In 1992, I looked up the PORGES family name in the Members Directory of CompuServe (Google did not exist yet!) and the system returned a list of a dozen Porgeses to whom I sent a quick message that most answered.
This is how this
Amazingly, I discovered that all the Porges families who lived
in America originated from Austria/Czechoslovakia, like my
great-grand-father about whom I did not know much. It was
my belief that Porges was an uncommon name, the origin of
which was unclear.
I looked up the PORGES records registered in the public libraries of Paris and discovered PORGES entries in the arts, literature, business, politics, religion, sections of encyclopedias.
The PORGES roots went back to Moses
ben Israel Naphtaly Hirsch Porges born in Prague, ca 1600,
rabbi and emissary of the Ashkenazi community of Jerusalem,
who might have been the common ancestor to all the Porgeses
I tried to elucidate the origin of the name and the well spread
legend that PORGES is a Sephardic name, derived from PORtuGES,
or Burger, or Burgos.
Were the PORGES emigrants from Portugal/Spain who moved to
Central Europe in 1492?
The initial results of the research were sent to a short list of 50 PORGES families in the United States and Austria, listed in local phone books.
a period of two years, I received family trees, photos and
stories from the USA, Canada, England, France, Switzerland,
Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia.
In the mean time, I had the opportunity to visit libraries in Prague and New
York (the Leo Baeck lnstitute, now merged with the Center
for Jewish History, the Jewish
Theological Seminary and the NY Public Library) and to collect
additional information about the Porges families.
thanks to The Leo Baeck Institute that provided invaluable
documents and to its friendly and helpful staff.
I was quickly drowned,
and I left all the material aside, wondering how this mass
of heterogeneous information could be organized in a readable
format : books, newspaper cuttings, manuscripts, photos, web
sites, in German, Gothic German, French, English, Hebrew...
The non-linear web-site's
structure allowed the gathering of the information that I
had collected. Plus the unique opportunity to make it available
to virtually everyone anywhere. Now, some family information had been posted on GENI.
Achieving and maintaining
this web site has been an exciting experience, and I do hope
that visitors will enjoy its discovery and contribute to its
Inaccuracies and errors
certainly remain. Do feel free to send your comments if there
is any information in your possession that you are willing
Paris, 2000 & 2015