Moses and Romey Family Papers


Moses and Romey Family Papers


Emigration and immigration


Biographical/Historical note

This collection represents three families who lived in Valdosta, Georgia, and Lake City, Florida. Ellis Moses came from Zahle in the Biqa’a Valley of modern Lebanon. His wife, Fannie Johns may have originated in the village of Wadi El Aarayech (وادي العرايش) as she later wrote to relatives in that town. Together, Ellis and Fannie had eight children. Bessie (7/1906-1928) born in Syria; Amelia (6/12/1912-1992 m. Castrinos); Sallie (8/1914-2012 m. Barnes); Noidrie (1/1916-1993); and Philip (1919-2009) all born in Valdosta, Georgia; Norman (1921-2005); Leo (1923-1992); and Helen (1926-2004 m. Bishop) all born in Lake City, Florida.

Ellis Moses arrived at Ellis Island on September 5, 1907, while Fannie and Bessie followed later on. By 1908, Ellis was settled in Valdosta, Georgia in a community of his countrymen and relatives who mainly hailed from the villages of Wadi El Aarayech (وادي العرايش) and Dahr El Ahmar (ضهر الأحمر) in the Biqa’a Valley. There, Ellis had a grocery store at 406 South Patterson Street. Around 1917, the Moses family moved to Lake City, Florida, where they operated a fruit and vegetable store on the town’s main thoroughfare, 218 North Marion Street, and a filling station on the outskirts of town. The Moses family attended the local Catholic mission church, St. Joseph’s, and were heavily involved in establishing the permanent parish of the Epiphany in 1944.

Both Ellis’s brother Joseph's family and his cousin Nola Romey's family moved to Lake City as well. Joseph (Joe) (1894-1928) and Adel Moses (1895-1927) had three children: Ethel (1919), Edward Joseph (1920-1999), and David. Nola George Romey (d.1929) married Fannie (Hasna) Joseph Habib Rahme and they had four children: Icer (1909-1995), Emeline (1916-2012 m. Stewart), Leila (1921-2005 m. Giardina), and Lucille (1924-1995).

In May, 1929, tragedy struck the Moses and Romey families when Fannie (Hasna) Romey was killed in a shootout with local police. Nola Romey was beaten, arrested, abducted from the jail by a mob (sources indicate by the KKK) and lynched along the side of the Fort White Road south of Lake City. Ellis and Fannie adopted the Romey’s four orphaned children and moved to Birmingham, Alabama shortly after. Ellis and Fannie had also adopted the children of Joseph and Adel. Adel was tragically killed by an accidental gunshot while standing on the front porch of her brother-in-law Ellis’s home on the Jacksonville Highway, and Joe had died a year later.

Scope/Content note

The Moses and Romey Family Papers include materials donated by two granddaughters of Ellis and Fannie Moses. They are Teresa Bishop Angove, daughter of Helen Moses Bishop, and Sandra Moses Ryland, daughter of Norman Moses.

The bulk of the collection is photographs, which include pictures of Ellis and Fannie Moses, their children and grandchildren, Ellis's brother Joseph's family, and Ellis's cousin Nola's family. There are documents relating to Joseph and Adel's family as well.

To learn more about the Moses and Romey families see The Romey Lynchings project and The Romey Lynchings: A Story of Lebanese Immigrants Collection.


Teresa Bishop Angove
Sandra Moses Ryland


Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies


circa 1911-2000s


Teresa Bishop Angove and Sandra Moses Ryland
Processed by Amanda Forbes and Celine Shay, 2019-2020. Collection Guide written by Amanda Forbes, 2020.
Collection Guide updated by Laura Lethers, 2024 February.


The donor retains full ownership of any copyright and rights currently controlled. Nonexclusive right to authorize uses of these materials for non-commercial research, scholarly, or other educational purposes are granted to Khayrallah Center pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. Usage of the materials for these purposes must be fully credited with the source. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials.




KC 0044

Collection Tree

This collection is a part of a larger collection that has been divided into more specific collections.

Khayrallah Center Collections
Moses and Romey Family Papers