Re: Statistics on Conversos #sephardic


The subject of these statistics is very much a "Who knows?" question and one
typically sees a range of estimates.

Here are some estimates >from Wikipedia "Expulsion of Jews >from Spain"
providing a timeline as much as anything.

The Alhambra Decree aka Edict of Expulsion was issued March 31, 1492, to
take effect on Tisha B'Av, 1492, which it did.

More than half of Spain's Jews had converted in 1391 due to persecutions and
pogroms. Wikipedia "History of the Jews in Spain" put this number at
300,000 converts.

Because of "continuing attacks" 50,000 more had converted by 1415. Wikipedia
"Expulsion of Jews >from Spain" numbers the total converts >from 1391 to 1492
at 200,000.

Between 40,000 and 100,000 Jewish Spaniards were expelled in 1492. "An
unknown number returned to Spain in the following years" (Wikipedia
"Expulsion of Jews >from Spain"). The numbers expelled would constitute a
human tidal wave in any era.

Likewise the number of today's descendants of converts who remained in Spain
in 1492 must be considerable.

I saw a very imprecise map showing where the expelled migrated. There was
one arrow >from northern Spain to somewhere in southern England. The note
stated some were forced to return >from England to Spain where they

There was no record given of those who did not return to Spain >from England
which was already officially Judenrein in 1492. Presumably those remaining
in England were forced to convert in England and assimilated there.

It is a little known fact that Sicily was under the control of Spain in 1492
and the Jews of Sicily suffered the same fate at the Jews of Spain but in

An estimated 36,000 Sicilian Jews were expelled in 1493 (Wikipedia "History
of the Jews of Sicily and the Spanish Inquisition"). An unknown number
accepted conversion to remain in Sicily.

An interesting article "Surnames of the former Jews of Sicily" states "After
the edict of expulsion part of the Jewish population converted. These are
some surnames adopted by Jews after the conversion." Hundreds of names are

The Inquisition in Spain was abolished in 1820s-1830s. The last Inquisition
trial in Brazil I could find noted was in 1763.

I have learned of an annual festival on one of the Portuguese islands when
men dress in pointed black hoods and black robes to mingle among the crowds.
This appears to be a form of modern intimidation.

Likewise I learned of an annual festival in Ecuador when effigies are
burned. People tease one another saying "I will burn you!" This also
appears to be not so subtle intimidation.

Family Tree DNA found that an astonishing percentage of Latin American men,
presumably not Jewish, testing there have the Cohen Modal Haplotype
indicating they are descendants of Aaron the brother of Moses.

If so many Latin American males are Cohen, what are the rest?

Doug Turner

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