A request for families with Syrian, Lebanese ancestry

I am a history professor at Imperial Valley College in Southern California. I am seeking out families whose ancestors immigrated from Syria and Lebanon and settled in Fresno County in the late 1800s through the early 1900s for a research project.

My paternal grandparents came from greater Syria and arrived in California in 1912, so my work has both a personal and professional emphasis. Most recent studies on Syrian and Lebanese immigrants focus on settlement in the eastern half of the United States, and Central California tends to be ignored.

I grew up in rural Fresno County, where my Syrian grandparents and other Syrian and Lebanese immigrants settled between 1890 and 1925. My interest in their history, which also is my history, began as I listened to their stories when I was a child.

This research is an expansion of my master’s thesis, completed while I was a graduate student at CSU, Stanislaus. While I have gained a significant amount of printed material, I would like to get more family histories. I will be collecting oral histories in the Reedley area on Wednesday, Nov. 15, and in Fresno on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 16-17.

If you are interested in participating or have questions, please contact me at (760) 604-8908 or email me at ivclisasolomon@gmail.com.

Lisa Solomon Brawley

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