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The “old Jews” of Mexico come out after 500 years

18 March 2007

This post has become quite popular (it gets more comments than all my other posts combined) thanks to mention on a genealogy site, and a site on the history of the Sephardic diaspora. 

Unfortunately, it was also linked to an anti-Semitic website, and I was forced to change the comment settings for this post to require that I approve any new commentator.  At the same time, because I started to get comments on my site from neo (and retro) -Nazis I created a list of key words that would be used in normal discussions on this post’s topics, but would require the post to be approved before it appears.  Apologies in advance for any minor inconveniences. 

While I hope those that those of you who are looking for this post will spend the time to look at other posts as well, and learn something about the culture and history of Mexico.  However, if you are one of those people who are looking for confirmation of some moronic racist ideology, I suggest you go elsewhere.  I normally welcome comments (even misguided ones), but it’s my website, and I’m free to censure, censor and/or ridicule  as I see fit.

…………


When I started studying Mexican history, I was surprised at how many of the early colonial leaders were “conversos”… Spanish Jews (or their children) who had to convert or leave Spain after Isabel’s conquest of Granada in January 1492.  A good chunk of northern Mexico, including what’s now Texas and New Mexico were settled by Tlaxcalan and Converso pioneers (the New Mexico “Spanish” are nearly all of Jewish ancestry, according to recent DNA studies).

Shep Lenchek’s invaluable three-part series for Mexico Connect, “Jews in Mexico: A Struggle for Survival” notes that while most Mexican Jews are descended from immigrants who arrived between 1888 and 1939, there have always been “Crypto-Jews”:

The “Conversos” were under increasing pressure from the Inquisition. Looking for a place in which they could retain their Spanish identity, they focused on Mexico. In 1531 large numbers of them left Spain and Portugal for the New World.

The inquisition had not yet come to Nueva Espagna and the new arrivals soon married into prominent Mexican families, became priests and bishops and enjoyed a 40 year period during which time, many began to practice Judaism openly. Doctors, lawyers. notaries-public, tailors, teachers and silversmiths, they brought much needed skills to the new colony and were well received. They settled in Vera Cruz, Campeche, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, Morelia and Mexico City.

Conversos were not overtly persecuted, but were eventually assimilated into the general population.

The Inquisition was never as virulent in Mexico as it was in Spain, where more than 4,000 people were burned at the stake. Many more were imprisoned for the “Jewish Heresy.” Massacres were instigated that took thousands of lives. By contrast, between 1571 when the Inquisition was established in Mexico and 1821 when it ended, only about 110 people were actually burned at the stake. Perhaps the same number died under torture or in prison, either awaiting trial or after sentencing. There were no popular outcries against Jews. The Inquisition was imposed from Spain. It cannot be blamed on Mexicans.

It’s to the honor of Mexico to report that Lenchek notes:

The only recorded incidents of official anti-Semitism came in the 1930’s. Suffering from a depression, Mexican labor unions pressured the government to enact restrictions on “Chinese and Jewish” immigration. Later in the same decade, neo-Nazi right wingers, financed from Berlin, staged anti-Jewish demonstrations in Mexico City. But not a single act of violence against Jews or Jewish property can be documented.

Which isn’t to say that the “crypo-Jews” weren’t at a disadvantage when it came to remaining Jewish.  But 500 years after the Conquest, some are rediscovering their roots… as Roberto Loiederman wrote for the Jewish Journal (posted on New American Media, 16-March-2007) :

… he told me he was going to visit a group of Mexicans practicing Judaism on their own — no rabbi, no shul — it sounded fascinating; I asked if I could come along.I wondered what had led these people — born into Catholic families — to follow Judaism. More than that, I wanted to see Judaism through their eyes. What do they feel when they say the prayers? What is the source of their faith?This was not the first time I’d asked these questions. During the High Holidays, I had attended services at Beth Shalom, where a vibrant group of Latino converts has revitalized that shul.

Dr. Mario Espinoza, a Mexicali obstetrician-gynecologist, spoke about his certainty that he’s descended from Jews forcibly converted to Christianity centuries ago. He used the Hebrew word anousim (constrained people or forceably converted) rather than Marranos, which means “swine.”

For Mexicans who trace their lineage to anousim, the Inquisition is not ancient history. It continued in Latin America, including Mexico, from the 1500s until the 1800s. During that period, those whose ancestors had been forced to convert from Judaism to Christianity were harassed, tortured and sometimes killed if they were discovered to have continued Jewish practices, which is why those practices continued in secret, if at all.

… Lucia Espinoza mentioned a grandmother who lit candles on Friday night. Lupe Medrano said that when she looked through her late grandfather’s effects, she found a tallit hidden in a box.

The group that has coalesced around the Medrano home is not the only one like it in Mexico. Far from it. The Web site of Beth Hatefutsoth, the Israel Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv, lists a number of communities of “native Mexican Jews” — located in various parts of Mexico — who trace their origins to anousim.

How many descendants of anousim are there?

“It’s hard to figure out exactly,” said Rabbi Stephen Leon of Congregation B’nai Zion in El Paso, just across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. “I’d only be guessing, but I’d say the number is very large. I have personally ministered to 40 such families. In the 20 years I’ve been here, not a week goes by that I don’t meet someone who tells me about childhood memories of crypto-Jewish practices.”

The Diaspora Museum Web site points out that even after converting to Judaism, “native Mexican Jews” have not been accepted by “traditional Mexican Jews,” nearly all of whom are Orthodox and descended from those who immigrated to Mexico from Europe and the Middle East in the early 1900s.

294 Comments leave one →
  1. Theodore Davis permalink
    22 July 2007 12:17 pm

    I lived and worked in the El Paso-Juarez area for four years during the seventies. After returning to San Francisco, I frequently visited friends and family in Juarez, but it just never crossed my mind to seek out or visit local Temples until recently. (I have been in Juarez for three months since May, staying with family.) I was surprised to find that in a city of three million people, no Temple or reference to anything Jewish could be found in the directory. I have not encountered anything remotely like antisemitism, but mention of a Temple or Synagogue or anything Jewish brings blank stares or puzzled looks, as though I were inquiring about UFOs or extraterrestrials.
    The all too typical problems of being Jewish in Mexico’s past do not really explain – to me – the complete absence of Judaism in Juarez today. It would seem that Judaism in Juarez has been canceled due to lack of interest. What’s going on?

    Ted Davis
    tdavis37@aol.com

  2. 3 September 2007 1:02 pm

    Well, actually Juarez only has about 1.4 million people. If to that you add the 700-800 thousand in El Paso, then you have a population a little over two million in what’s called “la mancha urbana”, and if you put the two cities together then you would have to consider the Synagogue (s) in El Paso and the Holocaust museum and the small but growing Lubavitch community. I know that jewish famlies from Juarez used to come to El Paso to visit the Temple, so maybe they never saw the need to erect one over there, afterall we’re just one city divided by a river…

  3. Manuel Sanchez permalink
    25 October 2007 5:18 pm

    I am now 41 years old and since I was a young boy, a little over 8, I was told we were Jews but not to say a word to the world. I will always considered myself a Jew and my wife celebrates the High Holy Days with me. My daughter’s name is Mariana Shavit(almost 2) and my son’s name is Moshe( 5 months). The Mo’el was Dr. Land, a Reformed Jew, and a dear friend of our family. I have a lot to share with you but what my ancestors did, I am alive. May Hashem smile upon you.

    Todah Rabah,

    Manuel

  4. Hiram Joel Jacques permalink
    5 January 2008 9:18 am

    You are correct about the Jewish blood lines of families from northeast Mexico and southwest Texas. I discovered that I was one of the descendants. I also have Tlaxcala ancestry. My mother’s ancestors included Tomas Sanchez, founder of Laredo, Texas and Joaquin Galan, whose 300,000 acres of land was stolen by Americans starting in 1850. Recent research by several authors have shown that Tomas Sanchez was also descended from numerous royal lines from many European countries like Spain, France, England, Germany, Poland, Hungary, etc. making us truly a cosmic race.

    • Gilbert permalink
      23 August 2009 2:36 pm

      whats your mothers last name

    • Maria permalink
      20 December 2009 9:31 pm

      Hello Joel Jacquez,
      You have confirmed my suspicions of what had taken place in the family. My last name is Laredo, ancestry stems back to the region of Santander. Descendants also are found in the Philippines. The Philippines was a penal colony for Jews running away from the inquisition. It was a the last place of hiding from the competing Dominicans, Franciscan, and Augustinians.

      • Dr Chris Asuncion permalink
        27 September 2013 9:31 am

        Actually, many Jewish of Spain settled in the Spanish Philippines to escape the Inquisition… But once, in Manila, for some, were still subjected to the Inquisition when they discovered to be “Judaizing” … such was the case of two Rodriguez brothers… who were later sent to Mexico (the Philippines was governed by the Viceroy) for trial…and then burned at the stake… When the Philippines became a Commonwealth (elevated from US Colony status)…there was a movement to establish large Jewish enclaves in Mindanao… but then the Japanese bombed Manila and other areas… putting an end to that movement… There are significant Jewish descendants now “Filipinos” who were descendants of the Russian, and other European Jews..

      • jessica permalink
        27 August 2014 10:31 pm

        My boyfriend is from mandaluyong, wow, I didn’t know about philippines being a jewish penal colony. He told me they lesrn in school over there about how mean the Spanish were, especially the prylas (is that how to spell it?) and how they used the Catholic religion to control the philippine people, which is why spanish introduced catholicism every where they colonized.

    • Josue Escamilla permalink
      18 March 2013 3:18 pm

      hello joel, I am from Laredo Tx and im a descendent of Leonardo Sanchez brother of Tomas the founder od Laredo. Majority of my family is from Monterrey and its surrounding area and I also have confirm that we are of jewish ancestry.

      • Santana permalink
        9 July 2014 6:22 pm

        hello josue escamilla, mi nombre es jose s. escamilla perez ,toda la familia y mis tios son de laredo . crees que puedas ayudarmew con mas informacion.

      • josue permalink
        23 July 2014 6:53 pm

        claro que si!

      • Santana permalink
        9 October 2014 4:20 pm

        Hola: Disculpa, no habia checado la paguina hasta hoy. Tienes algun citio donde pueda contactarte?

  5. Isela permalink
    24 August 2008 9:20 pm

    I was born in Cd. Juarez and lived between the two cities (El Paso) until the age the 10. This message is for Ramon Alvarado. Are you a native of El Paso? Are you related to Victor and Maria Alvarado?

  6. murl lewis permalink
    14 September 2008 11:19 am

    i am descended on two sides from people who settled los adaes in today’s louisiana. when settled as part of nuevo espana, it was in the state of texas-coahuila. although brought up roman catholic, my rearing definitely points to jewdaism. other than my grandfather telling me that his grandfather came from pachuga, hidalgo they covered their trail well, (out of fear) and thus far i cannot connect the dots. HELP!!!!

  7. unica_hija77 permalink
    24 December 2008 5:35 am

    Does anyone in Cotija de la Paz know anything of anyone named Valencia migrating to the Philippines in the 19th century? My greatgreatgrandmother was a Valencia and Hispanic but none of us trace ancestry to Spain. Valencia is supposed to be a Sephardic name.

    • tet valencia permalink
      3 July 2012 7:41 am

      Yes, I’m a Valencia from the Philippines. And our family name Valencia is rare in that country. And also we have a trace of Spanish blood. My father was poor but a very good taylor. Out of his small tayloring shop he was able to feed and sent to college his 11 children. All of us 11 children are prosperous and good citizens.

  8. jenne permalink
    6 January 2009 10:17 am

    Hola unica hija, I have no idea if people immigrated from Cotija de la paz but my husband’s family is directly related to Guizar y Valencia and also from that town, that family is 100 percent jewish, they converted to christianity only to avoid prosecution but either became priests or married within the family to retain the bloodline. email him at mexicankiwi@hotmail.com for more info.

    • Blanca Cerrillos-Orkin permalink
      30 June 2014 11:19 pm

      My grandmother’s name was Mercedes Valencia Mendoza and her family initially all came from Cotija, Michoacan. According to her, all the Valencia, Mendoza , and Lopez families intermarried with each other. My great grandmother was married to her first cousin. My grandmother had fair skin, blue eyes, and curly hair. However, We have always wondered about my ancestors heritage. I am married to a Jewish and my twins are having their Bar/Bat Mitzva in September.

      • Isabel Valencia permalink
        24 July 2014 1:43 am

        My grandparents and father are from Cotija, Michiocan ! I don’t know much except my granddad is of Spanish descent and my grandmother is a Gonzalez and she is of German descent. My grandmother is of blue eyes and fair skin. My grandfather is epitome of a Spanish man with his distinctive nose which we all seem to have gained lol

  9. unica_hija77 permalink
    16 January 2009 4:17 am

    Thanks, Jenne. will do.

  10. Tim Fields permalink
    3 April 2009 9:34 pm

    I was just told by an elderly family member that our mexican ancestors were in fact Jews (I am a second generation american; our family name is Alvarado). They never mentioned this because they were forced out of the country due to harassment when Pancho Villa took control (?). She mentioned that they were ‘conversos’, and she was catholic, although I never once saw her attend mass or go to church. I am somewhat confused and wondering if there is a way to research this. Any help would be appreciated.

  11. 27 May 2009 10:56 pm

    My Name is Jim Reforma, is it possible that my surname is also surname of the great greatgrandfather who’s surname is Reforma who lives in el paso?

  12. Diana Macias permalink
    12 September 2009 12:47 pm

    We are like the sparks, embers and small flickers of flame that get blown away in the wind from a larger flame. Hashem is slowly gathering and bringing all of us together again. Our minds – our eyes are being opened. The generation of lost souls is being gathered again in this the New Generation.

  13. 15 September 2009 7:05 pm

    I was brought up in a family that was different, from other families. My father and mother, never went to church, but she would make us go every Sunday. My grandfather and grandmother
    were the same they never went. They my grandparent never celebrated christmas, to them
    it was like any other day. They would tell us that pork was very bad for you, so don’t eat it. My grandmother would light candles in her room. They would never allow strangers in their home, it was always family. She would tell us about the
    evil eye, el mal ojo. My surnames are Jimenez, Garcia, Granado.

    • Joyce permalink
      21 February 2012 7:03 pm

      Sounds similar to my situation.

    • Modesta Teresa Rodríguez Sauza permalink
      11 July 2012 12:25 pm

      This sounds very familiar to our family costums, not celabrating Christmas, not allowing strangers at home ,only family, washing meat to take away any trace of blood, preparing goat or lamb meat every Friday,being quite restricted with pork, having always a granada tree in the patio, having family names like Abraham, Rachel, José,Esther, Juana,Elías,etc My parents last names are Rodríguez Aguilar and Souza Jiménez. Since I was very young my brothers and I were told that on our mother´s side her ancestor had been persecuted from Europe and had to refuge in a small community in Guanajuato and that from my father´s side they were from Spain and founders of the small city where they lived in the State of Guanajuato. I am very interested in finding our heritage which I believe are Jewish-Sephardic.

      • vera permalink
        22 June 2014 3:05 pm

        Hello, your story sounds familiar to one that my mom tells me, do you happen to know what the name of the town in Guanajuato is called?

  14. 19 December 2009 2:29 pm

    During my genealogical research I have found that judaism runs in my family.My mother was from Durango Mex.She was Cardenas before her marriage. I have seen that name in the list of the inquisition.Her mother was an Ortiz, another jewish name, etc. On my father’s side, from Chihu. Mexico, I also find that there is a jewish connection with the name Hernandez.My mother used to make bunuelos when we were young, a sephardic food,along with capirotada, another sephardic food.She also cooked goat,which seems to have ties to judaism.However, her or my grandmother never spoke a word about judaism,maybe they were crypto jews.

    • graciela hernandez permalink
      29 December 2010 8:58 pm

      Where can I view the list of names during the inquisition.

    • Mirna permalink
      29 May 2013 10:24 am

      On my mother’s side…… Things were always mysterious…… Bunuelos…… And Capirotada…..were always a special treat once a year …… I think if I remember correct during the time of the catholic lent????? I was not brought up Catholic—- which I felt strange as a young girl…..because all of my Mexican girlfriends were catholic —

      • Kim Orange permalink
        17 September 2013 2:17 am

        I attended a quincenera (sp?) when I was in high school, but felt so left out! My father’s Mexican but my mother is not — to my knowledge, my father’s family was not Catholic. I used to wish I were Catholic, but now that I understand how ruthless Catholics were in Spain, I’m relieved not to be!

    • Alice permalink
      13 June 2013 10:00 pm

      I have been doing research on “conversos” for a couple of years now. For those researching ancestors in northern Mexico, you need to reach the 1600’s in your research before you can find out whether your ancestors were of Jewish background. It is in that century where you will find documentation identifying people as Portuguese, which in most cases meant “converso” meaning forcefully baptised. Another clue is people who were identified as “mercader” in church records – it was often a euphemism for “converso.” Those with the occupation “minero” were often of Jewish background, too. There are great books out there that delve into the backgrounds of the first settlers. One is titled “Poblar La Frontera” by Chantal Cramaussel. It identifies the Portuguese settlers extensively, and it contains information on settlers pursued by the Inquisition (usually in footnotes). Do not draw conclusions based on a surname – research to the earliest settler you can, and then hit the history books on northern Mexico, church records, and the notarial records (including wills and testaments). The clues will surface, especially for those of you who have ancestors from Chihuahua and Durango.

      • leslie ortiz permalink
        19 June 2013 1:08 am

        My ancestors where from the Chihuahua and Durango area, They were Barraza and Barrasa….in later years they where in Shafter Texas where in the cemetery there are burials with jews images….The name Barraza comes from Spain but in research there is a Priest who stated in his journals that the Barraza name came from Portugal. Thanks for the book lead.

      • Alice permalink
        24 October 2013 4:50 pm

        This message is for Leslie Ortiz who replied to my post. I have done extensive research on the Barrasa/Barraza line from Durango and have documents from the 1600’s. I believe this is a family with converso origins and would be happy to share my findings with you, just post some contact information.

      • leslie ortiz permalink
        16 January 2014 8:11 pm

        For Alice, I am very interested in what you may have on the Barraza/Barrasa Family from the Durango area. Please email me @ lynnlortiz@msn.com.Thanks for the help. Sorry so late in reply as well.

      • leslie ortiz permalink
        25 January 2014 3:30 pm

        Hi Alice, hoping to reach you email lynnlortiz@msn.com regarding Barrasa/ Barraza conversos.

  15. 20 December 2009 6:05 pm

    thanks for these posting it shows me that i am not alone in this quest for trueth,I am well aware of the feelings and plight of my people ,” The children of the anousim”.here in texas and mexico.I know that there are millions with the same cultura sefardita.we know who we are we know our people came from the holyland eretz Israel .My mother passed in the year 2000.before she passed she explained to me that judeismo is a religion and a people.Not only are we that but we are a special chosen people to do a work in this world. Thank you for all your up lifting comentarios shalom a todos. manny ramirez.

  16. 27 December 2009 1:47 pm

    I have not found my surnames, Ortiz,Cardenas,Hernandez,in ay of the lists, therefore I am assuming my jewish origin. I did find Ayon on the list and have also seen that name on the list of inquisition victims. Can anyone suggest anything?

    • Sylvia permalink
      27 December 2009 4:07 pm

      Hi Robert,

      I took the liberty of looking up all three of the surnames you are looking for at http://www.sephardim.com and I found all three listed there – Cardenas, Hernandez and Ortiz. You should view this website and you will find a lot of info that will help you in your search. When you go to the website click on the search names , from there it will take you to another page and you will be able to view the exhaustive list of hispanic surnames with sephardic roots. I wish you all the best as your search continues.

    • Robert, permalink
      28 October 2010 6:20 am

      Ortiz was my husband’s grandmother’s last name, and he is a Sephardic Jew from Puerto Rico.

  17. Sylvia permalink
    27 December 2009 3:55 pm

    I am currently researching my ancestral roots and I continue to see things come to light – bits and pieces here and there. When I read that buneulos and capirotada were sephardic foods my heart rejoiced – these are foods I grew up eating in my childhood. My maternal grandmother and great grandparents were all from the Tlaxcalilla, Mexico region and their surnames are all Sepahrdic. I am awaiting my DNA results to reveal definitively what I truly believe is my Jewish heritage. Ironically enough, I always felt a pull towards Jewish things all my life. My husband is Jewish and we are observant, keep kosher etc… I feel like we as Hispanics are coming into the knowledge of who we really are.

  18. 28 December 2009 3:33 pm

    Regarding capirotada,I find that that is very common with a;; kinds people.Can anyone trace the origin of that recipe?

  19. Christian permalink
    9 April 2010 8:20 pm

    I found my mother’s maiden name. (Lazaro). On this website: http://www.sephardim.com/search.shtml (the one post a few comments above me). Iv’e always known of the Jewish presence in Mexico, which although not as significant, or at least widely known, has deep roots since the very beginnings of colonial times. I am not the typical person, who is ignorant about Mexico’s history, or origins.

    My question is, what does this mean? One possibility I believe is, me most likely being a Mestizo, has an Native male ancestor on my mother’s side, who was given this name by the Spanish. Or, it could have been that the name got carried on by a Spanish male ancestor of mine, of possibly Jewish heritage or origin?

    I deeply appreciate this post, as Iv’e witnessed that the Native American heritage of Many Mexicans, is always being “over mentioned”, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it makes us forget or ignore our other “sides”, if any (Mexico being racially diverse, and just as diverse it’s history!) I just wish all Mexicans would open their eyes, and become more interested, our aware of all our different origins.

  20. Sylvia permalink
    10 April 2010 4:42 pm

    Christian in regard to your latest post and your request for further info on the surname Lazaro here is what I found: I went to http://www.sephardim.com again and I went to section VI – Family Heraldry & Origins. According to that info the last name Lazaro was supposed to be preceded by “de”, for example it would have been Franco de Lazaro. It is a patriarchal surname and one meant to show that patriarchal lineage. The last name was very popular in Spain and if you check out the website you will see the different family crests that were associated with the last name.
    What I find most interesting is that in Judaism a son is always referred to in the following way : Yakov ben David – Jacob son of David. The same concept is carried out – patriarchal homage. I would encourage you to do dna to really zero in on your Jewish heritage – I did mine and I thought for sure it would show all my
    Sephardic roots, boy was I surprised when it showed up Ashkenazi (Eastern European Jewry). There are currently many Hispanic Jews that are in the process of trying to figure out exactly how they ended up with Sephardic last names yet their dna shows up Ashkenazi. If you have further questions post them and I’ll help you if I can. Best wishes on your search. Shalom

    • Andrew permalink
      22 April 2012 12:00 am

      Although Ashkenazi Jews lived in Eastern Europe for some quite time, there was very little intermixing with the non-Jewish population due to custom, religious practices, and living apart from the non-Jewish population (the Jews lived only amongst other Jews in their own communities or Shtettles), and so genetically Ashkenazi are not Eastern European. Ashkenazim have genetic markers which are most closely related to southern Italians. Jews lived throughout the Roman Empire in ancient times and made up a considerable percentage of the population of Southern Italy. At that time proselytizing non-Jews to become Jewish was common as was inter-marriage and intermixing with the local population. So, as an Ashkenazi Jew, even though your ancestors lived in Eastern European, you are likely part Southern Italian (or Greek). Your ancestors likely ended up with Sephardic last names because Jews moved around a lot throughout history due to persecution and because many were merchants and they often adapted their last names for the country they moved to. For example, the name Cohen in Turkey became Erkohen. Another interesting tidbit: the name Ashkenazi is usually a Sephardic name, however, it is the name of families who moved from Ashkenazi countries to Sephardic countries. In any case, welcome back to all my Sephardic and Ashkenazi Hispanic brothers and sisters. Your return further enriches our culture. God bless you. Andrew (in New York)

      • Victor permalink
        10 April 2014 10:30 am

        Andrew, the word “Ashkenazi” caught my attention because I recently found out that I am part Ashkenazi Jew. I was recently genotyped by 23andme and found this out. Both my parents are Mexican, but my father’s haplogroup is J2B2 which is present in 25% of Sephartic Jewish men. Now I’m am really eager to find out more about my Jewish ancestry. My father’s family is from Jalisco, a region known for its lighter skinned people with European features.

    • 14 July 2012 2:42 pm

      Hi Sylvia, I have allways wondered abuot my lineage….. My maternal grandmothers name was Enriqueta De La Cruz, Cuevas She was from the south part of Mexico My grandfatheres name was Encarnacion Valencia both had Sephardic last names and would really like to find out where I can get a DNA test to finally put an end to all the questions….

      • 15 July 2012 1:08 pm

        Hi Olga,

        The best place/website that offers affordable yet comprehensive DNA testing in my opinion is http://www.FamilyTreedna.com. The amount of money that you will spend on your test will be determined by how comprehensive you want information to be. There are different levels of testing, remember to take the time to to read the faqs on their website and to understand the science behind the testing, for ex: females and males carry different genetic info. If you believe your Jewish ancestry comes from your mother’s genetic line then it would be good to have your mother tested as well. If on the other hand there may be a possibility that your ancestry comes from your father’s side then have your father, grandfather, your uncle (your father’s brother) or your brother tested since they are the only ones that will carry that genetic info. If you are unsure as to where your ancestry has its Jewish roots then if applicable have both of your parents tested, test results will be conclusive and should put to rest once and for all any questions you may have. The testing is very easy and painless, swabbing ones cheek isn’t painful, you will be sent a kit, follow instructions, do test, mail it in and sit back and wait for results. I wish you the best as you embark on this journey of discovery and if you should have further questions I would be delighted to assist you. Once you get test results post them on this website, it would be nice to find out what results showed.

        Shalom,
        Sylvia

      • Armando permalink
        15 July 2012 2:12 pm

        Remember people its not about BLOOD,Even tho its nice to find out your DNA, King Davids Grandmother was a convert.

      • 15 July 2012 9:21 pm

        Armando I just want to clarify the comment you made that, “it’s not about blood.” In Judaism blood is extremely important, the temple sacrificial rites required what? The shedding of animals blood. Avraham was about to sacrifice his only son Yitzhak, his son was flesh and blood. Baby males undergo circumcision and blood is shed. Whenever a man sleeps with a virgin blood is shed. What does all this blood mean? Every covenant requires blood. Performing DNA to determine if one has Jewish ancestry is only the first step in living a Jewish lifestyle. If one finds out that they are indeed of Jewish ancestry then it is time to take the next step and live as a Jew. Remember that covenant and blood go hand in hand and in Torah, we as Jews are given the instructions as to how to conduct ourselves on a daily basis, that is what is required because we are in a covenant relationship with our G-d. Individuals who are rediscovering their Jewish roots need to understand the very significant relationship relationship between covenant and blood. One cannot be flippant and make remarks if one doesn’t truly grasp the gravity or understanding of blood. As to your second point that Ruth converted, no where in the book of Ruth nor elsewhere in Torah, HafTorah or even in the Brit Hadashah do you read that Ruth converted. However, it does state that Ruth was a Moabitess and that upon her husband’s death in Ruth Chapter 1 verse 16 she said this to her mother-in-law Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your G-d be my G-d. Where you die I will die, and there I may be buried. May the L-rd deal with me, be it ever so severly, if anything but death separates you and me.” Remember that Moabites worshipped idols, Ruth turned away from her idol worship and became a part of Israel, she worshipped the one true G-d. Here again is the key – covenant relationship. Ruth TURNED AWAY from leading the lifestyle of the Moabites. On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jews all over the world are reminded to TURN AWAY from sin, and when the temple stood the blood of animals was required. Anyone who states as a fact that Ruth “converted” is reading something into the scriptures that isn’t clearly stated. She turned away from living as a Moabite and became a part of Israel, however no where does it state that she went through “conversion.”

  21. roberto hernandez permalink
    10 April 2010 8:12 pm

    Names. As far as name goes,especially surnames, I just wonder if most of us from Latin America and also Mexico. I wonder if the majority of us received our names from the spaniards. Thus we must ask ourselves, are we really of jewish descent or was that the name of the spaniards who gave us these names. Does anybody really know?

    • Carlos Huerta permalink
      5 November 2011 5:26 pm

      The last name, Hernandez, is one of the common surnames given to the Indians by their Spanish masters. Unless one is Hernandez and a White person, perhaps, that would indicate European ancestry; other than that the last name is not original. I am Hernandez from my mother’s side but I am not using that last name to find my ancestry; rather, I am focusing on my father’s side, Huerta, which according to Sephardim.com, is Jewish but who knows. There’s a story that says that in order to baptize hundreds of Indians at the same time, Catholic priests would gather a crowd of them and throw blessed water to the people by saying, “I baptize you with the last name Hernandez, then would turn to another crowd and say, “I baptize you with the last name Perez,” and so forth. I’d say that Veracruz state is the land of the Hernandez but not as original last name but as an arbitrary given name. Now, Huerta is another whole story that I need to discover.

      • Jaime Rendon Hernandez permalink
        15 October 2012 10:00 pm

        Many Sephardic Jews to keep themselves hidden from the Inquisitor adopted patronymic Hispanic surnames like Hernandez, Lopez, Gonzalez etc. Surely, there were many Natives who adopted the surname of the hacendado they worked for as well, which again could be Hernandez, Gonzalez etc. Rodriguez is another surname one will find in Hispanic Jewish annals. However, I beg to differ that Hernandez, Gonzalez, Lopez are strictly Indian surnames!!. And many European Spaniards are tan in color, not White, the Arab influence from the Berbers, Tunisia, Morocco Libya, and Algeria!!! Many Mexicans can pass for people from these Arabic countries!

      • 15 October 2012 10:11 pm

        Need to remember too that the “-ez” ending was “son of…” in medieval Spain… Fernandez… “son of Fernando”, Martinez… “son of Martín”…and so on. Not only indigenous Americans, but Iberian conversos, and moriscos and slaves (who might be any religion or ethnicity) would have taken the name of their baptismal sponsor, or the local lord.

    • Max permalink
      2 September 2014 9:05 am

      It has been told already that family names are not reliable to indicate whether you have jewish ancestry. So, let’s better start doing more research rather than simple guessing.
      DNA tests are the best, though somewhat limited, because the mixing of races and migration currents in the past 2000 years: for example, J1 and J2 haplogroups are told to be jewish; however, J2, in addition to be found in sephardic, it is also frequent in other ethnic groups, including lebanese, iraqis, greeks, but apparently not in spaniards. This ambiguity precludes from reaching a solid conclusion; in my family from central Mexico, we have the J2 haplogroup; does this mean that our male ancestor was jewish (let’s say, perhaps a crypto-jew, or a converso that entered into New spain; or was he a non-jew, perhaps descendant from a muslim)? You see, many questions are in the air, even after you find out your HG.

      A lot of research still needs to be done. In particular, what was exactly the main haplogroup (HG) of the hebrews living 2500 years ago in Israel? Do we know it? That information would help a lot.

  22. Theodore permalink
    12 April 2010 4:38 pm

    Hi I have recently discoverd my Jewishness. I wanted to know if there was anyone from Southern New Mexico, El Paso, CD Juarez area with the surnames Avina or Avenia, Bustos, or De Castro, these are the surnames of my Great Great Grandfather who dissapread from Jalisco around 1900 – 1910

    • Jorge permalink
      8 July 2012 2:04 am

      My great grandfather was from Jalisco. His name was Juan Nepomuceno Bustos. He was born in 1886. I even have a picture of him. Contact me. Reply to this message and I will be notified.

    • 3 January 2013 10:51 am

      Reading all of the posts, I can’t even begin…I really want to find out more about my family’s lineage.

      Theodore, you mentioned “Aviña”? My Grandmother on my dads side was Aviña. I don’t know the whole story and if it’s true, but my great aunt had said that they’re father (surname Aviña) lived in Mexico and had a family there with wife and children. They said he left there and came to the states (I believe during the time you stated 1900-1910) and started a whole new life here.

      Again, I’m not sure if this is true. I’m curious to know if it’s the same person. Reply if you think it might I can try to get some more information from family members.

  23. roberto hernandez permalink
    12 April 2010 6:41 pm

    my father, ramon hernandez, was from santa rosalia de las cuevas, chihuahua mexico.Again, there has never been a trace of judaism in him.but it’s true the name is on the inquisition victims.does anyone know how to do research on these victims. usually i use family search.org,but with my grandfather pascual cardenas and felipe ortiz,both from cosala sinaloa and nothing.could that be because of the inquisition?people in that era did not admit ties of judaism.

  24. Sylvia permalink
    14 April 2010 9:31 am

    FYI – if you find your surnames in the list provided at the website I aforementioned then you need to start working your way backwards – start with the side which you believe carries the Jewish heritage, whether it be matriarchal or patriarchal. Obtain as much info as you can from your oldest relatives – they will be the key since they can privide you with info that may seem insignificant, however you will discover that they offer a plethora of info which is often just a small tidbit that can start your search off in the right direction. Go to websites that offer you info for specific states, countries etc… once you do this then you need to zero in on that particular place and 9 out of 10 times you will find the surnames you are looking for. From that point on it will be the domino effect. One piece will unfold after another – all you have to do is follow the surnames on the birth, baptism, marriage and death certificates. One thing which you must keep in mind – during the Spanish Inquisition Spanish Jews were either killed, converted or expelled from Spain. For those who faced expulsion they spread all over Europe and eventually came to the new world. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading the history of the Inquisition so that one can grasp a better understanding of how we arrived to be who we are presently. Most people are not aware of the fact that when Columbus came to the new world that his “sailors” were all Jews who were forced by the Inquisition to be the crew – that was their punishment. These men knew that they would never once again see their families. As you study the Inquisition you will see that the Jews suffered enormously and frankly many decided to hide their Jewishness or simply converted. You will need to prepare yourselves because many of us Hispanics grew up Catholic and once you start reading what the Catholic church did to our ancestors you will find yourselves at a fork in the road – which will you choose? Will it be to embrace the Jewish heritage that our ancestors were forced to give up or simply adhere to that which you have always followed? Will you forgive those who did heinous things in the name of G-d against our Jewish ancestors? As someone who just observed Yom HaShoah (Day of Remembrance) for the Holocaust I can tell you firsthand that there is greater power in forgiveness than there is in hatred. Many of the things that were committed against Jews in the Holocaust were a repeat of what had taken place 500 years before by the Inquisition – the Inquisition rounded up Jews to live in “quarters”, Nazi Germany rounded up Jews to live in the ghettos, Inquisition forced Jews to wear the yellow Sanbenito or dunce hats, Nazi Germany forced Jews to wear the yellow Star of David badge and yellow arm band. I could go on and on…As one who has discovered her Jewish ancestry I know that with me and my family lineage we have come full circle – restoration of that which was stolen from us for generations – our TRUE identity and faith.

  25. Gilberto Gil permalink
    8 May 2010 10:02 pm

    After running one’s DNA, where would be a good place to send the results to be analyzed? Sylvia, I noticed you had your DNA run, any suggestions?

    Thank you,

    Gil

  26. Sylvia permalink
    10 May 2010 8:25 am

    Gil there are many places that offer dna testing, however the best place to go to is http://www.familytreedna.org. They offer different levels of testing, depends on how extensive you want it to be that will determine the price you pay. They will send you the kit and you mail it back to them for analysis. It takes about 5-7 weeks for your results. In order to get your mother’s side dna you will need to either have her tested or your sister, which ever applies because your dna test will not reveal that maternal dna info since males do not carry that genetic info. Your dna test will reveal info from your father’s side – males and females carry different genetic info. Even if you come across different web sites that offer dna testing for a lesser price do not do it – they are not as comprehensive as the website that I suggested. Hope this info steers you in the right direction. Once you get your dna results post a comment on this site. You will be surprised beyond measure with the results…I certainly was.

  27. Suzana de Oliveira Almeida permalink
    24 May 2010 3:46 pm

    Achei os nomes da família de meus avós maternos, de Oliveira na lista do site, http://www.sepharadim.com/seach.shtml e descobri o porque de meu avô guardar o sábado e não comer carne de porco.

  28. 25 May 2010 3:13 pm

    Hello to all,

    I just found my mother’s maiden name, Padron on sephardim.com as well as my grandmoter’s maiden name, Zapata…I don’t have the slightest clue on where to start a search to see whether I actually have Jewish ancestors or not…This is something I’m very interested in finding out…Do any of you know anything about these surnames?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Shalom

  29. Sylvia permalink
    26 May 2010 11:21 am

    Carlos when I read your surname on your post I knew immediately that you are definitely of Jewish ancestry. Your last name “Eli’el” translates into this in Hebrew – Eli means “My G-d (in Hebrew one does not spell out the name, instead where the “o” would go one hyphenates like I did) and el means – G-d. So your surname literally means – My G-d, G-d. Indeed a very sephardic last name. I went to sephardim.com and took the liberty of plugging in the surnames you listed. When you look up the surnames you will see numbers or perhaps an asterisk * beside the name, scroll up to the the top to see what the numbers or asterisk mean. I looked up Zapata and saw that your surname is found in two books: “Sangre Judia” (Jewish Blood) by Pere Bonnin and in “Secrecy & Deceit: The Religion of Crypto-Jews” by David Gitlitz. I also saw that the Zapata surname had several family crests attached to it. When you go to the homepage for Sephardim.com you will see roman numerals besides different search engines – go to the section titled : Section VI – Family Heraldry & Origins – hit the icon for the letter “Z” and scroll down to see all of the crests asscociated with the surname Zapata – it will be very interesting to see what part of Spain your family came from. Do the same for surname Padron. I live in the East Coast and it would bring me great joy to assist you in your search. If I can be of further help please let me know. I am curious, what prompted you to start looking into your Jewish ancestry? Were there family customs that have been passed down and now they are coming to light? You are embarking on a very exciting journey – Mazel Tov!

  30. Alicia Villalobos Madrid permalink
    18 June 2010 11:22 pm

    I am desperate to find my family. I was adopted and I want to find my eight brothers and sisters. Their names are Humberto, Octavio, Maria, Manuel and Ruben. I don’t remember the rest of my siblings names, b/c I was only 4 or 5 when I was given away. I was born in Rio de Golondrinas, high in the Sierra Madre in the state of Chihuahua. I was taken to Cd Juarez across the border from El Paso, Texas. My biological mother’s name was Ana Maria Madrid and my father’s name was Isaac Villalobors Acosta. If you are out there, please contact me. It is very important!

  31. Carolina Adan permalink
    22 June 2010 4:40 pm

    My father is from Puebla and Ive always been told that we have Jewish roots from Spain going back 4 centuries. I checked a name list and most of my father’s family surnames are on the list . Some of our family traditions and first names difinately fit the mold. Carolina

    • Jenice permalink
      15 July 2012 11:15 pm

      My mother was born in puebla, Mexico . Her father was of jewish descent. Going back to spain and isreal , She doesn’t know her dad or his family , but we still carry on his last name. My sister and i are converting to judaism , so it should be interesting

  32. R Garcia permalink
    26 July 2010 4:55 pm

    My grandfather was named Isaac Perez and he married Maria de los Angeles Garcia. My father, Jose Perez Garcia, somehow lost his father’s name when he cam to the states in the 1940s. I am wondering if Isaac Perez and his family were known in the durango mexico area?

  33. Jaime Rendon Hernandez permalink
    1 August 2010 11:26 am

    I had a paternal Y test done through Family Tree DNA. My Hernandez results came back indicating a Mediterranean/Semitic Y origin. My closest genetic marker matches are Askenazi and Sephardic Jews, born in Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Syria, Sicily, Lebanon, Iraq etc. Both my Mom and Dad were born in the state of Coahuila. So the geneticists have told me I have a Jewish heritage, although I am not a practicing Jew by faith. To the contrary I come from a very super zealous Catholic upbringing. It was not unusual that me and siblings went to Catholic services more than once a week.

  34. 2 August 2010 11:51 pm

    Glad most have you have found Family Tree DNA which is by far and away the largest Sephardic Jewish database of all DNA Services. Ones name does not make one Jewish although both surnames and origins do make for interesting research. For those who desire to make this more than ancentral study and seek to regress/return to their Jewish ancestry there are resources available through all currents within the Jewish world. For those who see this as nothing more than table talk or interesting history, I wish them the best. However for those who desire transparent recognized options in seeking a return to their roots feel free to contact me and I will help you with options in your search for your proper truth. After all that is what Jews do.

    Ron Cohen
    External Relations
    Centro Cultural Hebreo de Mexicali
    aka Mexicali Jewish Community

    • Cindy permalink
      28 October 2010 7:05 am

      Hello Ron,

      What are the other resources one can utilize to assist them w/finding ones roots?
      I am at a dead end unfortunately. We had our son’s DNA tested, but as you know
      the female DNA can only trace the maternal line, so I have no clue of my paternal
      line. My brother is not interested in this, nor are my cousins. I don’t know what
      else to do. I found that my paternal grandmother and grandfather came from
      Zacatecas (SP?). His last name was Flores and her’s was Medrano. That is all I know.
      Flores is a popular Spanish surname, whereas, Medrano I’m not so sure.

      On my mother’s maternal side I am Native American. Which one who knows!
      My mother’s side all came from California, and Guanajuato, MX. My mother’s
      maiden name is Montez, (although her dad’s BC reads Montes), my grandmother
      was Molano and great-grandmother was Mindola (she came from Guanajuato.

      Any advise or assistance would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you!

      Shalom,
      Cindy

      • Moni permalink
        8 December 2012 10:39 pm

        Do you trace your family to Laguna Grande in Zacatecas? Any Carlos or De la Torre family members?

      • Ron Cohen permalink
        17 December 2012 11:57 am

        Shalom Moni,

        Try the Sephardic database at Family Tree DNA.

    • Raul R.Gonzales permalink
      31 March 2011 12:05 am

      I live in San Diego, Ca. not far from MEXICALI. Would like to make
      contact with Ron Cohen, occasionally I go to Mexicali to visit friends. I wish to convert to orthodox Judaism, how would I go about
      it?

      Raul Gonzales

    • 17 June 2012 5:54 pm

      Ron.: I have never been to interested in my family line till recently.. This is after talking to my great Aunt who is from Monterrey Mexico but now lives and has lived in Mexicali for more that 60 years and is now is 96.. She had mention that on our family side we were Jewish in our history.. That peaked my interest so I search some on my surname and found that in Spain before the inquisition that people who had names in Spanish that were animals.. It was Jewish in it’s roots..GARZA is has we all know a bird!! Who love to know more.. How hard would it be to trace my tree on dad’s last name’s side and how far back realisticly expect to go??? I have been told we can to Mexico in the mid 1550es.. What or how can you help me Sir

    • Carol R permalink
      25 May 2013 6:40 pm

      Hi, I am so pleased to have found your site. I recently had DNA testing done as I knew nothing of my maternal grandmother and little of my paternal grandmother (Aurelia). I stumbled upon the name “Elise Garrido” on my paternal grandmother’s application for her marriage license – she was an illegitimate child, the result of an affair. Now that I have my DNA results, I discovered relative matches in Sicily, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain and Mexico. I always wondered if ‘Garrido’ was Mexican, or Spanish, then I received the names of my DNA matches: Campos Haro, Serrano-Castillo, Luna, Ventresca, Herrera, Rodriguez, Cabrera – I’m being told that these are Jewish Mexican ancestors. I am now certain that this Jewish link is through my paternal grandmother – and I cannot find any family information about her, or her immediate family. I want to know who these people are, I want to know my ancestry and heritage. A handful of my DNA matches are reported as being Ashkenazi and my ‘deep ancestry’ is shown as being “Palestinian Jew”. When I read this, I put my head down, and cried. Not for me, but for those who have gone before me. I need to know more, I need to learn more, but I have no idea where to turn. Born and raised in Canada, my grandmother never spoke of her mother – she was raised by her biological father, who was married at the time, but his wife took in this child, so my grandmother was raised in that family.
      Is there anywhere that I can turn for help in my search? Thank you for reading this, and for any assistance you are able to provide. I am most grateful.

      • Carol R permalink
        25 May 2013 6:42 pm

        Sorry, I got emotional writing that and it isn’t very clear. My grandmother, Aurelia, (born 1895) indicated that her mother’s name was “Elise Garrido” on an application form.

  35. James De La Cruz permalink
    8 August 2010 10:01 am

    i have my father and grandmother surname
    my grand mother is from the harlingen,tx,
    matamoros, mx area, any info on that last name?

    • Moni permalink
      8 December 2012 10:40 pm

      My mother & I discussed Matamoros. Means kill the Moors.

      • Terry permalink
        9 March 2013 11:44 pm

        Hello, Moni, I am researching my family name-Quesada/Quezada. We come from Jerez, Zacatecas. Could our name be Jewish. We also have Villanedas and Banuelos in our tree.

  36. James De La Cruz permalink
    8 August 2010 10:03 am

    i forgot to say my grand mother first name is:
    alejandra , my father first name is santiago ,,
    thanks much.

  37. patrick manuel rodriguez permalink
    8 August 2010 5:43 pm

    hello evryone.i recently was made aware of the large jewish presence in spain before the inquisition and am absolutely fascinated it.both rodriguez and my grandmothers name pereda are listed on sephardic surname lists.problem is tracing fathers family as know very little about them except they were from xalapa mexico.my fathers fathers 1st name was manuel and apparently the family at 1 time were very wealthy in xalapa.if any1 has any info about my family feel free to contact me at patrick_manuel62@yahoo.com.thank you

  38. patrick manuel rodriguez permalink
    8 August 2010 5:45 pm

    hello again.my father had 2 brothers and 2 sisters, ricardo, humberto, pilar, and azucena.thank you

  39. Bianca Garcia permalink
    17 September 2010 8:45 am

    Hello everyone, it was but a couple months ago when it occured to me that I might have jewish ancestry. I came to the conclusion after much thought. Now I am 99% sure of this. What helped me see this was 1. the areas in mexico where my family is from was inhabited by jewish families. 2. Some family last name that I have found are said to be jewish. 3. My grandparents and greatgrandparents on both sides weren’t poor, they were middle class families. 4. other information that i have found on the internet. My family is from Michoacan. It goes from Los Reyes, Zamora, Santa Clara, Cotija, Jiquilpan, and up north to Guadalajara Jalisco. the first name of one of my greatgrandpa’s is Tiburcio. the last names in both sides of my family are; GARCIA, LUA, MADRIGAL, CEJA, GRANADOS, GUITERREZ, LUPIAN, FIGUEROA, YEPEZ, ESTRADA, BETANCOURT,ALVARADO, CARDENAS and others that I can’t remember right now. I really wish I could have a DNA test done, but since I’m still in school I dont have the money and my parents aren’t supportive of this idea. If any of you have any info on my surnames or any other information please share!!!
    thank you

    • Levi permalink
      9 October 2010 12:32 pm

      Bianca,

      My mother’s family is from the same region you mention, and we even share three last names: LUA, GRANADOS, and LUPIAN, though the last one is only a distant relation. Some of the things you mention can be attributed to the fact that we were of Spanish and maybe even Portuguese background, along with Native Mexican of course. But I’ve found some customs from my grandmother that may hint to a forgotten Jewish past. I have a strong belief that my maternal grandmother’s side is of Anusim (converso) descent, but this of course is forgotten. Our last names, on my mother’s side, are LOPEZ, DIAZ, REYES, GRANADOS, LUA. LUA is our direct line in my mother’s mother’s ancestor. I’ve already done DNA testing and if we are related my results may help you. So, hopefully you still check this board, and if so feel free to contact me privately.

      By the way, my father’s side of the family is from Israel. Also, by the way again, Inquisition records are great, but they only record people who were accused or convicted of some “heresy”. If the families never got caught, there would be no records of them in the inquisition.

      • Bianca permalink
        13 October 2010 10:28 am

        I wish I knew as much about my family as you do of yours. I actually believe I came across a post of yours while surfing the internet a while back and I believe you mentioned something about your grand parents being from Cuameo and surrounding areas??? My paternal family lives in the village of El rincon del chino which is right below Cuameo…and I know for sure that one of my great grandmothers was from Cuameo her name was Hermelinda Alvarado..I don’t know if she is also Lua

      • eli lua permalink
        29 March 2012 11:48 pm

        Hi Levi,
        I hope you get this message, I would love to get in contact with you regarding the last name Lua.
        Thank you,
        Eli

    • Arturo I. Ruiz permalink
      8 June 2011 4:27 pm

      Hello. I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA, but I currently reside in El Paso, TX. My entire family is from that region of Michoacan. As far as I can say most of the people there are Sephardic decendants. My family is mostly Sephardic from what I’ve found out. My grandma told me that in her family milk and meat products were strictly kept seperate. They covered the mirrors of their houses when someone died, and baptized their children at 8 days old, among other things. My last names are Ruiz, Oseguera, Barragan, Nunez(their original name is Bejar and they are the one’s i’ve proven are Jewish), Alvarez, Barragan, Valencia, Rodriguez, Abarca, Guerrero, Gutierrez, Andrade, Malfavon, among others. Acording to most stories most of the people and my family originally were part of Cotija but have settled elsewhere like in Los Reyes, Tocumbo, Santa Ines, La Calera, and around Jalisco. My family is among the first Spanish families that have settled there. Rumor has it that that entire town was founded by Sephardic anusims. I would really like to know more about my other families surnames besides the Nunez’s(Bejars). I also want to learn about my geneology but I don’t have the money and my parents are not fond of the idea either. All I know is that I’m undergoing conversion to Judaism at the nearby Reform Temple. If you find anything out, please let me know.

  40. 26 September 2010 11:30 pm

    Shalom Blanca,

    Although your assumptions are ambitious unfortunately from a sociological or genetic studies standpoint there is NO WAY that you can be 99% sure based on your conclusions. That does not mean that you are not on the right track, what it does mean however is youve taken a shortcut with alot of not necessarily true assumptions on your part. For example, the names you listed are on Sephardic Jewish names lists, that proves nothing. For example the name Garcia is the #1 hispanic surname with slightly more than 4% of all hispanics worldwide having that surname, of course Jews as well as non Jews would have that name. Unfortunately surnames were changed in those days quite often to avoid the Inquisition yes, but also to avoid military service and to hide from the law in general, so a last name proves nothing. Also, economic class has nothing to do with Jewish heritage or not, you couldnt be further off base on that one. Of course your parents arent supportive, if they knew the secret they would be hesitant to come out of the closet so to say and if they dont why would they want to learn something that they might consider being embarassing or uncomfortable?

    Now that we have got your 99% sureness out of the way, because of some of the last names, with the geography mentioned researching this using correct methodology Im sure you can turn up some information that at least would indicate the possibility of you being of Crypto Jewish background.

    I may be willing to help you, depending on the reasons for your research and what you may or may not be planning to do with the results. DNA tests while interesting can prove certain things but are not the complete answer, fortunately the Catholic church kept emmaculate records concerning their prosecutions and inquiries as well as other sources such as Freemasons (specifically Scottish rite). There are also records at sources such as UC Berkley, the University of Arizona and University of Texas, if you are literate in Spanish, records are available for multiple sources. These and many others are there for the taking, but no one is there to do the work for you, except you, its out there go get it.

    If you can be more specific so can I and can point you to a lot of resources.

    Ron Cohen
    Director of International Relations
    Centro Cultural Hebreo de Mexicali (Mexicali, Mx. Jewish Community)
    M.A. Sociology and History (Specializing in southwest US and northern Mexico)

    • Bianca permalink
      13 October 2010 10:21 am

      Thank you for responding, and yes now I do realize that I was too quick and eager to jump to conclusions. No I really do not think my parents know anything, my great grandmother might, but her memory is fading and I see her very rarley. My reasons for the research are simply because I am interested and I want to know about my ancestors and where they came from etc… It was but only a few years ago, when I had an epiphany…and I haven’t been able to answer my questions.

      • Levi permalink
        13 October 2010 3:54 pm

        Yep, that’s me. Unfortunately, none of the Luas I have come across know much about the families beyond the great grandparents, including myself. Yes, my maternal grandmother’s family is from Cuameo Chico (or Coameo, not sure the spelling). Lua is my maternal grandmother’s side, Granados is my maternal grandfather’s side. Lupian is also on my maternal side. I have a feeling all Luas from the same region are related, even if it’s like very distant cousins. What one finds, could be useful to all.
        Is there a way I can give you my personal email? I can also share with you some of the things I’ve been researching. What I can I will post here, unless it’s personal information.

      • 15 October 2010 12:30 am

        The question that I have for all you seekers is what are you planning to do with this information once you get it. The reason I ask is simple, if it has to do with the fact that you are seeking answers within Judaism as your proper truth than frankly none of this is necessary. If it is for table talk or just plain curiosity, thats fine as well. The question becomes why is it important to you or why do you possibly think it is important to you. If it is from a finding out more about Judaism prospective, I can possibly be of help. Understand that as Jews we do not prostilisize but are willing to answer questions and give direction to sources and resources, if it is of a curiosity nature, I suggest Family Tree DNA for tests as well as for their extensive data bank of names and locations in regards to Mexican ancestry and particularly possible hidden Jewish roots. I would also suggest researching possible anusim customs such as sweeping to the center of the room, burning fingernail clippings, celebrating the fest of “Saint Esther” and lighting candles in the Church on Friday evenings etc etc.

        Ron Cohen

  41. Levi permalink
    28 October 2010 1:01 pm

    The place to start your search is http://www.sephardim.com This will give you a list of surnames used by Sephardic Jews and Anousim. As people have pointed out, seeing your name in this list doesn’t mean your ancestors were Jews, but by the same token it doesn’t mean they weren’t.
    If you are lucky and able to track your family back to Iberia, the place or region of origin would give you a hint of how likely it could be for them to be of Jewish ancestry. For example, were they from a region or place with a documented Jewish presence? Again, this does not make you of Anousim descent automatically.
    Anyone interested should buy, if you can, David Gitlitz’ book “Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews” — it is the biggest and best (in my opinion) collection of the customs of the Crypto-Jews (Anousim=conversos) in both Iberia and America. In it you will find hundreds of different customs, some of which survive to these days. This would give a strong indication of Jewish ancestry, but while it doesn’t make it automatic,this raises the possibility dramatically.
    DNA testing would give you a general indication of the path your family has taken to get to You, but DNA doesn’t encode religion so it is not by itself proof of Jewish ancestry. However, if your results show affinity to the Near East or to North Africa, that would make a very compelling argument for Jewish ancestry — specially on the maternal side — but again not having these results doesn’t deny ancestry.
    So, if your name was Lua, and you were able to trace your family to regions in Portugal with strong Jewish presence, and your family retained customs like sweeping toward the center of the room and only marrying “our kind”, and your DNA shows affinity to North Africa, then you may have a compelling argument — not definite proof, but a compelling argument nonetheless.

  42. Levi permalink
    28 October 2010 1:08 pm

    In response to Ron’s question, “what are you planning to do with this information once you get it?”
    I don’t believe that is the right approach to take. Most people I’ve spoken with about this, get started out of curiosity. I don’t want to discourage anyone from exploring their own roots by asking “why do you wanna know?” I’m excited that people ask questions. If they find proof of a Jewish ancestry, then the question would be appropriate. Do you try to reconnect to your family’s ancestral past? Do you keep it as a family history? etc. That is something to ask at a later time. Some may decide they want to return, some may not. And that is okay. But let’s not dissuade people’s hunger for knowledge by asking this type of questions, at least not at this time.

  43. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    13 November 2010 6:05 pm

    Mucho Respeto 2 my fellow seekers: I am a Chicano(Mex-USA) delving into my possible Jewish ancestry… I am primarily interested in my maternal grandfather’s lineage; surnames there include Silva and Martinez…(Others in my family are Marquez,Fuentes,Cordero,and Alcaraz…). The Silvas and Martinezes trace back to Spain and Portugal, New Mexico(Gallup), Arizona(Williams), eventually to the L.A. area… I am very ‘Huero’, and so is most of my family, thus, it would seem that we have very little, if any, Native American lineage, or even Moorish Spaniard ancestry…(Though I do have an uncle that reminds me of Saddam Hussein!) I have another uncle that has stereotypical ‘Jewish’ facial features and curly hair (along with my 3 cousins…). Also, my grandfather Martinez’s sister “Candy”(Candelaria) made ‘bunuelos’ for us back-in-the-day (just learned those had Sefardic ties!). If any of this sparks anything for any of you/anything in common with it, I hope you’ll post about it!…Thanks. PS:All-due-respect, but does anybody else think ‘Mr.Cohen’ comes off as maybe a little pompous???…I’m just sayin’…

  44. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    13 November 2010 7:14 pm

    Que pasa?
    Last time I failed to mention that I know of only one (1) practicing Catholic in my entire (Mexican) family, BOTH sides…He, my Uncle Moises, is not from the ‘Martinez-Silva’ side, either…(The side with the most ‘possible’ evidence of Jewish ancestry)…(Although, he does have a Jewish-based first name…). I think that to be another important piece of evidence… Also, I have found ‘sephardim.com’ to be a useful source of info. Martinez and Silva were two of the most ‘referenced’ surnames, with Martinez having over 80 coats of arms…Nos vemos—

  45. 14 November 2010 8:47 am

    Neil,

    Sorry if you believe that I come off as pompous. What I am trying to say however is that there are legitimate sources to research each particular story that will save people a lot of time and energy in their search for their personal truth with total respect for each individuals personal truth. For example, reading your family background, I would strongly suggest that you utilize the New Mexico State Historical Department and all the good research they have compiled, while also telling you that the Arizona State Historical Department will probably not be as good of resource for you in you search. The University of Arizona may have some information for you though. I would also kindly ask you to omit what you call stereotypical “Jewish” features from your research as these so called features, a total fallacy. While a total falsehood, has its origins in Askanazi, not Sephardic Jews, it is based on Eastern European not Iberian Penisula origins.

    Mucha suerte en su busca

    Ron Cohen

  46. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    14 November 2010 2:26 pm

    Sr. Ron Cohen,

    Thank you for the clarification of the ‘issue’ that I was concerned with…also for the advice you offered. All is appreciated! Point taken about my “stereotypical Jewish facial features and curly hair” statement being more pertinent to stereotypes of ‘Ashkenazi’ Jews…I had purposefully punctuated it: ‘stereotypical’ to downplay its relevance. As far as stereotypes go, I, as a ‘Huero’/Rubio/Guero-Mexican, surely do not believe that racial/ethnic/religious stereotypes are authoritative(been told “You don’t look Mexican?!?” dozens of times)…although, I do believe that there are some unmistakable physical and behavioral ‘tendencies’ that, as far as I’m concerned, positively establish diversity! Also, I am interested to know if you, Sir, believe that Sephardim and Ashkenazim have any ancestral ties, even possibly distant…(Middle-Eastern origins?)(also their possible religious/spiritual links?..)
    Basically, just how ‘separate’ do you believe them to be??? Thank you for the wish of much luck in my search…
    Sincerely,
    Neil Martinez y Silva

  47. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    14 November 2010 2:53 pm

    Correction to my last post, to Sr. Ron Cohen:
    Punctuation was: stereotypical ‘Jewish’..;to downplay the relevance(but not necessarily to omit the possibility of relevance)…
    Thank you…

  48. Jaime Rendon Hernandez permalink
    14 November 2010 8:41 pm

    Neil,

    Jews just like Raza come in many different shapes and colors. Hitler had it all wrong by his stereotypical belief that Jews had certain physical characteristics that could surely identify them. If you were to see me, you would think puro Raza, maybe leaning more to the Indio side. Latest autosomal testing by Family Tree DNA, indicates not only an Indio Herencia, but also has me as having a strong Russian Jewish influence. How do I explain it? I don’t know!!!! All I know is that it may give further confirmation as to why my parents were so Catholic. A true converso did not want to give any evidence that he may be of Jewish origin, for fear of the Spanish Inquisition!!

  49. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    14 November 2010 11:44 pm

    Orale, people…

    I have apparently used a ‘buzzword’ on this site that sparked interest from some…thus, I feel the need for some (respectful) clarification. The word is: stereotypical/stereotype. The context I was endeavoring to use it in was to show just one(out of MANY) possible link to Jewish roots in my own family, while attempting to downplay the relevance somewhat with punctuation…(see my 2 later posts). That was basically my intent for using the term: “stereotypical”; otherwise, I might have said something like: “I have an uncle that looks Jewish”. One way I could have stated this, to better prevent misunderstanding, might have been: “physical traits common to a large subsection of Jewish people”…I don’t know, maybe. I agree with the statement that the German/Austrian officials had it all wrong before and during WWII…kidnapping,stealing from, and murdering approx. 6 million Jewish people, and millions of Christians and others that didn’t agree with or ‘fit into’ their evil ideology. Finally, since I am only here to clarify my own statements, not to try to ‘correct’ anyone else’s, I will leave any other ‘issues’ alone!…(clarify my own, and agree with other people’s…) With respect, because I do appreciate insightful input from my fellow ‘Seekers’!
    Thank you…

  50. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    16 November 2010 8:38 am

    Sr. Ron Cohen,

    I also want to thank you for not dropping the ‘H-Bomb’ on me (German Chancellor,1930’s-40’s…) in your response to my first post on this site.

    Felicidades…

  51. Dr. Joseph De Soto M.D., Ph.D permalink
    17 November 2010 8:30 pm

    The story of the Anusim is real. My family originated on my mothers side from Nuevo Leon until the 1970’s we were in the Catholic Churchsuperficially yet, we kept the Sabbath, avoided pork and sea food, only read the torah, had an oral history of being Jewish, kept Pesach , did not eat any blood and threw away eggs with a drop of blood, lit candles on friday night , and the dead would be buried the same day we also and did not intermarry with non anusim.

    I traced my maternal side 7 generations back all from nuevo leon, moneterrey. Interestingly my fathers mother was also Jewish-sephardic from Jalisco another area that had a large sephardic crypto population.

    Many of the anusim who never lost their Jewish heritage came out 40 – 70 years ago. Today, many anusim have thread of a lost Jewish tradition thus there is a mis perception that all anusim forgot their heritage or stopped practicing judaism. This is not true.

    My own DNA has the Kohanim marker and is semitic. Again, my father passed down a tradition that we were descendents of priest and thus could only marry women” who were not polluted”…thus, it is important to remeber that anusim covers thoses who never forgot their heritage nor stopped practicing Judaism to those who have some customs which are performed but whose reasons have been forgotten.

  52. frudelyn jimenez permalink
    18 November 2010 10:37 am

    I am intrested in finding out details about my family
    I sac , MOises Jimenez in Philippines
    They are Jewish names and I will be happy to hear about them concerning their belonging to jewish life religion

  53. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    19 November 2010 5:38 pm

    Finding some good bits of information…On the culinary side, along with ‘BUNUELOS’ having Sefardic ties, I’ve learned that ‘ALBONDIGAS’ soup (Mexican Meatballs) are also considered ‘Sefardic Cuisine'(these are 2 I’m familiar with)…Also, although traditional Mexican Jewry is Sephardi, many Ashkenazi Jews emigrated to Mexico in the first half of the 1900’s. These included Russian and Romanian Jews escaping Soviet pogroms/persecution…With regards to my own family, I had great-uncles named Samuel, and Solomon on the ‘Martinez-Silva’ side (Hebraic names).
    Hasta lluego—

  54. Jaime permalink
    20 November 2010 6:02 pm

    Neil,

    Where did you read of Russian and Romanian Jews escaping persecution in the 1800’s? I have tried to find info on this same story but I cannot find any!! Does the article say what part of Mexico they emigrated to?

    • Eddie permalink
      19 February 2013 7:41 pm

      I am not sure Jaime and i am still trying to find out of my Great Grandfather Yosef Valdez who fled to states to mexico whom was jewish as well. He fled from Russia to spain first. My great grandfather is Russian. Why he changed his last name prolly so wouldnt get scalded of his jewish background possibly. In spain is where he met my great grandmother whom is french and spanish.

  55. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    21 November 2010 9:32 am

    Sr. Hernandez,

    I originally found “first half of 20th century”, then elsewhere found that this wave of immigration had started in the 1880’s…Obviously then, these pogroms/persecutions in Russia and Romania were not of “Soviet” origins (as I had stated), but I intend to research this further. I have not yet found the Mexican destinations of these emigrants, either. Also, there was some Jewish immigration to Mexico from Austria and other “German states”, upon the ‘invitation’ of Emperor Maximilian I, in the 1860’s…There was also some Jewish immigration to Mexico from “Europe” (most likely Ashkenazim), during WWII… In another matter of interest, I have found unfortunate info about a ‘Martinez’ from El Salvador. President Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez (1930’s-40’s), among other seriously ‘questionable’ actions, denied the entry of 50 potential Jewish immigrants to El Salvador (July 1939)…
    Felicidades….

  56. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    22 November 2010 4:05 pm

    In regards to Russian-Jewish immigration to Mexico, it roughly coincided with three major waves of ‘pogroms': 1881-84, 1903-06, & 1917-1921 (said immigration started ‘in earnest’ in the 1920’s…) The first major wave of pogroms (mostly in SO & E Ukraine) resulted from the ‘Czarist’ loyalists blaming the assassination of Czar Alexander II on the Jewish population, thus inciting widespread murder, rape, looting, burning, etc., mostly by the public. The second major wave of pogroms roughly coincided with the ‘First Russian Revolution’, with revolutionary activity being blamed on the Jewish population ‘at large’ by the Csarist regime. There was much more direct involvement of the Police forces and the Military in this wave of violence. The third wave of major pogroms happened during the ‘Bolshevik’ revolution, followed by the Red Army’s victory and resulting Soviet takeover. Both the ‘Red’ and ‘White’ Armys viciously targeted the Jewish population at large, far surpassing the previous pogroms in brutality and number of casualties…The sources for this information are: ‘JewishVirtualLibrary.org'; ‘MexConnect.(org/net?)'; ‘Encyclopaedia Judaica’-(online)'; & ‘Wikipedia’…

    Respects to the Fallen…

  57. Anna Maria Vasquez permalink
    15 December 2010 1:36 am

    Interesting I just happened on this website while looking for lost family surnames; Solis/Vasquez from my fathers ancestors. We are not even sure if Vasquez is the real last name because on other records my grandfather went by Grandier as-well. We cannot find him any where; with this aside I found out that I am Ashkenazi genetically and so is my husband (Salazar) genetically. We found this out 14 years ago when our daugher was diagnosised with an Ashkenazi Jewish disease called “Gaucher’s” there are few diagnosises in the world 1800 when she became a medical statistic to 1900 since she was diagnosised. It is very rare in that it takes two carriers to come together inorder to have an offspring with this disease and it rarely happens. My husband and I are both hispanic with ancestors orginating from entirely different areas of this continent. My grandparents from Sonora,Jalisco Mexico and his grandparents from New Mexico. Of course history does tell us that this continent was Mexico until much of it was lost to wars and revolutions. What we thought and has been our heritage is really not especially since our daughter has this disease with no cure but a required enzyme replacement infused via portacath every two weeks which essentially keeps her bones alive.
    It’s very rare that two carriers come together like my husband and I did who in our wildest dreams never had any idea that we carried Ashkenazi blood line. Knowing this hasn’t put eather of us any closer to finding where or who it came from on eather side because our ancestors changed their last names. We currently live in Utah where I was born, my parents born and my husband born in Wyoming with his parents born in New Mexico.
    Any insite in any of this muse is greatly appreciated.

  58. 16 December 2010 11:06 am

    Shalom Anna,

    You may want to try the below listed forum regarding the surnames Solis/Vasquez, they have recently had an extremely large thread concerning these names from people wordwide.

    groups.yahoo.com/group/saudades-sefarad

    Ron Cohen
    Mexicali, Mx.

    • Anna Vasquez permalink
      16 December 2010 9:44 pm

      Thank you! I have inquired and waiting to hear back from the site.

  59. Jaime R. Hernandez permalink
    22 December 2010 8:54 pm

    Anna,

    Google “A Large selection of Sephardic Jewish Surnames”!! Vasquez and Solis are there!!

    Jaime Rendon Hernandez

  60. 23 December 2010 2:22 am

    MY FAMILY IS FROM JALISCO-CHAPALA AREA,EL SALTO DE JUANACATLANAREA,TEPATLAN-CENTER OF LOS ALTOS DE JALISCO SETTLE BY JUDIOS SEFARDITAS;AREA KNOWN AS LA PEQUENA PALESTINA UNDERGROUND. LA COFRADIA Y EL TEPETATE, COCULA AND LA AREA DE ZACUALCO DE TORRES-LAS CATARINAS Y LAS BARRAS.FATHER’S LAST NAMES:BECERRA, RAMIREZ,PEREZ,SANCHEZ,CRUZ , MORENO,TOSCANO, SEVILLA, BONILL-A. MOTHER’S LAST NAMES-MEJIA,LOBATO,MONFORTE, LOPEZ,MORAIDA,ANGEL,DIAZ,RAMIEZ,GONZALES,PEREZ,JIMENEZ,ALCANTAR,ENCISO, DOLORES,RUIZ,SANTOS,ROJAS,MICHELENA,ARRIAGA O ARRAYGA (original- arriaga]

    • Anna M. Vasquez permalink
      13 July 2011 11:30 pm

      Where (location of Mexico) did your Lopez come from?

  61. 23 December 2010 3:01 am

    MY FAMILY HAS BEEN IN CHAPALA FOR CENTURIES.MY MOTHER ANTONIA LOPEZ ARRIAGA,HIJA DE JOSE LOPEZ DOLORES{1897},HIJO ALVINO LOPEZ MOREIDA[1875], HIJO DE TIRSO LOPEZ DIAZS {1803]HIJO DE REMIGIO LOPEZ RAMIREZ, HIJO DE ANTONIO LOPEZ RAMIREZ.MI BISABUELO ERA EL UTIMO DE 25 HIJOS Y HIJAS DE TIRSO QUE FUE CASADO TRES VECEZ. LA PRIMERA ESPOSA FUE ROSALIA AGUSTIN LOPEZ, SEGUNDA FUE SEFERINA OCAMPO, TERCERA FUE CRUZ MORAIDA ANGEL. ALVINO LOPEZ II MURIO 1954 EN CHAPALA, JALISCO Y FUE EL ULTIMO DE LA FAMILIA QUE HABLO LADINO.LOS LOPEZ FOR GENERATION ERAN ARRIEROS QUE TIRSO MANDABA POR TODAS PARTES DE MEXICO. HIJOS CONCIERON MUJERES EN SONORA, SINALOA,NAYARIT, ACAPULCO,PUERTO VALLARTA, GUANAJUATO,VERA CRUZ,OAXACA. LOS DECENDIENTE LOS HAY POR TODO MEXICO Y USA.

  62. 23 December 2010 3:19 am

    CORRECION= ANTONIO LOPEZ- ESPOSA MARIA RAMREZ/ REMIGIO LOPEZ RAMIREZ -ESPOSA JOSEFA DIAZS LOPEZ. BISABUELO ALVINO Y TATA ABUELO TIRSO QUIEN SE CASO TRS VEZ. EL ABUELO ALVINO PROHIBIA QUE COMIERA SU GANADO SI SE RODABA, ERA ATOPELLADO O SI SE HOGABA. SO LE DECIA A LA GENTE QUE LE DEJARAN EL CUERO. MI MADRE ANTONIA LE PREGUNTABA POR QUE NO SE PERMETIA QUE LA FAMILIA COMIERA DE AQUEL ANIMAL, Y LE DECIA POR QUE ERA UN ANIMAL IMUNDO. NO DEJABA QUE COMIERAN LOS CONEJOS NI LOS PATOS. Y CUANDO RESABA ALVINO CON MI ABUELO LO HACIAN COMO LO HACEN LOS JUDIOS ENFRENTE DE PARE DEL TEMPLO EN JERUSALEN.

    • 24 December 2010 10:33 am

      ANYONE CONNECTED TO THE AREAS MENTION OR LAST NAMES, PLEASE CONTACT ME
      805-636-5833. THE LAST NAMES ARRAIGA O ARRAYGA ARE ORGINALLY ARRIAGA OF PASCUARO ,MICHOACAN,MEXICO. DOMINGO ARRAIGA FATHER WAS MARRIED TO HIS MOTHER JUANA MEJIA DE LOS LOBATO IN PASCUARO. SHE WAS YOUNG AND FATHER AN OLDER MAN BELIEVE TO BE ITALIAN FROM SICILY. HE WAS VERY WEALTHY AND LARGE ORCHARDS OF PEARS. SHE AND GREGORIO ARRIAGA , HIJO DEL HACIENDADO EN PASQUARO FAIL IN LOVE AND JUANA LEFT WITH GREGORIO AND HER 2 SONS TO CHAPALA, JALSICO AROUND 1810. BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT MARRIED, GREGORIO CHANGED HIS NAME TO ARRAIGA, SO AS NOT TO CONNECT TO PASCUARO AND FIND THE TRUETH OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP. TODAY THEIR DECENDENTS IN MEXICO GO BY ARRAIGA O ARRIAGA. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE DOMINGO TOLD HIS SON ZENON AND HE TOLD HIS DAUGHTER MARIA TRINDAD , MY GRANDMOTHER WHO TOLD ME.

      • ROBERTO LOPEZ BECERRA permalink
        1 October 2012 11:06 pm

        correction of phone for roberto becerra lopez is 805- 636-5938 and 805-965-3152 in santa bar bara,ca and valinda, ca. the second numer is my moyher antonia lopez arraiga o arriaga as 010-01-12

  63. Veronica Ortiz permalink
    28 December 2010 3:19 am

    Saludos a todos! Me alegra mucho saber que hay otros en busca de su verdad. Hi Everyone! My paternal surnames are Ortiz and Rodriguez. I’ve always suspected something was up. At first I started doing research because I’ve always been told I look “white”. I was just curious as to how everything is all tied in. Then, I found out a lot of the Spaniards and French that colonized parts of Mexico were of Jewish decent and that’s pretty much what brought me here. I’ve been thinking of taking a DNA test but like a lot of Jewish folks I’ve always been afraid of revealing certain things. It must be in my blood. Who knows. But fear is what has been holding me back to be honest. I can only imagine the fear that a lot of Jews must have felt in times of terrible persecution. I wish those on the search the best. I hope we all find our roots and our truth, Jewish or not. It’s always important to connect with those that made us who we are. Because if it wouldn’t have been for their strength and courage, we all wouldn’t be here. I think we all as humans have all suffered hardships. Jewish or not. And, yes, I believe in forgiveness and no hatred among all races of the world.

  64. Sagol permalink
    29 December 2010 1:48 am

    Its amazing how this return to our Jewish roots just comes about. I’m of Mexican descent and all I have to know is what my gramma would tell my mom and when my was a teenager my gramma was “converted” to a Jewish rooted temple. One thing my mom says my gramma always mysteriously kept in her home in Puebla was an old book of the “Spanish inquisition”. Now this 3rd generation us grandchildren has somehow found ourselves back into our Jewish roots which we yearn and have embraced. Although, we were raised with jewish roots anyway as we were never Catholics or knew any other practice. After studying more about judaism in depth throughout the years, all we have to look at is our last names in our ancestry and know that our call back to our roots is enough proof of that. Not to mention practices, characteristics, personalities, very jewishly identifiable without a doubt. I believe it all comes back anyway and blood calls blood!

    • 30 December 2010 2:57 pm

      SAGOL, IT WOULD BE GREAT IF COULD PROVIDE AS MUCH IMFORMATION SO THAT OTHER MEXICANO CAN BECOME AWARE OF OTHER SEFARDITA LAST NAMES AND PERHAPS THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO CONNECT TO YOUR FAMILY LINE. YOU WILL BE SUPPRISE TO FINE HOW PEOPLE AROUND YOU ARE RELATED.

      BE SURPRISE

  65. 31 December 2010 12:13 am

    Shalom Roberto,

    The areas you mentioned, particularly los altos de jalisco, is a particular hotbed of anusim, with a culture steeped in Sephardic culture. Dont know if you have ever been there but if you get a chance you should visit there, the cemetaries are of particular interest because of tombstone markings. Also of great interest are the folkways, song, and particular daily actions of the people of that area. It is not surprising that a Sicilian immigrated there as there was a very large anusim population there as well in the time frame you described. Would be happy to discuss this matter further with you, as it is an intregal part of the book I am now writing and can certainly be of some assistance with resources in particular areas.

    Ron Cohen
    Mexicali, Mx.
    http://www.cisraelita.mexicali@live.com

    http://www.judiosdemexicali.com – community website

    • Mauricio Lastra Pelayo permalink
      14 July 2014 8:34 pm

      Ron, the information u provide is water for us looking to find our connections. My mothers family was from Santa Rosalia, Jalisco n they were Pelayo Brambila. Spanish n Italia. Before my Mother passed away in 2005 we discussed the fact that she thought the Pelayo name of our familia was from Galicia, Spain. In studying the name Brambila I find that they were from Milan or a small town near Bergamo. Both of which are listed in different Sephardi sites n my mother’s family never stopped the practice of betrothal n intermarriage. Still to this day in the town of Santa Rosalia the Pelayo’s continue in this practice n the Mexican Government performed a documentary on my Mothers family. Look up Pelayadas u will find it. Lastly, my mothers Great Uncle was a Monsignor in the Catholic Church named Baudelio Pelayo Brambila.

  66. 5 January 2011 11:14 am

    SHALOM RON COHEN

  67. 5 January 2011 11:58 am

    I GO TO JALISCO ABOUT TWICE A YEAR, I WAS THERE IN NOVEMBER. I HAVE PASS BY THERE SEVERAL TIMES. I,AM DETERMINE TO GO TO TEPATITLAN,THE CENTER OF LA PEQUENA PALESTINA EN LOS ALTOS DE JALISCO, THE BIRTH OF PLACE OF MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER ESTEFANA PEREZ SANCHES, WHO MARRIED MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER PIOQINTO BECERRA RAMIREZ IN 1869. SHE WAS THE DAUGHTER OF ANDRES PEREZ AND PETRA SANCHEZ OF TEPA. I UNDERSTAND THE OLD CHURCH HAS IMAGES OF ABRAHAM,JACOB,MOISES AND DAVID. I ALSO HAVE PEREZ FROM MY MOTHER SIDE, MY MOTHER GRANDMOTHER FROM HER MOTHER’S SIDE WAS JUANA GONZALES JIMENEZ BORN IN EL SALTO DE JUANACATLAN EN EL JUANACASTLE ,JALISCO. HER MOTHER WAS MARCELA JIMENEZ PEREZ AND HER FATHER WAS MODESTO GONZALES. JUANA GONZALES MARRIED ZENON ARRAIGA(MONFORTE) ENCISO IN 1883 IN CHAPALA, JALISCO. HE WAS THE SON OF DOMINGO ARRAIGA(MONFORTE) MEJIA AND PRUDENCIA ENCISO ALCANTAR. HE WAS BORN IN PASCUARO,MICHUACAN,MEXICO AROUND 1803.

    • Lillian Candelaria permalink
      25 January 2012 10:44 pm

      Any connection to Pablo & Bibiana Becerra, Children: Ignacio, Belen, Polly, Salvador,
      Don’t know too much because my parents divorced when I was young and never allowed
      to keep in touch with this side of the family, this is why I am searching, all family members
      gone. any info greatly appreciated. Thank you

      • ROBERTO BECERRA permalink
        21 February 2012 5:05 pm

        LILLIAN FROM WHAT PART OF JALISCO ARE THEY FROM? THE TOWN , CITY OR RANCHO? THE BECERRA CLAN IN JALISCO IS ALL THE SAME FAMILY, IT ONLY A QUESTION OF CLOSELY RELATED WE ARE. FIND OUT FAMILY FROM FATHER SIDE AND ASK QUESTIONS? WHERE WAS FATHER BORN, WHEN ? WHO WAS MOTHER AND FATHER AND HIS GRAND=PARENTS. YOU BIRTH CERTIFICATE HAS YOUR PARENTS AND GRAND PARENTS? GOOD LUCK CALL 805- 636-5938

  68. Joe Valdez permalink
    14 January 2011 5:48 pm

    thank you

  69. MYRNA VILLARREAL VILLARREAL permalink
    19 January 2011 11:06 am

    Encontre mi apellido en la lista de Judios Sefarditas, toda mi familia es de Monterrey N. L. Mexico y tengo el mismo apellido de padre y madre, como puedo estar segura que mi familia deciende de Judios?

    Myrna Villarreal Villarreal

    • Ariel Reboeiras Salomon permalink
      23 February 2012 2:23 am

      Espero que te resulte útil. En la obra de Cecil Roth, de los Marranos, se alude a la subsistencia del colegio sefardí de Vilarreal en Inglaterra. De igual manera en Portugal existe el distrito de Vilarreal, y la existencia de orígenes portugueses en esa zona solamente se explica a través de la emigración sefardí detallada por el investigador. Villarreal es exactamente igual a Vilarreal porque en Portugal ll es igual a l (solamente lh es equivalente a ll español) Saludos de Lisboa. Ariel Reboeiras

  70. Jaime Rendon Hernandez permalink
    23 January 2011 11:40 am

    Myrna,

    Escribe un e-mail con su pregunta a garyf@pacbell.net El es el administrador del Projecto , Genealogico Y, de Mejicanos del Noreaste de Mexico, que incluye Monterrey NL. Necesitas que tu Padre tome el exam de saliva para estudiar el Y para saber si tiene marcas genealogicos de origin Judio! Si tienes un hermano el tambien puede tomar el examen! Si hay costo, pero no se cuanto, Gary te puede decir.

    Jaime Rendon Hernandez

    • MYRNA VILLARREAL VILLARREAL permalink
      24 April 2011 6:00 pm

      Jaime, y si mi padre ya fallecio como puedo obtener el ADN, solamente mi madre vive que tambien el apellido de su padre fue Villarreal.

      Myrna

      • 29 June 2011 9:38 pm

        Myrna,

        Pues el primer lugar para obtener el ADN es con tus hermanos. Si no tienes hermanos, un hermano(s) de tu padre or primos que vienen del lado paternal. Tienes que colectar el Y chromosome, que solo viene del lado de los hombres!!

        Jaime

      • 29 June 2011 10:54 pm

        Myrna,

        Tambien puedes juntar una muestra de saliva de los hermanos de tu madre!! Es posible que siendo Villarreal por los dos lados, hay descedencia Judio por los dos lados!!

        Jaime

      • MYRNA HERNANDEZ permalink
        18 March 2013 5:15 pm

        Jaime,no e podido hacer el DNA a ningun hombre de la familia ya que somos una familia de puras mujeres, tengo algunos primos pero viven en Monterrey y yo en Houston, tengo un hijo pero no se si su dna sirva.
        Yo me hice el DNA y tengo 41% British Isles, 16% Native North American, 15% Southern European, 11% Eastern European y 17% Uncertain, eso me cofundio mas por lo de British, cuando me mandan informacion de alguna gente con mis mismos genes aparecen algunos Judios.

        Saludos, Myrna Villarreal de Hernandez

    • Joyce permalink
      21 February 2012 7:12 pm

      Tengo un caso muy similar.

  71. Devora permalink
    7 March 2011 4:52 pm

    I just want to clarify for those of you searching for your Jewish roots. Jewish roots will be found in your soul. The search to see if you have “Jewish blood” is one that the inquisition, Hitler and many others, including Haman, would have endorsed. There is no such thing as “Jewish blood”. There is only the Jewish soul or neshama. Search for that and your effort will be worthwhile. Kol tuv, Devora

    • 11 March 2011 1:22 pm

      Sorry to inform you Devora, latest scientific genetic evidence indicates that there are DNA markers peculiar to people who have a Jewish ancestry. The studies indicate that Judaism goes beyond religion. Surely, one can covert to Judaism, just like one can convert to Catholicism. However there is a high correlation of haplogroups J and E in people that have a Jewish past!!!! This has nothing to do with Hitler. I am positive that people who search for their Catholic soul will also find it!! By the way, Hitler also executed Catholics.

    • Margalit permalink
      6 July 2012 4:23 pm

      Well said Devora, HaShem is regathering His people to Himself; and if it is His will, nothing is impossible for Him.
      Besides in Israel, there are people of every colour, size, height, etc… and when you ask an Israeli – are Jews by religion or race – you find dozens of answers, never the same1
      Baruch Ha Shem!
      Galit

  72. Devora permalink
    12 March 2011 6:05 pm

    My comment only meant to clarify that the traditional definition of Jewish “roots”. And yes, of course, people can convert to Judaism, but the traditional view is that someone who converts is just recognizing the original state of their soul and not changing anything. I don’t think I implied anywhere that Hitler only targeted Jews. I am sorry if I offended anyone with my comment, I only hoped to encourage people to search for more than bloodlines, but an actual soul connection as well.

  73. 31 March 2011 8:34 pm

    Shalom Raul,

    I can be reached at my Community email address:

    cisraelita.mexicali@live.com

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Ron Cohen

  74. Neil permalink
    1 April 2011 12:57 pm

    Although I am an Ashkenazi Jew whose family never had to hide their identity, it fills me with great pride, joy, and respect to see so many fellow human beings rediscovering their Jewish heritage, which, unfortunately, had to be hidden for centuries. What is unique about being Jewish is both the “tribal” or genetic elements combined with the cultural/religious elements. If you wish to pursue your Jewishness, please don’t be put off by the need to “convert.” Arguably, the greatest Matriarch in our Jewish history was Ruth, who was a convert. If you desire to come back to the “family”, you will be welcomed with open arms

    • Joyce permalink
      21 February 2012 7:14 pm

      Thanks apreciate it

    • Margalit permalink
      6 July 2012 4:24 pm

      Amen!

    • Moni permalink
      8 December 2012 11:46 pm

      I stumbled upon the possibility of being Jew after I heard a former PLO testify of a vision he had of Jesus. He said when he saw Jesus that he was a Jew. Since then I have been on this great journey & even if we are not Jewish by blood, knowing that truly the number of Abrahams descendants are as the stars in the heavens bring great joy.

      Precious is the blood of the the Lamb.

  75. 13 April 2011 11:45 pm

    IS THERE ANYONE WITH THE LAST NAME DOLORES FROM THE CHAPALA AREA OF JALISCO. MY GREAT- GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER ESTEVAN DOLORES MARRIED MARGARITA ROJAS, ONE OF THEIR MANY KIDS WAS FRANCISCO DOLORES WHO MARRIED PASCULA RUIZ; WHO”S GRAND- MOTHERS WERE REGINA AND RUFINA MICHELENA. MICHELENA. THE NEXT CONNECTION I,AM LOOKING FOR. IS MY GREAT-GREAT-GREAT -GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER ANTONIO MICHELENA WHO MARRIED RAFAELA LOPEZ RUIZ, THE PARENTS OF REGINA MICHELENA WHO MARRIED JOSE ROJAS AND RUFINA MICHELENA WHO MARRIED JOSE SANTOS.. THEIR GRAND KIDS ARE FRANCISCO DOLORES ROJAS AND PASCULA SANTOS RUIZ . THESE ARE MY GRANDFATHER JOSE LOPEZ DOLORES MATERNAL GRAND PARENTS. PLEASE EMAIL ME .

    • 24 April 2011 1:07 pm

      I use to work with a Luis Michelena back in Phoenix Az in the mid seventies. He was originally from Morenci and Superior Az if I recall correctly. He is now deceased, but I believe he has a son and daughter still in the Phoenix area.

  76. 26 April 2011 11:46 pm

    THANKS JAIME, I FOUND HIS DEATH CERTIFICATE , HIS DAUGHTER CAROLYN AND HIS PICTURE WHEN HE WAS IN THE SERVICE.GRACIAS ,ROBERTO

  77. Gilberto Garza permalink
    23 June 2011 10:55 pm

    Gilberto Garza
    One year before my father died he told me that there was a secret in the family and that I needed to find out what it was. My family is orginally from Monterey NL. My uncle is Israel Cavazos Garza professor of history and geneologist. And yet my immediate family living in San Antonio, TX kept the secret. My son and I dove into our history, we found a book store that specialized in northern Mexico and Texas history. We found many book that openned our eyes and hearts to where our roots began. It has truly been an wonderful expirence for us.

    • Joyce permalink
      21 February 2012 6:53 pm

      Hi, I was researching my family and I have come to the conclusion that I might also have Jewish decent it’s almost as fate-it’s hard to explain but I feel like there something missing there.I’d like to start off and say I’m from Monterrey, NL & recently I have come to question my faith as in where I stand religiously. I have actually asked my father and he seems lost in that subject as lost as I am. Since we have similar cases i’d like to hear your opinion on my situation here. To start off my name is Joyce Garza (notice last name). My fathers name is Armando Garza Velasquez and grandfather’s is Eudelio Garza Campos, and great-great grandfather’s name was Pedro Garza. Well my grandfather is an Atheist meaning he has lost his interest in faith so he’s also as lost then we all are. What I do know is that my grandfather mentioned something his ancestors associated with Germany. For me it seems like he was a Crypto-Jew and came fleeing from Spain from the Inquisition and who came fleeing from Germany from the Holocaust situation and so & so. I want to see if you were willing to give me some of your knowledge, hopefully come to some truth in there. It really means a lot to me. Thanks:)

  78. Gilberto Garza permalink
    23 June 2011 10:56 pm

    Gilberto Garza
    One year before my father died he told me that there was a secret in the family and that I needed to find out what it was. My family is orginally from Monterey NL. My uncle is Israel Cavazos Garza professor of history and geneologist. And yet my immediate family living in San Antonio, TX kept the secret. My son and I dove into our history, we found a book store that specialized in northern Mexico and Texas history. We found many books that openned our eyes and hearts to where our roots began. It has truly been an wonderful expirence for us.

  79. Edna permalink
    18 August 2011 12:08 am

    Well I too have searched the Seaphardim list and both my last name GUZMAN and my husbands last name SEPULVEDA are on there. I think for me, searching for my roots has to do with restoring what was taken/forced to give up(which seems possible after seeing both last names on it) i.e. celebrating the Jewish Holy Days, particularly the Pass Over since we are believers in the New Testament. Also, I know this sounds vain but I would love the privilege of saying “God has been providing and faithful in keeping his promises since “WE” left EGYPT regardless of trials/tribulations/genocides/disobedience.” That is well over what 5,000 yrs ago aprox?? Imagine that God tracking HIS people from country to contry, generation after generation, blood meandering through marriage……Needless to say if we are not related to Abraham, Issac and Jacob He is very real to us. He is the God of my Grandmother, my Father and our household! Mother (ACOSTA) is from Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Father(GUZMAN) is from El Paso, Tx

    Edna

  80. Jesse Alvarez y Acero (Philippines) permalink
    17 September 2011 1:22 am

    Considering that the persecuted Jews from Iberia settled in many parts of the world, and perhaps some, if not many, of them married the local girls of the host country, it should be difficult now to determine their descendants’ physical profile. Many of their customs and practices may have also been lost in the passing of time especially when they are not or cannot be practiced openly. Present day descendants may no longer be aware of the jewish roots.

    Aside from DNA, there could be other ways for someone to reconnect to his/her ancestors’ past, and to the faith of their fathers.

  81. Jo Frasher permalink
    25 September 2011 7:13 pm

    I am very curious of my geneology on my Mother’s side also of Philippines. While doing an internet search on Spanish families I stumbled upon a few with Sephardic family names. My Grandmother’s maiden name was Carrasco, according to my Mom from Spain, but I am curious if they really meant New Spain in Mexico? Also searching for my Grandmother’s married name of Salamanes, I find many names in PI but not really in Mexico? I also have ties to Portugal but cannot find much on Linaga lineage but know that my Grandfather directly came from Portugal, some Linaga’s did not eat pork or fish w/out scales. Like someone mentioned earlier many customs died off… now we are trying to find the links.

  82. Manuel Garcia, Jr. permalink
    6 October 2011 3:58 pm

    The original largest jewish settlement i beliveve was in Cerralvo, Mexico in 1590. The king of spain granted Jose Carvajal rights to start a settlement but could not practice Jewish rites. Most of the Jews here came from Portugal. These people eventually settled Northern Mexico and South Texas. The Spanish Inquisition pushed others further North to New Mexico n Colorado.

  83. Mireya Macias permalink
    27 November 2011 11:41 pm

    Hello Mr. Cohen,
    In the past year I’ve begun to research the possibility of converting to Judaism, I’m currently enrolled in a Jewish history course and G-d willing I will be traveling to Israel next July. The more I learn about Judaism the more it feels like home to my soul. I never felt at home in the Catholic church even as a child. These feelings made me curious about my genealogy. Both of my parents are from Teocaltiche Jalisco, in Los Altos. I’ve read the attached article about the Sephardic roots of the region. I have also completed a maternal and paternal DNA test and I am at a bit of a loss with the results, I don’t quite know how to interpret these, can you help with that? My paternal haplogroup is R1b-Artisans and my maternal haplogroup is A-Architects. In my family I have quite a few relatives that are married to relatives, my maternal grandparents were uncle and niece. I’m very excited to learn more. I’ve order the “Sangre Judia” and “Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of Crypto Jews.” I’m eager to learn more. You mentioned that UC Berkley has an extensive library. I’m planning a trip to Berkley, do you have any suggestion on how I could go about gaining access to this library or if there is someone I could talk to there? I look forward to hearing from you.
    Mireya Macias
    macias.mireya@ymail.com

  84. J.Fra permalink
    29 November 2011 7:39 pm

    I have been able to find numerous Linaga familys in central Mexico area. I now assuming that the Linaga from southern Philippines did not come directly from Portugal, but from New Spain possibly. But it is possible my great grandfather took the long trade route from Portugal. I just wonder how to prove it either way. I could have Linaga cousins in Mexico. But wheather or not they have Sephardic ties , I cannot confirm without proof of some kind. I did know that my grandfather did not eat pork, did not attend Catholic church at all, prayed by himself and never admitted even being Portugese/Spanish to my mom until he took her out of the hut , and far from anyone that could hear as if was a bad secret or something.

  85. katy permalink
    29 December 2011 1:37 am

    i found my mother’s maiden name on sephardim.com also. i do know that her parents came from jerez, zacatecas. i also know that their spanish ancestors came from southern spain(which i heard was a mixed race community. people there have spanish arabic, jewish, and possibly other ancestries in them), so it’s likely i’m a descendant of a sephardic jews who converted to catholicism. also i know for sure i have spaniard and mexican indian blood. but when i learn about the history of spain and found my mom’s maiden name on sephardim.com, i think i might have jewish (and probably arabic ancetry) from my mom’s side of the family too.

  86. davalos francisco permalink
    14 January 2012 8:00 pm

    Hi!,my name its Francisco Davalos,i was born in Mexicali BC,MExico,when i was kid my father told me that i was not to worship the idols,and that there’s only one G-d,i never realized that we are what people call criptojews until one day i heard the Shema in hebrew,i got paralized an did remember what my father told me when i was only 7 yeas old,something inside me began to make ask me who i am,i got curious and went to do the DNA heritage test,guess wt,i got the sephardic”y”tipe of chromosome.thats amazing,i think that in Mexico there/s a lot of’çonversos”,well,i think that there’s not enough space in Israel for the real jews.

  87. Lillian Candelaria permalink
    25 January 2012 10:32 pm

    I am looking for info regarding Becerra ancestry, I have tried ancestry.com but didn’t
    get to much info. I did find out that there was a small village in Portugal in the 1900’sby the name of Becerra, pictures showed cobbled stone streets and small houses that looked like they were made out of stones and goats so I assumed they raised goats. I was told that they had left Spain and traveled through Mexico and settled in Silver City, New Mexico.
    I would like to find out if they were part of this Jew hertiage although I was brought
    Catholic but later converted to Christian. Any help where I can find more info would
    be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    • ROBERTO BECERRA permalink
      21 February 2012 5:26 pm

      HOLA LILLIAN, THERE IS ALSO A TOWN BECERRA IN GALICIA NORTHWESTERN SPAIN. WEST CENTRAL MEXICO COAST AREA WAS KNOWN AS LA NUEVA GALICIA. IT IS BELIEVE THAT MOST OF THE PEOPLE THERE CAME FROM GALICIA SPAIN . THE BECERRA,S IN PORTUGAL ARE BESERRA OR COULD BE BEZERRA.. ALL ANIMAL NAMES ARE SeFARDITA.

      • Joyce permalink
        21 February 2012 7:19 pm

        Me appellida Garza, es noombre se refiere a lo que describias de nombre.

  88. ARELLANO permalink
    20 February 2012 3:14 am

    Shalom! soy nacido en Mexico D.F. pero recido en U.S.A. y mis abulitos nacieron en Abasolo y Chiguahua Mexico, mi abuelo era ISAC ARELLANO BARRERA y MANUELA QUEZADA DE CORDOBA desde 1898 asta 1985. Y realmente no sabemos mucho de los padres y familias, que quizas se en cuentren algunos en Mexico, Mexicali , Tijuana oh Espana, todos ellos quizas fueron Catolicos pero con costumbres judias.
    El JUDAISMO lo practicamos mi hermana, mi madre, y algunos hijos de mi hermana desde el ano 2001 asta la fecha, todas los demas familiares Arellano algunos practican el christianismo y la mayoria continua practicando el catolismo. esto son del lado materno.
    Y de lado paterno es solamente mi padre PEDRO SALAS GALBAN desde MEXICO D.F.
    Ojala y en el futuro encuentre mis raices judias….

  89. Joyce permalink
    21 February 2012 7:21 pm

    Hi, I was researching my family and I have come to the conclusion that I might also have Jewish decent it’s almost as fate-it’s hard to explain but I feel like there something missing there.I’d like to start off and say I’m from Monterrey, NL & recently I have come to question my faith as in where I stand religiously. I have actually asked my father and he seems lost in that subject as lost as I am. Since we have similar cases i’d like to hear your opinion on my situation here. To start off my name is Joyce Garza (notice last name). My fathers name is Armando Garza Velasquez and grandfather’s is Eudelio Garza Campos, and great-great grandfather’s name was Pedro Garza. Well my grandfather is an Atheist meaning he has lost his interest in faith so he’s also as lost then we all are. What I do know is that my grandfather mentioned something his ancestors associated with Germany. For me it seems like he was a Crypto-Jew and came fleeing from Spain from the Inquisition and who came fleeing from Germany from the Holocaust situation and so & so. I want to see if you were willing to give me some of your knowledge, hopefully come to some truth in there. It really means a lot to me. Thanks:)

  90. Joyce permalink
    24 February 2012 10:57 pm

    please message back

  91. 8 April 2012 1:15 pm

    I’m so glad and happy to know and find that there are so much of my Jewish history and that,outthere,somewhere,in this little world are many others just like me to whom I can relate! B’ahavas yisrael yosef ben Carmel.

  92. 16 April 2012 4:26 am

    I learned of my heritage from two places: my family and sephardim.org. My ancestors came to Mexico in the early 1800s from Belgium, France and Alsace-Lorraine. They spoke French (as well as Spanish and Hebrew). But our ancestors that we knew who raised us did not mention or seem to be aware of Jewish ancestry.

    I know my mother and grandparents kept a kosher kitchen, sang a few songs they got from who knows where – songs not sung by other Mexicans. We had cultural traditions that were a mystery to others, and always felt very different from the rest of the Mexicans.

    Our families intermarried only with those of certain surnames and known to each other. My family, Hernandez, intermarried only with Espinoza, Enriques, Barragan, Herrera and Davalos. Now the Herreras, for example, intermarried with Mendez, Mendoza, Espinoza and Dias. This is a Jewish custom as is some kind of Levirate marriage. My mother’s brother died leaving a widow. After a few years my mother died, may they rest in peace. About a year after her death, my aunt proposed to my father. He laughed at her but had to be very firm in rejecting it. At the time my aunt was about 80 and my father was 91.

    So here I am, still fighting with people to convince them that I come from Jews. I do not always say “I am Jewish” unless I see good reason to do so. I’m proud and happy about it. It is Israel’s turn, and the mainstream community’s turn, to accept us for who we are – after all, we do not ask other Jews for anything.

    Please read my story at

  93. NavaCastilloGilGamboa permalink
    13 May 2012 12:29 pm

    Great article and research. Comments are very informative as well. Only disliked the warning at the very beginning. I’ll do more research on my Jewish roots. My grandmother, who looked exact imagine of Golda Meyer (?) lit candles on Friday afternoons/nights, we had kosher pots, were catholic but not close to the church, there was a clear line who was accepted as family’s friends, just a few, we were told we came from a very Special Family, though loyal to Mexico, not nationalistic. I found all our last names in the Jewish background lists, so obviously my ancestors intermarried among other converted Jews near Puebla, close to Mexico City. I imagine there are hundreds of stories like mine. I love research, so I’ll do mine responsibly because I think I always knew something was different in my family and I’m proud it is Jewish heritage!

  94. MERCEDES ESTRELLA SEGURA permalink
    3 June 2012 6:23 pm

    My grandmother would always tell us, you’re different from the other people. I would see so many things as time passed that I realized that we were different than other Mexicans. Like how the food was prepared. How we did not eat port. My favorite is – gallina pinta which is the Jewish equivalent to the posole, but it has beef, pinto beans and homony.
    Even how we clean our homes. I had thought it was just Mexican until I seen that not all the people did or say things that I had been brought up to do or say. It was not until I was a student at the University that I was asked if I practiced my religion. I said yes, but I did not know that the teacher was asking in regards to me being a Jew, and I answered that
    I was a practicing my religion, being Mormon is all I have ever known. My mother’s last name is Pereira. As time has gone by I have come to know so many more things. I can
    still remember some of the things my grandmother told me. She told me that when the
    Romans completely destroyed the temple in the year 70 A.D. the Jews that had business dealings with the Romans were taken to what is now Spain, the Jews that had intermarried
    with the Romans were sent to what is now Galicia and the northern part of what is Portugal.
    We come from those that had intermarried but continued to be Jews. The inquisition did its
    harm and many left Spain and then Portugal. I know that our family left and went to the only
    Country that would take them in – Holland. Eventually part of the Jews came to Sonora in the year of 1643 and settled in the highlands of Sonora. How they were able to get there
    and prosper is another long story. I have my long story also of one grandfather being he was registered as from Portugal had to first go to South America before he could find himself going to Sonora, Mexico, where he went to marry a Jewish girl he had seen in a photo. This are all long stories, but I have given you more or less an idea of how many of us are of Jewish descent. But like Queen Isabel said – Who does not have any jewish blood. For she too from her grandmother had Jewish blood. I know that my maternal last name Pereira can be spelled in 4 ways – If considered a full non-Jewish you will spell if from Spain Pereyda. If from Portugal and a non-Jewish you will spell it Pereyra. If Spanish anousim it is Pereida, from Portugal anouism Pereira. The “d” is spanish, the “r” is portugues. The “y” is catholic the “i” anousim. I have relatives in Mexico that have had to have court name changes from the “i” to “y” to be able to work in the Mexican government.
    Thanks to my grandmothers I can stand tall and with my face lifted for I have no shame to
    be of the same blood of our Savior, for I also know that we all come from the same God,
    and he loves each and every one of us. I have no problem with the Spanish being the
    ones that came to conquer the Americas, it could have been worse if the French or the
    German had come, or some other nationality. I have come to accept the Inquisition as things that God permitted to later on do justice. I have no problem with Queen Isabel and
    King Fernando from Aragon if the re-conquest of Spain. I also think that Cristopher Columbus came from Jewish backgrounds, as did Cortez. Soon or later these worlds had
    to clash. I also know that many groups of Jews left the old world and came to the Americas.
    As did other nationalities, like the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Vikings, Celts that were brave
    enough to go exploring or got caught up in a storm that delivered them to what is somewhere in the Americas, way before Columbus. There has always groups of people that know so many things that we do not know but slowly these things will come to light.
    Mercedes Estrella Segura – estrella.notary@g-mail.com

  95. 17 June 2012 6:24 pm

    This is something that has been a mystery for me and very interesting!!! My last name is Garza.. 2 years ago is when I took an interest in this subject!!! I have an Great aunt on my father’s side who is now 96 and speaks wonderful English and lives in Mexicali and has since she was in her Thirties. She has mentioned to me that our family was one of the founding families of Monterrey Mexico. Wow, Sounds great, that we were of Jewish background too.

    This peaked my interest much and off I went to find more out. Won thing I have discovered that many of you probably already know is that Garza is a bird… Every single name that is an animal is Jewish in its origins.

    I can go back 5 generations on my fathers side but I need others to help me with this. How do I go on? Is it possible to track it all the way to Spain?? DNA is my next move.. I want to track my “y” Chromosome.. This we say if it is Jewish or Hebrew..

    Please leave me any suggestions you may have with the tracking… I know it isn’t safe to travel to Northern Mexico but I think records in the courts may help!!! If anyone has any suggestions please email it to me: jmsgarza197@gmail.com

    Thanks

  96. ROBERTO LOPEZ BECERRA permalink
    19 June 2012 12:07 am

    YOUR RIGHT JAMES THAT ALL ANIMAL LASY NAMES SUCH AS GARZA, AGUILA, CABALLO, CORDERO,CABRERA, GALLO, BORREGO, FALCON, LOBO, LOPEZ, LEON,ECT. AND ALL IT,S VARIATIONS. MY . LAST NAMES POPS UP IN IT,S VARIATIONS IN THE PORTUGAL AND SPANISH SEPHARIC LIST: ORINALLY IT WAS ABIHSSERA WHICH IS OF HEBREW OR ARAMAIC ORGIN WHICH IS AN OWNER OF STRAW OR MAT MAKER( TAPETE MAKER). WHEN JEWA WERE FORCED TO CONVERT, THEY WERE TO TAKE CRISTIAN OR LATINIZED NAMES. ABIHSSER BECAME BECERRA BECAUSE IT SOUNDED VERY SIMILAR . THERE ARE DIFFERENT SPELLINGS OF ABIHSSERA. MY NEW PHONE IS 805-636-5938 IF ANYONE HAS QUESTION CONSERING MY LAST NAMES FROM JALISCO AND MICHUACAN.

  97. 24 June 2012 4:49 pm

    If your family is from northern mexico and Texas check out this link – http://www.tribalpages.com/tribe/browse?userid=svallejo&view=50&subview=0&pid=9338&g=1

    From tracing my roots on the linked page given i found i am the 15th family member from Luis de carvajal rodriguez and have a stright tie to the Ha Levis,from wich many great rabbi’s came from in spain! , And yeah my family also has all the same foods, but with us we and myself have in our family people with red hair and green eyes and blonde hair, there was lil if none mixing with Indians with my family. We all look very white, my grand parents with never go to church and my grand mother would always say she donst have a nice prayer shull to go with.And my grandfather said NEVER trust the catholic fathers!
    When my dad was a kid other customs were kissing your father or elder in the area on the top of the hand, i found the leading sephardic rabbi still does this.

    Want to learn more about judaism? go to the following links.

    http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/

    http://www.chabad.org/

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/

    http://www.jewfaq.org/index.htm

    Got any questions ask away…….

  98. katy permalink
    11 July 2012 5:40 pm

    i wonder if i have sephardic ancestry(from my mom’s side of the family). i don’t know if my mom’s family traditions are sephardic in nature, but they do eat pork though. a lot of my mom’s reltives have a middle eastern look to them. she also has some native mexican indian her too. marriage between cousins was quite common too,especially on her father’s side of the family(her dad’s ancestors are from huejucar.once in a while someone would marry a non-reltive but usually the non-relative spouse was an indigenous mexican person.)

    some surnames on my mom’s ancestors are on thge sephardic surnames list, like quezada(which is her maiden name by the way),ceballos(my maternal grandma’s maiden name), de la torre, (de) velasco, rivera, villegas ,(de) nava, (de) ulloa, enriquez, and (de) luna.

    many first names in my family are either greek/latin, or middle eastern(invluding hebrew,and other middle eastern) in origin.

  99. Lilia Hernandez-marrujo permalink
    24 July 2012 10:07 pm

    To Jaime R. Hernandez,
    My father’s last name is Hernandez Almanza and was born in Guanajuato Mexico not sure if celaya. Most of his uncles on mom’s side named after names in the old testament. Is your family connected to Hernandez in Guanajuato? My grandmother died in the 80’s and she would tell me about a lot of stories of persecution. A lot of cuisine mentioned tied to Jewish roots are as well in my family. My dad and I do not do well with meat products. My dad as well have wavy hair with eye color green or borrados. My family as well were called Catholics but hardly practiced it. I am a devoted Christian and I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I see the gifts very pronounced in Hispanics but somewhere along the line many have had their gifts counterfeited and inter mixed with other pagan practices, deceived. Their gifts and ancestry have been changed from who they really are. I am very happy to have found this site as this part sheds some light of who we really are. I get frustrated and angry when others who know nothing about our culture put us down. Even if my appearance doesn’t prove anything in their sight, at least underneath I know who I am. I have also been told we come from a line of priesthood from the Levites. I don’t have documents to prove and hopefully I can convince my Dad to get DNA tested. My Dad is the only male to have survived from about 13 boys/males.

    My mother’s last names are Gallegos Ramirez. Gallegos and Ramirez are from Zacatecas. But my late grandfather has French roots. Ramirez possibly more of native from Mexico.

    Any information that you or anyone can supply is greatly appreciated.

    • 15 October 2014 8:17 pm

      Lilia,

      Further research on my paternal Hernandez side shows that I have direct line relatives going into San Felipe Guanajuato. and then migrating to Los Altos Jalisco. My Dad has French Basque roots and I believe Gallegos is in the mix.

      Jaime Rendon Hernandez

  100. 26 July 2012 6:12 pm

    Reblogged this on 823 Letters.

  101. Manuel S. Guerra permalink
    30 July 2012 10:12 pm

    Often, I have used the term “Sephartic” and not too many folks know what I refer to which is to the days of Escandon. My wife is a Galan whose ancestors lived in Dimmit County

  102. Pamela permalink
    11 August 2012 8:50 pm

    We have traced our Tamez-Cantu-Estrada Jewish Lineage to Judah Aben Lavi de la Caballeria and also Diego de Montemayor and Luis de la Carvajal. And DNA testing provided the proof of our Tamez sephardime and Askenazi blood line. Our family arrived from Israel to Spain to Monterrey Nuevo Leon Mexico then on to Hildago Co. Texas. Our tree is on Ancestry.

    • Ron Cohen permalink
      14 August 2012 12:16 am

      A short piece of advice about Ancestry.com, Please take caution when using that site, it is a resource, but at the same time understand that it is under the auspices of the LDS Church (Mormon). These are the same people that use this information to form posthumous baptisms on Jews, as well as anusim. Ancestry is used as a database by them to perform these post death baptisms. Family Tree DNA has the most reliable database for Sephardic (anusim) trees and is the preferred site by those of us who research anusim ancestry.

      Ron Cohen
      Mexicali, Mx.

      • M. De Haro permalink
        5 May 2014 10:55 pm

        Hi Ron,
        The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints requires that members who perform baptisms for the dead only do so for their own ancestral line. This baptism is only done as an offering those on the other side of the veil can accept or reject this gift. Just thought I should let you know.

      • Ron Cohen permalink
        20 May 2014 3:56 pm

        Hello Mr. De Haro,

        Thank you your consideration in informing me of the “official” LDS Church (Mormon) policy.
        Even though I was aware of this policy, there were probably others who were not. With total respect for your proper truth and with the same respect that I have for all others who are seeking their proper truth, while not wanting to engage in a theological debate,I would ask the posters on this forum who are interested to investigate this a bit closer and draw their own conclusions. In order to do such, I would recommend that they investigate the following.before drawing conclusions based on your statement. There are certainly enough clear, concise and credible resources for them.

        Amongst interesting research:

        1. What was Joseph Smith philosophy concerning such baptisms?
        2. Is there any control over enforcing the “official ” policy by the LDS Church?
        3. Have there been any “overzealous” members that have violated this “official” policy and what steps have been taken by the Church to eliminate it from their Temples?
        4. Have their been any promises made that such “baptisms” by the LDS Church would be discontinued in certain circumstances? Have these “promises”been kept (particularly regarding Holocaust victims)?
        5. Is Ancestry.com a party that facilitates such infomation to the Church and their membership?

        There is a literal plethera of information available, which is clear, concise and credible for those who wish to draw their own conclusions.

        Again,thanks for the heads up on the official LDS position on this theme.

        Ron

      • M. De Haro permalink
        24 May 2014 9:40 pm

        Hi Ron (or anyone else who feels as Ron does about this issue),
        “Gish Gallop” is what you are trying to do to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with regard to the ordinance of baptism by proxy for the dead. If people don’t believe this church is true; then what does it matter to anyone if some “poor, doctrinal incorrect, wrong religion” does this for others?

        The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has addressed those issues of people baptizing others who are not directly on their ancestral line with the members and has released an apology to those offended in the Jewish Community. I would hope this is enough for some people, but I guess it is not.

        WHY would it matter to a person who doesn’t even believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if someone gets baptized for their own Jewish ancestor? Or is it upsetting to you because somewhere deep inside you, you actually believe it has the potential to actually change a Jew into a Mormon? (Side note: Mormons believe this is an offering/service, and a deceased person has the right to accept or reject this service.)

        I would hope that those who want to take the bait of your “Big List” of questions/evidence for/against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints go to the source: lds(dot)org, mormon(dot)org and mormonnewsroom(dot)org. It’s best to go to the source when wanting to find out more about an issue related to a religion (not trying to get into religious debate here either…just pointing people in the right direction). For example, would you want to learn about Judaism from a Muslim, Catholic, Protestant website or a Jewish one? Would you want to learn what a Catholic believes from a Muslim, Jew, Mormon, or Baptist? I would hope not.

        The better question(s) to ask yourselves or find out for yourselves when confronting this issue would be–

        Does it bother me to know a Mormon got baptized for a Jewish ancestor whom I happen to have on my family tree too? Do I believe the faith of the Mormons to be true and of God? If not, then why do I care what a bunch of “Crazy” Mormons do in their temples for people who are dead?

      • Ron Cohen permalink
        25 May 2014 3:36 pm

        Mr. De Haro,

        Quick point here and last time I will engage you on this topic. I have been a proponent for many years of the freedom of one to search for ones own personal truth, unlike you I do not believe in conversion or “opportunity” as you would say. That being said. all I did was list some questions that you left unanswered while side stepping my original statement that Ancestry.com has a direct tie in with the LDS Church and its information is used for post death baptisms. Now that IS A FACT, regardless of what I believe on a personal level.
        All I did was list some questions that any that are interested should pursue, I did not tell them what was right or wrong, nor did I engage you or your belief system.

        I did NOT attack your belief, nor would I, unlike you and your Pauline “the ends justify the means ” philosophy. All I did was state a TRUTH, that there was a connection between Ancestry.com and the LDS Church and that the result of such research is being used to perform the baptisms in discussion.

        I assume that anyone interested is intelligent enough to investigate and draw their own conclusions, I was just attempting to inform them of possible topics for research, not trying to lead them to my truth, unlike you.

        I will not fall into the trap of engaging you on your terms, as is a well taught LDS conversion direction, simply preferring clear and concise options and letting everyone decide what they think. The thread of this forum has been an attempt to provide “clear and concise options” those searching for their personal truth, with respect for all, why would that change now.

        .Ron

      • M. De Haro permalink
        24 May 2014 9:44 pm

        Hi Ron (or anyone else who feels as Ron does about this issue),

        (I’m hoping this gets posted as I am not trying to start a debate, but Ron has asked some questions for readers to ponder and I hope this is a place where the 1st Amendment is respected as I have some questions as well. Thank you.)

        “Gish Gallop” is what you are trying to do to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with regard to the ordinance of baptism by proxy for the dead. If people don’t believe this church is true; then what does it matter to anyone if some “poor, doctrinal incorrect, wrong religion” does this for others?

        The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has addressed those issues of people baptizing others who are not directly on their ancestral line with the members and has released an apology to those offended in the Jewish Community. I would hope this is enough for some people, but I guess it is not.

        WHY would it matter if a person doesn’t even believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if someone gets baptized for their own Jewish ancestor? Or is it upsetting to you because somewhere deep inside you, you actually believe it has the potential to actually change a Jew into a Mormon? (Side note: Mormons believe this is an offering/service, and a deceased person has the right to accept or reject this service.)
        I would hope that those who want to take the bait of your “Big List” of questions/evidence for/against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints go to the source: lds(dot)org, mormon(dot)org and mormonnewsroom(dot)org. It’s best to go to the source when wanting to find out more about an issue related to a religion (not trying to get into religious debate here either…just pointing people in the right direction). For example, would you want to learn about Judaism from a Muslim, Catholic, Protestant website or a Jewish one? Would you want to learn what a Catholic believes from a Muslim, Jew, Mormon, or Baptist? I would hope not.

        The better question(s) to ask yourselves or find out for yourselves when confronting this issue would be–

        Does it bother me to know a Mormon got baptized for a Jewish ancestor whom I happen to have on my family tree too? Do I believe the faith of the Mormons to be true and of God? If not, then why do I care what a bunch of “Crazy” Mormons do in their temples for people who are dead?

        Respectfully,
        Ms M. De Haro

      • M. De Haro permalink
        24 May 2014 10:31 pm

        I’m hoping this comment will post as well as this is the statement issued by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding this issue and how they are addressing it. http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/religious-freedom-allows-both-mormons-and-jews-to-honor-their-ancestors

        Also, of note, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BYU_Jerusalem_Center is only allowed to be there (most LDS people know this to be true) under the condition to not proselyte in Israel. The Church has made a strong commitment to honor these wishes, and because of it are allowed to continue on in this location. I only add this to ease any misgivings towards this faith in making sure that people adhere to the rules set forth by the Church regarding baptisms for the dead.

  103. Josh permalink
    27 August 2012 6:12 pm

    Guess no one wants to be the Spainards anymore…everyone is a victim.

    • Armando Salazar permalink
      27 August 2012 8:01 pm

      lol some of us we’re never spainards to begin, I found out i’m a 80’th descendant Zerubbabel.

  104. Jaime Rendon Hernandez permalink
    11 September 2012 9:37 am

    Lilia Hernandez-Marrujo:

    My Father was Ramon Hernandez Rubio, his Father was Francisco Hernandez Gonzalez. I have traced all four surname lines to La Villa de Arriaga San Luis Potosi and Los Ojuelos de Jalisco. I have no known relatives in Guanajuato, although San Luis Potosi is close by!!!

  105. Some guy permalink
    11 October 2012 5:25 pm

    ” It was not until late 1882, after the assassination of the Russian Tsar, Alexander II, that significant numbers of practicing Jews entered the country.”

    I did a DNA test on 23andme and it turns out I have Ashkenazi ancestry. I have a couple of “close” cousins with more than 10cm shared DNA, and a lot more with less shared DNA all from Eastern Europe.
    I imagine that one of my great, great, great grandfathers, was an ashakenazi jew.
    Not a lot, probably around 8%, but still very interesting.
    My overall results were around 85% European and 15% Native American.

    Please reply if you have had a similar experience.

    Regards.

  106. Citlalli Sauceda Luna permalink
    30 October 2012 11:39 pm

    Hello, Im here out of curiosity actually…. A polish lady at work mentioned to me that i “looked” jewish and to that I replied, well im very mexican….but she sparked my interest when she started to tell me about how many people had fled from Europe to save their families, and one of those places was mexico. she said she knew there was some jewish in my roots, and thats why i am here…. My last name is Sauceda Luna, my parents are Saavedra from my dad side and salazar from my mothers side… Anyone have anything on this? I am deeply curious of my descendants… Thx
    I lived in Monterrey mexico for 14 years, my dad is from tamaulipas, a northern state bordering with texas and my mother is from nuevo leon.

    • 31 October 2012 4:56 pm

      Well, I have seen people of Jewish ancestry in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some look Nordic, others appear Iberian. I am not all so use what she meant when she said you looked Jewish. I would suggest that you take a X DNA test or the Fact Finder test through Family Tree DNA, and have your Dad or brother take a Y test through the same company. The results will indicate Jewish origins, if any!!

  107. dora rios permalink
    13 November 2012 5:23 pm

    my great-grandparent’s last name is alcaraz and gastelum, my grandparents last name is osuna, they were all from northern part of mexico. i look soooo jewish, people never can guess that i am mexican-american!! wow, you have blown my mind.

  108. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    14 November 2012 5:56 pm

    Que esta pasando, Gente?

    So much interesting info & discussion on this ‘Blog’!!!…..I saw the comment that has the surname ‘Alcaraz’ in it; got my attention ’cause that name is in my familia too. I recently learned that Alcaraz is an Arabic-derived Spanish name. In Arabic ‘Al Qaraz’ means ‘Cherry Tree’….very interesting.

    YES…….I am proud & appreciative to be a ‘Spaniard'; to be ‘Mexican'; to be of Portuguese descent; to be ‘Chicano’ (Mex-American); to be a part of ‘LA RAZA’!!!—–BUT…….I see/sense/feel (& read here) too much evidence of another facet to the ancestry and origins of so many of us that I just can’t ignore………

  109. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    14 November 2012 6:35 pm

    que pasa, Raza?

    Posting in order to subscribe again……Thanx

  110. G. Rivera permalink
    15 November 2012 3:15 pm

    How do i know where my ancestry comes from? I was born in Veracruz. MY family has Spaniard blood but its frustrating that I cant find out any info of my ancesters… Some people said I look Jewish orthers Spaniard or Middle eastern. Can you help?

  111. E. A. Akiva de Hernandez permalink
    17 November 2012 2:12 pm

    It seems a lot of people are finding Ashkenazic heritage. If you talked to the Ashkenazic communitites around the world, you’d find meny of them have Sefardic heritage of which they are very proud. Some of the Germanic people have names like Lau and Glau, which are Sefardic names. Sometimes it is a good idea to get off the racial wheel and see that we’re all related.

  112. 22 November 2012 2:26 pm

    I was told that the Name Zarate’ is Basque, and that we were part Jewish through this blood line.
    My grandparents came from Rosaria , Chihuahua, Mexico to San Elizario Texasin 1910-12, then on to Denver Colorado.

    I am looking for any information on this name and the other family names: Zarate-Ayala Rodriguez

    Maternal Grandmother: Maria Zarate-Ayala (Rodriguez)
    Born January 26, 1909 Rosaria, Chihuahua, Mexico
    Ethnic background: Pueblo -Mexican/Spanish-Baque
    Immigrated to Texas, U.S. from Rosaria, Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1912

    Maternal Grandmother’s Mother: Guadalupe’ Zarate (Ayala)
    Ethnic background: Pueblo-Mexican

    Maternal Grandmother’s Father: Zarate’
    Ethnic background: Spanish-Baque/Jew

    Maternal Grandfather: Maximo Rodriguez
    Born April 2, 1902
    Ethnic background: Apache (Chiricahua)/Spanish
    Immigrated to Texas, U.S. from Rosaria, Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1910, at about 8 years old.

    Due to the Mexican Revolution War (1910 -1920), all records of birth/death were kept by/in the Catholic Church. During that war the churches, along with all records were destroyed.

    Maternal Great Grandfather’s mother: Martinez

    My name is Peg
    If you have and info please contact me at
    pegsworld@live.com

  113. Neil Martinez y Silva permalink
    23 November 2012 9:12 am

    Greetings, All……
    Revision to my recent post about the ‘Alcaraz’ name…..It is actually derived from the Arabic for: ‘the cherry’ (al qaraz)…….I also learned that the name has even more ancient origins that are Persian……

  114. 23 November 2012 10:18 am

    If everyone in the world did a DNA test there would be millions of Jews, But in Judaism we know that your only Jewish if your mother is Jewish that’s it. My family comes from northern mexico and married in a small circle of family’s with almost no Indian blood, Just because your name comes from Spain doesn’t really mean anything, Many large groups of Indians took on conversion from the church fathers and he gave them his last name. Many family’s that first came to northern mexico that were Jewish assimilated and are no longer Jewish. Also remember many Jewish family’s around the 11th century after coming from living in Iraq for 900 years after the second temple fell as family did started to take on more Spanish sounding names to blend in. And many family’s that came from the Spanish inquisition to mexico came with fake names to hid from them, A

    • 3 December 2012 4:08 pm

      Some people posting here are content that they are Christians. However, they have found out through genetic testing that they have Jewish DNA genetic markers. Their desire is not necessarily to become a practing Jew by faith. So your comment that they are only Jews if their mother is Jew doe not apply to them.

    • 11 December 2012 3:49 pm

      Shalom to all,

      While I am in full support of the dialogue of this thread, there are a few trains of thought expressed that I feel should be addressed.

      1. The Jewish people have tried to define exactly who they are for over 5700 years and have NEVER had a clear consensus for that period of time, There are however some current guidlines which have been accepted by different currents and are as follows:

      Orthodox Jews position is that one is Jewish if born of a Jewish mother.
      Conservative Jews position is that one is Jewish if born of a Jewish mother and raised in a Jewish home.
      Reform Jews position is that one is Jewish if born of a Jewish father or Jewish mother and raised in a Jewish home.
      Sephardic Jews position is a bit more fluid than the Orthodox position, while in most cases agreeing that one is Jewish if born of a Jewish mother, there are some notable exceptions, such as the case of the “Chuetas” of Mallorca and their unique situation.

      In the case of who is Jewish (or not) has always been a fluid train of thought. There is one agreement amongst currents however and that is that one cannot be both Christian and Jewish at the same time. Its one or the other. That does not preclude one from being a Christian with Jewish ancestry, it does preclude one from practicing Christianity and being accepted as a Jew (except for ironically in the case of Orthodox communities)

      2. What kind of statement is “I look Jewish”. This shows as complete ignorance of the essence of who and what is a Jew.or a Mexican and what either looks like. I would only suggest someone who is that ill informed to simply go to the BeChol Lashon or Kulanu websites and then attempt to try to explain to anyone what a Jew looks like.

      3. Chance are very strong that if your family line can be traced to northern Mexico or the southwestern U S that you have Jewish blood somewhere in your family tree. Statistical probability is too high for it to be otherwise. Of course that proves nothing other than someone (whose family may have converted by choice or by force in the Iberian penisula and married to someone at some point in your family geneology. It does nothing to prove anything about your Jewishness. Family names, while being an indicator are just that and nothing more, people changed their last names more often than some changed their clothes to avoid being caught by the “santa” inquisition. Be careful with names, with the exception of a few particular ones, they prove nothing, There are stronger indicators such as how one pronounces their Spanish or how they lived their lives on a daily basis, including habits and customs, as well as folkways and mores. If one has things that their family does “because this is the way my family does it” those are much more suited to further investigation than surnames are.

      4. Dont be so quick to assume that ALL Churches and church records were destoyed during the period of the Mexican Revolution. Very few churches were actually destroyed and most of their records were not. One may have to dig a bit more into such recources as the Bancroft collection at the Univerity of Cal/Berkley, or the Univeristy of Arizona collections. For those who came north via Texas, there are many such records at the University of Texas. Family Tree DNA also has a Sephardic database which is very reliable, with family surnames and locations that keep repeating themselves in this thread. To me, they are the MOST reliable surname source and chances are very likely if one would investigate them, they will find parts of their family lineage that someone else has traced and therefore opening up new resources for information gathering for those who seek to do so.

      5. Most of all, I wish all clarity and mutual respect in their search, regardless of motivation.

      Ron Cohen
      Centro Cultural Hebreo de Mexicali (Mexicali Jewish Community)
      Mexicali, Mx.

      • 16 December 2012 10:00 am

        Thanks Ron, I hope all the readers of this post have read this most recent comment and clarification!!!! I could not have said it better!!!

      • 16 December 2012 11:12 am

        Thank you Ron!!!

      • ron cohen permalink
        17 December 2012 11:17 am

        You are all very welcome, if I can be of any help concerning resources in any search, please contact me.

      • 17 December 2012 12:01 pm

        Ok thanks, I just recently finished a family tree that go’s back to King David. Also another shorter one that go’s back to Luis De Rodriguez Carvajal El Mozo (joseph lumbroso) maybe these trees can be a help others.Then again only if they want to become Jewish again. My familys are from south Texas and Northern Mex a small list of family that intermarried and didn’t like outsiders. haha we even have a family inside legend about how our blue eyes family members didn’t get along with the green’s.

    • Neil A. Marquez y Silva permalink
      15 June 2014 8:30 pm

      Thanks so-much for the ‘Information & Clarifications’, Senor ‘A. Salazar’!!!

      Neil Antonio Marquez Martinez, Cordero y Fuentes, Alcaraz y Reis…de Silva

      • Sylvia permalink
        15 June 2014 10:19 pm

        The concept that one is Jewish only if your mother is Jewish is a rabbinic response to a problem that needed addressing. When one is being bar or bat mitzvahed or making aliyah whose name is referenced? You will never hear the mothers name, it is always the fathers name referenced. Read the Word for yourself, too many streams of Judaism are so far off from the Torah now all in an attempt to be more inclusive. I recall what the Proverb says, ‘man’s wisdom is but foolishness to G-d.’ The Torah is the answer and has the answers, not a compilation of rabbinic interpretations.

      • Neil A. Marquez y Silva permalink
        16 June 2014 12:06 pm

        Hi Sylvia….
        I totally agree with you, especially that it’s bad for these Groups to be so excluding in some of their practices.
        I also think that this Blog shouldn’t be a form of ‘Competition’ for those of us on here—(if you know what I mean….)
        I was actually being sarcastic with my previous comment…..
        Thank You

  115. Julian Figueroa permalink
    14 December 2012 12:47 pm

    I am just starting research on crypto-jews in my family. My name is Julian Figueroa, father also Julian from Tucson Az area. Other names: Tanori, Yslava, Valenzuela and Lopez.
    Mothers maiden name Alva. Grandmother (macias) from Aquas Calietes Mex, grandfather (Alva) from Patscuaro Mich.
    Is there any familiarity with these surnames in this community.
    Txs,
    Julian Figueroa

  116. Eddie permalink
    19 February 2013 7:37 pm

    I come from my Wealthy Jewish Russian great grandfather_Yosef Valdez and french great grandmother whom he met when he fled to spain. Later on fled to the states to mexico to start a new life.

  117. Miriam Weinstein permalink
    26 February 2013 10:43 pm

    A few years ago I met a young man who worked at a bank in California whose last name was Leyva. Oh, very interesting, I thought. A very Sephardic name. He was from El Salvador, and his grandfather was from Italy. I told him my theory, and said he might try to find out if his grandfather ate pork. He didn’t hesitate one minute. He knew the answer: “my grandfather never ate pork, he said it was dirty.” Bingo!

  118. Mario Lopez permalink
    22 March 2013 1:57 pm

    Hi 20 years ago I was looking for my family history i was born in Iguala Guerrero 5 minutes front Coucula where I have family so the soprais was the my family was front the Marranos Jews I always ask why we do to many teings different front Oder pepol need more info thks

  119. adan gutierrez Alvarado permalink
    29 March 2013 10:55 am

    That’s cool from the usa to Brazil i feel like it’s all the same people

  120. Miriam permalink
    27 April 2013 12:24 am

    My family was from Puebla and were all devout Catholics. The last name Saloma Cordova and Nunez. They had first names like David, Daniel, Samuel and Abraham (the doctor). All played classical instruments. The big thing in the family was that each generation passed on the idea that pork and shrimp were very bad for you…”te hace mal” they would say…they were careful in the treatment of their elderly and they.all read their Bibles and were extremely devout to God keeping decent moral lives. I was given the name Miriam! The only Saloma connection I was able to find on Facebook was with people in Israel and The Phillipines.

  121. Miriam permalink
    27 April 2013 12:37 am

    Oh, forgot to mention that I have a theory…God in his infinite love and grace has allowed us to marry amongst our own…not to seem “exclusive”…but for a time in history in which so much in this world doesn’t seem to make sense and we…as people of the true and living God can be a light among the lost. Stand strong as families…The Lord is now infusing us with this hunger to know where we come from so we can share his great Love with others. I praise His Holy Name and hope that He reveals himself to each of you! A big hug to each of you,my Anusim brothers and sisters.

  122. 4 May 2013 11:29 pm

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  123. Darren Ramon permalink
    21 May 2013 10:36 pm

    First of all, I enjoyed reading every one thoughts. Thank you
    This is little bit of my history which I hope you don’t mind.

    I was born in Texas but my father was born in northern Mexico. There were things that the family did differently but I just figured we were just odd. Years past and after being married to a French girl in California, she suddenly yelled to me that she had a reason to divorce me! I, of course was surprised when she showed me the travel section of the LA times with my last name plastered in numerous places of Israel,. I was shocked because I always thought I was German. Well to make the story short, after DNA testing and family history I discovered that my male lineage lead to a Jewish fellow in Majorca and relatives in Poland. I accept that as my heritage though my father rejected me for that belief, among others. Ethically, I am Jewish on my father side regardless of what others might say because in reality, I don’t care. Now on my mother side, while doing the testing, we discovered that it was Apache and now being that I have these two sides, what am I? I love both groups and anyone who is a friend. The time for hiding is gone, particularly here in the New World. To me, it’s just a sad situation to discover that you are not what you thought you were, so that it becomes a reality check as to what your next step should be. I wish you all good searching and never giving up.

    DR

    • 24 July 2013 8:15 pm

      I think posters are confusing Judaism as a religion and Judaism as a race/ethnicity. Like Darren says, if one wants to confirm their Jewish ancestry, via YDNA or autosomal testing, those results will confirm Jewish ancestry, even if you practice a non Jewish religion. Now if you want conversion to the Jewish religion, although not Jew by ancestry, (Sammie Davis Jr), you have to go through a conversion process?

  124. Chana permalink
    10 June 2013 3:24 pm

    If your mother is definitely Jewish (and her mother was Jewish etc.) then you are Jewish. If not, and only your father is Jewish, then you are not Jewish and would need to go through a proper orthodox conversion procedure to become Jewish, if you wish to do so.
    There are many people who trace their roots to anuisim……the problem is that many got lost somewhere along the way or may have intermarried etc. and therefore people who are not 100% sure they are Jewish or cannot
    prove it going way back, would still need to go through a conversion process. Many people have already done so and many are from Mexico. In fact, a large number of people in Mexico consider themselves Jewish or connected to Judaism. Nevertheless, to truly be part of the Jewish people, one would need to go through the conversion process and speak to an orthodox rabbi for guidance. wishing everyone success finding their true path in life! May G-d bless.

    • Darren Ramon permalink
      10 June 2013 8:03 pm

      The theory that the mother has to be Jewish is find but in biblical times, it was the father that confirmed ancestry as can be seen in Jesus linage. However, if a person merely wants to confirm their ethnicity, though not 100%, that is also acceptable. For example if a person is not interested in Judaism but just ancestry itself, there is nothing wrong in following that principle as well. The bottom line is that you are what ever your DNA is. A friend of mine did her DNA and mind you, she is a typical white person except that when the results from her test came back, they were Central African. Again, it was a surprise but a great revelation to her. At last the truth! Modern science now allows us to answer questions about our family that only our ancestors could answer. What a wonderful revelation to all who are searching.

      • Ron Cohen permalink
        13 June 2013 11:32 am

        While respecting all in their search for their proper truth and concurring with Chana that she has expressed the Orthodox perspective regarding ones Jewishness quite clearly, it is important to remember that the Orthodox represent approximately 19 percent of all Jews. I have clearly stated above in past posts what the requirements are within the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements in previous posts.

        In reply to Darren, you are way off base and frankly drawing conclusions without basis in fact.
        While respecting your right to believe however you may want, your Jesús reference that was shoehorned in to the conversation is simply another manifestation of the Pauline philosophy that the means justify the ends. Let me try to explain this from a Jewish perspective.

        There are 6 primary Messiah ben David criteria, all of which are emperically verifiable, faith
        has nothing to do with these criteria. While Christianity takes 5 of those criteria and explains them away with their concept of the second coming which has no basis in fact in Torah, for the sake of making this conversation quicker to the point lets discuss for a second your assertation that Jesús has the correct genelogy.

        If one is born Jewish or not is determined by the birth mother, tribal affilation is determined by the BIRTH father. adopted children by step fathers do not carry their adopted fathers lineage. This presents a problem because if God was Jesús birth father, the proof emperically would become what tribe does God belong to. Of course we would both agree that God has no tribal affiliation for a myriad of reasons.that I am sure are evident. Joseph wouldnt qualify as he was the ADOPTED father and furthermore genology through the birth mother is NOT a qualifying factor in regards to consideration. So that leaves the only consideration one of belief which is NOT a factor in ANY emperical consideration.

        It is not my goal here to change your or anyone elses belief system, however to accept as fact that the father of Jesús, in whatever form you choose, proves Messianic consideration is certainly not a FACT, simply a belief. Beliefs are NOT proof of anything, they are simply beliefs.

        Ron Cohen
        Centro Cultural Hebreo de Mexicali
        Mexicali, Mx.

        PS If one was inclined to look into this further from a Jewish perspective, I would strongly recommend picking up the book

        Twenty Six Reasons Why Jews Dont Believe In Jesús by Asher Norman.

  125. ron cohen permalink
    13 June 2013 1:47 pm

    Correction to the above posting
    The Pauline philosophy is that the ends justify the means not vice versa

    • 13 June 2013 2:07 pm

      Thanks Ron! Your mother has to be Jewish. Here are some other great resources – Why Jews Know Jesus was a false messiah – http://messiahtruth.yuku.com/topic/467/Why-Jews-Know-Jesus-was-a-false-messiah#.Ubol_MoQmSo And – Jews do not accept Jsus as the messiah because: – http://www.aish.com/jw/s/48892792.html

    • Darren Ramon permalink
      13 June 2013 10:57 pm

      if I offended someone, I apologize for that. I merely represent those whose ancestry is paternal and Jewish and are Christian. No, Jesus is not God but God’s son. His Father is YHWH or Jehovah but that is something you already knew.

      I did not realize or presume to say that by using the example of Jesus’s genelogy would open the flood gates of your ideas about the son of God which I believe he is. Sir you forget that even the Torah is based on Scripture and that much of the ideas held today are merely traditions passed on by generations of men.

      I am not interested in discussing philosophy or scripture with you because I understand what you are trying to convey. If you will permit me to explain that in highlighting the Example of Jesus which also applied to the extensive records held in Jerusalem of the entire Jewish nation geological records before they were destroyed by the Romans in 70 ce and confirmed by the historian Josephus is proof that people in the first century knew their linage.

      Obviously the records were destroyed and all we have is hearsay and ideas of who is Jewish and who is not. Now take for example your last name of Cohen which is a name associated with many Jewish people particularly here in the States. Now my last name is also found in Israel today. It is a name associated with places and with people such as Ilan Ramon. Who is to say which of us is Jewish based on the paternal side or the maternal side? Why should it matter?

      I truly understand why you believe the way you do. You’re beliefs are well taken but far from the truth. Your friend

      Darren

      • Ron Cohen permalink
        14 June 2013 3:39 pm

        Of course no offense Darren, absolutely no offense with your beliefs. You have every right to believe what you want and so do I. The problem wasnt with your beliefs it was with your logic. You drew a conclusión and supported it by facts that are not factual, beliefs possibly but certainly not facts.. Again, I have no problem with your beliefs and hopefully you dont with mine. What you did is draw a conclusión first then built so called facts that would support your statement. My problem is not with your beliefs or mine, simply calling you on logic, the subject could have been widgets and I would have called your logic into question the same way..

        I have no desire to debate religión, if you look back through this thread, you will find that my goal has always been to help people in the search for their personal truth, firmly believing that each individual has a right to clear, concise information from reliable sources, That I have tried to provide to the best of my ability, If I want the right to determine my personal truth, why would I not extend that to others, but lets not put any assumptions as basis of fact.

  126. 13 June 2013 2:24 pm

    Thanks Ron! To many sephardic jews descendants are falling into (messianic judaism) Its NOT REAL JUDAISM there just Christians.

    Here are some great resources for everyone to read thru.
    Why Jews Know Jesus was a false messiah – http://messiahtruth.yuku.com/topic/467/Why-Jews-Know-Jesus-was-a-false-messiah#.UbookcoQmSo

    “Why Jews Don’t believe in Jsus” from Aish – http://www.aish.com/jw/s/48892792.html

    What Jews believe – http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org/

    Counter Missionary Articles and Lessons – http://www.thejewishhome.org/counter-index.html

    Jews for Judaism – http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/

    Outreach Judaism, Ribbi Singer answers christains questions – http://www.outreachjudaism.org/FAQ

    26 Reasons Reasons why Jews do not believe in Jsus – http://www.26reasons.com/

    I have many more websites, if you have any question maybe i can help. Armando – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004667312924

  127. Marcos Tucman Cohen permalink
    20 July 2013 12:59 pm

    OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE STUDY OF THE ORIGIN OF JEWISH FAMILIES AND LATIN AMERICAN WITH BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE AND SPANISH LAST NAME ADOPTED BY THE SEPHARDIM JEWS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS ANUSIM SINCE THE TIME OF THE INQUISITION

    SHALOM!

    MY NAME IS MARCOS TUCMAN COHEN, AND CAN ADD TO THIS EXCELLENT TEXT CHABAD, OR FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO HAVE INTEREST DED MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE ORIGINS OR JEWISH SEPHARDIM BENEI ANUSIM YOUR LAST NAME AND PORTUGUESE SPANISH MAY REFER TO THE POLLS AND WORKS HISTORIAN OF JEWISH ORIGIN, RESIDENT IN THE CITY OF REEF, PERNAMBUCO STATE IN BRAZIL, FLÁVIO ROGÉRIO RIBEIRO DE SA COHEN, WHICH IS MY COUSIN, WHAT ME VERY PROUD, BECAUSE IT IS A GREAT RESEARCHER AND BRAZILIAN KNOWER THIS THEME SO INTIERESSANTE HISTORY OF YOUR COUNTRY.

    WHO WILL TAKE YOUR DOUBTS AND DISCOVER IF YOUR FAMILY IS JEWISH ORIGIN OR NOT ENOUGH SEPHARDIM CONSULT HIM. AND’VE POSTED HOW IN OTHER TEXTS OF THE INTERNET, IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT IN BRAZIL NOT RESPECT THE COPYRIGHTS BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE WHO REQUESTED TO FLÁVIO DE SA COHEN YOUR HELP IN SEARCH OF THEIR LAST NAMES, USING OF BAD FAITH, PUBLISHED TEXTS ON THE ORIGINS JEWISH FAMILY AS MARRA, ALMEIDA, GUTIERREZ, OAK, ANTUNES, CARDOSO, CARDOZO, OLIVEIRA, PEREIRA, BRAGA, DAYS, MOURA, MORENO, FERNANDES, LAMB, LAMB, LIMA, LOPES, AND OTHER, AS IF THESE PEOPLE WERE THE AUTHORS , AND INCLUDING (BUT SOMETIMES OMITTING), WITH ORIGINAL TITLES CREATED BY FLAVIO,” ARE THE ORIGINS OF JEWISH FAMILY .. SEPHARDIM”,” THE ORIGINS OF JEWISH FAMILY .. SEFRADIM” AND” AS ORIGINS OF JEWISH FAMILY …”.

    THESE PEOPLE HYPOCRITES, PUBLISH COPIED THESE STUDIES OF FLAVIO DE SA COHEN IN BLOGS AND ORKUT, WITHOUT MENTION YOUR TRUE AUTHOR, AND POST AS IF THEY WERE THE REAL AUTHORS. COMING INCLUDING THE HEAP, THE SYSTEM SIMPLY COPY AND PASTE, FOR ANY ERRORS AGAIN UNTIL THE ENTRY OF HIM. MAI AND INTERESTING IS THAT THEY CAN BE EASILY DEMASCARADAS TO ASK IF THEY SHOW PICTURES OF RARE BOOKS THAT WAS SEARCHED BIBLIOGRAPHY, AND STUDIED BY FLAVIO DE SA COHEN OF THESE LAST 20 YEARS, WHICH THEY HAVE NO, OBVIOUSLY, AND WHICH FLÁVIO ALL HAVE EITHER AS ORIGINAL COPIES OF DOCUMENTS, PAPERS AND OUTSIDE THE NOTES OR ORIGINAL DRAFT OUTLINES OF THE PUBLISHED TEXTS THAT ONLY THE TRUE AUTHOR HAS, OF COURSE.

    THEREFORE, WHEN YOU THINK INTERNET, BLOGS AND IN NO ORKUT TEXTS WITH TITLES:” THE ORIGINS JUDICAS SEPHARDIC FAMILY ..”,” THE ORIGINS OF JEWISH FAMILY SEFRADIM ..”,” THE ORIGINS AND JEWISH FAMILY …”, WHICH ADDRESS SURNAMES AS: ALMEIDA, ANTUNES, OLIVEIRA, PEREIRA, MARRA, CUNHA, SANTOS, QUEIROZ, LEIVA, CARDOSO, CARDOZO, CARDENAS,BARCELOS, BASTOS; CORREA; XIMENES; MOREIRA; MORAES; MACHADO, LEITE, DANTAS, BONER;, BONIN; ALMEIDA; PRADO. WALLS; COELHO CAMARA, SANTIAGO; FIDALGO; FURTADO; MENDONÇA; RUAS; MALDONADO, CASADO; CASAES, CAZARES; BALEEIRO; SALAZAR; GUEIROS, FIGUEIREDO, SOARES, MEDEIROS, GONCALVES, FERNANDES, MENDES, RIBEIRO, MEIRA, MEIRELES, ALBUQUERQUE, SA, PIRES, PERES, PEREZ, FARIAS; QUEIROGA, ASSUMPTION; SARMENTO; NASCIMENTO, SANTOS; SANTA MARIA, MARIA, DE JESUS; DAMASCENO; SIMÕES; ABREU, AND MANY OTHERS, ETC, I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND THEY ARE COPIES OF STUDIES OF FLAVIO DE SA COHEN.

    WELL, FLAVIO DE SA COHEN IS SPECIALIZED IN JEWISH GENEALOGY PHILOLOGICAL, CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY AND GENETICS OF HUMAN POPULATIONS BECAUSE YOUR SECOND TRAINING IS IN BIOCHEMISTRY WITH ESPECILIAZAÇÃO IN PROGRESS IN MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY. IN ADDITION TO MANY, AND THAT CREATES AN IMMENSE DISTANCE BETWEEN HIM AND HIS PLAJIADORES, SUCH AS A MARIEL MARRA, EG. AND CITO THIS JUST TO INFORM THE DEGREE OF SERIOUSLY WITH WHICH IT BASICS RESEARCH YOUR HAVING WORKED HARD TO SPECIALIZE IN THIS AREA, TO PROVIDE A DECENT WORK AND ILLUSTRATIVE ENOUGH ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF JEWISH FAMILIES SEPHARDIC BRAZILIAN AND LATIN AMERICAN. IT MAY TAKE AN E-MAIL TO RESPOND OR SOLICITATION BUT WHEN DOES IT SAYS IN FULL WITHOUT DOUBT THE MARGINS.

    IN ITS CURRENT RESEARCH, TO INFORM HIM WITH JEWISH FAMILIES WHICH A PERSON SHOULD COMPARE YOUR EXAM DNA Y CHROMOSOME, RELATING TO DATABASE FAMILYTREEDNA COMPANY, TO ESTABLISH THE CONNECTIONS FAMILY AND DISCOVER IF IF YOUR PEDIGREE IS COHANIN, LEVIIN, BEN ISRAEL, BEN AVRAHAN, THAT IS CONVERTED TO JUDAISM AND EVEN IF YOU HAVE ANY PARTICULAR FAMILY CONNECTION DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TO ANY OF CURRENT FAMILY HOUSE DSCENDEM DAVIDIC. AND INCLUDING IN SOME CASES CAN ESTABLISH AND IDENTIFY THE JEW PATRIARCH SEPHARDIM FOUNDER OF THE SAME, EVEN IF EITHER SEND A SENIORITY CONCERNING THE BIBLE TIMES, AND IF ARISING FROM OR MUSLIM HISPANIA INQUISITORIAL SEASON, AND SUCH CASES SHOWING THE COURTS INQUISITION IN PARTICULAR WHERE FAMILY MEMBERS WERE PROCESSED.

    HE IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON TWO BOOKS HELP ELUCIDATE JEWISH ROOTS OF THE BRAZILIAN PEOPLE WHOSE TITLES ARE SKETCH:” SEPHARDIM JEWISH HISTORY ORIGIN OF FAMILIES WITH BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE AND SPANISH SURNAMES” E” HOUSE TOWER, ONE DAVIDIC DYNASTY COLONIAL IN BRAZIL”. ALL STILL NO DATE FOR PUBLICATION.

    BECAUSE TO AROUND 20 YEARS OF FLÁVIO DE SA COHEN SE DEDICATED DAILY RESEARCH AND STUDY THIS FEAR, AND NOW WITH THE AID OF SUPPLEMENTARY DATA SUPPLIED BY GENETIC RESEARCH HAPLOTYPE HUMAN, AND SOME FACTS THAT I ALWAYS I REFER TO HIM FROM TIME TO TIME HERE IN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES.

    REALLY WORTH IT YOURS CONFER WITH THESE ISSUES AND GENETIC HISTORY AND GENEALOGY OF FAMILIES OF ORIGIN AND ANUSIM SEPHARDIM. VCS WILL NOT REGRET, SIMPLY BECAUSE HE ANSWERS VCS WHAT, AS, THE WHERE, AND WHY HAVE A FAMILY JEWISH ORIGIN. FACEBOOK IT IS FLAVIO SA COHEN AND YOUR E-MAIL AND CONTACT ARE FAIO1202@YAHOO.COM.BR SACOHEN@BOL.COM.BR. CAN CONTACT YOU, BECAUSE IT SERVES ANYONE AND GENTLY POLITELY, REGARDLESS OF THE PERSON BEING JEWISH OR NOT. SEE AND ENJOY THE INTERNET SEARCHING ON GOOGLE, ENTERING HIS NAME AND YOU MAY BE SEE YOUR PERSONAL REFERENCES. AND ONE OF THE MOST RECENT, WHICH YOU CAN ASK ABOUT THE WORK OF FLÁVIO SA COHEN, BE A LADY BRAZILIAN VERA DAVID , IN FACEBOOK, FOR EXAMPLE.

    ALL, MY SINCERE AND CORDIAL SHALOM!

  128. eddie ham casares permalink
    23 July 2013 10:46 am

    My grandfather was killed by the Mexicans during the 1935 riots in D.F. when they took his business away. He died afterwards when he confronted the mob. Police said he drunk himself to death but he did not drink. He actually was hit by an alcoholic bottle on the head and died. That is why the police said he drunk himself to death. Officially, no one died but in actually people did. It was denied by the government at the time that there were riots at all. I got the telefax from the 1935 historical records. They also listed the 10s of thousands of businesses taken away from Jews and their children.

  129. Hope permalink
    2 August 2013 11:59 pm

    I just found this website. I am looking for anyone who is familiar with the name Sedia. I can’t seem to find out much at this early point. This is my great great grandmother’s name. Story has it that she was of Spanish and or Italian origin. I am also looking for information on Guadalupe Ruiz. He was apparently a soldier in Pancho Villa’s army and ended up in Uvalde, Texas to save his life. He is apparently originally from Monclova. Any information will be helpful.

  130. lorenza jacobo permalink
    24 August 2013 6:28 pm

    Hello, I’m just curious if anyone knows anything about the last name Jacobo. That was my grandmother’s maiden name and I’m very curious as to whether or not if it’s a Sephardic last name. I’ve been researching as to where this name originated from, but it seems to be not a very common surname. If this makes any difference her family has lived in the South Texas region for many generations.

  131. 2 September 2013 10:23 pm

    Hello, My name is Eryc Palomares. My paternal grandparents are from Guanajuato,Mex. My fraternal grandparents were from Coahuila,Mex. I’m just wondering if my last name is of jewish ancestry. I know nothing of my family’s history. My mother’s last name is Gallegos and her mother’s last name is Flores. Dad’s mother’s (my other grandmother) last name is Marez. If anyone here has knowledge of the history of the last names I have mentioned, please let me know. Feel free to text me 956-884-9075

    Thank you,

    Eryc Palomares

  132. 2 September 2013 10:39 pm

    Oops. Clerical error. I mean my Fraternal grandparents are from Guanajuato,Mex. and my Maternal grandparents are from Coahuila,Mex.

  133. Diana Rodriguez McEwen permalink
    26 September 2013 8:46 pm

    My last name is Rodriguez; after doing some searching on the internet I have learned that this name is prevalent in Jewish conversos. I saw many Jews with this name that were murdered during the Spanish Inquisition. I want to know how I can find out if my name came from Jewish roots. Thank you

    • 27 September 2013 2:04 pm

      Heres my family tree Diana. While some Jewish family took fake names*,that does not mean anyone with a converso last name was Jewish. Many of these fake converso names were old christian names we were using to hide. And my church father converted large groups of indians and gave them spanish last names. I would look for a family tree if i were you or anyone else for that matter. And remeber we were once Jewish,we are not anymore,if you want to be Jewish agagin please talk to your local orthodox rabbi.

      shalom

      Armando

      1. Luis Rodriguez de Caravjal Lumbroso 1596 Died
      2. Beatriz Rodriguez Ahumada 1505 and 1567
      3. Juan Diego Rodriguez Armero 1480 and 1530
      4. Ines Rodrigues
      5. María Inés Rodríguez de Montemayor 1549 – 1611
      6. Diego, De Sosa Rodriguez – 1567 – 1632
      7. Monica, Trevino Rodriguez – 1592 – 1681
      8. Mateo, De Montemayor Rodriguez – 1641
      9. Manuel, De Montemayor Rodriguez – 1670 – 1730
      10. Agustin, De Montemayor Rodriguez – 1698
      11. Antonio Gil, Trevino Rodriguez – 1743 – 1812
      12. Teresa, Tamez Rodriguez 1782
      13. Estanislado, Rodriguez Tamez – 1810
      14. Jesus Almaguer Tamez – 1841
      15. Crispina Ocanas Tamez 1869 Mexico
      16. Irineo Salazar 1901-1986 Mexico Died in Texas
      17. Rosendo Salazar 1937
      18. Armando Salazar 1977

      • Diana Rodriguez McEwen permalink
        28 September 2013 3:37 pm

        Thank you Armando for your family tree; it is interesting that you list your number 1 as Caravjal. I think that it may be Carvajal. From my readings I read that Carvajal was awarded money to bring over many crypto Jews or new Christians to Northern Mexico, namely the state of Nuevo Leon. That in itself was good information for me when I read this because my grandparents, I think my grandmother came from that state. All this is very interesting.
        Thank you again for your comment.

  134. Erika Guevara permalink
    29 November 2013 5:48 pm

    This is absolutely amazing. My last name from my father which is, Guevara; originates from the Sefraditas, and my earliest ancestor found on the internet is a count Vela de Guevara who was part of the nobility of Navarros in Hispania ruled under roman catholicism since 74 BC but the last name Guevara is originally Guevara of Ebar which is said to be from those Jews of Spain. Its funny my mother and father are both from Guadalajara, my mother was raised baptist and my father Catholic but I was never baptized or raised Catholic. I am Mexican-American and just found out my ancestry is Jewish from Spain! XD so awesome even more that I am not religious nor baptized. I know where my people come from. Bless.

    Erika de Guevara <3

    • 30 November 2013 1:42 pm

      Erika my last name is Salazar, its comes from Spain and originates from around the 6th century when the last names were giving too people for purposes of tax collection. Now later in the comming centurys Jews that converted to christianty choose “old christian names” to hide from the church. So Salazar is not hebrew to began with nor did it originate from Jews, but later when some Jews converted they used old names from Spain. My family started to use Salazar in the 15th century after being forced to convert. Now this does not mean ” Salazar” is Jewish name now. Just that “some Jews used the name”. In another case in Mexico church fathers gave whole groups of indians that he converted his last name. And maybe some Jews,very few lets say used the same last name as that chruch father,this does not mean in the present day that those indians came from Jews. These spanish last names were just used but some not all. Unless you have a family tree like i do that go’s back to known Jews and Rabbis, theres no real way of knowing. And always remember once a Jew converts to other faith he or she is no longer Jewish, even if one is a born Jew. They are no longer once converted.

      • Jorge permalink
        24 February 2014 12:26 am

        Armando, that’s not true aji, even if a Jew converts to another religion they are still Jewish the covenant is eternal and is binding on the born Jew, as well as the convert. They are just considered minim.

        Israel hath sinned. R. Abba b. Zabda said: Even though [the people] have sinned, they are still [called] ‘Israel’.2 R. Abba said: Thus people say, A myrtle, though it stands among reeds, is still a myrtle, and it is so called.

        -Sanhendrin44a

  135. Marc Serrano permalink
    6 January 2014 9:57 pm

    I don’t know if I have jewish blood or not thats why I am looking for realatives by the last name Serranos from Teul de Gonzales Ortega or Santa Maria or Tepechitlan. My grandfather came to Texas about the turn of the century 1900s his name was Guadalupe Romero Serrano.They say he was from Teul but I was there and found nothing of him.Could be some other towns nearby also.If anyone can pass any info along it would be apperciated.

  136. JOSHUA DILAO PARADERO permalink
    31 January 2014 2:55 pm

    My grandmother on my father’s side is a Carlos. Her full name is Candelaria Carlos. She’s married to Zacarias Paradero. We used to hear that our family has Spanish blood.Lately, I’ve been wondering if we even have Jewish blood. Yes I’ve read about Jewish people leaving persecution in Spain , and later the Philippines being used as a penal colony by Spain. There were people send people from Mexico.There’s also the galleon trade which i think is one way of getting into Manila. I heard my grandfathers brothers are seamen.I recently checked and found out that Carlos is a Shephardic name. During my recent medical mission to the island of Marinduque in the Philippines, an older gentlemen was talking to me . when he found out that i am a grandson of Zacarias and ” kang” Cande, he mentioned that my grandparents ” speak different ” . Both my grandparents on both sides are now dead. i’m trying the get some family roots/history as much as i can and hopefully trace the family origin. Would appreciate for some help.

  137. Jorge permalink
    23 February 2014 11:47 pm

    Hello,
    My name is Jorge Enriquez. When I was about 17 years old I became interested in our origins and as well I also began to study Judaism. I was raised Christian most of my I life although I never accepted Christianity. We never attended church when we were younger, and then started going because of my dad when I was about 10 years old. Recently my Abuelita passed away, and my mother was telling us about why we had green eyes, she said that my Abuelas father was a tall dark Arab with green eyes, but when she mentioned his name it wasn’t even Arab in origin at all. His name was Mateo Baruki, my grandmother before she died told me that he had changed his last name to Marin, because his wife’s parents thought baruki was strange. Anyway I had done the most research I could on my grandparents on my mothers side in our family we have the names Rodriguez, Salazar, and Diaz, and tried to look past that but could not find anything. I was told my grandma nor my great grandmother ate pork, and that in fact my great grandmother was vegan. My grandmother was very knowledgable on the history of Spain and the Golden Era of Al Andolus, which I had studied, when asked if she was Jewish she stood quiet and didn’t give me an answer. She said that she was glad that I cared about our ancestry, and that no one else really bothered or cared to ask questions her family hails from Guadalajara and Oaxaca, please help help me find if I have Jewish ancestry. Thank you.

    לילה טוב אנשים ו שלום

  138. Yarahuan / permalink
    2 March 2014 11:59 pm

    Can you pls help me on my search of my encestors Origen everything I read it dates from my great grand fathers immigration card with Jewish comming thru Veracruz as my last name is not Arabic but believe to be not properly translated… Since I was a teenager I had an urge to find the meaning and Origen of my encestry and my last name does not make any sence as I was told my encestors came thru Veracruz late 1800s thru early 1900 . In my mind and so eager to find out the truth and my heart melts for Hebrew history and music. I don’t understand it but it grows deep in my heart I can’t explained…

  139. Ron Cohen permalink
    6 March 2014 10:44 am

    Let’s start with the end of the message you sent about “I don’t understand it”. It is very common to find amongst anusim a “spark” (chispa). There are many theories concerning that “spark”. One thing however is certain, that is that the “spark” is a very common occurance amongst anusim who are searching for their personal truth for whatever reason. In short, you are not älone in that aspect and while it may not be understood it is very real.

    The rest of the message is a bit confusing. Is Yarahuan your family name, and if not what is? What other names are in your family lineage that you are aware of? Also be aware of the fact while names can possibly serve as an indicator, names were changed in those times for MANY reasons, so having a last name that is on a list of Sephardic ancestry. Do you have your great grandfathers immigration card? If so, that would be a likely place to start.

    The first thing I would suggest you do is read this comment section in its entirety. There are many comments that would certainly be of help in your search, (websites, family names, family locations etc.) In reading the comments, understand that some are agenda driven, while others will give you some excellent resources to start your search.

    If language is a problem, I am willing to help with some sites in Spanish and I am sure others will as well. The resources are here, however,given those it is up to you to utilize them, nobody is going to do it for you. You can write to this thread in Spanish if it is easier for you and it will be understood by many.

    All the best in your search for your personal truth.

    Ron Cohen
    Centro Cultural Hebreo de Mexicali
    Mexicali, B.C,Mexico

  140. 24 March 2014 2:01 pm

    My name is Julian Figueroa. If my people were Jewish and conversos during the Inquisition do I remain under the Jewish Covenant after all these generations?
    Please advise

  141. nerim permalink
    25 March 2014 11:12 pm

    hi..I’am from the Philippines and my parents both have Sephardic jews last name My Father last name is Abad and my Mother Last name is madrid is that posssible that we do have a Spanish blood??

  142. Dario Diaz-Mafarah permalink
    2 April 2014 5:06 pm

    My mother’ side of the family were Lebanese-Jews immigrants to Mexico in the mid 1930’s and entered the country through the port of Veracruz. Back then, this port was the main port of entry for many new immigrants to Mexico. There are records in the local immigration office (or previously known as Aduana e Imigracion) and if you know that your great grand parents came through this port you should be able to request records of entry with the Instituto Nacional de Imigracion http://www.inm.gob.mx in Mexico City or Port of Veracruz.
    Unfortunately, if you do not have the certainty that your families came to Mexico from other countries after the mid 1920’s, but you know by the word of mouth that you have Jewish ancestry dating far back from the inquisition period, it all will be an assumption unless DNA testing is available to trace back Jewish roots.
    This will be very helpful, especially now that Spain is considering the repatriation and return of Spanish citizenship to the descendants of Sephardi Jews. Something to keep in mind.
    Thank you everyone for your messages, I find reassuring, moving and fascinating that there are so many people in Mexico and the world tracing back our Jewish roots for reassurance and to keep our Jewish souls back with the community.Even though the Mexican Ashkenazi Jewish community does not want anything to do with officially recognizing the descendants of Crypto-Jews or Native Mexican Jews; it is moving to witness so many people mobilizing to re-gain, maintain, and live a genuine revival of Jewish life with so much pride.

    • Ron Cohen permalink
      4 April 2014 3:14 pm

      Shalom Dario,

      While your message in general was encouraging, informative and “spot on” in most aspects that you covered. I agree 99% with what you said. However there is the 1% that I find not solely accurate and I have to take issue with it.

      As one who has fought the battle for many years concerning “official recognition” for anusim or Native Mexican Jews, your blanket statement concerning the Ashkenazi Jewish Community is not accurate. While there is no doubt that “official recognition” is a problem, the depth and scope of the problem is certainly NOT limited to the Askenazi community, in fact in general the Sephardi community has been more than an equal partner in this injustice. A clear example of this would be the Syrian community who is happy to sell their Siddurim to the emerging comminities but will not let those who seek their proper truth within Judaism study or pray with them.
      The Sephardi council offers books to the emerging communities at minimum double the price they can buy them for via the internet. Although I cannot fault your intention, just the wrong place to take a “shot” at the Ashkenazis.

      Change is coming, not at the speed that any of us that are active would like but the door is starting to crack open a bit. While Mexican Rabbis will not do conversions (except hypocritically “as a service to their membership” (whatever that means, its their quote, not mine), there are measures available for those who seek to formally reconnect with mainstream Judaism.

      If one is fortunate enough to have access to a Chabad community, they will let one both study and pray with them anywhere in Mexico or worldwide for that matter.

      Most “ex pat” communities in Mexico welome all that wish to study and pray with them. There is however a potential language problem as most of those services and study are in Hebrew and English.

      The is the Brit Bricha community based in Mexico City with formal worship services and educational services both virtually as well as Congregations in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Saltillo amongst other locations, with “virtual classes”in addition. “Formal Returns/Conversions recognized by the Reform movement are available to those who complete their course of study.

      The Conservative movement has taken large strides in öpening up their doors. If one has “Returned/Converted formally or is studying for such, many in Mexico will admit those either converted formally by either recognized Conservative or Orthodox Bet Din.Classes are available virtually through a number of Spanish speaking Rabbis and there is an annual Bet Din in San Miguel de Allende for those who successfully complete their study.

      For those who need Siddurim in Spanish I would strongly suggest contacted Rabbi Juan Mejia, he wrote and excellent tri lingual (Hebrew, Spanish and Ladino) and is available for a free download.

      The above are all Askenazi based organizaions and Bet Din, I do not know of any Sephardi organizations in Mexico other than KMD who has Sephardi Rabbinim working with the Venta Prieta community.

      The wheels of change are starting to turn, let there be no doubt, not fast enough but the change and acceptance is happening. More importantly however are clear, transparent, viable resources for those seeking their proper truth within Judaism, this is NOT a Sephari/Ashkenazi issue, its a those who act toward creating options and those who dont.

      Ron Cohen
      Mexicali, Mx.

      • 17 September 2014 2:00 pm

        Great info Ron, My grandfather was from Allende, we are great grand kids of Luis José “el Mozo” Carvajal Rodríguez de Matos, Diego de Montemayor
        and the founder of Saltillo – Alberto del Canto.

      • Ron Cohen permalink
        18 September 2014 1:11 pm

        Shalom Armando,

        There is a Synagogue in Saltillo founded by your extended family members (Carvajal). If you would like to get in touch with them directly, contact me and I will forward the information to you.

      • 17 September 2014 2:23 pm

        Ron and others check out this Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxx0iuFZmN0

        Many of my great grand parents came from Salinas Victoria NL, then later moving to the small east towns like the video says.

      • Ron Cohen permalink
        18 September 2014 1:18 pm

        Been to that panaderia,its REALLY GOOD.

    • Neil A. Marquez y Silva permalink
      21 June 2014 8:54 am

      Shalom, Dario…

      I really loved the message you put out a couple months ago, “Thanks for that.”

      Once again, another form of ‘Competition’ on this Blog rears its ugly head, though!……..,,,

      I mentioned Ashkenazi Hebrews on this a few years ago, and was ‘Shot-down’ categorically for it—–That being said, I do understand that situations can change, and people’s understanding and knowledge can expand over time………….

      I believe you were just trying to ‘Call it like you see it’, not trying to make a malicious attack (PARAPHRASE) of any sort—-(In MY Opinion)

  143. 2 May 2014 8:49 pm

    Hello, I want to subscribe for this weblog to obtain most recent
    updates, therefore where can i do it please help.

  144. Ruben Silva permalink
    27 May 2014 12:22 pm

    How can I determine whether I have Jewish Ancestry

    • Ron Cohen permalink
      28 May 2014 8:55 pm

      For openers, try reading through this thread, there are lots of resources listed.

  145. Elizabeth Barraza Williams permalink
    31 May 2014 12:22 am

    Out of curiosity I googled my maiden name Barraza to find the origin. This is how I found this website. Growing up in texas I have rarely come across this name. My father was born in Durango. I always thought his parents were catholic so, this surprised me. I would like to learn more about the origins of the Barraza name. If you can lead me to journals, I would appreciate the information. My dad always loved banuelos and capidotada. I didn’t realize that these foods were a Jewish staple. I’ll be quite happy if I end up being of Jewish ancestry.

    • leslie ortiz permalink
      7 June 2014 10:17 am

      Elizabeth Barraza Williams, my mom is a Barraza and her family as from Texas and grandparents were from Durango too. I’m working on this family line, maybe we can compare notes. I also am working with two other Barraza family lines also from Texas. You can email me lynnlortiz@msn.com if your interested in join
      ing our research efforts. I too believe were from Jew roots.

  146. Max permalink
    12 June 2014 4:04 am

    “The Inquisition was imposed from Spain. It cannot be blamed on Mexicans.”
    Again! even this blogger has a twisted misconception of the TRUE ESSENCE of the mexican society:

    Let it be told aloud and clear: We Mexicans are the descendants of the Spaniards who came to the West Indies, conquered, SETTLED DOWN, MARRIED indian women, had mestizo children, and DIED in the New Spain. Most mexicans have Spanish ancestors in different extent; some have more, some have less; even the so-called indians (they are not pure, or they are a tiny minority) have traces of mestizage that occurred centuries ago.

    Then,you can see: the ridiculous statement by the blogger, attempting to separate what in fact CANNOT be SEPARATED. We mexicans, are the spaniards, and the indians, and the mulatos, and maybe jews too. We are the result of all those who came and SETTLE DOWN in the new country and province called New Spain.

    And YES, our Spaniards ANCESTORS DID impose the Inquisition, not only to crypto-jews, but to other spaniards as well. Therefore, it is right to call theseInquisitors MEXICANS, because we, Mexicans, descend from those INQUISITORS or from their relatives; THERE IS NO DOUBT OF IT. Look at the genealogy records, as proof!!!!

    Just making clear things up.

    • Anna Vasquez permalink
      12 June 2014 1:45 pm

      The inquisitors were not Mexican. Inquisitors were sent to Mexico to seek out the Jews that fled to Mexico. The Jews mixed with the natives which is where Mexican comes from (mixed nationality) Study the last names and orgin of those names and you will have a better understanding.
      In the small town of Tlalcosahua, near Jalisco, Mexico a merchant traveling from Germany, settled there in the early 1850’s and married an Indian woman from the family Huisar. His birth records do not exist in Mexican church records except for his death because he died in Tlalcosahua. He is my great grandfather and I found him on ship dockets traveling as a merchant on a German ship listing himself as German traveling with $300, married and a child. I assume that the child is my grandfather but not for sure. This man was Jose Maria Lopez. He may have already been mixed with the Spanish, I don’t know but I do know that the last name Lope is Jewish and was changed to Lopez for hiding purposes.

      Jose Maria Lopez established small stores in the small town with products from his travels.
      My mother tells the stories about her grandfather that her father told her. I researched the last name also spelled Huizar, and they go back to the earliest records in Tlalcosahua, where Lopez, does not.

      Max, you need to do some deep research to back your comment because you will find that your comment is incorrect.

      • Ron Cohen permalink
        13 June 2014 1:52 pm

        The Inquistors consisted of both Spainards and Mexicans. What they had in common however was their Catholicism, Catholics were the Inquisitors and collaborators to that there can be no doubt. The Inquisitions only limit was having a Catholic population who believed that the “Santa Inquisition” was part and parcel of the Catholic doctrine, that stands not only true in Latin America but in Europe as well.

        In many cases, the office of the Holy See,(formally dba as the Office of the Inquisition) were quite successful in manipulating their anti semtic logic as a key facet in their plan to convert the native population.It served as a “vehicle” to bring the native population to Catholicism in many cases.

        A classic example of the above is celebrated yearly in Mexico, in the area of southern Sonora and northern Sinaloa, celebrated by the Yaquis and Ceres amongst other native groups to that region. It is called Baile del Venado and is a pre conquest dance to pray for a fruitful hunt and that the prey does not suffer in death. Post conquest it has also been known as the Baile de los Judios and more recently as Baile de los Faraseos.

        The Church was having a tough time converting these natives to Catholicism from both ideological and social status reasons. In the best Pauline tradition, “the end justifies the means” the question became how could they “bring the true faith to the native pagans”. The Church, never missing an opportunity, adapted the dance to suit their goal, with a pre Easter celebration that featured ugly leather masked Jews, who were sneaky and would dance for money or candy and take the verbal and physical abuse of the population. Also included is the feature that the Jews took off and burned their masks on Ash Wednesday, put an ash cross on their forehead and humbly walked into the Church as believers. In short, it showed the native population that even some people as low as the Jews were welcome as believers. Not important of course was the fact that the most of the natives had no contact with Jews before and had no clue who and what Jews were (details, details) but showed that the Church was accepting of all and of course if the Jews would be accepted by the Church, they would be as well. In other words, someone (even though they had never met that someone) had a lower status than they did in the Churches eyes. It worked quite well.

        Just Google any of the above mentioned names and view it for yourself and draw your own conclusions, This is celebrated by Mexico and is considered a great example of preserving “native tradition”.

        Ana, you may want to look back through this thread concerning where your gdreat grandfather settled. It is in the area of what used to be called “little palestine” in the altos of guadalajara, jalisco which was a known anusim area of settlement.

      • 13 June 2014 2:07 pm

        I very seldom visit this thread (which took on a life of its own years ago), but the Inquisition seems to loom much larger in legend than it ever did in reality. At it’s height (in the 16th century), it was no more (or less) barbaric than any other nation-state of the time in enforcing public adherence to the state religion. By the 17th century it was no more than a clerical court (and in Mexico, having to cover what was basically a region stretching from today’s Oregon to the Straits of Darien, and including the Phillipines, it was not all that powerful, nor particularly efficient). The occasional executions by the inquisition were overwhelmingly of clerics convicted of what would be capital crimes in civil courts… rape, murder and the like. That “The Jew” was used as a metaphor for the non-Christian outsider is, indeed, unfortunate, but one can point to other folk customs where the outsider is “The Moor”…. that Conversos were relatively numerous among early Spanish migrants to the new world seemed to have more to do with Castillian attempts to lock up jobs at home than with the Inquisition.

      • Ron Cohen permalink
        13 June 2014 3:59 pm

        Rich,

        There is definately some middle ground between the 2 extremes that are discussed concerning the Inquisition, indeed there is room for debate concerning numbers and prosecutions etc. However, in the case of Mexico, especially considering the colonization of “El Norte” it is definately a history of people on the run for their lives. Sure enough, there were plenty of Moors involved as well, but they were rarely (if ever) persecuted, the reason was very simple, both Spain and Portugal were very hesitant to take actions against them, considering that they could face retribution from a people with a homeland vs a people who were tossed from their homeland (Spain and Portugal).Just something to think about, the last prisioner the Inquisition released from their prison in Mexico City (now the Museum of Medicine) was in his 90s and the year was 1905. Im sure it would have consoled his suffering knowing that the Inquisition was a clerical court.

      • 14 June 2014 2:41 pm

        “People of the run”, or looking for a better chance? People don’t emigrate in any numbers because they are comfortable at home. That there are more conversos among settlers in what were the frontera areas of Nueva España isn’t at all surprising (Nor, really, that much of the original colonial bureaucracy came from converso backgrounds). Ambitious people with the right family ties to good jobs in Spain weren’t about to risk their lives traveling across the ocean and moving out to what was then seen as a howling wilderness. As it is the best records we have indicate there were less than 30 executions for “judiazing” all before 1700, and no more than 250 persons in any way punished as “suspected jews”. The reality is that “blood mattered” in Spanish bureaucracy, and conversos were at a disadvantage for good jobs at home, but not in the colonies. As to the 1905 prisoner. That’s a folk tale. I’m quite familiar with the Palacio de la Inquisition.. the building itself had been a lottery office and warehouse from 1824 to the 1850s when it was acquired by the medical school. There was a suicide there in the 1870s, but sorry… no prisoners.

      • Anna Vasquez permalink
        15 June 2014 2:23 pm

        I am convinced that the area my great grandfather settled in had a high population of jewish settlers mixing with the natives. I know this because of some of the stories my mother tells that her father told her. He did not believe in the catholic church.
        My mothers maternal side were from Agualas Calantes, the maternal last name was Martinez. They went through great lengths to send my grandmother and aunt to private school in El Paso. My grandmother and her sister lived in Juarez and crossed the border to go to school. My grandmother was a teacher before she came to the U.S. In the early 1900’s.
        Knowing what I know has taken me to some depths of research trying to come full circle on a diagnosis in 1996 almost losing my daughter to Gaucher’s; a very rare genetic Ashkenaze, Jewish, disease. No doctor in the state of Utah, could figure out what she had, threw up their arms and said “your daughter is dieing. Finally; a bone doctor in Salt Lake City, who had studied at Mayo clinic had heard of several rare diseases while doing his residency there. He contacted Mayo clinic and they ordered several test to be performed on my daughter to confirm which disease she had and it turned out to be Gaucher’s.
        With few doctors ever seeing Gaucher’s in their lifetime doctors here in Utah, had no idea what they were dealing with. We were told of a reknowned Dr. in New York City, Dr. Pastories. I contacted him and took my daughter to meet him. Dr. Pastories,sent my daughter through a battery of test which were sent to Boston where a serum was developed specifically for her. The meds were sent to Utah, and my daughter was aggressively infused with enzymes to keep her alive. To this day the serum keeps her alive.
        In the process of trying to find out what she had resulted in her having a total hip replacement at the age of 16.
        I am a carrier and so is my husband; we had no idea. The Ashkenaze go through great lengths screening for this disease in couples who are planning on marriage. If both end up being carriers they are advised not to marry because of Gaucher’s.
        I believe with the research I have done that my mother’s maternal and paternal side were of Jewish decent.

      • Max permalink
        19 June 2014 12:34 pm

        Nope. I stand for what I said; You may consider yourself apart, as jews always have done; But I stand for what I said: The inquisitors were spaniards who also had relatives, and who also came to New Spain, and settled and from whom we descend; I said it: if not directly from the Inquisitors, who were religious, then from their family or relatives, who were not religious and married.

        Of course, you may be shocked to hear the opposite to the lies spread by the freemasons, themselves descendants from conquistadors and indians, who, in their strategy, betrayed their own ancestors, and attempted quite succesful to seed hatred onto people to anything that was “spanish”. They spreaded the lie that “all mexicans are indians” and many swallowed it till today.

        Of course, this lie made all mexican mestizos automatically as bastard children, and their indiand mothers as whores, since they themselves negate their spanish fathers. The multiple problems that plague at present this country, Mexico, are at the root of these facts: it is a society who yells like idiots every 15 september: death to gachupines! when they descend from gachupines, in large or smaller extent;I am aware of the genetic studies made on mexicans.

        What I do not negate, however, is the evilness of the Inquisition. I must inform you, that the Inquisition was not looking for Judaisantes ONLY, but for any person that fell away from the catholic church. Yes, catholic church is a powerful, evil entity.

        And yes, I have studied my family ancestry deeply, and my paternal name comes directly from a Conquistador; I also know that Españoles, mestizos, and mulatos as well are part of my ancestors; I have many of their names in our genealogic family chart.

        However, I have never found evidence that my ancestors were jews. I know my DNA composition, and my Y happlogroup is R1b, which is from European atlantic in origin.

        Nope, I may not know everything, but again, only God knows everything.

      • Mauricio Lastra Pelayo permalink
        15 July 2014 9:34 am

        Anna, in a later post I see u mention Aguascalientes, Mexico n also note that u found Ashkenazi heritage in UR DNA. If u research Aguascalientes, Mexico u will see that it was established by German Immigrants. So it would not surprise me if part of UR family was of German Ashkenazi descent. Just a tidbit of information.

  147. 24 June 2014 7:27 am

    Wow! Interesting and well investigated article. I just wanted to mention that the Cemita sandwiches , which are a well known snack in Puebla, Pue., Mexico are so named because they are made from Semite bread rolls , a tradition brought to Mexico by Spanish Jews.(I presume during the Colonial Period).

  148. Dulce Gutierrez permalink
    5 July 2014 9:39 pm

    I have a friend whos last name is Avina,,, he thinks is a jewish name.. he is from mexico and likes all that has to do with Judaism, and we search in Facebook and there are alot of people with that kind of last name in Israel. ..

  149. Mauricio Lastra Pelayo permalink
    13 July 2014 10:46 am

    Wow, this post is so awesome. When I was a kid growing up we never had anything to do with my Mothers family n we did not know why. All of a sudden when I turned 15 we traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico from El Paso to meet my mothers family after the third day of them spending time with us my father was allowed to come n visit. Years later when I was 18 years old we were drinking some wine and just talking it was myself, my sister, her husband n my Father. We were mentioning the fact that people never think we r Mexicans based on our appearance in particular our color, our eyes n our nose. At that moment my father told us; “es que son sefarditas”. Then my Mother became angry punched my father in the arm n told him to shut up. Since that time I found my Mother was a Pelayo Brambila from Santa Rosalia Jalisco and her father had betrothed her to another Pelayo a third cousin of my mothers. My father moved in next door they saw each other in secret they fell in love n eloped. Since the telling of that story I have found a great deal about the Pelayo family n how they have continued the practice of intermarriage n betrothal to this day. The family crest bears n eight sided star symbolic to baptism n/or circumcision n I have found the name Pelayo n website Sephardim. The name Pelayo actually means of the sea n the greatest miracles which connect Jews with God is the parting of the Red Sea u will find it in Exodus 15 n our people call themselves the people of the sea. My mother was also a Brambila which is an Italian name from Milan next to Bergamo. I have found Brambila as a last name for people in Mexico who were persecuted in The Autos Da Fe. Lastly, my mother was also Guzman which is listed in Catholic Registry as a Sephardic surname. Now I need to research my Fathers side even though we never heard any stories from them they where from Chihuahua n I see in your research all u have found in northern Mexico related to Sephardi genealogy. My fathers names were Lastra n Reza.

  150. 26 July 2014 7:02 pm

    I have linked to your site, thank you

  151. Danny Amador permalink
    9 August 2014 4:51 pm

    Hi, I stumbling onto this website while trying to put my family tree together. I am Mexican/American. Both of my parents are from Mexico. My mom is from la piedad Michoacan and my dad is from Mexico City. I have always been told that I look middle eastern and by finding this site, I have a whole set of new questions about my ancestry. Can anyone help by sending me info on how I can verify if I am a part jewish. Thank you.

    • Lastra permalink
      10 August 2014 2:26 pm

      Danny, Yes there is a dna test that you can have performed check old postings and you will see the name listed. Also, thereis no substitute for researchin your family name and your ancestors names and places where they were looking up tombstones an old records. Good Luck Brother.

      • Danny Amador permalink
        10 August 2014 3:15 pm

        Lastra,
        Thank you for the info.

  152. 11 August 2014 9:35 am

    This is the perfect site for anyone who would like to understand
    this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has
    been discussed for decades. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

  153. 19 August 2014 2:22 pm

    Excellent, what a web site it is! This webpage provides helpful information to us,
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  154. 4 September 2014 3:31 am

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  155. LCD permalink
    5 September 2014 10:08 pm

    I am Mexican American from El Paso, TX, and recently found out that I am a carrier for Tay Sachs and Gaucher’s. Does anyone know if the source of Tay Sachs in Mexican Americans is Jewish ancestry? My OB-GYN asked about my Jewish relatives and one of my close friends who is Jewish welcomed me to the tribe. Is there another reason I would be a carrier for Tay Sachs and Gaucher’s? My family line is complicated and there are some unknowns on my father’s side. Wondering if I should be looking for Jewish lineage.

  156. 17 September 2014 6:09 am

    This information is worth everyone’s attention. When can I find out more?

  157. 17 September 2014 8:14 am

    It is in reality a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you
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  158. Ron Cohen permalink
    17 September 2014 1:14 pm

    Shana Tova Umetukah to all.

  159. william marano permalink
    23 September 2014 3:21 pm

    My last name is 1 r away from marrano. You wouldn’t believe the number of times that I have been turned away by desk clerks in Mexico who said “We have no reservations for a marrano!” LOL

  160. Juan Antonio Velasco permalink
    16 October 2014 9:46 am

    Hello, I going this article fascinating since I have recently been doing a lot of research on this. My family is from Aguascalientes. There were always “rumors” of Jewish ancestors in my family. Unfortunately, my little cousin was diagnosed with a serious and very rare condition called Riley-Day Syndrome. This condition is found almost exclusively in people of Jewish ancestry. I wish the “rumors” could have been confirmed some other way. This is all very fascinating.

Trackbacks

  1. The “old Jews” of Mexico come out after 500 years « The Mex Files « Barbaryalan's Blog
  2. Would DNA testing be legitimate proof of jewish heritage when attempting to immigrate to Israel?

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