Spain Reopening Doors to Conversos and Other Sephardim In a Big Way

Started by Wendy Ann Hoechstetter on Wednesday, November 28, 2012


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Showing 1-30 of 31 posts
11/28/2012 at 12:06 PM

Spain has just decided to grant immediate, automatic citizenship, without even a residency requirement, to anyone who can prove they are of Sephardic Jewish origin by pretty much any means including family stories.

They have apparently allowed the citizenship now for some years, but the new development is removing the residency requirement, thereby essentially fully acknowledging that the Sephardim were terribly wronged and trying to set things right.

11/28/2012 at 12:08 PM

I have Sephardic ancestors :)

11/28/2012 at 1:40 PM

Go ahead and rub it in that I haven't yet been able to find any myself, Hatte, except vicariously through you and others fanned out by marriage in my extended family ;-p

I think I've pretty well ruled out any possibility that the one ancestor I thought might have a connection actually did, at least on the basis of the name as far back as I've been able to find any information. I do still have a couple of other branches I haven't fully explored yet, though, so who knows...

It really is exciting, Malka, isn't it? If nothing else, the scale of the implied apology is of truly historic moment.

11/28/2012 at 2:20 PM

I suspect many of us have Sephardic ancestors :P Anyone with the Epstein or Horowitz rabbinical families as ancestors for instance. A number of so-called Ashkenazi Jewish families were from Sepharad.

Unfortunately so much was lost in the recent generations, but there are many hopeful developments -- fall of Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc and the increasing number of records available digitally as well as access to researchers there who can find our family records. Also, more and more sophisticated DNA tests and tools to analyze the results so that it is conceivable that we could figure out who descends from family such and such.

What have I forgotten? Oh yes, Geni and other collaborative, global, Web-based sites that allow up to connect our trees with cousin trees in Israel, South Africa, other trees in the U.S. like you and me and Hank.

11/28/2012 at 2:53 PM

Well, sure, I know those connections are there by marriage, but if one is not a direct descendent of any of these folks, I don't think it would count for this purpose. I don't think that Spain itself knows exactly how they're going to manage this process yet, for that matter.

I'm glad to know that more and more records are becoming available. It seems like a monumental task to try to investigate it all, though, and back that far, and I find myself still really not even knowing where to start for much of it, or unable to read what I do find.

So, I've pretty much glazed over just thinking about it especially as I've ended up chatting with so many living relatives I've found through Geni and Ancestry and elsewhere, including several folks in and/or from South Africa. It's been fascinating, and I am thrilled to make these connections, but has kept me from research into records.

I'd like to look into DNA testing but don't really know where to start.

11/28/2012 at 3:08 PM

There are a couple of projects on Geni devoted to DNA testing and some really knowledgeable folks in the projects, so just start a project discussion.

I usually recommend the autosomal test but it's daunting for us Ashkenazi Jews because we match hundreds of people, but you could be lucky and find not too distant cousins. I know for instance that a certain segment on Chromosome 1 is shared by all the Frankel cousins tested so far, which is pretty interesting. So if someone were to match there, even a bit, it would be a signal to consider Frankel ancestry. It was how I proved that our Frankels were related to another family of descendants of a Frankel family and pinpointed where my gg grandfather was born and raised, in a town quite distant from where my gg grandmother lived. I visited the cemetery in that town this summer and found some of the Frankel graves even. We were probably 1/3 of the town's population - surname Frankel - not counting the others related by marriage or blood. So walking in that cemetery I knew that I was related to a large number of those buried there. Very very moving and sad.

11/28/2012 at 7:12 PM

Thanks, Hatte; I wasn't aware of the Geni projects. Now to just find some time to read up on this - among my many other pursuits <g>.

That's very cool that you were able to find those graves.

12/10/2012 at 3:59 PM

Well, it looks like the situation is not nearly as simple as initially painted, and b'nai anusim will have to formally convert to Judaism if they want citizenship, among other things <sigh>.

12/10/2012 at 7:24 PM

I'm not sure how much stock to put in this article and its author, who states "Five hundred and twenty years after the start of the Inquisition..." - and this in the NYT? Study history, anyone?

Private User
2/11/2013 at 3:15 AM

Do. not worry Ms. Wendy . im Mexican and you may think that is find the trade,and you whit . conectioms of your.e Sephardic Jewish origin. i did. and is great. do not say you Can not. you will sincerly yours Ignacio Anaya Gomez.

2/11/2013 at 9:52 AM

Private User You elevate and enlighten us all with your inspiring spirit. I came across a fascinating Blog highlighting many similar Mexican converso connections in their family as yours.


It does seem that an inordinate number of Iberian converses have names ending with the letter "z". So much so that some investigating the Crypto Jewish Saga have even suggested that perhaps the addition of the letter "z" at the end of the family name as a secret identifying code.

Or maybe it was a way of indicating that their family is descendants of an ancient family line with the stylistic addition of "son of" - ez.

In any case, name ending in the letter "z" are statistically probably more likely to find Jewish connections.

Private User
2/11/2013 at 10:17 AM

Thanks, dear Malka me i ? call you for your first name. i allways new and dont now way, the connection whit Sephardic Jewish origin. not be call Crypto Jewish , because is not my case, my Family became, Catholics. in a strong way. on my Family there where many Bishops and religius memebrs ,they decide this . because where afraid to the. Spanish Inquisition , dont blame them. is History now.

Private User
2/11/2013 at 10:21 AM

and where related very close to the Kings. Fernado and Isabel- the Mendoza.s and the Velasco.s can you imagen , they where in no place to run.

2/11/2013 at 10:33 AM

Private User Welcome 32nd Cousin!!! Geni shows that your illustrious strong Catholic line and my rabbinical line blend nicely together forming a direct path between the two of us :)

"Ignacio Anaya Gomez is your 32nd cousin".

Malka Mysels
→ Leah Citron your mother
→ R' Yehoshua Citron her father
→ Leah Frankel Citron his mother
→ R' Shmuel Frankel, The Kamader - Doroger Rav her father
→ Shraga Feiwel Frankel, ‎ר" שרגא פייבוש פרענקל אב"ד גינז-רי his father
→ R' Uri Lipman Frankel (Unzdorf, Austria) his father
→ Moses Eliezer Frankel, ‎אליעזר פרענקל his father
→ Yehoshua Frankel-Teomim, ‎יושע יחזקאל פייביל תאומים פרענקל his father
→ Rabbi Yosef Frankel Teomim ‎רבי יוסף חיים פרנקל-תאומים his father
→ Rabbi Arye Leib Frankel-Teomim [of Krozow] אריה לייב פרנקל-תאומים his father
→ Faivel Premsler Joshua Ezekiel Fraenkel-Teomim פייבל יהושע יחזקאל פרנקל-תאומים his father
→ Beile Frankel-Teomim (Wahl) / בלה פרנקל-תאומים his mother
→ Hinda Katzenellenbogen, הינדה קצנלנבויגן her mother
→ Rabbi Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz her father
→ Nissel Reisel (Rachel?) Horowitz his mother
→ Moshe Halevi Ashkenazi her father
→ Nevia Ashkenazi his mother
→ Melech Stern, HaKohen her father
→ David de l'Estoile his father
→ Baruch de l'Estoile, ha Nasi his father
→ ? de l'Estoile his mother
→ Clarice de Lunel bat Abba Mari Yarhi her mother
→ Abba Mari "Don Astruc" ben Moses Yarhi her father
→ Moshe ben Yitzhak HaLevi HaYarhi his father
→ Yitzhak (Isaac the Blind) Saggi Nehor his father
→ unknown bat Abraham ben Isaac of Narbonne his mother
→ Abraham ben Isaac of Narbonne her father
→ unknown bat Perfet Sheshet Nasi his mother
→ Reina bat Barzilai her mother
→ Bonadona bat Mar Shealtiel Ibn Lakhtush her mother
→ Mar Solomon Shealtiel "Felez Ferruz" Pattish haHazak, Nasi, Vizier her father
→ Yitzhak ben Chyzkia, Nasi his father
→ Yosef ben Hizkiya ibn ʿAwkal, Nasi, Nagid of Fustat and Rome his brother
→ Pagano (Abū Saʿīd Khalaf?) Ebriaci, di Pisa his son
→ Ugone Ebriaci di Pisa his son
→ Maria Ebriaci di Pisa his daughter
→ Eleanor di Arborea her daughter
→ Manfredo di Saluzzo, II her son
→ Bianca d'Agliano, II his daughter
→ Manfred, King of Sicily her son
→ Constanza II de Sicilia, reina consorte de Aragón his daughter
→ Sta. Isabel de Aragão, rainha consorte de Portugal her daughter
→ Constanza de Portugal, reina consorte de Castilla her daughter
→ Alfonso XI el Justo, rey de Castilla y León her son
→ Sancho Alfonso, conde de Alburquerque his son
→ Leonor de Castilla his daughter
→ Leonor de Castilla y Alburquerque her daughter
→ Beatriz Manrique de Lara y Castilla her daughter
→ Francisco Fernández de Velasco her son
→ Bernardino Fernández de Velasco y Tovar his son
→ José Fernández de Velasco de Tremiño Enriquez his son
→ Mariana Temino De Banuelos Y Alcocer his daughter
→ Ángela Velasco Figueroa y Bañuelos (Pacho) her daughter
→ Ana Flores De la Torre y Temiño De Velasco her daughter
→ Francisco de Velasco y Temiño her son
→ Maria de Velazco y Zúñiga his daughter
→ José Gómez García Velasco y Zúñiga her son
→ Francisco Raymundo Gomez de Aguilar y Solorzano his son
→ Nicolas Crisanto Gomez de Aguilar y Quijas his son
→ Maria Eusebia Lugarda Gomez de Aguilar de la Brambila his daughter
→ M. Fregoso Gomez her daughter
→ M. Patiño Fregoso her daughter
→ J. Gomez Patiño her son
→ R. Gomez Perez his daughter
→ Ignacio Anaya Gomez
her son

Private User
2/11/2013 at 10:45 AM

Grand Inquisitor Alonso Manrique de Lara, arzobispo de Sevilla is my first cousin 16 times removed. and my9th great grandfather. Inquisition trial . Proceso inquisitorial en contra de Agustín Brambila y Arriaga, natural de Chametla, Nueva Vizcaya, acusado de astrólogo, adivino y judiciario: México, 1632-1633.

2/11/2013 at 11:28 AM

Private User Are you saying that both the Grand Inquisitor Alonso and his accused victim were related to you in that specific trial?
How very painful for you.

You probably will be interested in researching the new Inquisition Files that the Vatican is making public. Researchers are sure to find astounding genealogical treasures hidden there.

Have you seen any of Geni's Inquisition Projects?



This project contains links to the Vatican Archives and informational videos.

Private User
2/12/2013 at 6:52 AM

Hello! not the specific trial, ? only that they are so close to me. . im related to the Bernal de la Cueva . and Marina Carbajal. burn in Mexico. i will be seen the proyecs from Geni. im the only one in my Family , to be awere of the Conversos Family branch. im so honor to be your 32nd Cousin!!! have a nice day Malka.

2/12/2013 at 7:50 AM

Private User It is indeed a delight, honor and privilege to meet you too dear 32nd Cousin, thanks to Geni's amazing One World Tree genealogical matching software!

I checked using the Green Pushpin on the upper right of each profile page, and found your connection to King David.

King David -----

King David / דוד המלך is Ignacio Anaya Gomez's 90th great grandfather.

You are probably connected to many profiles on this list too:

2/12/2013 at 8:18 AM

we have take note also that many kings of Spain include as their title also the title of king/duke of Jerusalem ....

Private User
2/12/2013 at 9:40 AM

The pleasure is mine , dear Malka you are a charming lady thanks for the informacion of King David don.t we all related? to him.

Private User
2/12/2013 at 9:43 AM

Hello! Andrei so we relatrd ti. is so nice a have a ancester. Guido Levezares who! whas very active in the Filipinas history now i now have Family in that beautyfull country.

2/12/2013 at 4:25 PM

Ola senor Gomez ... we are 16th cousin! The Philippines was colonized by Spain in 1560's via Acapulco until 1820..

Private User
2/12/2013 at 11:50 PM

Gracias. Primo Andrei the first expedicion to the Filipinas whas out of Barra de Navidad Jalisco Mexico. and and so glad to get to now you and youre fine Family.

2/13/2013 at 5:25 AM

Si ... Primo ... the Filipinas was actually a province of Mexico then until 1820.

2/13/2013 at 8:22 AM

The Filipinos' Jewish lineage is traceable via Spanish roots ... in fact our names are evidence that most of us have genealogical lines originating from Israel with names almost 90% still the same with our ancestors in Israel. Our names in this part of Asia are the most uncommon among Asians and only similar to Israel ...

Private User
2/13/2013 at 9:37 AM

Thanks. Primo for the informacion , you are correct .

2/14/2013 at 5:33 PM

"Congreso Internacional "Reencuentro e historia de la aljama de Zamora"
International Academic Conference in Zamora Spain
on Revisiting the History and Culture of Zamora Sefardi.
Hotel NH Palacio del Duero
July 03, 4 and 5th, 2013


Genie Milgrom's Crypto Jewish Genealogical Odyssey, plus her


1. Institute for Marrano (Anusim) Studies,
2. Cuban Genealogy Center
3. The Center for Research on The History of Dutch Jewry
4. eSefarad
5. Genealogy of Major Sephardi Families from the Ottoman Empire and beyond
6. Genealogia Espanola
7. Netherlands Society for Jewish Genealogy
8. Sephardic Genealogy
9. The Hispanic Genealogy of New York Society
10. Sephardic Genealogy Research by Harry Stein Esq.
11. The National Sephardic Library
12. Tarbut Sefarad

2/15/2013 at 6:21 AM

Private User You might be interested in the links above.

Private User
2/15/2013 at 2:49 PM

The situation is rather complex -

1. To be eligible, a person must prove they are a member of a practicing member of a Jewish Community,

2. The rules for such dual-citizenship are unknown - we have someone prepared to write the legislation for Spanish Govt to enact:

"Doreen [Carvajal],

If the matter is left to be resolved as between these two outfits, it will never get done!

My feeling is that the Federation does not want to get involved for fear it may be getting into something that will put them out of their depth and resources. You know how we Jews are: if we put three of them together, for starters,they will have five different opinions and form five factions and they will kivetch kivetch and kivetch some more!

If drafted by a qualified lawyer, it should not take more than a day max. to draft the basic regulations.

After all regulations are not written in stone. If the first regulations are incomplete or overlook some special cases, the regulations can be readily amended.

In the meantime, the vast majority of those entitled to the citizenship, which are straight forward cases, can get going and have their applications processed by the Spanish government on the basis of the basic regulations.

If you would or could send me an electronic copy of the legislative text- the statute that has been enacted on this subject, I will be glad to draft a set of regulations in English and we can then take it from there and decide on the next best steps



P.S. Needless to say, until my retirement in 2007, I was a Crown Counsel (criminal and civil; barrister and solicitor) with the Government of Canada starting in 1979.

Showing 1-30 of 31 posts

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