The list was prepared from the index by Abraham de Mordechai Vaz Dias which is preserved at the Amsterdam Stadsarchief (State Archive).
When the Conversos fled Portugal to settle in Amsterdam they returned openly to Judaism. Because they often still had relatives in Portugal, they tried to protect them by using aliases in their transactions. However, it wasn't only the Portuguese who wound up in Amsterdam. Even a century after 1492, conversos were finding their way from Spain to Amsterdam. It is a convoluted history as many Spanish Jews fled to Portugal in 1492, as they thought they would be safe. They were - but only for a few years. In 1497, they again had to make a choice of convert or flee.
In those days, Portuguese was a synonym for Sephardic Jewish, and encompassed the Spanish Jews as well. Listing a person as a Portuguese merchant generally meant he was Jewish. Their family contacts worldwide, along with their language skills, were great commercial assets in their farflung business ventures. And in their contacts with family back home, they had to be discreet as to not bring suspicion on relatives left behind.
One man was known by 12 aliases. Here are the names and years of these aliases. Will the real Antonio Hidalgo o Velho please stand up?
1657 - Antonio Hidalgo o VelhoAntonio/Jacob's Jewish name was Isac (Isaac), and he also used these Jewish surnames (and corresponding aliases):
1659, 1665 - Antonio Hidalgo
1657 - Antonio Cortissos
1665 - Jacob Semah Cortissos
1657 - Jacob Cortissos
1659 - Antonio Hidalgo
1647 - Semas (Antonio da Costa Cortissos)Antonio da Costa (Cortissos) was also known as Teunis van den Coster (1657).
1647 - Semach Cortissos (Antonio da Costa (Cortissos)
1648 - Semach (Antonio da Costa Cortissos)
Vaz Dias, in the first half of the 20th century, went through the archives' notarial records and identified the aliases, preparing a separate card index (identified as archive no. 5059, inventory nos. 267 and 268) providing an individual's Jewish name and its aliase as well as the notarial record identifying that alias.
Vibeke Sealtiël Olsen transcribed the card index collection into a database made available to SephardicGen. Many surnames are composite surnames (Da Costa, D'Aguire, etc.) which creates problems in searching for a specific name. Due to this problem, use the "contains" search parameter.
As I am always looking for clues to TALALAY, I entered "tal" and searched for "contains."
Although there were none, the results were interesting in terms of variations in family and first names:
Italiaander, Abraham -> Levi Victoria, Abraham - 1697When you consider the famous Abravenel family, here spelled Abarbanel, we see the following:
Italian, Jan Pietersz -> Leon, Isak Jehuda - 1645
de Luna Montalto, Abraham -> Hogenberch, Abraham - 1676
Montalto, Isac -> de Luna Montalto, Lopo - 1618
Luna Montalto, Michael -> Montalto, Mozes - 1618
Montalto, Mozes -> de Luna Montalto, Michael - 1618
Correa de Vega, Gil -> Mocatta, Jacob - 1645
Roemer, Gerrit -> Martens, Gerrit - 1710
Roemer, Gerrit -> Henrigues Faro, David - 1710
Abarbanel, Isaque -> Lopes Gomes, Francisco - 1638There were Cohens whose aliases were Luis, da Costa, d'Azevedo, Henriques, Carlos, Levi, de Rocha Pinto, da Silva Ramos, Dias and Ergas.
Abarbanel, Isaque -> d"Aguilar, Alonco - 1696
Abarbanel, Joseph -> Homen, Pedro Manuel Thomas - ?
Abarbanel, Joseph -> Da Serra, Joseph - 1674
Abarbanel, Mozes Baruch -> Van Der Graft, Albertus -1671
Abarbanel, Pinechas -> Thomas, Manuel - 1615
Abarbanel, Samuel -> De Souza, Samuel - 1649
Abarbanel, Samuel -> Rodrigues de Sousa, Jeronimo - 1616
Abarbanel, Sara Meyer -> Da Silveira, Philippa - 1669
Abrabanel, Efraim -> Fernandez, Tomas - 1615
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