Select Sassoon Surname Genealogy

Sasson and Sassoon are Sephardic Jewish surnames.  Sasson may originate from a Hebrew name meaning happiness.  However, the Sassoon family of merchants that came from Iraq probably had different name origins.  One theory is that they had come from the mountainous region of Sason west of Lake Van in Turkey.  Another is that they can trace their ancestry back to Spain and to the well-known Ibn Shoshan family that lived in Toledo.  

The Sasson and Sassoon names are to be found in infrequent numbers in Britain, America, and Argentin

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Select Sassoon Ancestry

Sassoon ben Salih and his family, Iraqi Jews, were the chief treasurers to the pashas of Baghdad in the early 1800ís. 

Their son David Sassoon fled from a new and unfriendly vali and came to Bombay in India in 1832 with his family.  In Mumbai he built up a large international business concern, with various branches established in India, Burma, Malaya and east Asia.   His wealth and munificence were proverbial and his business extended to China, where Sassoon House on the Bund in Shanghai became a noted landmark, and then to England.

The Sassoon interests in China devolved to Victor Sassoon who had come to Shanghai in 1923 after having been made lame in a plane accident during World War One.  Yet he was a formidable businessman and soon became known as the king of real estate in Shanghai. 

ďVictor lived in a half-timbered hunting lodge and an apartment with a 360 degree view atop Sassoon House on the Bund.  Noel Coward wrote Private Lives in forty eight hours while laid up with influenza for a weekend in Sassoonís Cathay Hotel.Ē 

Victor Sassoon remained in China (Sassoon Road in Hong Kong was named after him) until he sold out his interests in Shanghai in 1948 and moved to the Bahamas.  His British interests revolved around his horse
-racing stables near Newmarket.

England.  Davidís son Albert carried on his fatherís work in Bombay.  It was mainly through his contributions that a colossal statue of Edward, then Prince of Wales, was erected there.  In 1872 he was knighted and in the following year the corporation of London conferred upon him the freedom of the city, he being the first Anglo-Indian to receive it.  Albertís son Edward became a British MP in 1899. The seat was then inherited by his son Philip from 1912 until his death in 1939.

Another son Sassoon David Sassoon had moved to London in 1858 and soon occupied a prominent position among the principal merchants of that city:
  • his line led to Alfred Sassoon, who was however disinherited for marrying outside of his faith, and to Siegfried Sassoon, the poet of the First World War. 
  • and to his daughter Rachel who was also disowned for marrying outside her faith.  Her husband was Frederick Beer, the wealthy financier.  In her will she left a generous legacy to her nephew Siegfried, enabling him to purchase his home at Haytesbury House in Wiltshire. 
Then there was the line from David Sassoon, a Jewish manuscript collector, whose son Solomon and grandsons Isaac and David were noted rabbis.

Outside of this Sassoon family, there were a few other Sasson and Sassoon families living in England.  Nathan Sassoon, of Greek Jewish origin, deserted a family that included Vidal Sassoon who was to become the famous hairdresser of the 1960ís.

.  Brooklyn has been a home for Syrian/Iraqi Jews and that is where many Sassons are to be found.  The best-known is Steve Sasson who, while working for Eastman Kodak, invented the digital camera

Select Sassoon Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Sassoon Names

David Sassoon was the founder in Bombay in the 1830ís of the Sassoon business empire in Asia. 
Siegfried Sassoon
was one of the leading poets of the First World War. 
Vidal Sassoon
was the famous hairdresser of the 1960ís.
Steve Sasson
pioneered the digital camera in 1975.

Select Sassoons Today
  • 300 in the UK (most numerous in London)
  • 400 in America (most numerous in New York) 

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 500 surnames.

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