14 August 2006

Requesting help on Romanian roots

The Tracing the Tribe mailbag just got this interesting reader query about Romanian family ties. I'll offer some advice soon, but I also welcome suggestions from other experts out there.

I have a real problem. For some few months I've been trying to find some records of the family Iliescu from Romania. I wrote first name, day of death etc.

But nothing. I know that the "escu" is a romanian suffix. Can it be that the original surname was Ilie, Eli, Eliyahu or Elias? How can I know where else to search? Can it be sephardic? it's seems like this family was not alive at all. I'm desperate.

Can you give me an advice please?



  1. Mika,

    Haim Ghiuzeli, of the internet and databases department of Bet Hatefutzoth (Museum of the Diaspora) in Tel Aviv, and a researcher with personal knowledge of Romanian genealogy, says:

    Illiescu is a typical, quite common Romanian name, and the former president of Romania in the was also named Illiescu. "Escu" typical suffix of family names. "Ilie" which is Romanian version of Eli, Eliyahu, but is not normally found among Jews, but is more Christian. There were some Sephardic families in Romania with the name Elias, which is a form of Eliyahu but in Greek version. They came from Bulgaria.

    At the end of August, as he is traveling, please email Haim at vhmmarkt@post.tau.ac.il, with your specific questions about this family.

    He has checked his database and finds 12 individuals with this name but apparently not all are Jewish, and several are from Bozieni, Romania.

    Mika, thank you for writing. I encourage readers to ask questions.

  2. Anonymous8:22 AM

    Dear Mika,

    You can find where many Iliescus were living in 1924/1925 and their occupations by searching Romanian business directories made available online by the Library of Congress and searchable through my site www.kalter.org/search. The search results are sorted by judet (a geographical district), so, if you know approximately where they lived, you can narrow your focus.

  3. Logan,

    It was great meeting you at the conference and thank you for the additional information for Mika.

  4. Anonymous9:54 AM

    Hello from Serbia,
    could you please give me right directions where I can explore my roots?My grand grand father came from Romania and his last name was Sablic.He died 1912.in age of 29.His wife was Marina.I tought that maybe have conection with jewish herritage because he was refuges with his family.