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Sephardic and Crypto-Jews of New Mexico

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  • Catalina Salazar y de Cadena (1497 - 1534)
    Doña Catalina Salazar y de Cadeña born 1497 at Burgos, Spain died 1534 Her grand-parents were members of the royal court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Her father was ...
  • Francisco Gómez (c.1587 - c.1657)
    Francisco Gómez was born in Coina, a town thirteen miles from Lisbon, Portugal. He was the son of Manuel Gómez and Ana Vicente, both of whom died when he was a child. The family was most ...
  • Sargento Mayor Francisco Gómez Robledo (1630 - 1693)
    From Founders of the Villa de Santa Fe : On the morning of May 4, 1662, Sargento Mayor Francisco Gómez Robledo was awakened in his house on the corner of the plaza of Santa Fe at 5 a.m. by sou...

The Descendants of Sephardic, Anusim, Converso, and Crypto-Jews are welcome to add their Ancestors and/or their own profiles to this project.

When most people think of the the "Jews of New Mexico", they think of German/Ashkenazi Jews coming in the Santa Fe Trail in the late 1800's, early 1900's and setting up mercantile stores from Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and all points west, south, and north. Today the descendants of these first Ashkenazi families have taken their place in NM politics, government, education etc. The first Jewish synagogue in New Mexico was built in 1885 in Las Vegas NM; one of my uncles M.A. Otero according to Henry Tobias in "A History of the Jews of New Mexico" was a financial contributor to the building project.

Crypto-Sephardic-Anusim

But unknown to many people, Jews from Spain came to New Mexico in the 1500's because of the Spanish Inquisition and the later Mexican Inquisition; they hid their Jewish blood and ways and assimilated into the Catholic Hispanic culture. The first ones to "convert" whether forced (anusim), of necessity, or of genuine faith- we today carry the DNA, genealogies, and the stories of a Jewish ancestry and past.

Dr. Denis Ismael Otero traces one of his several lines through his father and mothers lines to the Abraham HaLevi family of Spain. Many in New Mexico are doing DNA and genealogy studies and are coning up with the same results.

If you have Jewish/Cohen DNA, Genealogy, and/or stories from your abuelos and primos- add your tree to this project

For further information see the web-page for tor the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society at http://www.nmjhs.org/===

Glossary:

* Sephardic- "Sepharad" is the Biblical name for Spain as found in Obadiah 1:20 The exiles of this army, the sons of Israel, will have the Canaanites' land as far as Zarephthah, while the exiles from Jerusalem now in Sepharad will have the cities of the Negeb.


* Crypto-Jew- A Jewish person who is catholic (or Moslem, etc.) outwardly but practices his Jewish faith in a hidden manner.

* Anusim- a "forced one", someone who is forced into following the prevailing religion. Benai Anusim are the children/descendants of the original Anusim.

* Converso- A Jewish "convert" to the catholic faith through force, expediency, or genuine faith.


* Marrano- Literally a swine/pig, but also unclean or impure, Conversos were called "marranos" because they ate pig and other unclean meats.

Bibliography for "Jews of New Mexico

(Please add relevant publications)

To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico, Stanley M. Hordes, Published 2005, Columbia University Press, New York

A History of the Jews in New Mexico, Henry J. Tobias, Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (June 1, 1992) ISBN-10: 0826313906, ISBN-13: 978-0826313904