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Have you wondered if you have Jewish ancestors? Does your family history include stories of Jewish heritage or Jewish traditions? Some experts state that as much as 50% of the populations of Calabria and Sicily (the most Southern regions of Italy) were Jewish before the Inquisition.

During the Inquisition, some of these families moved north in Italy and to the Low Lands (Belgium and the Netherlands) or east into Greece and Islamic countries to pursue their religion without fear of death.

Some were already inter-married with Catholic families and were blending into that society and not openly practicing the Jewish religion so they didn’t need to move. Some were converted to Christianity as adults to stay in their towns and keep their lives.

My most distant ancestor found so far was Abraham Fresco, born in Venice, Italy in 1625 and he was probably the first Fresco who settled in Holland

As far as I know, in Italy there is not a central collection of records for genealogical purposes, but there are numerous places in which administrative, civil, religious, and military records are stored.

Any help to add information of the Fresco family will be highly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Bernard Fresco (Holland/Israel)