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  • #76
    Originally posted by Victor
    There have been rumors going on for more than a year about a study by Dr. Behar on Sephardic lineages but the rumor hasn't materialized yet.

    One thing is certain, that in the absence of actual scientific genetic studies to correlate phylogeographic data with historical data, all kinds of theories have emerged that make assertions about a supposed Sephardic lineage based on surnames, like you mention involving fruit trees, animals, special spellings, etc.

    Some of these theories are without any serious merit and some are even downright proselitizing efforts that tend to mislead the naive and those that are eagerly searching for an "exotic" ancestry to put them apart from the common denominator.
    Bingo!! That's why it is so hard for someone who is just looking for the truth. There is so much info out there that is just plain dishonest for whatever reason. I imagine it will remain that way until a serious study of the Sephardim is released. I hope one comes around soon.

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    • #77
      I do not have the background to evaluate any of the assertions. What I do know is that an aquaintance who is a professor of Spanish indicated that his own surname as well as others that he mentioned were thought to be of Sephardic origin (he is a Spanish Christian as far as he knows). I have gotten the same impression from internet sites that appear to be reputable, but I agree that one can't be sure. I would appreciate input from anyone who is informed on this issue.
      Last edited by josh w.; 25 June 2006, 06:54 PM.

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      • #78
        Here's just one example:

        This is the original quote in Spanish from the Mesiánicos website.

        Se cree que unos 60 millones de los habitantes en Latino América son descendientes de estos primeros colonos judíos. Estos latinos conocidos como "marranos" (Judíos que se convirtieron a católicos) tienen apellidos codificados para esconder su identidad y no ser muerto durante la Inquisición. Existen listas de todos los apellidos judíos en Latino América. Una de las codificaciones fue el terminar el apellido en "ez", tales como Rodríguez, Martínez, Ramírez, López, Velez, Jiménez, etc..
        This is the English translation of the quote above:
        It is believed that about 60 million of the inhabitants in Latin America are descendants of these first Jewish colonists. These Latins known as “marranos” (Jews that became catholics) codified their last names to hide their identity and not be killed during the Inquisición. There are lists of all Jewish last names in Latin America. One of the codifications was to end last names in “ez”, such as Rodriguez, Martinez, Ramirez, Lopez, Velez, Jiménez, etc..
        This idea proposed in the quote above of the “EZ” ending surnames as a secret code to hide a Jewish identity is obviously a baseless statement probably born out of a rumour or from someone with a hidden agenda to induce a belief. I wonder how can anyone seriously believe that claim, certainly not a serious genealogist. Maybe it’s because tossing in some historical truths makes their statement more believable.

        That above is not the only instance I've found regarding attempts to link some surnames to Sephardim ancestry, particularly among Hispanics. Sad but true.

        Comment


        • #79
          Half truths

          The best way to perpatrate a lie or myth is to mix it with small bits of fact. It has always been so and I suspect it continue.

          Comment


          • #80
            There are quite a lot of more serious internet sites dealing with sephardic surnames:

            From http://www.sephardim.com/ you can choose to search names, or go directly to http://www.sephardim.com/search.shtml, here for instance searched names beginning on L:
            http://www.sephardim.com/namelist.sh...&Search=Search

            Some other sites:

            http://www.orthohelp.com/geneal/nameorig.htm
            http://www.orthohelp.com/geneal/spain_sites.htm
            http://www.cryptojews.com/links.html
            http://www.jewishwebindex.com/names.htm

            Comment


            • #81
              Thanks, Leo. There are of course serious researchers and experts on Sephardic history. Ultimately though, and this applies to every surname, it rests upon each individual interested in discovering his/her ancestors' origins to reconstruct a verifiable genealogical documentation and not simply rely on hearsay.

              But even sites like sephardim(dot)com can be misleading when people equate finding your surname in a list to having a Sephardic origin. The site had to add a disclaimer which some people fail to read:

              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.
              Another fallacy is made when it is assumed that if a surname is found in certain books that it gives more credibility to the claim of a particular ancestry. But surnames are not for the exclusive use of a single family so unless someone can document a link or relationship to a specific family in one of those books all that is left is simple speculation. A common argument goes like these: surnames such and such are found in old Inquisitorial manuscripts therefore surnames such and such must be Jewish. This is obviously flawed reasoning. First, if you search for a breakdown of Inquisition trails by case you'll find that most cases had to do with many sins and just a very small percentage with "judaizing" or practicing Moses law.

              Also, for almost every Hispanic surname you can find on the side of the accused by the Inquisition I can find you one or more same surnames on the side of the accusers. Yet we don't believe that our ancestors could have been among the torturers of the Holy Office, right?

              Finally, if you care to take a look at the message posting history done on behalf of sephardim(dot)com at the genealogy genforums. Click ramdomly on several Hispanic surname forums, read and see if there isn't a pattern. Counting the number of similar posts I'm left wondering where do you draw the line between wanting to drive traffic to your website and actively pursuing an agenda. Everyone has to make his own call.

              Victor

              Comment


              • #82
                There seems to be a lack of consensus on this issue, at least on the internet. Let me state my question more specifically: Is there any scholarly research that would either support or refute the contention that some surnames of current Spanish Catholics can be tied to Sephardic origins? My question is about Spanish surnames rather than names with obvious Jewish, Arabic or Berber origins, since the purpose of adopting the surname would be to deny one's history.

                I raised the issue because it was suggested that a full understanding of Sephardic haplogroups would benefit from the study of converso families still residing in Spain. This would be different from a study of Anusim who still held to some Jewish traditions. Since these families have been practising Catholics for over 500 years, how would their origins be determined except through surname. As I mentioned earlier this would be difficult to accomplish because members of both the Spanish converso community as well as the worldwide Jewish community might be opposed to such research.

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by josh w.
                  There seems to be a lack of consensus on this issue, at least on the internet. Let me state my question more specifically: Is there any scholarly research that would either support or refute the contention that some surnames of current Spanish Catholics can be tied to Sephardic origins? My question is about Spanish surnames rather than names with obvious Jewish, Arabic or Berber origins, since the purpose of adopting the surname would be to deny one's history.

                  I raised the issue because it was suggested that a full understanding of Sephardic haplogroups would benefit from the study of converso families still residing in Spain. This would be different from a study of Anusim who still held to some Jewish traditions. Since these families have been practising Catholics for over 500 years, how would their origins be determined except through surname. As I mentioned earlier this would be difficult to accomplish because members of both the Spanish converso community as well as the worldwide Jewish community might be opposed to such research.
                  I think that Josh and Victor raise a very interesting issue: is it possible to infer Sephardic ancestry from certain Spanish surnames? Probably not.
                  Nevertheless, if a particular Spanish surname meets certain criteria, e.g. not very common, with many references in the Avotaynu Consolidated Jewish Surname Index, the person in question might well have Sephardic Ancestry. Some examples: BENET, CARO, PINTO.
                  Still, it doesn’t solve the problem.

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Victor
                    Here's just one example:

                    This is the original quote in Spanish from the Mesiánicos website.



                    This is the English translation of the quote above:


                    This idea proposed in the quote above of the “EZ” ending surnames as a secret code to hide a Jewish identity is obviously a baseless statement probably born out of a rumour or from someone with a hidden agenda to induce a belief. I wonder how can anyone seriously believe that claim, certainly not a serious genealogist. Maybe it’s because tossing in some historical truths makes their statement more believable.

                    That above is not the only instance I've found regarding attempts to link some surnames to Sephardim ancestry, particularly among Hispanics. Sad but true.
                    I totally agree with Victor.
                    To state that Spanish surnames that end with ez have Jewish origin is pure ignorance.
                    Many Spanish surnames originally identified a person by his connection with his father, by adding the suffix ez to the latter’s name. Thus,
                    Alvarez: son of Alvaro
                    Fernandez: son of Fernando
                    Gonzalez: son of Gonzalo
                    Martinez: son of Martin
                    Rodriguez: son of Rodrigo
                    It has nothing to do with Sephardic surnames whatsoever.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Keep it up guys, I'm learning alot here!!
                      Finally, a sober discussion of Sephardim

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by josh w.
                        There seems to be a lack of consensus on this issue, at least on the internet. Let me state my question more specifically: Is there any scholarly research that would either support or refute the contention that some surnames of current Spanish Catholics can be tied to Sephardic origins? My question is about Spanish surnames rather than names with obvious Jewish, Arabic or Berber origins, since the purpose of adopting the surname would be to deny one's history.

                        I raised the issue because it was suggested that a full understanding of Sephardic haplogroups would benefit from the study of converso families still residing in Spain. This would be different from a study of Anusim who still held to some Jewish traditions. Since these families have been practising Catholics for over 500 years, how would their origins be determined except through surname. As I mentioned earlier this would be difficult to accomplish because members of both the Spanish converso community as well as the worldwide Jewish community might be opposed to such research.
                        since the purpose of adopting the surname would be to deny one's history.


                        Hell no

                        why would it be denying it. did finklelstien change his name to stien to deny it or save his kids trouble.
                        suppose a dennenberg was appointed to go to britian to act as an administrator for the normans 1066. most british didnt even have surnames.
                        lets say he converts or is forced to either way . would he keep the bergI dont think so.
                        ok this man has to live in 1020 in britian as dennen.. if you have a variant of this name you know what people do with d and double n's vowels be damed and they add h's g's and s' it easily could be denning in no time.
                        so now i have my genetic origins and in it i have from poland
                        Poland (928) Ashkenazi (Bialystok) 2
                        whats bialystok http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bialystok

                        on http://www.jewishgen.org/jri-pl/surnames/bialysto.htm listed under surnames is
                        DAN ,DANAEV ,DANILEVICH ,DANILOWICZ ,DANILYUK ,DANION ,DANISHEVSKI ,DANK ,DANOVISKI ,DANOVSKI ,DANOWICZ ,DEMIN ,DENENBEJM,DENENBERG ,
                        DENENERG ,DENEWICZ ,DINENSON ,DINENZON ,DINER ,DINES ,DINOVICH ,DINOWICZ ,DONSKI ,DUKATSKA ,DUNAEV ,DUNAJEW ,DUNEC ,DUNEWICKA ,DUNICZ ,DUNIE ,DUNIS ,DUNOVICH ,DUNSKI ,DYNES ,& DYNOWICZ

                        all can be variants. the only way to know is when several of them test
                        but i know the way this name changes people who i worked with for 20 yrs still call me dennehy dennis dunning dennen dinan ect. the first four months of my air force life i was danning.
                        donahues and daniels should think of us as them i do them and dunn dunning dennis denney,denune denoon are all the same name.
                        so if thats right whats so strange about dennen dropping the berg in 1120 britian.

                        later my dennings went to scotland post protestantism. then to longfiord with the forbes and followed them to chelsea ma as catholics.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          this was a double post
                          Last edited by Jim Denning; 26 June 2006, 05:26 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Jim, point well taken. It was a poor choice of words. I didn't mean to give offense and I have two close friends who changed their identity in order to to survive the Holocaust (One was a choir boy). Others may have strong views of a different nature, but for me the conversos were a tragic group rejected by both the Jewish community and the Old Christians. Unfortunately, theirs was not the only tragedy.
                            Last edited by josh w.; 26 June 2006, 10:31 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by josh w.
                              Jim, point well taken. It was a poor choice of words. I didn't mean to give offense and I have two close friends who changed their identity in order to to survive the Holocaust (One was a choir boy). Others may have strong views of a different nature, but for me the conversos were a tragic group rejected by both the Jewish community and the Old Christians. Unfortunately, theirs was not the only tragedy.
                              thats the story i believe on how a e3b made it to longford ireland
                              its art of my projects which look at the migration of people from longfiord/cavan/meaths to chelsea ,hannibal/quincy, Parramatta.SydneyAu. and then jews from chelsea to brigton brookline newton, and italians from frosinone to brighton newton and watertown
                              no harm done josh some times it just helps to put flesh on these stats and figures .
                              like when france was over taken by the germans how many french remembered their german cousins. same with polish swedes its only human nature at work

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by josh w.
                                There seems to be a lack of consensus on this issue, at least on the internet. Let me state my question more specifically: Is there any scholarly research that would either support or refute the contention that some surnames of current Spanish Catholics can be tied to Sephardic origins? My question is about Spanish surnames rather than names with obvious Jewish, Arabic or Berber origins, since the purpose of adopting the surname would be to deny one's history.

                                I raised the issue because it was suggested that a full understanding of Sephardic haplogroups would benefit from the study of converso families still residing in Spain. This would be different from a study of Anusim who still held to some Jewish traditions. Since these families have been practising Catholics for over 500 years, how would their origins be determined except through surname. As I mentioned earlier this would be difficult to accomplish because members of both the Spanish converso community as well as the worldwide Jewish community might be opposed to such research.
                                Josh, the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_(Jewish) has a list of Sephardic Coats of Arms with following info: When a Jew became converted in Spain, he was generally adopted by some noble family, and thereby obtained the right to bear the family arms. In this way many Jewish families gained the right to shields, which they carried with them to Holland, and had carved on their tombstones, even after they had repudiated Christianity, which had given them the right to such shields.

                                There is some equal info in Jewish Encyclopaedia: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vi...0Families#1930. Both lists should give some Spanish Catholic names, although not of quite ordinary people.

                                Another link, http://www.genealoj.org/ENtexte/page15.html, says: Many readers are asking whether such or such surname is Jewish or not. From a general point of view, this question has no answer since the same name can be shared by Jews and by non-jews as well. Nevertheless, some surnames are often borne by Jews and other ones rarely. At the other end of the spectrum, one finds surnames which are very common among non-Jews but nevertheless exist among Jews. Examples are numerous.
                                In Spain and Portugal, names such as RODRIGUEZ (Spain) or RODRIGUES (Portugal) or LOPEZ and LOPES are extremely common. When in the XVth century, the Jews of those countries had to choose between emigration and baptism, those who decided to convert took Spanish or Portuguese surnames, maybe even those of their godfather. Those who emigrated to countries where they could practice their religion, sometimes after decades of Crypto-judaism (Marranism), often kept their Spanish or Portuguese names.

                                The Chuetas from Mallorca, descendandts from Majorcan Jews have been Catholics for a long time, but were "not allowed" until recently to have intermarriages with Spanish people. Their Catholic names are: Aguiló, Bonnín, Cortès, Fortesa, Fuster, Martí, Miró, Picó, Pinya, Pomar, Segura, Tarongí, Valentí, Valleriola, Valls. All of them are Catalan names, unrelated with jewishness. There have been some DNA researches of the Chuetas, see the links below:

                                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract
                                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract
                                http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...06/ai_n8957119

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