Safy Family Papers


Safy Family Papers


Emigration and immigration


Biographical/Historical Note

In 1894, George Joseph Safy immigrated to the United States at 26 years of age; he lived in New York City for nine years, and was naturalized in 1903. In 1907, he returned to Lebanon, before coming back to the US with his wife Susie (Soosan) Safy. The couple arrived in New York on August 21, 1907, on the ship the S.S. Majestic. By 1910, the couple had settled in Mullins, South Carolina, and became successful in the town's business scene. George Joseph Safy was a member of the Macedonian Methodist Church and the local Masonic Lodge. In the 1920s, they moved north to Weldon, North Carolina. The couple had five children: Sophie Mae Safy Rabil (1909-1987), Alice Eugene Safy Lewis (1914-1977), Sue Olga Safy (1916-1937), George Joseph Safy (1921-1944), and George Victor Safy (1924-1977). They also had four children who died in infancy: Alice (1910-1911) Joseph (1912-1912), Kafa (1917-1917), and Eveline (1918-1918).

George Joseph Safy suffered a heart attack and passed away on July, 18, 1924. He was buried in Mullins, South Carolina at his request. In 1926, Susie remarried to Betrus Dahar (B.D.) Rabil. The Safy children appear to have spent time in the Epworth Orphanage in Columbia, South Carolina, where they are listed in the 1930 census. The children rejoined their mother and stepfather in North Carolina by the late 1930s. 

In 1937, Sue Olga died from complications with acute appendicitis while she lived in Rocky Mount and worked as a sales associate. Both George Victor and George Joseph served in World War II. George Joseph was killed in action when his plane was shot down over Germany on September 9, 1944. He is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery in France. Sophie Mae married Albert Rabil, B.D.'s son from his first marriage to Beula Davis Striman, and had two children: Albert Rabil, Jr., and Carolyn Joan Rabil. Alice Eugene attended Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and taught at the Lincoln School in Kingsport, Tennessee. In 1946, she married Frank Milton Lewis. George Victor married Agnes Harper Ellen in 1951.

Susie Safy and B.D. Rabil had two additional children together, Virginia Dell Rabil Mansour (b. 1927) and Betrus Dahar Rabil, Jr (1929-2004). B.D. Rabil, Sr., passed away in 1964; Susie passed away in 1969. Sophie Mae Safy Rabil and Albert Rabil, Sr., brought a lawsuit against Virginia Dell Rabil Mansour and B.D. Rabil, Jr. over which of two wills should be given priority: a joint will created by B.D. Rabil, Sr., and Susie Safy Rabil, or a subsequent will made by Susie Safy Rabil following the death of her second husband. The case was settled in 1970 by the North Carolina Supreme Court, which upheld the bequeathal of B.D. Rabil, Sr.’s real estate and personal property to his two youngest children, Virginia Mansour and B.D. Rabil, Jr.

Scope/Content Note

This collection contains documents and photographs pertaining to the lives of the Rabil and Safy families, including obituaries, family photographs, and legal documents.


Trey Matthews


Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies




Processed by Khayrallah Program staff. Collection Guide content contributed by Khayrallah Program staff and updated by Allison Hall, 2023 November.


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 0031

Collection Tree

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