B'nei Anusim Center for Education

Bringing Together and Educating Descendants of Sephardic Conversos

Ask a Question

The section is dedicated to questions from our readers feel free to write us at rambam44@gmail.com or to post a comment using the comment box.

We will read your question and respond as quickly as we can. Be sure to look at other questions and answers in the mean time.

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5 comments on “Ask a Question

  1. tillerofthesoil
    February 10, 2015

    Hello Rabbi,

    My maternal grandmother ‘s maiden name is Beccera. In her family there were a number a men with biblical first names like Benjamin. And apparently a family story about origins in Spain. Would you guess that perhaps she has a converso past? Thank you.

  2. Tom Gutierrez
    February 19, 2015

    Rabbi, my name is Thomas Gutierrez, my grandmother came from the Longoria De La Pontiga family of Asturias, Spain. My grandfather came from Guadalajara, Mexico and left at a young age (he ran away, as our family has told it). We have always lived away from other Hispanic families and lived pretty sheltered in rural Michigan. My father grew up in southern Texas where grew into a large Gutierrez family and moved to Michigan and owned farm land and made a living growing produce. Anyways, I thought I knew something about our family, but have run into a lot of conflicting issues such as some in the Longoria side being involved in inquisitions, while there is no information on the Gutierrez history other than possibly one of the first immigration trips by Juan Gutierrez in 1561(?). I believe that we must be Jewish, possibly by both sides of our fraternal grandparents ancestry. I would like to know what you advise for me and my family as far as verifying our Jewish ancestry. Presently, we live in Central Texas, in the city of Killeen, between Dallas and San Antonio. Thank you.

  3. deborah pendleton
    September 5, 2015

    I only became aware of my Jewish ancestry through exploring my genealogy and seeing the pattern of intermarriage through hundreds of years down to my grandparent’s arranged marriage. I joined the site geni.com and plugged in my information. up popped all my Jewish ancestry. My ancestors came to the New World to escape the inquisition and developed a pattern of intermarriage. It wasn’t really that surprising to me since my dad was raised nominally catholic but hated the church, didn’t believe in the divinity of Christ and only used the old testament. My family has never fit in and there was something oddly different about us. we were aware of the separation but never understood the source.

  4. alexfresel
    September 22, 2016

    Had my brother tested for the chrismukkah some years ago using FTDNA.

    My father’s side is Litvak from Nyesviz/Snov Vayrusland. You can read/watch more on my blog. There weren’t many hits on the ancestry of my fathers side b/c of the genocide. I gather from researching the family names, locations in Nyesviz (proximities to synagogues) that our families were probably part of the ruling subcaste in the Kehilla in the feudal period.

    Anyway, the real surprise was, my maternal DNA showed Anusim. That is very strong presence of Spanish and Moroccan Jewish ancestry, with also Turkish, Italian and way before, Palestinian, and even Iraqi, Iranian and Benares Indian.

    The more immediate ancestry however was/shows as Belgian, Irish, French, Scottish. My guess is that the Irish side was Anusim. The Irish family name of my great grandmother was Fleming, I assume the family emigrated (to copper mining country in Cork/Waterford). Perhaps an Anusim to Belgian bourgeois/merchant link?

    Other clues were that Mary Fleming kept the cleanest pig in the Upper Peninsula, Mi and that her cousin was Archbishop of Duluth in the 30s/40s. Perhaps a converso priest who took things too far?

    I don’t have stories of sweeping toward the center of the room, etc. Although there may have been Friday family night gatherings, I’d have to doublecheck on that one.

    Any ideas on the possible lingeages? My mother did also name me after my French/Scottish grandfather, Alexander Fraser so there is that tradition but that side of the family is lost in the mists of history.

  5. Christopher Arevalo Figueroa
    January 17, 2017

    My mothers maiden was “Arevalo” my family ties are to the “Lopez Familia” of San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas. I was born and raised Catholic, during the Christmas season my mother would place a “Menorah” out which struck me odd due to the fact we were Catholic made me confused. I always felt disconnect from the Catholic Church, and more drawn to something else. I need more info., to help me further along my journey to enlightenment.

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