The Gharios Family

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Sadly, less and less people are preoccupied in save their family’s history. That lack of method creates myths and misconceptions that echo for generations. Fortunately, with the advent of DNA testing, many of these misconceptions can be easily destroyed.

Even my family being somehow notorious in Lebanon, a lot of family members don’t know exactly the family origins not only because of the constant wars and destruction of records but mainly for the lack of interest.

Around twelve years ago, I’ve started a very deep study of the family’s history and international legal rights. That research became two books and one documentary.

You may watch the documentary below:

I’ve been writing a lot about the family’s Royal rights and also the leadership of the Christians in the Middle East. But some specifics about the relations of the Gharios family of Byblos (and Amchit) and Chiayh were not included in those writings. For that reason, I’ve decided to explore them now.

It’s known that after the deposition in the 18th century by the Ottomans, some of the descendants of the last ruler, HRH Sheikh Youssef El Chemor went to a small town known as Beit Habbak near Byblos (Jbeil)

“The first son went to the mountainous village of Baskinta and because he came from Beit Habbak, he was called “Habbaki”, which later became “Hobeika”. The second one, Ferjane Chemor, had the courage to stay in Beit Habbak. Nowadays his offspring are known as the “Ferjane”. The last two brothers, Farhat and Gharios, went to the suburbs of Beirut, where water is available and citrus trees are abundant. Farhat Chemor is today survived by a large family in Hadath known as the “Farhat”. Gharios Chemor went to Chiyah in 1757. His son Antoun took the name of his father as his family name like his uncles.” (Father Ignatios Tannos El-Khoury, Historical Scientific Research: “Sheikh El Chemor Rulers of Al-Aqoura (1211-1633) and Rulers of Al-Zawiye (1641-1747)”Beirut, Lebanon, 1948, p.122)

So, it’s accepted that:

” …the family Gharios of Chiyah is formally called “Gharios Habbaki Chemor” due to the village of Beit Habbak in the region of Byblos.”  (ibid)

That clearly shows that HRH Sheikh Gharios El Chemor by being called “Habbaki” (or the one from Habbak) came from the aforementioned city of Beit Habbak. The Maronite Encyclopedia of the NDU – Notre Dame University corroborates with the above. Read more HERE

Some people didn’t believe that the Gharios family present in Amchit and Byblos (Jbeil) was related to the one in Chiayh. But if we see the map of Lebanon, we can clearly see that Beit Habbak and Amchit are almost the same city! They’re separated only by a couple of kilometers!

Therefore, it’s very logical to conclude that even some of the family members going to Chiyah, the ones in Amchit are part of the family from Beit Habbak.

Now, let’s forget all the corroborating literature and even logic for a moment. Let’s focus on empirical data. A couple of years ago, I’ve submitted my DNA to Acestry.com. The results prove, without a single solitary doubt, my blood link with the Gharios family of Chiyah. If that wasn’t enough, also proves my blood relation to the El Chemor family by its other branch, the Farhat Family. Additionally, it’s known by literature that the El Chemor when ruled in Al-Akoura, were related by marriage to the El Hachem (Hashem) Sheikhs. I also show blood links with them.

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Above my DNA match to Mr. Karim Zakhour, son of Victoria Gharios of Chiyah. She’s first cousin of former Lebanese deputy Naji Camille Gharios from Chiyah.

Above my DNA match with some of the Farhat family members, descendants of HRH Sheikh Farhat El Chemor.

Above my DNA matches with several members of the El Hashem Family, descendants of the El Hachem Sheikhs, related by marriage to the El Chemor Sheikhs.

Additionally, the DNA test showed that I also had numerous matches with the historical Levantine Families descending from the last king of Ghassan like: The Malouf family (see the book “Maloof: the Ghassani Legacy), The Mansour Family, the Haddad Family, etc.

By all the above, we can conclude that the Gharios family of Amchit/Byblos is obviously related to the El Chemor family and by consequence, to the Gharios Family of Chiayh.

HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor