Sephardic SIG #Sephardim Livorno (Leghorn) and the Medicis #sephardic

Jeff at SG

When the Jews were expelled >from Spain in 1492, and few years later >from
Portugal, they sought refuge where they could. Large numbers went to
Morocco, Holland and the welcoming Ottoman empire. Others ventured
further afield, to the Caribbean and the New World and others as far as
eastern Europe.

Therefore, when in 1592, Ferdinand I (di Medici), Grand Duke of Tuscany,
invited them to settle and freely practice their religion in Pisa and
Livorno (Leghorn), many expelled Sephardim eagerly took him up on it.
Thus was established the community of Sephardic Livornese Jews. Tuscany
under the Medici merchant princes competed with Venice on one side and
Genoa on the other, both of which had busy well developed ports,
something Tuscany lacked. Ferdinand di Medici's motivation in inviting
the Jews to settle in Livorno was his desire that they develop the small
port of Livorno to compete with Venice and Genoa. The Jews of Livorno
did so and prospered. Along with Amsterdam, they became one of the major
centers of post-expulsion Sephardim. Livorno is therefore an important
source for Sephardic genealogy.

The important 1841 census of the Jews of Livorno is now available and
searchable online at
along with a smaller searchable database of the Jewish charity societies
of Livorno Jews at

Several important additional databases are in the works and will soon
become available on SephardicGen at

Jeff Malka

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