Re: Surname Alhadeff from Greece #names

Leon Taranto

The Alhadeff surname is most closely associated with the Jews of Rhodes, a community that likely neared about 5,000 at its zenith and was virtually wiped out by the Germans during the Shoah when they deported over 2,000 Jews of Rhodes and nearby Kos to Auschwitz. Few survived and virtually none returned to live out their lives on Rhodes, where no real semblance of a community survived.

Since Alhadeff is an ancestral name for me, through my maternal grandmother’s descent from the affluent commercial and banking Alhadeff family of Rhodes, I have identified and developed family trees that collectively include over 1,000 persons with the Alhadeff surname. These include many branches, over 100. In many instances I have been able to tie branches together with a common ancestor. I can trace my own branch back to the mid-1770s, but generally cannot go back earlier than the 1800s for other branches. Without the ability to push the other branches back to the 1700s and perhaps earlier, I don’t expect to make much more headway in connecting branches.

Some of the branches are tied by identical Y-DNA results. My Oumano grandmother, whose maternal grandmother was also an Alhadeff, has an Oumano nephew whose Y-DNA results are a perfect match to two Alhadeff men. Thus, it appears that my Oumano line is likewise an Alhadeff branch, with a common male ancestor. Among the possibilities are that (1) my remote paternal Oumano ancestor at some point changed his name from Alhadeff to Oumano (perhaps even going back to the Inquisition to find safety by abandoning the Jewish surname Alhadeff which was known in pre-Expulsion Castile (Spain); (2) my remote Oumano ancestor was born an Alhadeff but then adopted by an Oumano, perhaps after his father died or after his mother remarried; or (3) my remote Oumano ancestor was the product of an affair that his mother had with an Alhadeff man.

Leon Taranto
Rockville, Maryland

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