Family ben David, October 2, 1669 & October 25, 1672

Protocol of Moses ben David II, Son of Moses ben David, notary public for the city of Alexandria , kept for the purpose of accounts , personal business, and all other details related to the job of a notary public within the jurisdiction of Alexandria. Kept for the purpose of providing evidence and facts when disputes arise.

October 2,1669- Today I came across something interesting put on the town’s notice board. Aside from the usual government decrees, there is a call from the government for members of Ottoman society to travel to and become residents of the newly acquired island of Candia. I am considering this greatly. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest when I read this announcement. Life here in Alexandria has become stale, there is no real ability for me to go any higher in rank here. I have reached the top of the social ladder for a notary. Also business has slowed here in Alexandria. My job has lost all of its challenge in recent years.

With the sale of public lands in Candia about to begin, a notary such as myself will be in the highest demand.[1] I could stand to make a large profit there, not to mention gain a bigger house in a nice area of the town if I move my family there. This is something I will greatly need to consider but I believe I have already made my decision.

October 25 , 1672- Ibrahim Agha once came once again to the court to record the sale of property that he came into the possession of after the taking of Candia.[2] This is the 3rd time in the last month that I have notarized the bill of sale and deeds for this man alone. Moving to Candia was the best decision I have ever made; business never seems to come to an end. Every day I am called upon to notarize deeds of ownership to property given by the government to new citizens, as well as the sale and resale of property by those who have been here for a while. My wife was not happy originally with the idea of giving up everything we knew, but since our move she has been happier than ever. Our house is much larger than the old one and in the northeast part of the city alongside some of the most elite members of the city.. she could not be happier.

[1] For more on the sale of public lands look at chapter three of  Molly Greene, A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002)

[2] Molly Greene, A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002), 85.


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