SECTION ICONCISE HISTORY OF THE SEPHARDIM.
When the Roman Legions overran the Jewish nation, much of the Jewish population was
sent into exile throughout the Roman Empire. Many were sent to the IBERIAN peninsula. The
area became known by the Hebrew word SEPHARD meaning "far away". The JEWS in
SPAIN and PORTUGAL became known as SEPHARDIM or SEPHARDI, and those things associated with
the SEPHARDIM including names, customs, genealogy and religious rites, became known as
SEPHARDIC. Sephardic names were well developed in Aragon by the year 1213. (Note
reference 22, below.) Many of the names were of Hebrew derivation. A much
lesser number were composed of a first name and a geographic location, many times the
result of conversion. The Jewish nation in Iberia, numbering approximately 750,000
in the year 1492, were banished from Spain by royal decree of Ferdinand and Isabella.
(Ferdinand's grandmother was Jewish.) (For a description of the 1492 expulsion as
written in 1495, see the link in Section IV, Lore) The Jews of
Portugal, were banished by royal decree several years later. Relief from the banishment
decrees and restoration of civil rights was promised to those Jews who remained and
converted to Catholicism. These converts were called CONVERSOS or MARRANOS (converts or
pigs in Spanish) and ANUSIM (forced ones in Hebrew). Some of the Jewish population
converted in name only, other converted by choice. All of the Jews, whether those who left
the country with their Jewish religious beliefs intact, and those that were converted are
described as being SEPHARDIM or being of SEPHARDIC heritage. Many of the SEPHARDIM left
Spain after conversion because life as a "new Christian" or Marrano was not as
promised. "Clean Blood" laws were established to deny the "new
Christian" the same civil rights as the "old Christian". Many left the
Iberian peninsula where some reverted, and others did not. The converted population that
remained under the influence of Spanish or Portuguese control or the control of countries
heavily influenced by the Catholic Church could not openly revert to Judaism for fear of
punishment inflicted by the inquisition. The punishment for reversion or secret adherence
varied from humiliation to death by fire. Many Hispanics today practice Jewish customs
without knowing the source. Many are still secret Jews.
The names listed on this site have been identified as Sephardic by civil and religious
records and creditable authors. These names have been used by Spanish and Portuguese Jews
and conversos and many are found today, world wide in Hispanic and Sephardic communities
and references. Some names may no longer exist in their old form. While not an
expert in patronymics, some names, such as ABRAVANEL are unmistakably of Hebrew origin.
Other names, such as IBN YAHIA, appear to be of Arabic origin. Still other names such as
CASTRO and FRANCO appear to be of Hispanic origin, the vast majority of these names
belonged to Jews at the time of expulsion. Still other names (conversion names or
Christian names) were assigned to Jews at conversion, such as DE SEVILLA and SANTA MARIA.
Many of these names were the family names of the Christian "sponsors".
Many of the names have been changed in the course of migration from one country to
another, such as Pena to Penha. Other names have incorporated a prefix such as D', Da, De,
or Do, with the surname, so that D'Avila could be spelled DAVILA. Other names normally
found with a prefix, may be listed with or without the prefix. For example, d' ANDRADE, da
ANDRADE, de ANDRADE, may be listed as ANDRADE or ANDRADE 'D. The following prefixes may
sometime be interchangeable; Aben, Ibn, Aven, Avin and Ben. These prefixes may be found
separated or attached to the stem name. It would be prudent to search for names both with
and without prefixes.
One should check for variations in spelling. For example, the names Sejas, Cejas,
Aceijas, Seixas, Aseixas, Acejas, Acezas, Asexas, Azeixas, and Xexas are considered
variants of the same name. It should also be noted that many Sephardim who left the
Iberian Peninsula and practiced Judaism, changed their names and used aliases to protect
their families who remained in Spain and Portugal.
Some individuals insist that all names ending in ez in Spain and es (meaning son of)
elsewhere, denote Sephardic heritage. This is may or may not be the case.
Not all individuals bearing these names may be SEPHARDIM, or of SEPHARDIC origin, nor are
they necessarily Jewish or secret Jews. The authors of references from which names were
extracted have identified the names as Jewish at one time. No inference is made that
Hispanics carrying the names found below are Jewish. We have added a DNA capability to explore the ethnic
origin of Anusim/Sephardic/Jewish names. The names on this site are provided only as an
aid to genealogical research. Many of the references listed on this site can be obtained
through your municipal public library system or through the Inter-library Loan program or
purchased from a commercial firm on this site.
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The Sephardic names listed on this site are taken form the references
listed below. The names are in alphabetical order. Beside each listing is a number or
series of numbers and letters enclosed in parenthesis such as (2) (6A) (9) (29). These
numbers correspond to the references listed below where the names were found. The authors
of these works have identified the names as being held by Sephardim. The reference code is
NAMES FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE TAKEN FROM THE FOLLOWING REFERENCES
(*) Name for which a coat of arms, crest.or history has been found and
will be published in SECTION Vl, Heraldry.
(+) Known or suspected converso families (as opposed to individual
conversos). Most anyone appearing before the inquisition was a converso because the
inquisition, by definition, had no power over the Jewish population. They did have
control over "New Christians" or conversos.
(~) Up load completed
(0) Self identified
(1) From the civil records of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.(~)
(2) From the records of Bevis Marks, The Spanish and Portuguese Congregation of London.(~)
(3) From the burial register of Bethahaim Velho Cemetery, Published by the Jewish
Historical Society of England.(~)
(4) From the book, "History of the Jews in Venice", by Cecil Roth.(~)
(5) Sephardic names extracted from the book, "Finding Our
Fathers", by Dan Rottenberg. Each name is followed by a short biography and
references for additional information. This book is a fine reference for those
interested in learning Jewish genealogy research. The publication explains how and
where to conduct research and can be purchased on this site through Amazon.com
(6) From the book, " The Inquisitors and the Jews in the New World", by Seymour
(6a) Reports the names of people who appeared before the inquisition in the New Spain.(~)
(6b) Reports the names of people who appeared before the inquisition in New Granada.(~)
(6c) Reports the names of people who appeared before the inquisition in El Peru.(~)
(6d) Reports the names of people who appeared before the inquisition in Rio de La
(7) From the book, "A History of the Marranos", by Cecil Roth.(~)
(8) From the book, "Jews in Colonial Brazil", by Arnold Wizhitzer.(~)
(9) From the book, "Precious Stones of the Jews of Curacao Jewry 1657-1957.(~)
(10) From the book, "The Jews of Rhodes", by Marc D. Angel.(~)
(11) List of (mostly) Sephardic brides from the publication, "List of 7300 Names of
Jewish Brides and Grooms who married in Izmir Between the Years 1883-1901 &
(12) List of (mostly) Sephardic grooms from the publication listed above.(Izmir lists
provided by Dov Cohen, Nof Ayalon Israel). Email address email@example.com(~)
13) From the book, "The Jews of New Spain", by Seymour B. Liebman.(~)
(14) From the publication, "Los Sefardes", by Jose M. Estrugo. Published by
Editorial Lex La Habana, 1958. (Apellidos corrientes entre los Sephardies)(~)
(15) From the book, "The Jews of the Balkans, The Judeo-Spanish Community , 15th to
20th Centuries", by Esther Benbassa and Aron Rodrigue.(~)
(16) From the book, "The Sephardic Jews of Bordeaux", by Frances Malino.(~)
(17) From the book, "Hebrews of the Portuguese Nation", by Miriam Bodian.(~)
(18) From the book, "The Sephardim of England", by Albert M. Hyamson.(~)
(19) From Vol. 1, "A History of the Jews in Christian Spain", by Yitzhak Baer.
(19a) Volume II.(~)
(20) From the book, "A Life of Menasseh Ben Israel", by Cecil Roth. This book
contains names from the Sephardic community of greater Amsterdam. Amsterdam was a major
haven and transfer point for Sephardim and Morranos leaving Iberia.(~)
(21) From the book, "Crisis and Creativity in the Sephardic World: 1391-1648",
by Gampel. This book lists Sephardic movers and shakers during the period.(~)
(22) From the book, "History of the Jews in Aragon", by Regne. Essentially a
series of royal decrees by the House of Aragon. It contains Sephardic names recorded
during the period 1213-1327. By this time family names were well developed. Be prepared
for a challenge as you attempt to derive the modern equivalents for these 800 year old
names. Prefixes such as Aben, Ibn, Aven, Avin, Ben and etc. are attached to the stemsof
many names.If your people came from Aragon, and you cannot find the name in this list, I
recommend to attach a prefix and look for it in that way. In addition, the spelling of
many of the stems have changed with time. Some names (Adret, Cavalleria) exist to this
date unchanged. This reference will introduce many new names and/or many new spellings to
known names. (22c) indicates those names that are identified as converso names in the
(23) From the book, "Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of theCrypto-Jews", by
David Gitlitz. The names of the Sephardim (and their residences) mentioned were,
sometimes, involved with the inquisition. There were other names which are not listed here
because the author did not identify those names as Sephardic.(~)
(24) From the Ph.D. Dissertation of Michelle M. Terrill, "The Historical Archaeology
of the 17th and 18th-Century Jewish Community of Nevis, British West Indies", Boston
(25) From the book, "The Jews of Jamaica", by Richard D. Barnett and Philip
Wright. This book contains tombstone inscriptions and dates of death from 1663-1880. Only
names that appeared Sephardic are included here.(~)
(26) From the book, "Die Sefarden in Hamburg" (The Sephardim in Hamburg
[Germany]) by Michael Studemund-Halevy. German names are due to inter marriage(~)
(27) From the book, "Historia de la Comunidad Isralelita de Chile", by Moshe
(28) From the book, "Judios Conversos" (Jewish Converts) by Mario Javier Saban.
Los antepasados Judios de las familias Argentinas. This work contains many Sephardic names
and family trees within its 3 volumes. Many of the individuals listed appeared before the
inquistion and were secret Jews. Some later converted and intermarried. The description
"Jew "and "Portuguese" appear to be used interchangeably. Only those
names that were identified as Sephardic Jews or descendant from Sephardic Jews or in some
cases, new Christians that married into Sephardic families are listed here. It is possible
that some Sephardic names not well identified are not listed. If you have
Sephardic/Portuguese family roots in early Argentina, research these volumes. Many of the
names listed here represent the famous names of Jewish/Sephardic Argentina. Wonderful
family trees, well detailed, are provided in the three volumes.(~)
(28a) List of Portuguese Jews expelled from Buenos Aries, 1603. The list also contains the
name of the vessel and date of arrival in Argentina. Los "Portugueses"
Judaizantes expulsados de Buenas Aires.(~)
(28b) "Portuguese" of Santiago del Estro. The list provides the year of arrival
and entry point into Argentina. Apellidos de los Portugueses de Santiago del Estero.(~)
(28c) "Portuguese" of Cordoba. Apellidos de los Portugueses de Cordoba. The list
provides the entry point and the year of arrival.(~)
(28d) "Portuguese" of San Miguel de Tucuman. The book provides the entry and the
year of arrival in Argentina.(~)
(28e) "Portuguese" of Talavera (1607). The list provides entry point and the
year of arrival.(~)
(28f) "Portuguese" of La Rioja. The list provides entry point and the year of
(28g) "Portuguese" of Salta. The book provides the entry point and the year of
(28h) "Portuguese" of Villa de Madrid de las Juntas. The book provides entry
point and the year of arrival.(~)
(28i) "Portuguese" of Jujuy. The book provides the entry point and the year of
(28j) "Portuguese" registered in Santa Fe in 1643. The book provides entry point
and the year of arrival.(~)
(28k) List of names of those Sephardim expelled from Santa Fe. The book provides the place
of birth and the year of arrival.(~)
(28l) Jewish Portuguese families of Rio de la Plata.(~)
(28m) Sephardic names in the records of the Auto de Fe of Lima in 1639.(~)
(28n) The Oliver-Cavia family, descendants of the Jewish house of Ha-Levi Benveniste
originally from Spain.(~)
(28o) List of the "Portuguese" of Corrientes in the year 1643. Book provides age
and place of birth.(~)
(29) "Sangre Judia" ("Jewish Blood") by Pere Bonnin. A list of 3,500
names used by Jews, or assigned to Jews by the Holy Office (la Santo Oficio) of Spain. The
list is a result of a census of Jewish communities of Spain by the Catholic Church and as
found in inquisition records. Los Apellidos estan sacados de las listas de penitenciados
por el Santo Oficio, de los censos de las juderias y de otras fuentes que indican
claramente que la persona portadora del apellido es judia o judeoconversa. Tiene Vd.
sangre judia? (~)
(30) "Raizes Judaicas No Brasil" by Flavio Mendes Carvalho. This book contains
names of Sephardim involved in the inquisition in Brazil. Many times date of birth,
occupation, name of parents, age, and location of domicile are also included. Included in
this list are the names of the relatives of the victims. Many of the victims were tortured
to death or exiled so their lines might end here.(~)
(31) Sephardic names from the magazine "ETSI". Most of the names are from (but
not limited to) France and North Africa. Published by Laurence Abensur-Hazan and Philip
Abensur. Subscriptions are available. If your family comes from the area served by ETSI,
this magazine is worth while. <http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/1321>
(31/volume number/issue number) For example (31/3/8) = Esti volume 3, issue8. (~)
(32) Sephardic surnames from the classic book "Genealogia Hebraica: Portugal e
Gibraltar", by Jose Maria Abecassis. This book contains a list of names of Sephardim
families that returned to Portugal and Gibralter after hundreds of years of expulsion.
Family trees are included for many of the families. (~)
(33) Sephardic names from the Jewish Historical Society of England. List of names provided
by David Ferdinando firstname.lastname@example.org.
(33a) "The First English Jew", by Lucien Wolf. (~)
(33b) "Crypo-Jews under the Commonweath", by Lucien Wolf. (~)
(33c) "The Jewery of the Restoration", by Lucien Wolf.(~)
(33d) "The Cemetery of the Resettlement", by Master A.S. Diamond. (~)
(33e) "Foreign Trade of London Jews in the 17th Century", by Maurice Woolf.
(33f) "The Community of the Resettlement 1656-84 - A Social Survey:, by A.S. Diamond.
(33g) "Maria Fernandez de Carvajal" by Lucien Wolf. (~)
(33h) "Carvajal and Pepys", by Wilfred Samuel. (~)
(33i) Extracts from "Jews of the Canary Islands", ed. Lucien Wolf. (~)
(33j) "Process of Antao Rodigues Lindo, Native of Badajoz, Kingdom of Castile". (~)
(34) From the book, "In Sure Dwellings: A Journey From Expulsion to
Assimilation", by Margot F. Salom. The names are extracted from the research of an
Austalian, Ms. Salom, into the her family. The names have been provided by the author. The
book may be purchased form Seaview Press. FP 2000, Adelaide, 5th Australia. The author's
email address is Abshl@powerup.com.au. (~)
(35) From the book "Histoire des Juifs de Rhodes, Chio, Cos, etc, by Abraham Galante.
The names were extracted and provided by Daniel Kazez email@example.com.(~)
(36) Sephardic names extracted from the book, "Noble Families Among The Sephardic
Jews" by Isaac Da Costa, Bertram Brewster, and Cecil Roth. This book provides
genealogy information about many of the more famous Sephardic families of Iberia, England
and Amsterdam. For those tracing Sephardim from Spain to England or to Amsterdam, this
book can be most valuable. Many name changes and aliases are provided. This reference
documents the assimilation, name changes and coversion of many Sephardic families in
Spain, England and The Netherlands. There is also a large section dealing the the
genealogy of the members of Capadose family that converted to Christianity. (~)
(37) Sephardic names from the book, "A Origem Judaica dos Brasileiros", by Jose
Geraldo Rodrigues de Alckmin Filho, who personally provided the text. This publication
contains a list of 517 Sephardic families punished by the inquisition in Portugal and
Brazil. As familias punidas pela Inquidicao em Portugal e no Brasil.. (~)
(38)Names from the book, "El Libro Verde de Aragon" (The Greenbook of
Aragon) by Isidoro de las Cagigas.(~)
(38a) Sephardic names to Converso (New Christian) names.
(38b) Converso names from Sephardi names. Converso=Sephardic.(~)
(38c) Sephardic names of Aragon.(~)
(39) From ETSI, Volume 4, No.12 dated March 2001, "Aliases in Amsterdam",
by Viberke Sealtiel-Olsen, a list of alias names used by Sephardim in Amsterdam. A
wonderful research tool for Sephardic research in Amsterdam.(~)
(39a) True Sephardic Name=Alias Name (~)
(39b) Alias Name=True Sephardic Name.(~)
(40) The Circumcision Register of Isaac and Abraham De Paiba (1715-1775)
from the Achives of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation of Bevis Marks (London.
England). Family names include those circumcised, God fathers, and God mothers. There are
also short sections of additional circumcisions 1679-99 (40a), Marriages 1679-89 (40b),
and births of daughters 1679-99(40c) (~)
(41) "Conversos on Trial" by Haim Bienart. A well written story of
the converso community of Ciudad Real, to include the converso inquisition trials in the
mid 15th century. This book contains a list of names, some times providing the names
of relatives, house locations, and professions. A fine resource for those with ties
to Ciudad Real. (~)
(42) Jewish names contained in Medieval documents from the Kingdom of Murcia.
Apellidos judios en documentos medievales del Reino de Murcia. Most of these names,
if not all, appear to be original Sephardic names not changed by conversion. (~)
(43) Sephardic names from the site TARAZONA JUDIA. 43 (C) indentifies converso
anmes .The site is presented as a memorial to the Jews of TARAZONA. (~) http://idd00bmy.eresmas.net/etarazonajudiaapellidos.html
(44) From the site, "Los Apellidios Biblicos De Mallorica" (Biblical Names of
Mallorca) by Miquel Ferra I Martorell. This site can be found at http://www.iciba.org.il/archivo/mallorca.html
(44C) New Christians or Conversos from Mallorca..
(45) Apellidos de Judios Sefardies (Surnames of the Sephardic Jews) from the site
Comunidad Israelita Pincipado de Austurias.
(46) "Diciionario Sefaradi De Sobrenomes" ("Dictionary of Sephardic
Surnames"): This reference provides thousand of Sephardic names of
immigrants to Brazil. The authors have attempted to provide the ports of
departure of these immigrants. The source of this information is also available.
(47) From the book, "SEPHARDIM, The
Spirit That Has Withstood the times." Contains the names of Sephardim from
(48) The "Rise and Fall of Paradise",
When Arabs and Jews built a Kingdom in Spain. Sephardic names.
(49) From the book, "The Expulsion of the
Jews from Spain", by Haim Beinart. This reference describes in detail the
adventures of Sephardim in escaping the inquisition during the period the
expulsion. Many vignettes. Rich in names and and history at a personal
level. Many names in this publication are not recognizable as Jewish. Only
those names recognizable and labeled as Jewish or converso are listed here.
There are many hundreds of other names in the glossary that deserve your