Researching Hamburg for Moses Athias da Silveira (born c1640), migrated to Jamaica #sephardic

David Silvera

Are there lifecycle and trade records available for the period 1600-1675
in Hamburg that can be used to determine whether there is a connection
between Mosse da Silveira (contractor of Hamburg) and Moses Athias da
Silveira (merchant in Jamaica)?

I am seeking to identify the origin and migration path to Jamaica of my
6th great Grandfather, Moses Athias da Silveira.

Here is what we know:

1684: Naturalized as Moses Silvera in (British) Jamaica to be planter.

1697: His will was written in Portuguese and requested burial with his
fellow Jews. His will indicates that he was a merchant and that his wife
should collect receivables and wind up the business. The synagogue in
Spanish Town was not built until about 10 years after his death. Moses
wrote his will in Portuguese, suggesting that he had not been in Jamaica
long enough to become anglicized.

1698: Died in Jamaica, buried in Spanish Town Jewish Cemetery. Epitaph
(top missing) in Portuguese with traditional inscription "Faleseo Moses
da SILVEIRA Sua Alma Goza da Eterna Gloria Amen". There was the Hebrew
year but no Hebrew written on the partial epitaph. (Ref: Barnett &
Wright). This the earliest "Silveira" epitaph recorded in Jamaica, hence
the hypothesis that he migrated to Jamaica.

Spouse: Esther deLeon (c1655-1726)
Children: 4 sons and 4 daughters born in Jamaica after about 1675

Other Family and Related Names:
Abraham Cohen deLeon Father-in-Law
Dr. Jacob Rodrigues deLeon Doctor
Joseph daCosta Alveranga Witness to Will
Joseph Idana Witness ot Will
David daSilva Tavares Son-in-Law
Abraham Pereira D'Azevedo Son-in-Law
Isaac Abila Son-in-Law
Isaac Massias Son-in-Law
Sarah Massias Daughter-in-Law


Name ambiguity:
Many of the Hebrew Nation assumed aliases to conceal their identity,
so his names may in fact be aliases. (Da Silveira was and still is a
very common Portuguese and Catholic name). Atias/Athias is an Hebrew
name. If Athias da Silveira was his birth name, and not an alias, it
just possible that his grandparents family names were da SIlveira and

When did Moses Athias da Silveira land in Jamaica? By 1674 assuming that
he married Esther de Leon in Jamaica before his first child was born in

Where did Moses Atias da Silveira live before Jamaica? While I continue
to seek out and review records >from Recife, Amsterdam and London, there
is a promising lead to Hamburg that needs to be investigated. And here
it is.

Research by Florbela Veiga Frade* points out that in 1639, Diogo de Lima's
testimony at the Inquisition in Lisbon disclosed Portuguese persons living
in Hamburg and following Jewish practices. Included in this list are two
names of interest:

Antonio da Silveira contratador baixo e refeito que se chama Mosse da
Francisco Vaz de Castro, contratador, que "lhe parece natural de Lamego",
de 30 anos, alto, alvo de rosto conhecido pelo nome judaico de Jacob Atias.

In addition, Michael Studemund-Halevy has acknowledged in his article
entitled "Hamburg's Portuguese Cemetery" the strong connection between
Portuguese families in Hamburg and early settlers in places such as
Amsterdam, London, Venice, Curacao, Jamaica and Barbados.

Are there lifecycle and trade records available for the period 1600-1675
in Hamburg that can be used to determine whether there is a connection
between Mosse da Silveira (contractor) and Moses Athias da Silveira
(merchant in Jamaica)?

David Silvera
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA

*Formas de Vida e Religiosidade na Diáspora
As Esnogas ou Casas de Culto:
Antuerpia, Roterdao e Hamburgo (Seculos XVI-XVII)
Florbela Veiga Frade
ANTT, Inquisicao de Lisboa, Livro 220, fls. 1-14 v. Testemunho de 3 de
Setembro de 1639 de D. Diogo de Lima inserido na denuncia do licenciado
Feliciano Dourado.

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