Portuguese Sephardic Jews

M Thatcher

Hi I am trying to trace my family named, DeFraytis, who left Portugal in around 1650 to escape the inquisition. They came and settled in the Rochester Kent and the surrounding towns.

There is family spoken history of three family groups coming together, they were Mariners and were so working in then Medway dock yards up until the late 19th century. The earliest I have managed to get back to is 1710 Francis Defrates,  It is possible his father was also called Francis born around 1680.

Any help would be most welcome. I am going to Rochester in November to do more research.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Regards Malcolm


Hi Malcolm

I believe we have been in touch before as I am interested in Jewish seamen of the period. If you have or find any more evidence of your sailor ancestors I woukd be grateful for any information.
I believe that several DeFreitas families ended up in the US from Madeira. I guess the arrived in Madeira during the Inquisition.

BTW I just found a Frances Defretas who was a policeman (number K61) working in the Mile End area in 1850. He was a witness in a theft trial at the Old Bailey on 8 April.

Alan Cohen