The Family Lines

The Abou Rjeily reference book edited at the beginning of the 20th century split the family into five lines.
Actually, the lines differentiation became irrelevant because the community has spread all over the world and the individuals are not aware anymore of the lines they belong to.

First line: The Harmouch
Their ancestor is Salloum, son of Nicolas, son of Jabbour, son of Saad, son of Yazbeck, son of Nemr, son of Farès, son of Atallah. Salloum came from Ktéléh to Beirut at the end of the eighteenth century, where he resided in Mazraat el-Arab and got married to Elizabeth, daughter of Harmouch. Then he went back to Ktéléh where he got three sons: Nicolas, Bechara, and Mitri. When his sons grew up, their mother took them back to Beirut to teach them reading and industry while their father stayed in Ktéléh. The three children stayed for a period of time at the house of their uncles: the Harmouch. People called them Harmouch and they were known with this name, as well as their father.
Nicolas, the oldest son, was clever and brave. He volunteered in the attack launched by prince Bashir el-Chéhabi the Great, on the Sanour fortress, to help Abdallah Bacha, the governor of Akka. He showed great courage in the conquest of the fortress. The prince made him Sheikh of Mazraat el-Arab, where he received the seal of the Sheikhdom from Sheikh Younés Badran who married him to his daughter Hawen. Nicolas gave birth to two sons: Asaad and Lutfallah. Once, Prince Bashir asked him to send builders to help his men in a construction site. Instead he sent young boys who were rejected by the prince because of their youth. Some of his enemies denounced him to the prince who sent for him but he did not comply and ran away.
The prince’s men followed him but he killed two of them. As he was walking in a quarry located in the South of Beirut, he passed by some of his acquaintances while they were cutting rocks. They asked him to help them to lift the rock. As they were lifting, they let the rock fall and kill him. After his burial, the man who came up with this idea went to prince Bashir to tell him the story. The prince turned sad and ordered the man to be hanged.
Assaad and Lutfallah, Nicolas’ sons, grew up. Assaad went into politics. The people and the government who appointed him Sheikh of Msaytbé and Mazraat al-Arab for a long period of time loved him. Lutfallah set up in business, made a fortune and had many sons, among them the well-known Halim Abou Rjeily (Harmouch)..as if Heaven wanted to keep a memory of the Harmouch family through these descendants after the first line of Harmouch disappeared.

Second line: Naoum descendants
Their ancestor is Naoum, son of Nemr, son of Farès, son of Atallah. Those who came to Serjbal and its surroundings are from different lines. Those of the Naoum line took the nickname of their grandfather in order to be differentiated from their cousins. Agapios, archbishop of Tyre and its See, in the Roman Catholic church and his brother, Father Boutros, belong to the Nahoum line.

Third line: The Slaibi
They lived in Chiyah. Their ancestor is Slaibi, son of Saber, son of Atallah, son of Elias, son of Atallah. Many persons were known with the same name, that is why they had to be differentiated. Their names were written with the father’s name, the grandfather’s name and the family name. Throughout the years, the name Slaibi became a nickname.

Fourth line: The Hajjar from Kab Elias
Their ancestor is Youssef, son of Chédid, son of Daher, son of Michael, son of Yaghi, son of Atallah. He came first to the Bekaa, settled down in Maksi (near Kab Elias) where he married a woman called Hajariya, who was the widow of a man from Furzul. They had four children: Murad, Saad, Makhoul and Abdallah. Youssef died when they were young. Their mother took them to Kab Elias. As their father was unknown there, people called them with their mother’s name: Hajjaria. Then the name Hajjaria became Hajjar. They were known as Hajjar, as well as their brothers from their mother’s side.

Fifth line: Abou Rjeily in Kfarzabad
Their ancestor is Elias, son of Yaghi, son of Michael, son of Farès. He was one of the men of prince Farès el-Lamaï in Ras el-Metn. One day, while he was taking care of the prince’s mule, it kicked him. He hit it with a piece of iron. He feared the prince’s anger, so he ran away to Zahlé where he resided in the Musallem’s house. After some time, he got married to the daughter of Hatem Musallem and became a trustee on their properties in Douris (near Baalbeck).
Meanwhile, the famous battle between prince Bashir el-Shahabi and Sheikh Bashir el-Junblati took place in 1824. Mount Lebanon was split in two factions and the consequences of this war were not to be foreseen. The two brothers Mitri Nabhan and Merhi Nabhan agreed to join the two factions: the first one joined prince Bashir el-Chéhabi’s faction and the second one joined Sheikh Bashir el-Junblati’s faction. Prince Bashir el-Chéhabi won the war and the Lamaï prince who controls Ras el-Metn, ordered ordered to seize the properties of the Junblati faction. The village of Kfarzabad in the Bekaa belonged to some supporters of the Junblati party. When the Lamaï prince seized their properties, they asked Mitri Nabhan to intervene for them with the prince in order to cool his anger. They promised to give him half of the Kfarzabad crop in compensation and the prince relented.
When the harvest was completed, Mitri Nabhan went to Kfrazabad to take his part of the crop and resided in the house of one of the Abou Rjeilys, called Jabbour, son of Saad, son of Jabbour, son of Saad, son of Yazbek, son of Nemr, son of Farès, son of Atallah. Jabbour had four children: Saad, Daher, Saab and Michael. They helped Mitri Nabhan to put up the crops. There were few Christians in Kfarzabad. The Druze peasants threatened Jabbour’s sons and Mitri Nabhan understood that he would not obtain the crop after all. So he wrote a letter to prince el-Lamaï in Ras el-Metn asking for help. The prince provided him with a group of his men and another group that came from Zahlé. The two forces met in Tal Arjamouch, near Maalaka (in Zahléh), went into Kfarzabad where they were met by the Druze. A battle took place, in which Jabbour showed great courage when he attacked the Druze with swords. A man from Zahlé, called Makhoul Tabbah, supported him. The Druze were defeated. Since that time, the number of the Christians increased in Kfarzabad. Elias, who lived in Douris, heard about the battle and was looking forward to meet his cousin. So he came to Kfarzabad. After spending many days with his relatives, they refused that he goes back to Douris, so they accompanied him and brought his family back. He settled down in Kfarzabad with his three children: Youssef, Ibrahim and Farès. One of his descendants is Salim Nassif who lived in Zahlé. Elias’s coming to Kfarzabad was the reason for which this line of the Abou Rjeily family settled down there because the line of Jabbour Saad disappeared.
Many members of this family became prominent. Among them, Theodosios, Greek Orthodox patriarch (58-70) and Agabios, archbishop of Tyre in the Roman Catholic church (60s and 70s)