Sassoon Surname Genealogy

Sasson and Sassoon are Sephardic Jewish surnames.  Sasson may originate from a Hebrew name
meaning happiness.  However, the Sassoon
family of merchants that came from Iraq probably had different name
origins.  One theory is that they had
come from the mountainous region of Sason west of Lake Van in Turkey.  Another is that they can trace their ancestry
back to Spain and to the well-known Ibn Shoshan family that lived in
The Sasson and Sassoon names are to be found
in infrequent numbers in Britain, America, and Argentina.

Sassoon Resources on

  • Sassoon  Sassoon family

Sassoon Ancestry

Salih and his family, Iraqi Jews,
were the chief treasurers to the pashas of Baghdad in
the early 1800’s.

Their son David Sassoon
fled from a new and
unfriendly vali and came to Bombay in India in 1832 with his family.  In Mumbai he built up a large international
business concern, with various branches established in India, Burma,
Malaya and
east Asia.   His wealth and
were proverbial and his business extended to China, where Sassoon House
on the
Bund in Shanghai became a noted landmark, and then to England.

The Sassoon interests in
China devolved to Victor Sassoon who had come to Shanghai in 1923 after
been made lame in a plane accident during World War One.
Yet he was a formidable businessman and soon
became known as the king of real estate in Shanghai.

“Victor lived in a half-timbered hunting
lodge and an apartment with a 360 degree view atop Sassoon House on the
Bund.  Noel Coward wrote Private Lives
in forty eight hours while laid up with influenza for a weekend in
Cathay Hotel.” 

Victor Sassoon remained in China (Sassoon Road in Hong Kong was named
after him) until he sold out his interests in Shanghai in 1948 and
moved to the
Bahamas.  His British interests revolved around his horse
stables near Newmarket

England.  David’s son Albert carried on his father’s
work in Bombay.  It was mainly through
his contributions that a colossal statue of Edward, then Prince of
Wales, was
erected there.  In 1872 he was knighted
and in the following year the corporation of London conferred upon him
freedom of the city, he being the first Anglo-Indian to receive it.  Albert’s son Edward became a British MP in
The seat was then inherited by his son Philip from 1912
until his death
in 1939.

Another son Sassoon David
Sassoon had moved to London in 1858 and soon occupied a prominent
among the principal merchants of that city:

  • his line
    led to Alfred Sassoon, who was however disinherited for marrying
    outside of his
    faith, and to Siegfried Sassoon,
    poet of the First World War.
  • and to his daughter Rachel who was also
    disowned for marrying
    outside her faith.  Her husband was
    Frederick Beer, the wealthy financier.  In
    her will she left a generous legacy to her nephew
    him to purchase his home at Haytesbury House in Wiltshire.

Then there was the line from David
, a Jewish manuscript
collector, whose son Solomon and grandsons Isaac and David were noted

of this Sassoon family, there were a few other Sasson and Sassoon
living in England.  Nathan Sassoon, of
Greek Jewish origin, deserted a family that included Vidal Sassoon who was to
become the famous hairdresser of the

America.  Brooklyn has been a home for
Jews and that is where many Sassons are to be found.
The best-known is Steve
who, while working for Eastman Kodak, invented the
digital camera.

Sassoon Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Sassoon Names

David Sassoon was the founder in Bombay
in the 1830’s of the Sassoon business empire in Asia.  
was one of the leading poets of the First World War. 
was the famous hairdresser of the 1960’s.
Steve Sasson
pioneered the digital camera in 1975.

Select Sassoons Today

  • 300 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 400 in America (most numerous in New York)




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