Jews in Peru, etc. #names

Rob Montague

Although the name doesn’t immediately ring any bells as being Sephardic, it’s unusual and might be an adapted form of a Hebrew name of the Ben-[name of father] type. In general, Sephardic surnames tend to be based on occupations, place names, or natural features. But there are exceptions to all rules. Since Jews were found everywhere (even if in small numbers in many places) it’s possible that some Jews found their way to Mali. They certainly existed in the Canary Islands, although the Inquisition found them there, too, and many migrated to the Americas to evade the Inquisition.

There are several books that list Sephardic surnames so it might be worthwhile to track them down to see if this surname appears in the form in which you know it or in a form which resembles it. That might give you a better idea of whether this family was ever Jewish.

Rob Montague
Overland Park, KS, USA

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