The Ferris family from Syria

One of the odd things that turned up while researching the Jeffrey Ferris lineage in America is a family, or series of families, named Ferris who immigrated to the United States in the period 1890-1920.

I have found no connection to our lineage but a nagging memory from long ago continues to bother me. I seem to recall a Ferris, our lineage or that of Samuel and Nathaniel, moving to the Middle East in the 1800s. I have not rediscovered that item as of this point.

The Ferris families in question are from the part of the Middle East that we now call Lebanon or Syria. At the time, it was just a poorly defined Syria under Ottoman rule. The families are generally Maronite Catholics. The Ferrises from Syria are spread across the United States and most Maronite communities seem to have some sort of connection to the family.

I saw one comment on a message board that made sense. One family member suggested that the name was changed, at Ellis Island, from Faroush (or something very similar) to Ferris. However, others in the family suggest that the name Ferris pre-dated arrival at Ellis Island. It is a genealogical mystery.

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