A Lebanese story : Family name changed from Eid to Ferris in early 1900’s

My Grandfather, John M. Faris immigrated to the United States from Lebanon in the early 1900’s. As was the case with many people at that time, the family name “Eid” was some how dropped and our family name became “Faris”. Following is a history of the Eid family as compiled in 1967.

The Eid Family History

As Compiled by:

Chor-Bishop Joseph Eid &

John M. Faris Eid



The great historian, Patriarch Paul Massad, retraces the origin of the Eid Family up to the ancient family called “Habib” (or Beit-Habib) from the town of “Hakel”. Hakel is in the northern section of Lebanon, near the actual Jebeil (Antic Byblos) of Kesrowan. The founder and father of the Habib family was John Habib, illustrious governor (or Mokaddem) of the city of Jebeil in the twelfth century. The same Mokaddem, John Habib, built through the support of the Crusaders, the church of St. John the Evangelist at Jebeil. At the present it is in the hands of the Lebanese Maronite Monks. Moreover, the convent of Saidat Al-Mahounat, called “Deir El-Banat” (Our Lady of Help, or Convent of Girls) was built by the same governor, John Habib, originally for religious habitation of his virginal daughters.

A branch of this family, related to the Sheiks El-Khazen, came to the town of Zouk Maspah. From the Hakel family came two illustrious scholars, Abraham El-Hakelani and his cousin Habib Hakelani. These two scholars, educated in Rome, were well known in the Western ‘culture as “Hechellensis”. Today, Beit Galib, related to Sheik Al-Daher, are descendants of this branch.

The ancestors of the Eid Family, or the origin, descended from Beit Habib of Hakel. They are a numerous and important family, even to this day, Also related to Beit Habib are the Karams of Amshit and.the Khourys of Ehmeje. The town near Hakel, Kharebee, is also composed of the same family.

There is another religious monument. A story of the staunch religious spirit of this family relates that the monastery of Deir-Meyfouk was built by them through heroic tenacity. The Metwalis (Mohammedan sect) constantly demolished their work each time they attempted to build the neighboring monastery. Finally, the good Christians (the said Habib) decided to at least lay the foundation above the ground at night. In this way, the work could not legally be obstructed. Thus, the undertaking was successfully terminated.

These preliminaries serve as an historic introduction to the Eid Family origin. We now come to the direct subject of the Eids in the south of Lebanon; namely in the District of Kharroub, within the region of El-Chouf and other neighboring localities. We make mention first of the three towns entirely populated by the Eid Family, Mazraat-El-Dahre, Jelailyeh and Mtolli. Small numbers of the family inhabit two hamlets, Zitounieh and Bzina. Zitounieh is adjacent to Mazratt-El-Dahre, and Bzina is adjacent to Mtolli. Beykoun is half populated by the Eid Family and is separated from Mtolli by the Moslem town of Bsaba.

There are scattered elements of the Eid Family in Bteddine Lokshe also (District of Jezzine) and other localities of Mnasif, Damour, Naamee, Khorbet Anafar (Bekaa), Deir-El-Kamar and Beirut. Many moved to the great capital of Lebanon at the end of Turkish rule, after the first World War.

The migration of the Eid Family from the northern part (Hakel) to the south of Lebanon took place in the middle of the eighteenth century, about 1755 AD. Thus, our ancestors left Hakel more than two hundred years ago.


The family took its name from its father, “Eid Hakelani”, whose posterity became numerous. As stated previously, he left Hakel years ago with his two brothers, Yousif (Joseph) and Hanna (John). Their departure was caused by an unfortunate event.

It is related that a man of the Tarabey family, from the northern section, assaulted their sister. To revenge her honor, the Eid brothers killed him. At night, they secretly departed to the southern region of Mount Lebanon to a town called Damour. This is located between Beirut and Saida, on the main route. There, the three brothers separated.

Subsequently, John inhabited Naamee, and with him originated the Hanna (John) family. Among the descendants was the popular and famous poet, Father Joseph.

The other Eid brother, Joseph, settled at Kaleelyeh in Mnasiff. His posterity spread over Damour, Domit, Shamaareen, Waady abou-Yousif and Deir-El-Kamar, where they are known as the “Asmar” family, well noted for their courage. Elderly people of Deir-El-Kamar have reported that the Asmars, while engaged in the hard battle of Biader (1845) lost forty men.

Those who retained the name “Asmar” at Deir-El-Kamar are Joseph, Abdow and Beshara. The first lived at Deir-El-Kamar and married from the Jalkh family. Among his children, mention is made here of Khalil (a silk merchant in Beirut), Fadllallah (a watchmaker in Beirut) and Abdallah (who migrated to America). Also from the Asmar family Habib (Abou -Yousif Asmar). From Abdow, mention is made of Maroon Affandi (Bash-Shaweesh) previously of the Lebanese Army.

Related to Asmar-Eid also, are Beit Abou-Izrael. From this branch came Beshara Abou-Izrael, who settled at. Damour with a large estate.

The same Asmars are also related to “Beit-Neilos”, of whom Habib Neilos was well known as a silk merchant (having twelve looms). Francis Neilos is also of this family and was custodian of the government palace, or Beit-Eddine, during the rule of Governor Franko Pacha. Francis Neilos’ son Joseph was director of the German Commission Agency, Fanknheil & Sheffer Company and also became administrator of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Tallee Church (Deir-El-Kamar). He remained with his father, an expert carpenter. Francis’ other son became a high official of the Bank of Haifa in Palestine.

There is another notable point of information concerning the Eid Family ancestry. The Sheikh of Hakelanis at Zouk-Misbah made a gift of much of his estate to charity and the church and built the famous Monastery of Our Lady of Louiyzee, (Deir Saiedat El-Louiyzee) near their town. He gave it to the Maronite religious order called “Aleppins”. To this day, the monks recall the grant and offer prayers for the donors’ souls.



The previous chapter dealt with the origin of the Eid Family, the localities in which they dwelled, the various ramifications derived from the mother tree, and the historical summary of the Eid brothers. Now we come to Eid, himself, the father and founder of the actual Eid Family in southern Lebanon.

Eid, the head of the family, separated from his brothers and went to the southern section of El-Chouf called Ekleem Kharroub at the place of Delhamyeh. He worked the land in cooperation with the Sheik Abou-Nakid , an influential Druse tribe. He was later asked to work for another Druse tribe, Beit Abou-Harmooshe of Assumkanyeh, and he settled in their estate at the.town of Jelailyeh, along with the members of his family. He lived to see his children and grandchildren number forty, to mention only the males.

 From the main trunk of the Eid tree came five important branches or roots, and all originated from the same head, or Great Eid. These subdivisions of the Eid Family are:

Beit Jebrayel (Gabriel)

Beit Karam

Beit Nohra

Beit Antoun

Beit Issaff



Jabrayel: (His Children)





Karam: (His Children)





Nohra: (His Children)








Antoun: (His Children)

Khoury Antoun




Issaff: (His Children)




Note: The Eid branch of Bteddine-Lokshe are probably affiliated with Karam.

Note: The Eid Family branches form the entire population of the following:

Mazraat-El-Dahre (with Zitounieh)


Mtolli (with Bzina)

Beykoun (about 50%)

After this summary of various branches, special details in historical and genealogical study for each branch will be conducted. Subsequently, this work will be completed by conducting the families (branches listed above) to the present time, each in its genealogical line. Mention will also be made of clergy in the Eid family, listing those names of the priests and nuns.


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