AlgeriaUnited KingdomFranceGermanySpain-Portugal



Busnach Chart

Busnach Tree

Abramo Tree



J.J. Boesnach




In the 17th century the Busnach family emigrated to Leghorn (Livorno), Italy, but was reestablished in Algeria in the 18th century. In 1721 Naphtali left Italy and after two years in Minorca (then under English rule), settled in Algiers. Together with his relatives the *Delmar and Bacri families, he established here a powerful commercial firm.

His grandson Naphtali ben Moses, played a significant political role in Algeria in the latter part of the 18th century. Enjoying an unprecedented degree of trust by the bey and in direct contact with European governments whose representatives had to rely on his interventions, he dominated foreign policy, made beys and overthrew them, controlled the administration of the treasury and with the help of his uncle Joseph Bacri and his many agents in Europe, monopolized trade. Nicknamed the "Viceroy of Algiers", he was jealous and dominating. However, he had remarkable courage. His coreligionists described him as pious, educated, generous and upright; in February 1800 he was appointed "head of the Jewish nation."

Busnach's power displeased the Turkish garrison, which on occasion revolted against excessive shortage of grain; they blamed the shortage on Busnach's export of large quantities of wheat to France.

In 1805, Naphtali Ben Moses was assassinated by a janissary. Subsequently, when Algiers was pillaged, the Busnach family took refuge in Leghorn (Livorno), settling there for the second time.
(Source: Encyclopedia Judaica)

The assassination in 1805 of the principal aide to the governor of Algiers, the powerful Naftali Busnach, was followed by the only massacre of Jews in Algiers. The French government was in enormous debt to the families of Bakri and Busnach, whose families and associates who were dealers in wheat with France until the end of the 18th century. These unpaid debts were used as the reason for the conquest of Algeria by France in 1830.
(source: Los Hijos de Ibero-Franconia, by Nissim Elnecave, ediciones "La Luz" Buenos Aires. With thanks to Ben Nahman)


Wouter Busnach - Amsterdam

IsraelNetherlandsNew ZealandUSAItaly

site created by Wouter Busnach, march 2005