Some lines about the Cassuto wanderings in the Mediterranean,
the origins in Italy and a sketchy survey of the Italian forebears
may surmise that the Cassuto's originally came from Palestine. Probably
they lived for a long time in North Africa and then moved to Spain.
From the information on the web page
Genealogy Resources I derive:
In 1466, king Alfonso V passed through a marketplace with a Moises
Caçuto, a blacksmith from Alcácer-Ceguer, a Portuguese
possession in Morocco.
From Spain they, after the expulsion in 1492, migrated to several
places in the Levant.
Some sources mention, that in 1639 Florence there were only "tre
ebrei levantini, Aron Franco, David Cassuto et Elia Jesurun"
(three levantine Jews, etc...........). Several Cassuto were present
in Leghorn, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Salonica, and Smyrna (Izmir).
So some Cassuto's came to Italy.
(Dr.) Cassuto-Salzman: ' As for the origin of the family name, my
father, the late Professor Umberto Cassuto, of the Hebrew University,
Jerusalem, had his own theory , which I heard from him many times:
he supposed the family in ancient times, after leaving Palestine,
settled in North Africa, in the town of Cafsa. In North Africa the
family was known as Cafsut (the suffix -ut from Berber language, if
I remember well my father's words).
Afterwards they would have passed to Spain, where the suffix -o was
added to their name, which became Cafsuto. After 1492 they would have
migrated from Spain to Turkey and then to Florence, where they settled
in the sixteenth century (of this last migration my father found,
as far as I remember, evidence in the archives of the Jewish Community
of Florence, as weIl as in the State Archives of that town). Finally
the name became Cassuto, after the assimilation of the f to the s'.
(communication to Richard Barnett).
(this theory may be disputed. More about the name Cassuto on the name
origin of the Dutch Cassuto's has been traced down to this branch
( More data about Jewish Italy on
jewishgen.org and italian-family-history.com
From there some Cassuto's emigrated to The Netherlands. This move
must have happened in the first half of the 18th century. There
are many indications that the move to Holland was made by close family
members to the aforementioned Moses Vita Cassuto, jewel merchant in
Florence. To his diary other pages
on this site have been dedicated.
Moses stayed in England and Holland in 1741 and striking is his praise
of the farovable attitude of the English and the Dutch towards the
Jews living there and he was amazed about the liberties granted to
them, compared to the miserable conditions in Florence . No doubt
he communicated his experiences when back home in Florence and this
must have made a deep impression on the family and probably has been
an important consideration in moving north to England and Holland.
View Moses appraisal on
diary page about
Moses Vita Cassuto 's staying in England.
The first Cassuto to appear in the Dutch registers is Ephraim Cassuto.
We don't know where he was born, but possibly he was a cousin of Moses
Vita Cassuto, jeweller and merchant at Florence (Italy), who wrote
the aforementioned diary about his travels to Palestine and through
Indeed I have some information Ephraim resided or was possibly born
in London (there is a marriage notice in Amsterdam registers mentioning
birth in London). Maybe he or his father travelled to London in the
first half of the 18 century to represent jewell business affairs
there. And possibly Ephraim had stayed in Amsterdam to inquire into
busisness possibilities and maybe he decided to establish himself
the notes of George Cassuto I have made this reconstruction of the
Italian family in those days, a reconstruction of course incomplete
and not quite reliable, as it is made on the base of incomplete data
Also the data are on scraps of paper and it is not possible to retrieve
the source of these surmised pedigrees, though I suspect Alfonso Cassuto
z.l. has contributed a great deal.
The earliest Cassuto mentioned is: MOSES CASSUTO, living in
in Livorno in the 17th century. According to this survey he had three
Daniel, Juda and Ephraim
I. DANIEL (born 1625), son: Moses (born ca 1650, passed
away in Palestine)who had three sons: Daniel (born ca 1675,
was in 1723 shaliach - emissary - of Hebron, buried in Safed), Ephraim
(born 1675 in Livorno) and Samuel (also passed away in Palestine).
This must be the Samuel about which Mozes Vita
Cassuto in his diary - in the paraphrase of D. Barnett - wrote in
(Italic and bold be me)Here (in Cairo, Egypt) he (i.e.
Moses)was saddened by the news that his father's cousin (actually
it his grandfather's brother's grand child) of blessed memory,
Rabbi Samuel Cassuto, of Jerusalem, was no more. He was a
man of rare learning and saintly life and most charitable disposition.
As a Deputy of the Community (i.e. Jerusalem), he wrote letters
on its behalf to all parts of the world to plead for its poor. It
seemed, however, a divine consolation to Moses Cassuto that he was
now on his way to place in the Holy Land his own son, Jacob
Ephraim, to succeed the deceased, since it was his family's
custorn for many years that one of the family should live there
and that thus there should always be a Cassuto in the Holy Land,
where Rabbi Samuel's father and son and stepmother and the author's
paternal uncle are buried. Likewise Rabbi Daniel Cassuto,
brother of Rabbi Samuel, and his family are buried in Safed.
EPHRAIM (born ca. 1635), a son Moses, born 1673 is mentioned.
The middle son JUDA (born 1629) had, as mentioned, three sons:
Moses, Ephraim(born ca. 1665) and David (born ca. 1670, see below)
a. Moses, no facts known.
Ephraim, the middle son of Juda, born ca. 1665, is the immediate
ancestor to the Dutch Cassuto's.
The notes of George mentions as his eldest son: Juda, born
1688-1690, father to Ephraim, born 1719 and this Ephraim is the first
mentioned in Dutch registers and probably established himself in Amsterdam.
As for his descendants go to the Dutch male line pedigree
second son is Moses Vita, born between 1695 - 1700, is the
travelling Jewel merchant. You may read how he brings his son Jacob
Ephraim to Hebron and leaves him there to be educated in the Holy
Land. No further descendants are mentioned.
the third son, David Ezn., born ca 1700, nothing is mentioned
about offspring; but he accompanied his brother Moses on his journey
to England and Holland.
David Jzn. Now we go again to a generation before: the youngest
son of Juda Mzn, David, born ca. 1670, brother to our immediate
ancestor Ephraim, is the ancestor of the Italian Cassuto's, of whom
Umberto (Moses David) is the most well known.
The line goes (though the notes don't seem very accurate or reliable,
apparently "Moses David" is the usual name of one of the
son of David: Moses David (1700), Moses David (1750), Moses David
(1790), Moses David (1830), ......, Umberto (hebrew name also Moses
David, 1883/84 - 1951) and his brother Mario (1880).
Umberto had a son Nathan (born 1910), murdered in world war II, and
a daughter Milka who married Salzman.
Nathans son David (1937 or 1938) survived and with his mother made
alijah to Israel; his mother was killed in the horrible bus assault
in Jerusalem in 1947. David still lives in Jerusalem amidst the big
family he established there.
to pedigree 1750 - today