JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Double surnames among Sephardic Jews #general

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybru@...>

Sephardic Jews used double (and more) surnames for the same reasons that
the Catholics did. They combined the Father's and Mother's surnames to
differentiate different lines, since the oldest son of each son would be
named after the grandfather (Abraham ben Isaac Aboab, who took the name
Duarte Diaz when baptized, had 9 grandsons named after him-9 more Duarte
Diaz/Abraham Aboab's-try and sort them out (2 are my ancestors)).

So, I have seen Vaz Nunes da Costa de la Penha. When Mr. Vaz Nunes da
Costa married Ms de la Penha they combined the names. When Mr. Vaz
Nunes married Ms da Costa, those names were combined (this is my line so
I know this is true). Another brother of Mr. Vaz Nunes added different
wife's name to keep the lines straight. Even Mendes de Medina may be a
combined name-Mr. Mendes and Ms de Medina. It seems >from what I have
seen that there are groupings of names which are not obviously related
who intermarry a lot in the first generations that records are
available. Often, if older records are found, the lines all come
together. I am currently waiting for Andre Mendes da Costa to send or
post some additional generations that he has for my Mendes da Costa

Also, it has been said that sometimes unrelated individuals took
'important' family names even if not related-da Costa and Mendes are the
2 I have heard this said about. I haven't seen any real evidence of
this however.

Of course, very early, the Sephardim often used different family names
for different children-whether to confuse the Inquisition or just to
confuse us. So 3 sons of the same parents might have used different
family names-maybe they all shared an alias and maybe not.

Monsanto is a place name, so it is possible that all the Monsanto's came
from there but may not be related.
Good luck sorting them out.

Sally Bruckheimer
Buffalo, NY

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