About us

In 1992, we looked up the PORGES family name in the Members Directory of CompuServe (before Google existed!) and the system returned a list of a dozen Porgeses to whom we sent a quick message which most answered.

This is how the Porges families website started.

Amazingly, we discovered that all the Porges families living in America originated from Austria/Czechoslovakia, like our great-grand-father about whom we did not know much. It was our belief that Porges was an uncommon name, the origin of which was unclear.

We looked up the PORGES records registered in the Paris public libraries and discovered PORGES entries in the arts, literature, business, politics, religion, sections of encyclopedias.

The most ancient entry was Moses ben Israel Naphtaly Hirsch Porges born in Prague, ca 1600, rabbi and emissary of the Ashkenazi community of Jerusalem, who was potentially the common ancestor to all the Porgeses ...

We tried to elucidate the origin of the name and the common legend that PORGES was 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, we received family trees, photos and stories from the USA, Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia.

In the mean time, we 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.

We were suddenly drowned and 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...

Hopefully, the non-linear websites' structure helped gathering the information that we had collected. Plus the unique opportunity to make it available to virtually everyone anywhere.
Now, some family information has been posted on GENI.

Achieving and maintaining this web site has been an exciting experience, and we 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.

Paris, 2000 & 2017