Mr. And Mrs. Joe Mobley and Pete
There are many interested facts to be found in most family backgrounds, and there are bits of information that are missing that would make one’s personal knowledge of that background more complete. But, the Joe Mobley family of Chester has a big link missing that they definitely wish to see added to the chain to help assure them of complete personal identity. The missing link would answer the question: who are they …Really?
This story began almost a century ago when Joe, his wife and son, Pete, came to America. He was only 16 years of age then when he worked his way over on a boat from Syria. After arriving her, he became acquainted with and later married Tinia Mae Mobley. Joe’s last name was so long and difficult to spell and pronounce that no one in Chester could pronounce it. So, Joe made it easier by taking his wife’s maiden name. Thus, they were known as Mr. And Mrs. Joe Mobley.
In time, they gave birth to 12 children, four girls and eight boys. They were: Frank, Jimmy George, John Henry, Harvey, Leroy (decease), Pete, Bill (deceased, Mrs.. Mamie Black (deceased), Mrs. Josephine Ferrell, Mrs. Louise Benson, and Mrs. Rosa Lee Darby (deceased).
The late Mr. Haddad, who resided on College Street, knew Joe and was the only person here who could pronounce his last name. But hose present could not understand the Syrian language enough to write it down. Joe is gone, so is Mr. Haddad, and perhaps so is the name Joe brought with him to American almost 100 years ago. Those children who survive and live in Chest want to know just what was their father’s last name. They knew him well… all but the last name he cast aside so long ago when it became evident to him that his newfound friends in American could neither pronounce nor spell it.
What his children seek today is any elderly citizen in this area who may remember Joe as Joe Mobley, but may also recall the name he used before he adopted his wife’s maiden name. To them, it’s the important missing link in tracing not only the family lineage but also in determining their personal identities.
A few issues back, we published an old picture of Mr. And Mrs. Joe Mobley and one of their son, Pete, when he was a mere child, and the story was that Mr. Mobley had dropped his original name after he worked his way over to American aboard a boat from Syria almost 100 years ago. Because his name was so difficult to understand and pronounce, he took the last of his wife’s maiden name, which was Mobley. Many in the family, we were told, didn’t know his original name and some had no record of it. At least one descendent of the family had this information on file and although she does how to pronounce it, she gave us the name for publication.
If there is anyone out there who knows the correct pronunciation of Yausses Zahlan, please step forward. We understand that Yausses in the Syrian equivalent to Joseph, but we have no idea what the equivalent to Zahlan, if any , there is.
Juanita Ferrell Dobbs
Information retrieved from Chester County Courthouse, 8-23-2002
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