The O-Blog

Welcome to the O-Blog
This is where you will find regular updates and news items which have particular relevance to the lives and times of our Ottolenghi/Ottolangui ancestors, the communities in which they settled, those in which we grew up, and the things that have influenced them and us through the generations.

We found our ancestral Ottolenghi family living, in the early part of the 18th century, in the city of Livorno in Tuscany, where Menachem Emmanuel Ottolenghi son of Meir Ottolenghi, married Judica de Valletro in 1719. They had a large number of children including David, born in 1734. David eventually left Italy for England and arrived in London in 1776 with three of his children who in turn started the Ottolangui dynasties that still live in England and those that emigrated to settle in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere
These are their stories………………………………

Posts appear in descending order of date of publication, starting with the latest. Scroll down to find a topic that you particularly like, or click on a red category heading to see all posts in that category and then enjoy reading……. You can contact me at

Protect Bevis Marks Synagogue

A message form the Parnas Presidente Protect Bevis Marks Synagogue Dear Kahal, You may have seen the article in that appeared on the  New York Times website yesterday (link below). This and many more articles and news stories will be appearing over the next few days and weeks to get our message out there to campaign to […]

Aaron Ottolangui 1861-1936

My great-grandfather Aaron Ottolangui was born in 1861 to Israel Ottolangui a general dealer, and his second wife Leah de Souza. In the 1861 census they are living at 118 Middlesex Street (Petticoat Lane), There is some indication that their firstborn son, Israel, may have died in early infancy before Aaron was born, but no […]

Mary Ottolangui

Mary Ottolangui née Mary Sharp(e) born Maria Schaap Mary married Aaron Ottolangui (1861-1936) twice. The first marriage was a civil one at the Whitechapel Registry Office in the East End of London in 1879. Although Aaron’s age is noted as 21 years, he was born in 1861 so actually he was 19 years old at […]

Abraham Ottolangui 1887-1935

ABRAHAM OTTOLANGUI, known as Abie, was born in 1887 in Whitechapel, London, England, died 3rd March 1935 and was buried on 4th March 1935 at the Sephardi Cemetery, Hoop Lane, Golders Green in Plot. B38. He was the 4th son of AARON OTTOLANGUI and MARY SHARP. He married SOPHIA HART in 1911 and they had 5 […]

The Ottolangui Dynasty of New Zealand

With thanks to  ngairedith As in other places around the world, many of the Ottolangui in NZ changed their names to Langley, for other than legal documents. The name Langley was originally Ottolangui. The earliest record of Ottolangui family members using the name Langley is in London in the early 19th century in the records […]

Liz James, OAM.

Liz James’ connection to the Ottolangui family is through her husband Ron, who is descended from Abraham Joachim who was born about 1838 in Krotoschin, Posen, Prussia and Reyna Ottolangui was born in Spitalfields, London, daughter of Moses Ottolangui and Emma Bensabat. Abraham and Reyna married on 10th June 1868 in East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, Australia. On Australia Day […]

Israel Ottolangui 1880-1957 – also known as…..?

Israel Ottolangui was my father’s Uncle Izzie, the first born of Aaron Ottolangui and Mary née Sharp/Schaap.His birth was registered in the parish of St. George’s (in the East) London, in the second quarter (April – June) 1880 as Ottolenghi Israel. This may be a spelling error when the records were transcribed. Izzie was one […]

Allen Ottolangui

Master Power Lifter Back in Israel in May 1999 when I was just taking my first step into researching my Ottolangui roots I cranked up my then ageing Pentium powered PC and launched the Netscape Navigator into cyberspace, of which there still wasn’t so very much in those days. When I typed in “Ottolangui” in […]

Deborah Conway AM

Awarded the Order of Australia for her services to Music Deborah Ann Conway (born 8 August 1959) is a 6th generation descendant of David Ottolenghi through his grandson Moses Ottolangui and Emma Bensabat whose daughter Amelia Ottolangui (born around 1832 emigrated to Australia in July 1854 on the good ship “Ballarat” and married the widower Gershon […]

Post Script to the Last Voyage of AS George Ottolangui

Now available on Google Books Darkest Before Dawn: U-482 and the Sinking of the Empire Heritage 1944 John Peterson  – 192 pages In the autumn of 1944 the Second World War was coming to an end. In the Atlantic the U-boats had been beaten back through a massive programme of Allied shipbuilding combined with tactical, technological […]

Appeal on behalf of our Family Synagogue

This is an appeal for action not for donations A planning enquiry into a building next to Bevis Marks synagogue ends on 15 December. The plan is to build a high rise building next door. This will block out the light and may damage the historic building’s shallow foundations. If you have a connection to […]

Elizabeth Langley CM

For reasons of privacy and the increasingly more stringent GDP regulations on data protection, I generally try to avoid publishing about living people, but this weekend I received some amazing news which I will share with you and to which am dedicating this page. Elizabeth Langley a sixth generation descendant of David Ottolenghi, has recently […]

Trooper Aaron Langley 1881-1901

Aaron Ottolangui/Langley was the second child and first son of Gershon Ottolangui, known as George Henry Langley and Annie Harvie. He was born in 1881 and around 1900 at the age of 19 he travelled to South Africa from where he sent this photograph home On 7th November 1900 he writes home from Johannesburg saying:“I […]

Descendants of Guershon Ottolangui

The Second & Third Generations DAVID ERNEST OTTOLANGUI/LANGLEY was born in 1886 in Australia. He married Veronica Smith in 1921. She was born in 1896 and died in 1969 in Australia. David Ernest died in 1972 David Ernest and Veronica Smith had the following children: JOAN MARIE OTTOLANGUI/LANGLEY was born on 5th November 1922 in […]

Descendants of Guershon Ottolangui

GUERSHON OTTOLANGUI, was born on 28th April 1854 in Whitechapel, London, England, he was the youngest son of Aaron Ottolangui and Reyna nee Bensabat ( His given name is in the Bevis Marks S&P congregation’s birth register spelled this way because in Hispanic languages the letter “u” makes the “G” hard as in Ottolangui) He […]

Killed in Action

Jacob Joshua Ottolangui 1894 – 1917(Also Jacob or John Langley) JACOB JOSHUA OTTOLANGUI was born on 5th February 1894 in Dunedin, NZ, and died on 17th August 1917 in France. He was the 11th child of DAVID OTTOLANGUI and AGNES DOSSETT. Jacob joined the forces as John Langley. He was serving at Romarin camp near Messines […]

Missing in Action

Herbert Ottolangui 1891 – 1915  Herbert Henry Walter Frederick Ottolangui 1891- 1915 (Also Langley) 9th child of DAVID OTTOLANGUI and AGNES DOSSETT, born on 7th November 1891 in Dunedin, New Zealand. Served as a Private Herbert Langley, Army no. 12/593A in the 6th Company, Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F. Herbert was missing in action and presumed dead aged […]

The Charleston Ottolengui

PART FIVE Unfortunately, we have not been able to establish a link to the Charleston Ottolengui, so I’m going to give that a rest for a while and wait for something to turn up as it usually does sooner or later. This then will be the last of my Charleston Ottolengui stories………….for the time being, […]


The Battle of Cable Street, London – 4th October 1936 Cable Street in Shadwell in the East End of London is a main thoroughfare of the area between Commercial Road and the River Thames, a working class area populated at the time by many Jewish families including members of our Ottolangui family, dockers and labourers […]

The Charleston Ottolengui Part Four

Florence and Nina were daughters of Israel Ottolengui (1832–1895 grandson of Mordecai Ottolengui), and Rosalie Cecile Moise (1835–1914). They had 11 siblings four of whom died in infancy. Florence and Nina Ottolengui took over the cafeteria of the Women’s Exchange for Women’s Work in Charleston which was founded in 1885 to help the city’s “educated […]

The Charleston Ottolengui Part Three

The Third Generation Daniel Ottolengui (1836-1918) was one of the 13 children born to Abraham Ottolengui & Sarah nee Jacobs and brother of Israel and Jacob Ottolengui the auctioneers. Daniel’s grandfather Mordecai founded one of Charleston’s first Sephardic Jewish families but the extent of Daniel’s following of the Jewish religion and tradition is not documented. […]

The Charleston Ottolengui Part Two

The Second Generation – Abraham Ottolengui Abraham Ottolengui was the son of Mordechai and Rinah Ottolenghi. He was born in Charleston in 1790 and was sent to London for his education where he graduated as an ordained minister when he was 19 or 20 years old. When he returned to Charleston he expected to take […]

The Charleston Ottolengui Part One

Mordechai Ottolengui Some inquiries generated by posts in the O-Blog rekindled our interest in this branch of the tribe. We have known about them for many years but our attempts some 20 years ago failed to establish any link to our ancestral line and the quest was abandoned. The first member of the clan Ottolengui […]

Livorno Generations II

Persevering with the research of our pre-Livorno history we now have the “O” index of the Livorno Jewish Community’s list of births registered from the for the period from 1720 with the birth to Menachem Emmanuel and Judica of Meir (named for his paternal grandfather) to 1810. In the list are the births of David […]

The Death of a Pawnbroker

MAURICE OTTOLANGUI/LANGLEY 1859 – 1933 MAURICE and his younger brother HENRY/HARRY were the first and sixth children respectively of JACOB OTTOLANGUI and FANNY SIMMONS and grandsons of MOSES & EMMA OTTOLANGUI who are considered to be the founders of the Australia and New Zealand Ottolangui/Langley dynasties MAURICE was born in 1859 in Melbourne and died […]

The Abrahams Ottolanguis

How Alexander Abrahams became Ottolangui and his descendants are known as Langley ALEXANDER ABRAHAMS born on 3rd June 1844 at 21, Tenter Street, Spitalfields in the parish of Christchurch, London, England, son of SARAH LEVY and HENRY ABRAHAMS.  He was the Grandson of Bilha/Elizabeth Ottolangui (née de Leb de Beer) and Emanuel LEVY and Step-Grandson of Elisha (Alexander) […]

The “Monty” Ottolanguis

MORDECAI OTTOLANGUI also known as Montague or Monty, was born 30th December 1845 at 28 Shepherd Street in Spitalfields, and died 4th December 1918 at the Hackney Infirmary, London. He was the 7th child of AARON OTTOLANGUI and RAYNA BENSABAT. He married HARRIET BEST in 1868 in London, England.  The five children of Mordecai Ottolangui and […]

British War Records

The following Ottolanguis appear in the service records for the First & Second World Wars. It doesn’t include all the Ottolanguis whom we know served and whilst Bryanell2020 has a fairly good idea about the identities of most of those in the list, we would be happy to hear if anyone has more information about […]

Dr. Carlos Ottolenghi

Revista de la Asociación Argentina de Ortopedia y Traumatología. Organo oficial de la AAOT. Año 73 • Número 3 • Septiembre de 2008 pp328-330 Escrito por Prof. Dr. Guillermo L. Vásquez Ferro MAESTROS DE LA ORTOPEDIA ARGENTINA   Me resulta muy difícil volcar a través de estas líneas una correcta semblanza de una personalidad de la talla de Carlos E. Ottolenghi, pero […]

Carlos Enrique Ottolenghi

Carlos Enrique Ottolenghi was born in Argentina on 1st January 1904; his father Leon had immigrated from Acqui in Italy in the 1880’s and had married Carmen Maradona, who was born in the Argentine province of San Juan  Carlos graduated in 1926 from the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires with […]

Solomon Ottolangui known as Sydney Langley

Solomon Ottolangui was born in Bethnal Green, London on 19th May 1913, second son of Abraham (Abie) Ottolangui and Sophia nee Hart.He married Eva Kraft and they had 2 sons. Syd changed his name to Langley by Deed Poll in 1946. He died on 6th January 2010 in his 97th year Army service number: 1650285 […]

David Sydney Alexander

Flight Sergeant David Sydney Alexander was born 20th April 1922, in Waverley, NSW, Australia, the son of Leonard Alexander and Emma (Elsie) née Ottolangui He served in the ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE, with 466 Squadron, Leconfield, his service number was 420109 and he died on active service on 29th January 1944, Hirschfelde, Germany and is […]

Flight Sergeant Marcus Louis Langley/Ottolangui

Flight Sergeant Marcus Louis Langley/Ottolangui was born 11th June 1920 in Dunedin, New Zealand. He was the son of Albert Victor David Ottolangui and Rose Jacobs. He served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Service Number: 421067. He died: 17th July 1983 Christchurch, New Zealand Mark was a decorated pilot of the Royal New […]

In Memory of Joan

Joan Marie Eismanée Ottolangui/Langley5 November 1922 – 3 May 2004 Joan Marie was the daughter of David Ernest Ottolangui/Langley, he was the fourth child of Gershon Ottolangui a.k.a. George Langley, the youngest son of Aaron Ottolangui and Reyna née BenSabat. David Ernest was born in Australia in 1885 and married Veronica Smith in 1921. She […]

Ottolangui Territory

The first generations of the Ottolangui family lived in the East End of London The district known as the East End is not an administrative region, doesn’t have any firm, or specific geographic boundaries except perhaps the River Lea to the east. For a long time it was defined as the area “east of the […]

The Ottolenghi Affair III

A Transcript of the Original Document An Answer to Two Papers Lately publish’d by Gabriel Treves, a Jew of the city of Exeter. The one intituled, A Vindication of the Proceedings of Gabriel Treves against Joseph Solomon Ottolenghe, now a Prisoner in Southgate, Exon; The other is intituled, An Advertisement. Wherein is contain’d the said […]

Joseph Solomon Ottolenghe

Giuseppe Salomone Ottolenghi 1711 – 1775 When one sets out to uncover previously unknown family history, it is rather like a treasure hunt. There is always a kind of half hope, though not really a serious expectation, to discover that amongst one’s long, or not so long departed ancestors there will be someone who left […]

Bevis Marks Synagogue II

The Congregation, Organization and Records The congregation in the early days like the “mother” S&P community in Amsterdam, was led by a small committee called the “Mahamad” consisting of two Wardens (Parnassim) and a Treasurer (Gabay), chosen annually from among the Elders. In the mid-19th century this body became an elected Executive. The Mahamad compiled […]

The London Generations

The eighth child of Menachem & Judica Ottolenghi was David. He was born, like all his siblings in Livorno, on 4th October 1734 – this is a copy of his birth in the Livorno community register which is written in Portuguese We know nothing of David’s life in Livorno, nor anything about his wife. According […]

The Livorno Generations

The first record of the name Ottolenghi in the Livorno Community is the marriage of Menachem Emmanuel ben Meir Ottolenghi. It is not known where Menachem was born, in or about 1698, or when he arrived in Livorno. It is possible that he came from one of the Ottolenghi families of Piedmont and migrated to […]

The Bevis Marks Synagogue

When David Ottolenghi arrived in London he sought a community where the rituals would be as familiar to him as the Portuguese rite was for him in Livorno. The Bevis Marks congregation was his natural choice and he settled into dwellings close to the synagogue in Woolpack Alley and Cutler Street. It has been the […]

Great Aunt Lil’

Our Music Hall Days Leah Ottolangui (Stage Name – Lily Pacey) Born – 1889, Whitechapel, London, United Kingdom Died – 17 May 1944 Vocation – Stage Dancer Father – Aaron Ottolangui (Born London 1861-1936) Mother – Mary Sharp/Schaap (Born New York 1860- Died London 1934) Married – Sammy Taubin or Tobin (stage names: Jack Pacey, Eddy […]

A Convict’s Story II

Chapter III – Phillis Skinner Convict Number 70514- A Biography by Wendy Bloomfield Phillis Skinner was convicted of theft and transported to Van Diemen’s Land. Phillis was born in 1815, in Lambeth, Surrey, England, the daughter of Thomas Skinner and Sophia. Phillis was christened on the 16th April 1815 at Stockdale Chapel, St Mary, Lambeth, […]

A Convict’s Story

DAVID OTTOLANGUI 1812 – 1882 CHAPTER II – THE SAN FRANCISCO YEARS Sources – Susan Wesley, Wendy Bloomfield and independent research By 1854 David had met Esther Harris. According to census records David and Esther were married, however no marriage record has been found and David did not divorce his first wife Phillis. According to […]

Our Ottolangui Criminal Record III

Part ThreeOur Convict ConnectionDavid Ottolangui 1812 – 1882 Chapter I – A Convict’s Story SOURCES Merle Langley, Wendy Bloomfield and independent research David Ottolangui was born on the 27th October 1812 in Aldgate, London, England. His father Israel Ottolenghi was born in Livorno, Italy in 1774 and married Miriam (a.k.a. Amelia or Mary) (H)Alevy on […]

Our Ottolangui Criminal Record II

Part Two Israel Ottolangui and the King This chapter is taken from the Law Report of the King’s Bench dated 10th February 1823. The King’s Bench was one of the most ancient legal institutions in Britain originally being known as “The Court of the King Himself” and in the early 19th century was still a […]

Our Ottolangui Criminal Record

Part One – The Central Criminal Court – The Old Bailey When the records of the Central Criminal Court became available on-line in 2003, we searched them for mentions of our ancestors who, we knew, lived in fairly impoverished conditions and who for the first couple of generations eked out their livelihoods as “general traders” […]

Ottolanguis in the Antipodes

THE FOREBEARS OF THEOTTOLENGHI / OTTOLANGUI/ LANGLEY FAMILYOF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALANDAND THE STORY OF THEIR MIGRATIONSLesley Goldberg – April 2005 Introduction This paper attempts to draw together the research material, so diligently discovered by members of the Ottolangui famiIy, into a coherent story that sets their experiences in the events of their times. In […]


Original story by Paul Sulzberger 2001 David Langley China and Glass Importers, Dunedin The Shop in the Arcade David Ottolangui’s China shop figured prominently in the life of the New Zealand Langley family. However, surprisingly little detail remains of the story of the Dunedin business which was central to the fortunes of the family for […]


by Jacob Joshua Langley Sulzberger My mother, Johanna Langley (always known as Cissie) was one of the 11 children of David and Agnes Langley of Dunedin. I think that Grandfather Langley died before I was born. Certainly, I have no memory of him ever being around. I have had to rely on what I suspect […]

The Shipwreck

Jacob (John) Ottolangui (Langley) 1834 – 1894and Fanny Ottolangui (Langley) nee Simmons 1838 – 1917 Jacob Ottolangui was born on the 19 November 1834 in Spitalfields, Christchurch, Middlesex (now London E1, England) The eldest son of Moses Ottolangui and Emma Bensabat(h). His birth record from Bevis Marks Synagogue names him Jacob Ottolengui.  According to census […]

Ana (Annetta) Pugliese Ottolenghi

In perpetual memory BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATIONDate of birth: 26th May 1872Place of birth: Venice, ItalyDate of death: Unknown – after 20th June1944Widow of: General Vittorio Ottolenghi,Daughter of: Giuseppe Pugliese, and Marianna Colorni Anna (Annetta) Pugliese, was the daughter of Giuseppe Pugliese and Marianna Colorni.She was born in Venice, Italy on 26th May 1872.She married General Vittorio […]

My Adoptive Ottolenghi Family

No chapter on the Italian Ottolenghi families would be complete without mention of the Ottolenghi family that I have been closely associated with since the early 21st century. Riccardo Ottolenghi was born in Acqui in 1885. During his military service he served under General Vittorio Ottolenghi (they were not related as far as we know). […]

Famous Ottolenghi III

Adolfo Ottolenghi Chief Rabbi of Venice from 1919 to 1944 Adolfo Ottolenghi was born in 1885 in Livorno, the son of Abramo Avraham and Amalia Avraham, nee Ventura.He married Regina (Gina) Tedeschi. He studied at the rabbinical college in Livorno and was ordained Maskil (משכיל) in 1907 and Chakham(חכם)  in January 1911.He also studied law […]

Famous Ottolenghi II

SALVATORE (JOSHUA) OTTOLENGHIThe world’s first CSI SALVATORE (JOSHUA) OTTOLENGHI was born in Asti in 20th May 1861 to local businessman Raffaele Ottolenghi and Orsolina, nee Sacerdote (Sacerdote is the Italian word meaning “priest” and it is the Italianization of the name “Cohen”), who were members of the Jewish community of Asti. Salvatore graduated in Medicine […]

Famous Ottolenghis

Giuseppe Isaaco Ottolengi is probably the best known Ottolenghi of recent history is and this is his story. In 2004 I was living in Rome and amongst other things I was researching the history of the Italian Ottolenghi, when as founder of Ottolenghi International and co-founder of its internet site I was contacted by […]

The Ottolenghi of Italy

Introduction Italy has a very special place in Jewish history because there have been Jews there since biblical times and it is the only place in the world, apart from Israel, where there has been uninterrupted Jewish presence since then. In Roman times Jewish merchants and envoys settled in the Trastevere quarter on the north […]

Ottolenghi in the Shoah

The names of Ottolenghi victims of the Shoah are recorded at Yad Vashem the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Jerusalem, Israel In the archives of Yad Vashem rest the names of 72 members of the Ottolenghi families of Italy who are known to have perished in the Holocaust, with biographical notes and testimonies – here are […]

Lieutenant Yiftach Ottolenghi z”l

Yiftach Ottolenghi was the son of the late Professor Michael and Ruth Ottolenghi of Jerusalem. He was born on 14th May 1971, younger brother of Yotam, who was later to become the celebrity chef and famous restauranteur. As a baby Yiftach was sickly and lost weight every day, so when he grew up to be […]

The Last Flight of Sergeant (Air Bomber) Aaron Ottolangui

Aaron Ottolangui was born in Bethnal Green in January 1921, grandson of Aaron Ottolangui & Mary nee Sharp (Schaap), son of their 8th child Mordechai born 1895 and his first wife Sarah who was born in 1897 to Abraham Garcia and Rebecca nee Witmond.  Mordechai known as Monty and Sarah married on 14th August 1912 […]

The Last Voyage of AS George Gershom Ottolangui

In the courtyard of the Bevis Marks synagogue on the wall to the left of the main doors, there is a plaque commemorating those members of the congregation who lost their lives in the Great War 1914-1918, and in the Second World War 1939-1945. In the WW2 section appears the name Gershom Ottolangui. We never […]


22nd July 2020 The Search for My Ottolangui Heritageor,How It All Began……… I can’t remember when it was that first I found out that we had a “foreign” name, but I knew it had not been in use for quite a long time as my paternal grandmother Sophie, who was one of the oldest people […]

Welcome to the O-Blog

This is where you will find regular updates and news items which have particular relevance to the lives and times of our Ottolenghi/Ottolangui ancestors, the communities in which they settled, those in which we grew up, and the things that have influenced them and us through the generations. We found our ancestral Ottolenghi family living, […]

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