Michael Bernet wrote:
and Stan Goodman added:Spelling of names was quite loose in those days. His Hebrew name may
Very likely, indeed. And if his name was Me'ir, and if he was known by
Another possibility: that it was his patronymic, and not his givenStan's theory is likely correct and surely this very lack of an
established family name, which, if Mr Meeres were indeed >from a Spanish &
Portuguese family in Amsterdam one would certainly expect him to have, is
indicative of an Ashkenazi origin?
Other listers have either quoted >from or recommended the publication JHSE
Misc. vi, which contains both the 1695 London census information as it
pertains to Jews and the burial register of the S&P Bethahaim Velho
(1657-1733). The census does indeed list 5 families of MEERES (noting that
two of them are probably not Jewish) and in fact suggests that the
remaining three are Ashkenazim rather than Sefardim and this would seem to
tally with the lack of any MEERES burials in the S&P old cemetery.
So, how did Mr. Meeres know enough Spanish to translate? Michael Bernet is
probably spot-on in suggesting that the Ashkenazi Me'ir had had close
contact with the Spanish & Portuguese community in Amsterdam, London or
even further afield (Curacao possibly?) and thus picked up a language very
useful to his economic and social advancement within the Atlantic trading
network of the western Sephardi Diaspora.
David A Reed