Record Repositories
Resources of the 18th and the 19th century
Surnames of the Jews of Siena 

Jews are attested in Siena since the 14th century when they  received permissions to open banks in the town. In the following centuries despite some restrictions (recognition signs, special taxes, etc.) religious freedom was allowed.

Jews could attend and graduate at the University of Siena. Their religious culture flowrished when  in town was opened a Jeshivŗ that became a center of studies for all central Italy.
When the Medici family began to approach the pontificial politics, one of the first action was to follow the anti-Jewish measures of the church: in 1573 a ghetto was established in Siena where  all Jews had to live. Thus the original group of italian origin had to mingle  with the Jews arrived from Spain. Some census of the Jews living in the ghetto were taken during the 17th century (see documents). 
In 1791 a new synagogue was built which is in actual use.
In 1799 Napoleonís troops occupied Siena and gave  emancipation to the Jews; after the departure of the French some religious fanatics ransacked the ghetto and killed thirteen Jews.
The ghetto existed until the unification of Italy  (1859) and was partially demolished in 1935 to improve the area. 
The ghetto of Siena in the 19th century
      The first photo of the ghetto 

Number of the Jews of Siena:

Year Jews in Siena
1500 ?
1612 100
1642 219
1685 371
1814 300
1841 350
1938 200
1948 100
The synagogue of Siena, 1791

Record Repositories:
State Archive of Siena
Address: Via Banchi di Sotto 52, 53100 Siena, tel: 0577/247145, fax: 0577/44675
State Archive of Siena Webpage  

- Siena Town Archive
Address: Via del Fosso di Sant'Ansano, 3 - Siena, tel/fax: 0577.284.222 
Siena Town Archive Webpage

- Archive of the Jewsh Community of Siena
Address: via delle Scotte, 14 53100 - Siena. Contact the  Jewish community of Firenze or

- The Jewish cemetery it has been used since last three hundred years and it is on the point of restoration. Contact for information.

Main resources of the 17th and the 19th  century:
List of records that can be found for the Jews of Siena:





Census of 1612
Census of 1660
Census of 1685 (see an example)
Census of 1767


1808-1817 1808-1817

Tax payers of 18th century

1818-1865 1818-1865 1818-1865 Census of 1841 (see an example)







- Annie Sacerdoti, Guida al'Italia Ebraica, Marietti, Genova: 1986, English transl.  by Richard F. De Lossa, Guide to Jewish Italy, Israelowitz Publishing, Brooklyn NY: 1989.
- Dora Liscia Bemporad and Anna Marcela Tedeschi Falco (Eds.), Tuscany - Jewish Itineraries: Place, History and Art, .Marsilio Publisher 1997.
- Roberto G. Salvadori, Breve storia degli ebrei toscani, Le Lettere, Firenze 1995.

Surnames of the Jews of Siena:
Most frequent surnames found in documents of the 17th-19th centuries:
AijÚ, Armajŗ, Bemporad, Borghi, Cabibbe, CalÚ, Cassuto, Castelli, Castelnuovo, Castiglioni,
Coen Del Monte, Forti, Funaro, Gaizales, Gallichi, Giallichi, Levi, Luzzatti, Menasci, Mieli, Modena, Modigliani,
Moresco, Moscato, Nattaff, Nepi, Nissim, Orefici, Orvieto, Ottolenghi, Paggi, Passigli, Pesaro, Piperno,
Sadun, Sebach, Servadio, Sessi, Soliman, Valech, Valensin, Vitali

© Nardo Bonomi & Isetta Masliouk