The White Tower in Salonika before 1866
Welcome to the website of
THE MODIANO FAMILY
The book is in Acrobat format (.pdf)
in order to preserve the integrity of
the graphics. Click below for a free
download of Acrobat Reader 9.
Chapters are best explored through bookmarks (View/Navigation Panels/Bookmarks).
When using links, you can go back to where you were by pressing ALT+left arrow.
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A Brief Description of the Book
The book does not tell the history of the
Modiano family and its more than 3,200 members. It attempts to explore family origins and reconstruct its genealogical fabric. The text is interspersed with biographies of Modianos who achieved prominence or whose life was particularly interesting or unusual.
The main premise is that the Modianos had no hereditary surname when they settled in Italy. Where they came from, is still a moot point. They may have come from Spain, or they may have been descendants of the Hebrew captives brought to Rome by the Roman Army after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C. E.
Whichever it is, one of their ancestors resided in Modigliana, a township on the foothills of the Apennines northeast of Florence. The family name, originally Modigliano, then Modiano, describes one who comes from Modigliana. In the 16th century members of the family migrated to Salonika which was then part of the Ottoman Empire.
We find a family of Modillano rabbis in Salonika as early as the end of the 1500s. The origins and the name of the family are dealt with in the first part of the book (The Story).
The research did not tie up all the loose ends. There are five principal branches that can trace their ancestry back to the Salonika rabbis and a score of independent branches dating from the early 19th century. Outline genealogical trees for each branch are given at the end of every chapter. There follows an Epilogue, a collection of Old Documents, and an Appendix containing some interesting texts including a report on the theory of Prof. Michele Luzzati about the origins of the Modianos. This section concludes with a list of Acknowledgements and Credits.
Four features deserve particular attention:
(1) The preliminary results of the Modiano Family DNA Project conducted by the Tor Vergata University of Rome, confirming already to some extent the findings of the genealogical research.
(2) There is a full section on our international and regional family reunions with detailed descriptions.
(3) A simple but searchable family tree with some 3,200 names of Modianos, spouses and descendants, makes it easier to locate family members. This was updated in May 2011
(4) Help is solicited in identifying “Unknown Modianos” from a list of names (obtained from a variety of sources) so that they may be identified and find their place on the Modiano family tree.