Caribbean with Ashkenazi Jewish Dna #dna

Bill Rubin

Hello Arinze,

The location of our ancestors by any of the DNA testing firms is a matter of statics.   How your DNA matches up to the information in the DNA testing firm’s DNA database gives you the results reported to you.
Nigeria is not a homogeneous country. If I recall correctly, Nigeria is made up of many different tribes and/or ethnic groups.  If the 23andMe had a better sampling of the DNA from across the different groups in Nigeria, they could have reported what tribe your ancestors were from.

Some DNA testing companies have databases and algorithms that more accurately report one’s Jewish ancestry and location.

Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage are two DNA testing companies who I have found to more accurately report Jewish heritage.  I am aware of other people who knew they were crypto Sephardic Jews and felt they did not get an accurate DNA report.

It is possible to transfer your 23andMe DNA data to the two companies referenced above.  The DNA report from these other companies will likely show different results from what you already received.  
Search the Internet for instructions on how to transfer DNA data between testing companies.

All the Best,

-Bill Rubin
Arlington, MA

Deborah Winograd

Hello Arinze,

There is a fair amount of information about the history of the Jewish population of Barbados on the internet. is one of them.  There is also contact info for the World Jewish Congress Affiliate:

Barbados Jewish Community Council
President: Scott Oran
Telephone: +1-246 826-6726
Email: Scott@...

In cooperation with:
Bridgetown Synagogue 1654
c/o Altman Real Estate
St. James BB24008

Chairman: Sir Paul Altman
Telephone: 538-6870

Hope this proves helpful.
Deborah Winograd
Falmouth, MA

Barbara Ellman

The history of the Jewish community of Barbados is described on the ANU website.  The Sephardic population was no longer on the island as of 1929.
Although the site doesn't specify that the current Jewish population of the island is Ashkenazi.  However, the website for the synagogues on the island specify the association with the United Synagogue of America an Ashkenazi based liturgical organization. 
Barbara Ellman
Secaucus NJ USA
ELLMAN, COIRA, MAIDMAN - Minkovtsy, Ukraine
KAGLE, FASS - Ulanow, Poland

Simon Kreindler

Hi Arinze, You've raised a very interesting question.
There was an Ashkenazi community in Barbados starting in 1932. Most are now gone but if you're interested in learning more you might want to have a look at the book "Peddlers All, Stories of the First Ashkenazi Jews in Barbados" that I compiled in 2017.
Feel free to get in touch.
Simon Kreindler <iamsimonkreindler@...>

Bill Rubin

Hello Arinze,
Ms. Ellman is most likely correct that the Jews in Barbados who identified as Sephardic have been gone for a long time. However, Crypto-Jews are likely in Barbados, throughout the Caribbean, as they are in the Americas' Spanish and Portuguese-speaking areas. The ancestors of these people often outwardly converted to Christianity but inwardly and at home maintained some Jewish customs.  Like your grandmother, who did not eat meat that was served, I have an acquaintance from Columbia who has two cutting boards: one for cheese and one for anything else. If the cheese cutting board is used for anything else, particularly meat, she gets extremely upset. When asked, she cannot explain why she gets so upset over this cutting board.  Traditional Jewish household, keep dairy and meat separate and never serve them at the same meal.

-Bill Rubin

Brian Cooper




Jewish Pirates of the Carribean by Edward Kritzler is an elightening read on the history and movement of the Sephardi Jews fleeing persecution in Spain and Portugal and the part they played in the development of trade and commerce in the New World. 

Brian Cooper. London UK.

Veronica Zundel

Two thoughts occur to me. One is that there were certainly some Jewish slave owners and we know that slave owners often had children by their female slaves.  The second is that Burgess, while not a Jewish name, could easily be an Anglicization of Berger. Just guessing here but both seem probable.
Veronica Zundel, London
Searching descendants of Josef Jakob Horoschowski b. 1905 Drohobych

Victoria Fisch has some really good burial records in Barbados. If you can construct a family tree, you may be able to utilize their records. Searching for Burgos or Burgess, I found 180 hits under the parameters of death and burial, however, the hits appear to all be Burgess. It's possible you can find your family and work backwards.

Victoria Fisch

Victoria Fisch

I have in my possession a book likely written in the 1950s (no publication date) entitled Jewish Monumental Inscriptions in Barbados, by E.M. Shilstone. It is a list of burials and headstone inscriptions and in glancing through it, I did come across the surname Burgos  / Burgoss - perhaps Burgess was an anglicization.

Victoria Fisch
Sacramento CA

Paula B <paula@...>

Hi, Simon,

I would love to read your book. I don’t see it on Amazon, or am I missing something? I am very interested in Caribbean history *and* Jewish history, so it sounds perfect. How can I get hold of a copy?

Thank you!
Paula Berinstein 

Herschel L. Sheiness

Brian, I recently read the book you mention and found the title to be very misleading.  As you say, it is more about the history and movement to that part of the world that "Pirates."  That being said, it was interesting.

Herschel Sheiness
San Antonio, Tx

Molly Staub

You might find interesting the book "Jews, Slaves, and the Slave Trade" by Eli Faber (New York University Press). It details the activity in the Caribbean.
Molly Arost Staub


U. S.  and Israel:

Paula B <paula@...>

Oh my. Have you looked at the reviews on Amazon? This book is really controversial. I’m a little afraid to read it because of what it might do to my digestive system, and yet I’d really like to know what Jews’ role in the slave trade was. Do you have any thoughts on this?
Thank you!
Paula Berinstein 


Not sure this is exactly part of the conversation, however, this topic caught my eye. I am currently reading "The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton."  Hamilton was from the Caribbean and it tells the story of his most likely being raised as Jewish there! It's a great read so far, and goes further into Jews in early American history. 

Donna Borok Moss
San Rafael, CA

Simon Kreindler

Hi Arinze,

"Peddlers All, Stories of the First Ashkenazi Jewish Settlers in Barbados" can be ordered on the Website

Simon Kreindler
Toronto, Ontario