was refitted to carry 2nd and 3rd class passengers only. She continued Mediterranean - New York sailings until 1922 when she was transferred to the South America service. On 26th Oct 1923 she resumed the Genoa - Naples - Palermo - New York route for one round voyage and was scrapped at Genoa in 1929. [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.3,p.1367]

Now, let's get back to Samuel Isaac Barocas - your great-grandfather. He was born in Corlu, as I mentioned above. He came to The Unites States around 1920 - we have the ship's register (see above) with his name and the names of all of his family who arrived at Ellis Island in New York). He had to support the family all by himself (his brothers were too young) - his father Isaac Uziel Barocas was considered too good to work. They referred to him as a "pasha" or "prince". Papa Sam had three brothers (as seen above - Leon, Leo and Nat). He also had one sister (Amatha/Amada). He had many occupations as a young man. He was very handsome and very strong. It is said that he played in two silent movies as a tough guy running through the streets (no talking in silent movies). Later he became a boxer, but I dont think that lasted too long (my Uncle Jack Behar the brother of Grandma Louise was "the boxer" in the family - more on him later). Then, when he was still a young man, he owned the hat-check concessions in several Vaudeville theatres as well as Burlesque houses. Hat-check concessions were a small area where people would safely leave their coats and hats when they went out...then, they would give a tip to the person who cared for their hat or coat. Papa Sam made a portion of the "tip" as the owner. Later he got into the Wine Business and he was a partner in his own distribution company called PaulSam Distributors (his partner was Paul Winick). Soon thereafter he went into the Beer Distribution Business - he was the distributor in Virginia and Washington for Pabst Blue Ribbon and Blatz Beers. Those businesses were located in Alexandria Virginia and Washington D.C. Once he told me that his business was so big that when Pepsi-Cola offered him the rights (for fountain syrups) to distribute for Washington D.C., he turned them - imagine turning Pepsi down!!!! In 1952 he sold his businesses and we moved back to Atlanta (we being your great-grandmother Louise Behar Barocas, your grandfather Ervin Barocas (Papoo), your great-aunt Renee Barocas Stein and me - your great-uncle - Victor Barocas) - great-Aunt Betty Barocas Roistacher and great-Uncle Bernie Roistacher came later. In Atlanta, Papa Sam worked for Monarch Wine Company. He also was a representative for other lines such as: L & N Renault & Sons and others - he sold wines. Then, in 1960 he decided to open a night club known as The Gaslite Lounge at 109 Luckie Street in Atlanta. He had two partners and they were C.J. Geldrich and Sam Palaio. Later, he later bought out his partners and when he died on June 23, 1975 he was still the owner. Sam Barocas (Papa Sam) was a hard worker. He helped many family members who were less fortunate than himself. He was devoted to his family. He was a wonderful father and friend. Great-Uncle Bernie Roistacher took the Gaslite over until it closed.

Your Great-Grandmother was Louise Behar Barocas. She came to Atlanta in 1911. She was only 3 months old and was the youngest Sephardic Jewish person in Atlanta at that time (Sadie Entrekin was the first Sephardic baby actually born in Atlanta). Your father used to call her, Grandma Louise. Her father was Victor (Vitaly) Behar (Papoo). Her mother was Rebecca Ereza Behar (Nona) - Nona's mother was Luna Eshkenazi.

Victor Behar, your great-great grandfather initially came to Atlanta from Instanbul (Galata a section of Istanbul) Turkey in 1903. He stopped over in Atlanta for a short time on his way to the Louisiana Exposition in St. Louis (this marked the 100th anniversary of The Louisiana Purchase by The United States from France - now it has been over 200 years ago). Also, I have the actual "book of tickets" for the Expo which also has his photo from 1904). Victor Behar can be found in several articles in The Atlanta Journal from the early 20th century. One kind of humorous article writes about him being fined $500 for selling "cider" to a woman and she got drunk and disorderly. He actually was a deeply religous person and he is written up in The Atlanta Historical Bulletin as being on of the founders of the Sephardic Community in Atlanta. In any case Victor Behar lived in Atlanta until 1923 when his daughter Sadie married Manuel Mardy (a/k/a Mordechai) and went to live in Washington D.C. (he is listed at several addresses in The Atlanta City Directories from 1911 until 1923 - The Atlanta City Directory can be seen at the library at The Atlanta History Center). He opened one of Atlanta's first Deli's and it was called Victor Behar Sandwiches. We have photos of his store which was located at one time on Gilmer Street and later on Decatur Street - right next to the Atlanta Police Department. Victor Behar and Rebecca Ereza Behar lived on Central Avenue until 1923. Then, when they returned to Atlanta in 1952, they moved to Parkway Drive. Then, after Victor Behar died, Rebecca Ereza Behar moved to University Drive (she died in 1970 and both are buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Atlanta with most of your family members on that side. Victor and Rebecca had three sons and two daughters. The eldest son was Jack Behar (Dr.) - the boxer - and Joseph (Joe) Behar. Another son, Albert died very young and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery (the old section - I found his grave about twenty years ago). The two daughters were Sadie Behar Mardy (your great-great-aunt who lived to be 101) and Louise Behar Barocas (Grandma Louise who lived to be in her 90's). A photograph of them all about 1913 in Atlanta became quite famous historically and can be seen in the Museum on the Isle of Rhodes (I have the original photo) see the photo at and scroll down . You can even see it on the internet - wow! Uncle Jack had two sons - Victor (Dr.) - a heart surgeon at Duke University and Raymond (Dr.) - a Urologist in Tampa. Uncle Joe had one son (Victor) and three daughters (Bobbi, Serena and Rose Ellen). Aunt Sadie had two daughters (Ora and Betty). Ora and her husband Harry Yoles are deceased.

Grandpa Sam and Grandma Louise had four children - two daughters and two sons. Great-Aunt Renee Barocas Stein (Great-Uncle Don) and their son Elliott. Great-Aunt Betty Barocas Roistacher (Great-Uncle Bernie - the nicest and funniest person I have ever known) and their children, Sammy, Lisa and Louie. Your Grandfather (Papoo) Ervin Barocas (Maxine Swerdlin Barocas (Nona) and their children - Uncle Israel Michael (Mickey) Barocas - died at the age of 5; your father Samuel Isaac (Sandy) Barocas; Uncle Heath Barocas; Uncle Mitchell Barocas; Uncle Seth Barocas. And me, Great-uncle Victor Barocas (Great-Aunt Sivie from my first marriage & Great-Aunt Joni from my second marriage) our sons - Scotty and David.

There is a story about your Great-Great-Grandmother Reina Barocas-Barocas. It is said that when she was on the boat on her way to the USA, she was making herself up to see her husband (Isaac Uziel Barocas) whom she had not seen in three years as he came to the USA earlier. She wanted to look perfect - stunning, beautiful. She was in a panic because the boat was docking. She had not eaten a thing and then she realized that she had a banana in her bag. She peeled the banana - took out her false teeth to eat the fruit and accidentially, she threw her teeth overboard instead of the banana peel. Boy was your great-great-grandfather surprised!

There are several videos that were made interviewing great-great-Aunt Sadie and Nona (Louise Barocas) about their early experiences in Atlanta soon after the turn of the 20th century. Both ladies had related many stories to me. One such story was when they were little girls they would go to Fair Street in Atlanta (now Memorial Drive) every Confederate Memorial Day. They would visit with the old Confederate Veterans (after they were through parading in their old uniforms) who fought in The American Civil War (known as the War Between the States or The War of Northern Aggression to many of us Southerners). They used to tell me that they would ride on the shoulders of the old veterans and a good time was had by all. Confederate Memorial Day (The Confederate Memorial Day is observed on April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; on May 10 in North Carolina and South Carolina; on May 30 in Virginia; and on June 3 in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee) honors only those soldiers who fought for the South in The Civil War (1861-1865) where as Memorial Day (Celebrated on the last Monday in May) honors all American Soldiers who fought in all wars and is a U.S. Holiday.

You should also know that on the Barocas side of the family (maternally) we are descended from a lady by the name of Rosa Fins. She was born in the 1700's in Turkey. Also, there appears in history, several Barocas (Barrocas) who were from Spain and Portugal and who were burned at the stake (auto de fe) in the early 1500's. My father told me that ALL people with the name Barocas, Barrocas, Barokas, Barochas, Barrokas are related. So that would mean that we are also descended from all of these people named as above with various spellings (though not entirely documented). Also, my father had a cousin by the name of David N. Barocas. He was a famous writer and we have his two books on Spanish/Sephardic Jews. In fact, these out of print rare books should be in your hands. Next time we see you, be sure to remind me to let you have these books by a family member for you to keep!

On the Uziel side of the family, we are said to be descended from Isaac Uziel (visit and type in Uziel) - who was invited to go Fez Morroco where he studied to be a Rabbi - then finally, he went to Amsterdam Holland and he was the second chief Rabbi of Amsterdam. If fact, one of his students was Menassah Ben Israel and he became the third Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam and he is the famous Rabbi that met with Oliver Cromwell in England and arranged to have the Jews re-enter England. Isaac Uziel died after 1626 and he is buried at the Spanish Portugese Cemetery on the Amstel River near Amsterdam in Holland. (I had the honor of visiting his grave).

As to famous family members we are said to be remotely related to Edye Gorme (Edith Gormezano ) through my Aunt Esther (wife of Uncle Leon - a brother of Papa Sam). Also through Aunt Esther we are said to be related to Neil Sedaka (none are blood relations). As I mentioned above, we are related to David N. Barocas, the Author.

As to your question regarding Citizenship...all of your relatives who were not born here became citizens. We still have papers of citizenship that go back 100 years.

Harrison, this is only a tiny bit of information and much more is available. I hope it is not too confusing as I tried to keep it simple. When you want to know much, much more - you will have to visit with me and I will share so that you can pass it along to your children and theirs to their children and so on. You have a rich Sephardic heritage to embrace.

Your Mom and Dad and your sister Ivey and you are some of my favorite people in the whole world. In fact, your Dad was, as you know, a very good football player. I have a photograph of him giving his autograph as a freshman on the University of Georgia Football Team. The other Jewish player on the team was the famous professional wrestler "Bill Goldberg" - they remain good friends. Your dad was a big 6 foot 2 - 280 pound lineman. Today he is at least 60 pounds lighter and is more handsome than George Clooney!!! He works out and lifts weights with my oldest son - Scotty.

As you may know, I am writing a book about the adventures of your Mom's Dad (BOBOB) - Arthur Feldman. That is for another story, however, he has been my closest friend since we were both in the First Grade at Morningside Elementary School (it is hard to believe that my best friend is related to me through marriage and that he became your Grandfather!!!). And your Grandmother Peggy Harris Feldman (whose great-great uncle was Edward Selig Salomon - a colonel in The Union Army who was instrumental in the Burning Of Atlanta (how sad) in 1864 - fought bravely at Gettysburg - and who was later appointed by President U.S. Grant as the first governor of Washington Territory) is also one of my dearest friends. In fact, Aunt Joni and I go out with Arthur and Peggy at least once a week, and as you know - we live just around the corner from one another! And your Grandma Maxine (Nona) and Grandpa (Papoo) Ervin (my big brother) are both very dear to me (plus they are my business partners !!!)

This small endeavor is done with much love and I hope that it will serve to interest you and "whet" your appetite in the history of your family and Sephardim. Also, Harrison - on your Grandmother Maxine's side you are an eighth generation Atlantan (descended in Atlanta from Wolfe Springer who was here at the time of the Civil War).


Great-Uncle Victor Barocas

p.s., I do have Family Trees that are much more detailed and extensive on some family parts. You should know that you probably have at least 500 cousins worldwide! Also, to find out more about Sephardim - and read many articles on your history and to view a few research opinions that I have contributed, go to the following: