Sergio Mota mota_xn_47@yahoo.com

(Sergio Mota is a journalist and historian from Brazil. He is an indefatigable researcher of Portuguese Jewish history. Below is an edited version of one of his letters to Saudades-Sefarad web forum regarding the Bnei anousim/ New Christian diaspora).

The number of bnei-anusim in the Azores
was great but we do not know exactly this number
because many documents are lost. Historians talk about
children sent to the islands but the adults went to Azores
(Madeira and Canarias too) aiming to go to the Americas, this
is a fact.Many of them had to stay there but others got to
go abroad. Here I give here some examples:

In the Mexico Inquisition there is an
accused man of Jewish habits,Pedro Hernandez de Albor
(or Pedro Fernandes de Alvor) born in Vila da Praia,

In Salvador,Bahia, Brazil: Manuel Homem,born
in the Island of São Miguel, Azores son of Gonçalo
Homem de Almeida (born in Algarve, Portugal
and went to the Azores coming to Brazil about 1606)
brother of Doctor Antonio Homem who was a kind of
hacham of the secret synagogue in Coimbra
and died in the bonfires of the Inquisition.

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, returned to
Judaism in 1611, Manuel Homem de Almeida, 46 years old,
born in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island. He lived in
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil where he was friend of Diogo
Dias Querido and father-in-law of Diogo Lopes from
Recife.Inprisoned by Inquisition in 1620 and released
in 1621. He lived as a Jew also in Hamburg, Germany
where there was a Portuguese Jewish Community.

In Santa Fé, Argentina, in the list of the
portuguese suspected of being Jews and expelled to
Cordoba, Argentina, there was a man called Baltasar de
Acosta (maybe da Costa) 40 years old, born in Terceira
Island, Azores. He was a widowed with his daughter.
In the same Argentine city there was
Albaro de Andrada (probably Alvaro de Andrade or
Andrada) 28 years old born in Santa Maria Island
Azores, married, with a son.

There is a list of XVII century Azoreans
New-Christians who payed the Crown the Finta, a tax
they had to pay for being converts published in the book of
Prof. Paulo Drummond Braga "The Inquisition in Azores"
a doctorate thesis in Portuguese. It is the best work till
now about the bnei-anusim presence in the Azores.

Here goes the partial known list of
bnei-anusim surnames in Azores from 1604 to 1623 again:

Andrade, Azevedo, Álvares,Alemão,
Braga,Borges,Barcelos,Câmara, Cunha,Carvalhais,
Cerqueira,Carlos, Carvalho, Costa,Dias, Delgado,
Duarte,Eça, Fernandes,Fontes,Gralia,Geralda,
Gonçalves,Henriques, Heitor,Jacinto,Lopes,Mendes,
Ruivo,Santiago,Soares,Thomas or Tomás,Vaz and Vieira.

There are many more names of Jewish origin in
Azores and Madeira of which I am researching from all
possible sources, mainly in books and articles and thesis.


Sérgio Mota e Silva
Porto Alegre, Brazil