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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 site started.

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.

Over 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.

Special 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 development.

Inaccuracies and errors certainly remain. Do feel free to send your comments if there is any information in your possession that you are willing to share.

Porges
Paris, 2000 & 2015