Alan J. Tullio, tvllivs@.... wrote
<........her name was Rebecca, a decidedly odd name for a girl born in the
Italian south in the first or second decade of the 19th Century, especially if
she were Roman Catholic.......Can anyone steer me away >from guessing and onto
more solid ground?
No solid ground, but you should be aware that there was an estimate of 25,000
Jews in Sicily in 1492 when they also became expelled or "converted." At that
time there was an estimate of 50,000 in the main part of Italy. In 1541 there
was a similar expulsion and conversion >from the Kingdom of Naples. As happened
in Spain and Portugal some converted but remained "hidden Jews" (anusim) and
kept their traditions as best as they could. One of these traditions could
have been to name children >from the Old Testament.