Category Archives: Jews, Jewish slavery, Lopez, Lopez connection,

My Spanish Ancestry. The Spanish slavery system and first Spanish Explorer to America- Juan Josef Pérez Hernández

Tracing my Spanish ancestry.

2% Iberian peninsula

Firstly my family were from Spanish Town in Jamaica. Ancestry DNA shows I have Spanish cousins by the name of Pérez,  Lopez, Fernandez, Poulos, Maga. These cousins are showing up with Jewish ancestry. This post will explore who these people were.

I found this image of a grave in Jamaica of someone by the Surname Fernandes


A Spanish and Portuguese surname, Fernandez as a family name comes from a personal name of Fernando. It refers the son of Fernando. The name of Fernando means to travel, go on a journey. In Spain the surname of Fernandez is the second most common name and in Italy the surname is very common.



Spanish slavery in the Americas did not diverge drastically from that in other European colonies. It reshuffled the Atlantic World‘s populations through forced migrations, helped transfer American wealth to Europe, and promoted racial and social hierarchies (castas) throughout the empire.[2]Spanish enslavers justified their wealth and status earned at the expense of captive workers by portraying them as inferior beings and holding them as personal properties (chattel slavery), often under barbarous conditions.[3] In fact, Spanish colonization set some egregious records in the field of slavery.[4] The Asiento, the official contract for trading in slaves in the vast Spanish territories was a major engine of the Atlantic slave trade. When Spain first enslaved Native Americans on Hispaniola, and then replaced them with captive Africans, it established unfree labor as the basis for colonial mass-production. The tale of Spanish exploits in the Americas, amplified for propagandistic reasons, earned such notoriety that European rivals called it the Black Legend. And in the mid-nineteenth century, as most countries in the hemisphere moved to disallow chattel slavery, Cuba and Puerto Rico – the last two remaining Spanish American colonies – maintained slavery the longest.[a][5]


The picture above does resemble my grandmother and I wouldn’t be shocked if she were a missing family member

I found a record of a Mariana Lopez baptised April 1810 described as Negroe born in Kingston Jamaica daughter of Maria Ercalastera Martinez slave of Juliana Lopez. Her Godparents were Mr Antonio Perez & Luisa Hermina.


Here are some death records for people named Lopez in Jamaica




Lopez, Ethel Maud Charles & Emma Lopez 5/4/1896 26
Wilfred & Grace Levy 1/11/1884 4 mth
Lopez, Abigail
Lopez, Asha 13/9/1904
Lopez, Sarah Vaz 24/10/1888 39
Lopez, Ethel Maud Charles & Emma Lopez 5/4/1896 26
Lopez, Edmund David Lopez 10/6/1921
Lopez, Hannah Maria 19/10/1933



The Spanish Inquisition: A History by Joseph Pérez – Goodreads › book › show

This is the story of 350 years of terror. Established by papal bull in 1478, the first task of the Spanish Inquisition was to question Jewish converts to Christianity and to expose and execute those found guilty of reversion.

See also

Ancient Pérez ancestors are listed below

Fernán Pérez de Guzmán | Spanish author |

Fernán Pérez de Guzmán, (born c. 1378—died c. 1460), Spanish poet, moralist, and historian, author of the first important work of history and historiography in Spanish

Antonio Pérez, (born 1534, Madrid, Spain—died November 3, 1611, Paris, France), Spanish courtier who was secretary to King Philip II of Spain and later became a fugitive from Philip’s court.

Some Slave Ships that were owned by Jews

  1. Abigail — Aaron Lopez, Moses Levy, and Jacob Franks
  2. Active — Aaron Lopez
  3. Africa — Jacob Rivera and Aaron Lopez
  4. Albany — Rodrigo Pacheco
  5. Ann — Aaron Lopez
  6. Ann — James DeWolf
  7. Anne & Eliza — Justus Bosch and John Abrams
  8. Antigua — Nathan Marston and Abram Lyell
  9. Barbadoes Factor — Joseph Marks
  10. Braman — John Levi and Henriques da Costa
  11. Belle — Moses and David Franks Delaware
  12. Betsy — Jacob Rivera, Aaron Lopez
  13. Betsey — Samuel jacobs
  14. Caracoa — Moses and Sam Levy
  15. Charlotte — Moses Levy, Sam Levy, and Jacob Franks
  16. Charlotte E. Tay — Fred K. Myer
  17. Charming Betsey — Samuel Levy
  18. Charming Polly — Joseph Marks

History of the Perez Family

Perez is likely one of many surnames based on a first name. In this case, the first name is “Peter.” According to Surname Database, it means “the rock” and refers back to the disciple Peter in the Christian religion. One of the earliest written records of this surname is for Andres Guillen Perez. Surname Database reports that he lived in Aguaron, a tiny municipality in the province of Zaragoza, Spain. He recorded his name there on December 7th, 1565.

Common Variants of the Perez Name

Because it is based on the first name, Peter, there are a number of surnames that are related to Perez in cultures all around the world. These include Pierre, Peters, Petrenko, and Petros.

However, because they are obviously different, most of these are unlikely to appear on genealogical records for the Perez family. Instead, you can expect to encounter the following variations:

  • Peres
  • Pedro
  • Peretz
  • Pedriz
  • Petrez
  • Periz

Perez Family Members in the New World


Although Perez was his middle name, rather than his surname, Juan Perez de Zurita was likely the first person with this name in the New World. According toThe Spanish Dependencies in South America by Bernard Moses, Juan Perez de Zurita was a Spanish conquistador who came to Peru in 1553. He later went on to become the governor of the province of Tuceman in Argentina. He died in what is today known as Sucre, Bolivia in 1595.



See the below extract and link to post.

Many African Americans and Mexicans are distant cousins, indeed. There’s no doubt about that. I have known for quite awhile that many Mexicans have African ancestors.  Transatlantic slave trade statistics show that at least 200,000 enslaved Africans were imported into Mexico from West Africa. 







Enslaved people challenged their captivity in ways that ranged from introducing non-European elements into Christianity (syncretism) to mounting alternative societies outside of the plantation system (Maroons). The first open black rebellion occurred in Spanish plantations in 1521.[6]Resistance, particularly to the enslavement of indigenous people, also came from Spanish religious and legal ranks.[7] The first speech in the Americas for the universality of human rights and against the abuses of slavery was also given on Hispaniola, a mere nineteen years after the first contact.[8] Resistance to Amerindian captivity in the Spanish colonies produced the first modern debates over race and the legitimacy of slavery.[b] And uniquely in the Spanish American colonies, laws like the New Laws of 1542, were enacted early in the colonial period to protect natives from bondage.[9][10] To complicate matters further, Spain’s haphazard grip on its extensive American dominions and its erratic economy acted to impede the broad and systematic spread of plantations similar to those of the French in Saint Domingue or of the British in Jamaica. Altogether, the struggle against slavery in the Spanish American colonies left a notable tradition of opposition that set the stage for current conversations about human rights.[11]

The Spanish had established precedents for regimes of forced labor prior to their encounter with New World peoples. Over centuries in Iberia, Muslims had enslaved Christians, and with the Christian reconquest, the victors enslaved the Moors. Slavery was an institution that was economic in function, but it had strong social dimensions as well. Enslaved persons were outsiders of some kind, by ethnicity, language, or religion or some combination. In Iberia, slaves were considered human and possessed some rights, but were at the bottom of the status hierarchy. There were some Muslim slaves remaining in Christian Spain after 1492, but increasingly enslaved Africans via the Portuguese slave trade became part of Spain’s social mosaic. Black slaves in Spain were overwhelmingly domestic servants, and increasingly became prestigious property for elite Spanish households. Artisans acquired black slaves and trained them in their trade, increasing the artisans’ output.[12]

Both the Spanish and the Portuguese colonized the Atlantic islands off the coast of Africa, where they engaged in sugar cane production following the model of Mediterranean production.

The sugar complex consisted of slave labor for cultivation and processing, with the sugar mill (ingenio) and equipment established with investor capital. When plantation slavery was established in Spanish America and Brazil, they replicated the elements of the complex in the New World on a much larger scale.[13]

Another form of forced labor used in the New World with origins in Spain was the encomienda, the award of the labor to Christian victors over Muslims during the reconquest. This institution of forced labor was employed by the Spaniards in the Canary Islands following their conquest. The institution was much more widespread following the Spanish contact and conquest of indigenous in the New World, but the precedents were set prior to 1492.[14]






The Iberian Pennisula

The word Iberia is a corruption of the word “Eber”ia / Heberia which means “Hebrew’s Land“. Eber (from whom the word Hebrew derives) was the grand-sire of the Hebrew Abraham (who was NOT Jewish – Jewdah was not born yet – he was the great-grandson of Abraham) who in turn was the grand-dad of “Jacob/Israel” who sired the “12 Tribes of Israel”, by his 12 sons:- 1. Reuben; 2. Simeon; 3. Levi; 4. Judah [Jew-dah]; 5. Zebulun; 6. Issachar; 7. Dan; 8. GAD; 9. Asher; 10. Naphtali; 11. Joseph; 12. Benjamin (ALL 12 sons were Hebrews – NOT Jews – 1 Chronicles 1 v 24-28). Levi were the priests and were divided amongst the other tribes. Joseph/Manasseh took their place in battle and so substituted their own standard.

Sephardi Jews

Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews or simply Sephardim, (Hebrewסְפָרַדִּים‎, Modern Hebrew: SfaraddimTiberian: Səp̄āraddîm; also יְהוּדֵי סְפָרַד‎ Y’hudey Spharad, lit. “The Jews of Spain”), are a Jewish ethnic division whose ethnogenesis and emergence as a distinct community of Jews coalesced on the Iberian Peninsula around the year 1000. They established communities throughout Spain and Portugal, where they traditionally resided, evolving what would become their distinctive characteristics and diasporic identity, which they took with them in their exile from Iberia beginning in the late 15th century to North AfricaAnatolia, the Levant, the Balkans, the Baltics, Central, Southern and Northern Europe, as well as the Americas, and all other places of their exiled settlement, either alongside pre-existing co-religionists, or alone as the first Jews in new frontiers.

Sephardi Jews
יהדות ספרד‎ (Yahadut Sfarad)
Total population
up to 16% of world Jewish population
Regions with significant populations
 Israel 1.4 million
 France 300,000–400,000
 United States 200,000–300,000
 Argentina 50,000
 Spain 40,000
 Canada 30,000
 Turkey 26,000
 Italy 24,930
 Mexico 15,000
 United Kingdom 8,000
 Panama 8,000
 Colombia 7,000
 Morocco 6,000
 Greece 6,000
 Tunisia 2,000
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2,000
 Bulgaria 2,000
 Cuba 1,500
 Serbia 1,000
 Netherlands 600
Historical: LadinoArabicHaketiaJudeo-PortugueseBerberCatalanicShuadit, local languages
Modern: Local languages, primarily Hebrew, French, English, Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese, Italian, Ladino, Arabic.
Related ethnic groups
Ashkenazi JewsMizrahi Jews, other Jewish ethnic divisionsSamaritans, other Levantines,Assyrians, other Near Eastern Semitic people,SpaniardsPortuguese and Hispanics/Latinos

Their millennial residence as an open and organised Jewish community in Iberia was brought to an end starting with the Alhambra Decree by Spain’s Catholic Monarchs in 1492, which resulted in a combination of internal and external migrations, mass conversions and executions.

Narrow ethnic definitionEdit

In the narrower ethnic definition, a Sephardi Jew is a Jew descended from the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula in the late 15th century, immediately prior to the issuance of the Alhambra Decree of 1492 by order of the Catholic Monarchs in Spain, and the decree of 1496 in Portugal by order of King Manuel I.

In Hebrew, the term “Sephardim Tehorim” (ספרדים טהורים, literally “Pure Sephardim”) has in recent times come to be used in some quarters to distinguish Sephardim proper “who trace their lineage back to the Iberian/Spanish population” from Sephardim in the broader religious sense.[2]This distinction has also been made in reference to genetic findings in research on Sephardim proper in contrast to other communities of Jews today termed Sephardi more broadly[3]

Broad religious definitionEdit

The modern Israeli Hebrew definition of Sephardi is a much broader, religious based, definition that generally excludes ethnic considerations. In its most basic form, this broad religious definition of a Sephardi refers to any Jew, of any ethnic background, who follows the customs and traditions of Sepharad. For religious purposes, and in modern Israel, “Sephardim” is most often used in this wider sense which encompasses most non-Ashkenazi Jews who are not ethnically Sephardi, but are in most instances of West Asian or North African origin, but who nonetheless commonly use a Sephardic style of liturgy.

The term Sephardi in the broad sense, thus describes the nusach (Hebrew language, “liturgical tradition”) used by Sephardi Jews in their Siddur (prayer book). A nusach is defined by a liturgical tradition’s choice of prayers, order of prayers, text of prayers and melodies used in the singing of prayers. Sephardim traditionally pray using Minhag Sefarad. The term Nusach Sefard or Nusach Sfarad does not refer to the liturgy generally recited by Sephardim proper or even Sephardi in a broader sense, but rather to an alternative Eastern European liturgy used by many Hasidim who are in fact Ashkenazi.

Additionally, Ethiopian Jews, whose branch of practiced Judaism is known as Haymanot, have recently come under the umbrella of Israel’s already broad Sephardic Chief Rabbinate.


The divisions among Sephardim and their descendants today is largely a result of the consequences of the Royal edicts of expulsion. Both the Spanish and Portuguese edicts ordered their respective Jewish residents to choose one of only three options:

  1. to convert to Catholicism and therefore to be allowed to remain within the kingdom,
  2. to remain Jewish and to be expelled by the stipulated deadline, or
  3. to be summarily executed.

In the case of the Alhambra Decree of 1492, the primary purpose was to eliminate their influence on Spain’s large converso population and ensure they did not revert to Judaism. Over half of Spain’s Jews had converted as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms which occurred in 1391, and as such were not subject to the Decree or to expulsion, yet remained under the watchful eye of the Spanish Inquisition. It has been argued by British scholar Henry Kamen, that “the real purpose of the 1492 edict likely was not expulsion, but compulsory conversion and assimilation of all Spanish Jews, a process which had been underway for a number of centuries. Indeed, a further number of those Jews who had not yet joined the converso community finally chose to convert and avoid expulsion as a result of the edict. As a result of the Alhambra decree and persecution during the prior century, between 200,000 and 250,000 Jews converted to Catholicism and between one third and one half of Spain’s remaining 100,000 non-converted Jews chose exile, with an indeterminate number returning to Spain in the years following the expulsion.[4]

Foreseeing the economic aftermath of a similar Jewish flight from Portugal, King Manuel’s decree five years later was largely pro-forma to appease a precondition the Spanish monarchs had set for him if he wished to marry their daughter. While the stipulations were similar in the Portuguese decree, King Manuel then largely prevented Portugal’s Jews from leaving, by blocking Portugal’s ports of exit. This failure to leave Portugal was then reasoned by the king to signify a default acceptance of Catholicism by the Jews, and the king then proceeded to proclaim them New Christians. Actual physical forced conversions, however, were also experienced throughout Portugal.

Sephardi Jews, therefore, encompass Jews descended from those Jews who left the Iberian Peninsula as Jews by the expiration of the respective decreed deadlines. This group is further divided between those who fled south to North Africa, as opposed to those who fled eastwards to the BalkansWest Asia and beyond. Also included among Sephardi Jews are those who descend from “New Christian” conversos, but then returned to Judaism after leaving Iberia, largely after reaching Central and Northern Europe. From these regions, many would again migrate, this time to the non-Iberian territories of the Americas. Additional to all these Sephardic Jewish groups are the descendants of those New Christian conversos who either remained in Iberia, or moved from Iberia directly to the Iberian colonial possessions across what are today the various Latin American countries. The descendants of this group of conversos, for historical reasons and circumstances, were never able to formally return to the Jewish religion.

All these sub-groups are defined by a combination of geography, identity, religious evolution, language evolution, and the timeframe of their reversion (for those who had in the interim undergone a temporary nominal conversion to Catholicism) or non-reversion back to Judaism.

It should be noted that these Sephardic sub-groups are separate from any pre-existing local Jewish communities they encountered in their new areas of settlement. From the perspective of the present day, the first three sub-groups appeared to have developed as separate branches, each with its own traditions.

In earlier centuries, and as late as the editing of the Jewish Encyclopedia at the beginning of the 20th century, they were usually regarded as together forming a continuum. The Jewish community of Livorno acted as the clearing-house of personnel and traditions among the first three sub-groups; it also developed as the chief publishing centre.[improper synthesis?].


PÉREZ, JUAN IGNACIO (1761–1823). Ignacio Pérez, the son of Domingo and María Concepción (de Carvajal) Pérez, was born in July 1761, the third of thirteen children, into a family long involved in the military affairs of Texas. In 1781 he married Clemencia Hernández, a granddaughter of Andrés Hernández, founder of one of the province’s first privately owned ranches. Pérez devoted considerable attention to stock raising and the accumulation of property at San Antonio de Béxar. In 1804 he purchased from the Menchacas (see MENCHACA, LUIS ANTONIO) the old comandancia, the building known as the Spanish Governors’ Palaceqv. In 1808 Pérez received four leagues of land just below the Medina River and astride the Old San Antonio Road to San Juan Bautista. This and an adjoining league between the Medina and Leon Creek served as the base for Pérez’s livestock operations. In 1809 he was síndico (commissioner) of all the ranches in his district.

During the revolutionary decade that followed, Pérez remained staunchly Royalist and prospered for his constancy. When the Casas Revolt was toppled at Bexar, Pérez sat on Juan Manuel Zambrano‘s ruling junta. Likewise, when the capital again fell to the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition, Pérez withdrew with other Royalists and reappeared in Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo‘s army as a captain of cavalry. He took part in the decisive battle of Medina and rode with Col. Ignacio Elizondo in pursuit of rebels to the Trinity River. For his role in the restoration of Royalist authority in Texas, Pérez was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He soon distinguished himself as a capable Indian fighter in the attacks that swept the weakened province. He served as an interim governor from July 27, 1816, to March 20, 1817. During Antonio María Martínez‘s administration Pérez was recognized as the leading cattleman of the region and one of its most substantial citizens. In 1819 Governor Martínez sent him to oppose the latest filibustering venture on Texas soil, the Long expedition. Pérez left San Antonio de Béxar on September 27 with some 550 men, soon to be augmented by 100 more when Indians threatened the force. Moving toward Nacogdoches, he captured two small groups of Anglo-Americans. On October 11 and again on October 15, he engaged small detachments of James Longqv‘s men. He arrived in Nacogdoches on October 28 and moved on to the Sabine. Long and the remnants of his force had fled, but Pérez remained through November to drive the remaining filibusters out; his return trip to San Antonio was completed on February 2, 1820.

In October 1821 Pérez was again sent to engage Long, who had reorganized his forces at Point Bolivar and had taken the town of La Bahía (now Goliad). The settlement capitulated quickly before Pérez, and on October 8, 1821, Long was made a prisoner and taken to San Antonio. In 1814 Pérez’s twenty-four-year-old daughter, Gertrudis, had married Manuel Antonio Cordero y Bustamante, former governor of Texas, who was sixty-one years old at the time. Cordero died in 1823, and Pérez, in the spring, escorted Gertrudis home to Texas from Monclova. Shortly thereafter he died and was buried on October 7, 1823, after a ceremony at Purísima Concepción chapel with an honor guard in attendance. His wife followed him in death in 1825. They had three children and adopted others, including a boy whom the colonel had rescued from the Comanches.









Pérez, as most commonly written in English, is a surname with at least two distinct origins, one of which is Spanish and the other Hebrew.

Pérez, Perez
Family name
Pronunciation Spanish: [ˈpeɾeθ] / [ˈpeɾes]
Meaning Son of Pero or Pedro (Peter) /
To breach or to burst forth
Region of origin Spain, Israel
Language(s) of origin Spanish, Hebrew
Related names Fares, Farez, Fretz, Peres, Peris, Peretz, Pesidas, Pharez, Pretz, Pritz, Peters

The surname with Spanish origins, written in Spanish orthography as Pérez, is a patronymic surname meaning “son of Pero or Pedro (Peter)”. The surname has a Portuguese counterpart with the same meaning and etymology, Peres, written with a final “s” instead of “z” and without the accent.

The surname with a Hebrew origin is transliterated into English as either Perez orPeretz, and is derived from the Hebrew given name פרץ  after the biblical character Perez (son of Judah), which in Hebrew means “to breach” or “to burst forth”. That biblical character’s Hebrew name, however, is transliterated as Farés in the Spanish Christian Bible.

Neither the Spanish nor the Hebrew surname corresponds to one single lineage. Instead, both correspond to many unrelated lineages.

Additionally, while the Spanish and Hebrew etymological origins are distinct, there are nevertheless those who carry the surname because, in their particular case, the origin of their surname is Spanish Jewish (i.e. Sephardic), and they, as Spanish Jews or their descendants, adopted the surname precisely because of its ambiguity.

Pérez as a surname among Spanish Jews or their descendants could be considered by their non-Jewish Spanish or Hispanic neighbors a typical Christian surname, yet still pay homage to their Jewish roots. This was helpful during the times of the Spanish Inquisition and its persecution of the Jews (and their baptized New Christian descendants) in Spain and its colonies in Hispanic America.

Among Spaniards and Hispanics, the surname by itself does not necessarily indicate a Jewish heritage. Likewise, among Jews, the surname does not by itself necessarily indicate a Sephardic heritage.



Juan Josef PerezHernández, naval officer, explorer (b c 1725 at Majorca, Spain; d 2 Nov 1775 off California). Pérez served as a pilot and marine officer in Spain’s Pacific trade between Mexico and the

Explorations, Northwest Coast

Pérez Hernández, Juan Josef

 Juan Josef Pérez Hernández, naval officer, explorer (b c 1725 at Majorca, Spain; d 2 Nov 1775 off California). Pérez served as a pilot and marine officer in Spain’s Pacific trade between Mexico and the Philippines and in the Spanish expansion into Alta California. He was curious about the unknown northern coastline and his request to explore it coincided with the Spanish government’s desire for information on Russian penetration southward. In 1774 he sailed aboard the frigate Santiago with orders to reach at least 60°N latitude. Juan Pérez Hernández was the first European to explore Haida Gwaii and to approach Nootka Sound, but unfavourable weather prevented him from landing to take formal possession for Spain. Although he reached only about 55°30´ latitude and left some missions unfulfilled, he collected important data that served future Spanish mariners. Pérez was second officer in the 1775 expedition commanded by Bruno de Hezeta, but he died at sea. Click for link to original article

Another ancestor appears to be Aaron Lopez, born Duarte Lopez, was a Portuguese Jewish merchant and philanthropist. Through his varied commercial ventures, he became the wealthiest person in Newport, Rhode Island, in British America. Wikipedia
Born: 1731, Lisbon, Portugal
Resting place: Newport
Birth: 1731, Portugal
Death: May 28, 1782
Providence County
Rhode Island, USA

Businessman and Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Jewish Religious Leader. Born Duarte (Edward) Lopez in Portugal, he came from a family of conversos. Upon coming to the Americas in 1752, he changed his name to Aaron and began to openly practice his Jewish faith. Lopez became a leading merchant and shipper in the English colonies, owning 30 transatlantic ships and over 100 coastal vessels. A leader in the business, philanthropic and cultural life of Newport, Rhode Island, he contributed to the founding of the Newport Public Library, donated land to the Leicester Academy in Massachusetts and helped build the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island (later relocated to Providence and renamed Brown University). He had his portrait painted by Gilbert Stuart, of whom he was an early patron. In 1761, on what many historians consider to be trivial and possibly religious grounds, he was denied naturalization as a citizen in Rhode Island. In 1762, Lopez became the first naturalized Jewish citizen of Massachusetts and returned to Newport. He was instrumental in the founding of Newport’s Touro Synagogue, America’s oldest synagogue, which is several blocks away from the cemetery where he rests. (bio by: Librarian Jessie)Family links:
Abigail Lopez (1726 – 1762)*Children:
Joseph Lopez (____ – 1822)*
Esther Lopez Gomez (____ – 1811)*
Rebecca Lopez Hendricks (____ – 1844)*
Rachel Lopez Lopez (1758 – 1789)*
Abigail Lopez Gomez (1771 – 1851)**Calculated relationship
Colonial Jewish Cemetery of Rhode Island
Newport County
Rhode Island, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: W & L
Record added: Aug 14, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40672472
Aaron Lopez
Added by: W & L
Aaron Lopez
Added by: Librarian Jessie
Aaron Lopez
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jen Snoots
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

– Tracey Reid
Added: May. 28, 2017

– Janis•E
Added: May. 28, 2017

– Librarian Jessie
Added: Feb. 18, 2017
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The pre history of Spain

The Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro, Ibēros in ancient Greek and Ibērus or Hibērus in Latin. The association was so well known it was hardly necessary to state; for example, Ibēria was the country “this side of the Ibērus” in Strabo. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called “the whole of Spain” Hiberia because of the Hiberus River.[17] The river appears in theEbro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian,[18] uses Ibērus. With reference to this border, Polybius[19] states that the “native name” is Ibēr, apparently the original word, stripped of its Greek or Latin -os or -us termination.

The early range of these natives, which geographers and historians place from today’s southern Spain to today’s southern France along the Mediterranean coast, is marked by instances of a readable script expressing a yet unknown language, dubbed “Iberian.” Whether this was the native name or was given to them by the Greeks for their residence on the Ebro remains unknown. Credence in Polybius imposes certain limitations on etymologizing: if the language remains unknown, the meanings of the words, including Iber, must also remain unknown. In modernBasque, the word ibar[20] means “valley” or “watered meadow”, while ibai[20] means “river”, but there is no proof relating the etymology of the Ebro River with these Basque names.


Schematic rock art from the Iberian Peninsula.

Iberian Late Bronze Age since c. 1300 BC


The Iberian Peninsula has been inhabited for at least 1.2 million years as remains found in the sites in the Atapuerca Mountains demonstrate. Among these sites is the cave of Gran Dolina, where six hominin skeletons, dated between 780,000 and one million years ago, were found in 1994. Experts have debated whether these skeletons belong to the species Homo erectusHomo heidelbergensis, or a new species called Homo antecessor.

Around 200,000 BP, during the Lower Paleolithic period, Neanderthals first entered the Iberian Peninsula. Around 70,000 BP, during the Middle Paleolithic period, the last glacial event began and the Neanderthal Mousterian culture was established. Around 37,000 BP, during the Upper Paleolithic, the Neanderthal Châtelperronian cultural period began. Emanating from Southern France, this culture extended into the north of the peninsula. It continued to exist until around 30,000 BP, when Neanderthal man faced extinction.

About 40,000 years ago, anatomically modern humans entered the Iberian Peninsula from Southern France.[21] Here, thisgenetically homogeneous population (characterized by the M173 mutation in the Y chromosome), developed the M343 mutation, giving rise to Haplogroup R1b, still the most common in modernPortuguese and Spanish males.[22] On the Iberian Peninsula, modern humans developed a series of different cultures, such as the AurignacianGravettianSolutrean and Magdalenian cultures, some of them characterized by the complex forms of the art of the Upper Paleolithic.


During the Neolithic expansion, various megalithic cultures developed in the Iberian Peninsula. An open seas navigation culture from the east Mediterranean, called the Cardium culture, also extended its influence to the eastern coasts of the peninsula, possibly as early as the 5th millennium BC. These people may have had some relation to the subsequent development of theIberian civilization.


In the Chalcolithic (c. 3000 BC), a series of complex cultures developed that would give rise to the peninsula’s first civilizations and to extensive exchange networks reaching to the BalticMiddle East and North Africa. Around 2800 – 2700 BC, the Beaker culture, which produced the Maritime Bell Beaker, probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal and spread from there to many parts of western Europe.[23]

Bronze AgeEdit

Bronze Age cultures developed beginning c.1800 BC, when the civilization of Los Millares was followed by that of El Argar. From this centre, bronze technology spread to other cultures like theBronze of LevanteSouth-Western Iberian Bronze and Las Cogotas.

In the Late Bronze Age, the urban civilisation of Tartessos developed in the area of modern western Andalusia, characterized by Phoenician influence and using the Southwest Paleohispanic script for its Tartessian language, not related to the Iberian language.

Early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Pre-Celts and Celts migrated from Central Europe, thus partially changing the peninsula’s ethnic landscape to Indo-European-speaking in its northern and western regions. In Northwestern Iberia (modern Northern Portugal, Asturias and Galicia), a Celtic culture developed, the Castro culture, with a large number of hill forts and some fortified cities.


By the Iron Age, starting in the 7th century BC, the Iberian Peninsula consisted of complex agrarian and urban civilizations, either Pre-Celtic or Celtic (such as the LusitaniansCeltiberians,GallaeciAsturesCeltici and others), the cultures of the Iberians in the eastern and southern zones and the cultures of the Aquitanian in the western portion of the Pyrenees.

The seafaring Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians successively settled along the Mediterranean coast and founded trading colonies there over a period of several centuries. Around 1100 BC, Phoenician merchants founded the trading colony of Gadir or Gades (modern day Cádiz) near Tartessos. In the 8th century BC, the first Greek colonies, such as Emporion (modern Empúries), were founded along the Mediterranean coast on the east, leaving the south coast to the Phoenicians. The Greeks coined the name Iberia, after the river Iber (Ebro). In the sixth century BC, the Carthaginians arrived in the peninsula while struggling with the Greeks for control of the Western Mediterranean. Their most important colony was Carthago Nova (modern-day Cartagena, Spain).



Roman ruleEdit

Roman conquest: 220 BC – 19 BC

In 218 BC, during the Second Punic War against the Carthaginians, the first Roman troops invaded the Iberian Peninsula; however, it was not until the reign of Augustus that it was annexed after two centuries of war with the Celtic and Iberian tribes and the Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian colonies. The result was the creation of the province ofHispania. It was divided into Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Citerior during the late Roman Republic, and during the Roman Empire, it was divided into Hispania Tarraconensis in the northeast, Hispania Baetica in the south and Lusitania in the southwest.

Hispania supplied the Roman Empire with silver, food, olive oil, wine, and metal. The emperorsTrajanHadrianMarcus Aurelius, and Theodosius I, the philosopher Seneca the Younger, and the poets Martial and Lucan were born from families living on the Iberian Peninsula.

Germanic kingdomsEdit

Germanic and Byzantine rule c.560

In the early fifth century, Germanic peoples invaded the peninsula, namely the Suebi, the Vandals (Silingi and Hasdingi) and their allies, the Alans. Only the kingdom of the Suebi (Quadi and Marcomanni) would endure after the arrival of another wave of Germanic invaders, the Visigoths, who conquered all of the Iberian Peninsula and expelled or partially integrated the Vandals and the Alans. The Visigoths eventually conquered the Suebi kingdom and its capital city, Bracara (modern day Braga), in 584–585. They would also conquer theprovince of the Byzantine Empire (552–624) of Spania in the south of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands.

Islamic CaliphateEdit

Islamic rule: al-Andalus c.1000

In 711, a Muslim army invaded the Visigothic Kingdom in Hispania. Under Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Islamic army landed at Gibraltar and, in an eight-year campaign, occupied all except the northern kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula in the Umayyad conquest of HispaniaAl-Andalus (Arabicالإندلس‎‎, tr. al-ʾAndalūs, possibly “Land of the Vandals”),[24][25] is the Arabic name given to what is today southern Spain by its Muslim Berber and Arab occupiers.

From the 8th–15th centuries, only the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula was incorporated into the Islamic world and became a center of culture and learning, especially during the Caliphate of Córdoba, which reached its height under the rule of Abd-ar-Rahman III[citation needed]. The Muslims, who were initially Arabs and Berbers, included some local converts, the so-calledMuladi. The Muslims were referred to by the generic name, Moors. The Reconquista gained momentum on c. 718, when the Christian Asturians opposed the Moors, the southern march to push out the Muslims continued for three hundred years, so for another four hundred years, only the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula was transformed into a Romance-speaking and Arabic-speaking Muslim land, along with pockets of a large minority of Arabic-speaking Sephardi Jews.


Many of the ousted Gothic nobles took refuge in the unconquered north Kingdom of Asturias. From there, they aimed to reconquer their lands from the Moors; this war of reconquest is known as the Reconquista. Christian and Muslim kingdoms fought and allied among themselves. The Muslim taifa kings competed in patronage of the arts, the Camino de Santiago attracted pilgrims from all Western Europe, and the Jewish population set the basis of Sephardi culture.[citation needed]

During the Middle Ages, the peninsula housed many small states including the Kingdom of CastileCrown of AragonKingdom of NavarreKingdom of León and the Kingdom of Portugal. The peninsula was part of the Almohad Caliphate until they were finally uprooted. The last major Muslim stronghold was Granada, which was conquered by a combined Castilian and Aragonese force in 1492. Muslims and Jews throughout the period were variously tolerated or shown intolerance in different Christian kingdoms. However, after the fall of Granada, all Muslims and Jews were ordered to convert to Christianity or face expulsion. Many Jews and Muslims fled toNorth Africa and the Ottoman Empire, while others publicly converted to Christianity and became known respectively as Marranos and Moriscos. However, many of these continued to practice their religion in secret. The Moriscos revolted several times and were ultimately forcibly expelledfrom Spain in the early 17th century.

Map of Spain and Portugal, Atlas historique, dated approximately 1705–1739, of H.A. Chatelain.


The small states gradually amalgamated over time, with the exception of Portugal, even if for a brief period (1580–1640) the whole peninsula was united politically under the Iberian Union. After that point, the modern position was reached and the peninsula now consists of the countries of Spain and Portugal (excluding their islands—the Portuguese Azores andMadeira and the Spanish Canary Islands and Balearic Islands; and the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla), AndorraFrench Cerdagne and Gibraltar.

Sephardi Jewish couple from Sarajevo in traditional clothing. Photo taken in 1900.

Eastern Sephardim comprise the descendants of the expellees from Spain who left as Jews in 1492 or prior. This sub-group of Sephardim settled mostly in various parts of the Ottoman Empire, which included areas in the Near East (West Asia‘sMiddle East such as Anatolia, the Levant, etc.), the Balkans inSoutheastern Europe, plus Egypt. They settled particularly in European cities ruled by the Ottoman Empire includingSalonica in what is today GreeceConstantinople which today is known as Istanbul on the European portion of modernTurkey, and Sarajevo in what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sephardic Jews also lived in Bulgaria, where they incorporated into their community the Romaniote Jews they found already living there. They had a presence as well in Walachia in what is today Romania, where there is still a functioning Sephardic Synagogue in Moldova.[5] Their traditional language is referred to as Judezmo (“Jewish [language]”); it is Judaeo-Spanish sometimes also known as Ladino, which consisted of the medieval Spanish and Portuguese they spoke in Iberia, with admixtures of Hebrew, and the languages around them, especially Turkish. This Judeo-Spanish language was often written in Rashi script.

Some Sephardim went further east to West Asian territories of the Ottoman Empire, settling among the long-established Arabic-speaking Jewish communities in Damascus and Aleppo in Syria, as well as in the Land of Israel itself, and as far as Baghdad in Iraq. Although technically a North African Ottoman region, those who settled Alexandria in Egypt are also included due to its cultural proximity to the West Asian provinces.

For the most part, Eastern Sephardim did not maintain their own separate Sephardic religious and cultural institutions from the pre-existing Jews, but instead the local Jews came to adopt the liturgical customs of the recent Sephardic arrivals.

Additionally, Eastern Sephardim in European areas of the Ottoman Empire retained their culture and language, while those in the West Asian portion gave up their language and adopted the local Judeo-Arabic dialect. This latter phenomenon is just one of the factors which has today led to the broader religious definition of Sephardi.

While on the one hand the Jewish communities in Syria and Egypt are partly of Spanish Jewish origin and they are therefore Sephardim proper, conversely the great majority of the Jewish communities in Iraq, and all of those from Iran, Eastern Syria, Yemen and Eastern Turkey are pre-existing indigenous Jewish populations who have adopted Sephardic rite and traditions through cultural diffusion, and are properly termed Mizrahi Jews. This has also been seen to be the case in modern DNA research, where Syrian Jews, while clustering within the various world Jewish groups (where most Jewish groups cluster closely together at large compared to non-Jews), the Syrian Jews nevertheless genetically cluster closest with Sephardim proper counterparts in other regions of Sephardic settlement rather than the Mizrahi Jews geographically closest to them.

A few of the Eastern Sephardim followed the spice trade routes as far as the Malabar coast of southern India, where they settled among the established Cochin Jewish community, again imparting their culture and customs to the local Jews. Their descendants became an upper caste stratum of the community and are known as Paradesi Jews. Additionally, there was a large presence of Jews and crypto-Jews of Portuguese origin in the Portuguese colony of Goa. Their presence aroused the anger of Gaspar Jorge de Leão Pereira, the first archbishop of Goa, who called for the initiation of the Goa Inquisition against the Sephardic Jews in India.

In recent times, principally after 1948, most Eastern Sephardim have since relocated to Israel, and others to the USA and Latin America.

Eastern Sephardim still often carry common Spanish surnames, as well as other specifically Sephardic surnames from 15th century Spain with Arabic, Berber or Hebrew language origins (such as AzoulayAbulafiaAbravanel) which have since disappeared from Spain when those that stayed behind as conversos adopted surnames that were solely Spanish in origin. Other Eastern Sephardim have since also translated their Hispanic surnames into the languages of the regions they settled in, or have modified them to sound more local.

North African SephardimEdit

Jewish Festival in Tetuan, Alfred Dehodencq, 1865, Paris Museum of Jewish Art and History

North African Sephardim consist of the descendants of the expellees from Spain who also left as Jews in 1492. This branch settled in North Africa (except Egypt, see Eastern Sephardim above). Settling mostly in Morocco and Algeria, they spoke a variant of Judaeo-Spanish known as Haketia. They also spoke Judeo-Arabic in a majority of cases. They settled in the areas with already established Arabic-speaking Jewish communities in North Africa and eventually merged with them to form new communities based solely on Sephardiccustoms.

Several of the Moroccan Jews emigrated back to the Iberian Peninsula to form the core of the Gibraltar Jews.

In the 19th century, modern Spanish, French and Italian gradually replaced Haketia and Judeo-Arabic as the mother tongue among most Moroccan Sephardim and other North African Sephardim.[6]

In recent times, principally after 1948, most North African Sephardim have since relocated to Israel, and most others to France and Spain. There are significant communities still only in Morocco and Tunisia.

North African Sephardim still also often carry common Spanish surnames, as well as other specifically Sephardic surnames from 15th century Spain with Berber or Hebrew language origins (such as AzoulayAbulafiaAbravanel) which have since disappeared from Spain when those that stayed behind as conversos adopted surnames that were solely Spanish in origin. Other North African Sephardim have since also translated their Hispanic surnames into local languages or have modified them to sound local.

Western SephardimEdit

First Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese SynagogueShearith Israel (1656-1833) in ManhattanNew York City

Western Sephardim (also known more ambiguously as “Spanish and Portuguese Jews”, “Spanish Jews”, “Portuguese Jews” and “Jews of the Portuguese Nation”) are the community of Jewish ex-conversos whose families initially remained in Spain and Portugal as ostensible New Christians, that is, as Anusim or “forced [converts]”. Western Sephardim are further sub-divided into an Old World branch and a New World branch.

Henry Kamen and Joseph Perez estimate that of the total Jewish origin population of Spain at the time of the issuance of the Alhambra Decree, those who chose to remain in Spain represented the majority, up to 300,000 of a total Jewish origin population of 350,000. Furthermore, a significant number returned to Spain in the years following the expulsion, on condition of converting to Catholicism, the Crown guaranteeing they could recover their property at the same price at which it was sold.

Discrimination against this large community of conversos nevertheless remained, and those who secretly practiced the Jewish faith specifically suffered severe episodes of persecution by the Inquisition. The last episode of persecution occurred in the mid-18th century. External migrations out of the Iberian peninsula coincided with these episodes of increased persecution by the Inquisition.

As a result of this discrimination and persecution, a small number of marranos (conversos who secretly practiced Judaism) later emigrated to more religiously tolerant Old World countries outside the Iberian cultural sphere such as the Netherlands, northern Italy, northern Germany,EnglandBelarus and southern Russia. Here they reverted to Judaism, rejoining the Jewish community sometimes up to the third or even fourth generations after the initial decrees stipulating conversion, expulsion, or death. These represent Old World Western Sephardim.

New World Western Sephardim are descsendants of those Jewish-origin New Christian conversos who accompanied the millions of Old Christian Spaniards and Portuguese that emigrated to the Americas.

More specifically, New World Western Sephardim are those Western Sephardim whose converso ancestors migrated to various non-Iberian colonies in the Americas where they could return to Judaism, as opposed to conversos who settled in the Iberian colonies of the Americas where they could not revert.

Due to the presence of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition in such Iberian American territories, initially converso immigration was barred in much of Ibero-America. Because of this, very few converso immigrants in Iberian American colonies ever reverted to Judaism, and their descendants comprise the related Sephardic Bnei Anusim.

Of those conversos in the New World who did return to Judaism, it was principally those who had come via an initial respite of refuge in Holland and/or who were settling the New World Dutch colonies such as Curaçao and the area then known as New Holland (also called Dutch Brazil). Dutch Brazil was the northern portion of the colony of Brazil ruled by the Dutch for under a quarter of a century before it also fell to the Portuguese who ruled the remainder of Brazil. Jews who had only recently reverted in Dutch Brazil then again had to flee to other Dutch-ruled colonies in the Americas, including joining brethren in Curaçao, but also migrating to New Amsterdam, in what is today New York.

All of the oldest congregations in the non-Iberian colonial possessions in the Americas were founded by Western Sephardim, many who arrived in the then Dutch-ruled New Amsterdam, with their synagogues being in the tradition of “Spanish and Portuguese Jews”.

In the United States in particular, Congregation Shearith Israel, established in 1654, in today’s New York City, is the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. Its present building dates from 1897. Congregation Jeshuat Israel in Newport, Rhode Island, is dated to sometime after the arrival there of Western Sephardim in 1658 and prior to the 1677 purchase of a communal cemetery, now known as Touro Cemetery. See also List of the oldest synagogues in the United States.

The intermittent period of residence in Portugal (after the initial fleeing from Spain) for the ancestors of many Western Sephardim (whether Old World or New World) is a reason why the surnames of many Western Sephardim tend to be Portuguese variations of common Spanish surnames, though some are still Spanish.

Among a few notable figures with roots in Western Sephardim are the current president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, and former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United StatesBenjamin N. Cardozo. Both descend from Western Sephardim who left Portugal for the Netherlands, and in the case of Nicolás Maduro, from the Netherlands to Curaçao, and ultimately Venezuela.

An 18th-century map of the peninsula depicting various topographical features of the land, as published in Robert Wilkinson’s General Atlas, circa


European Jewish Ethnicity From northern Spain to Russia

European Jewish Ethnicity

From northern Spain to Russia

Discover more about your ethnicity with AncestryDNA. By comparing your genetic signature to the DNA of people from the European Jewish region, AncestryDNA can give you a clearer picture of your ethnic origins.

People in this DNA ethnicity group may identify as: 
Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, Israeli, Ashkenazi

The story of your ethnicity lives in your DNA.

European Jewish History

The European Jewish region is not geographically defined in the same way as most other ethnic regions. The historic dispersal of the Jewish population from its origin in the Levant on the east coast of the Mediterranean resulted in insular communities scattered throughout Europe, North Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. Although some Jewish communities enjoyed positions of relative peace and prosperity, many more were segregated from mainstream society by law, custom and prejudice, experiencing sustained persecution and discrimination. Jewish populations from northern and eastern Europe are often known as “Ashkenazi.” “Sephardic” refers to Jews who were expelled from Spain during the Inquisition and mostly settled in North Africa and southeastern Europe.

Origin of the Jews

Much of what is known about the early history of the Jews is taken from the Hebrew Bible. While there is some archaeological evidence to support certain details of the Biblical account, often it remains the only source and is given varying amounts of credence by different scholars. According to this source, the Jews are descended from Abraham, a Sumerian who traveled west from Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan, which lay along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Around 1020 B.C., the separate Hebrew tribes were united under King Saul, creating the first Kingdom of Israel.

Babylonian Exile

After the reigns of David and his son Solomon, the kingdom split into the Northern (or Israelite) Kingdom and the Kingdom of Judah (Jewish Kingdom) in the south. The Assyrians conquered and deported many of the inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom in the 7th century B.C.

In about 589 B.C., Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed the Kingdom of Judah, sacking Jerusalem and destroying the First Temple built by Solomon. A large number of Jews were expelled from their former kingdom and forced to resettle in Babylon. Many historians mark this event as the beginning of the Jewish diaspora, which refers to the scattering of the population.

When Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon in 540 B.C., the Jewish people were permitted to return and rebuild Jerusalem. The former Kingdom of Judah, renamed Judea, was made a province of the Persian Empire—although its size was significantly reduced. The Jews’ Second Temple, built on the site of the First Temple, was completed by about 518 B.C. Many Jews returned to Jerusalem, but many more stayed in Babylon, where Talmudic scholarship (study of the central text of Judaism) was founded. Over time, prominent Jewish communities were established in Alexandria, Rome and Greece.

Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, capturing the Levant in 333 B.C. When his territories were divided after his death, Judea became part of the Seleucid Empire. The Judeans were commanded to accept Greek polytheism, leading to rebellion. Fighting for years under Judas Maccabee, the Judeans won the right to rededicate the Temple, an event commemorated by the holiday of Hanukkah.

Your ethnicity reveals the places where your family story began.

The Roman Period

The collapse of the Seleucid Empire led to a second period of self-rule for the Jews, from 140 B.C. to 63 B.C. When King Herod assumed power with the help of the Romans, however, Judea became a client state of the Roman Republic. Judea was officially absorbed into the Roman Empire as the Judaea Province in 92 A.D.

There were three major Jewish revolts against the Romans in Judaea, the first of which began in 66 A.D. It was quelled in the year 70 when Titus sacked Jerusalem. The city was burned and most of the Jews were killed or sold into slavery throughout the Roman Empire. The second revolt, called the Kitos War, lasted from 115 to 117. At the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135), the Romans completely razed Jerusalem. Once again, they sold the majority of the survivors into slavery, this time placing severe restrictions on those who remained.

By the 2nd century, Jews were located throughout the Roman Empire. By the 5th century, there were scattered communities from Spain in the west to the Byzantine Empire in the east. Because Jews were usually restricted by law from owning land, they turned toward occupations in commerce, education and medicine.

Ashkenazi Jews

Large communities of Jews settled in France and Germany after the fall of Rome, the Arab conquests in the Middle East, and the expulsions from Spain. The Jews who settled in Germany (called Ashkenazi) spoke Yiddish, a mixture of German, Hebrew and Aramaic.

Over the centuries, the Jews settled where they could throughout western Europe, enduring frequent discrimination and periodic expulsions from various countries. Facing increasing persecution in the west during the 11th and 12th centuries, many of the Ashkenazi Jews moved from England, France and Germany to eastern Europe, where Poland and Lithuania encouraged Jewish settlement. Historically, Ashkenazi Jews lived in separate towns known at shtetls. In 1500, approximately 500,000 Jews lived in Poland. By the middle of the 17th century, there were more than 1 million. It is estimated that, prior to World War II, more than 90% of all Jews in the world were descended from the Ashkenazi Jews.

Jews Today

During the late 19th century, government-condoned persecution of the Jews in Russia, called pogroms, forced many to move to the United States and to Palestine. In 1897 Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian journalist, established the Zionist Organization and became the charismatic figurehead of the growing modern Zionist movement. He and his supporters continually lobbied foreign governments for help in the establishment of a Jewish state.

After the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I, its territories, including Palestine, were divided into mandates administered by the British and French. The British government, with its Balfour Declaration in 1917, announced its support of establishing Palestine as a national home for the Jews. After World War II, during which an estimated 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, the United Nations divided Palestine in two, effectively creating a new Jewish state, Israel.

As of today, about 42% of all Jews worldwide live in the modern state of Israel. A small number of Jews have lived in this region for generations, tracing their ancestors back thousands of years, with the majority returning in the last century. Link

My Igbo & Akan slave ancestors from Jamaica & The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade connection. The Hebrews ie Heeboes

This post is full of information and documentaries. You may want to bookmark or save the page and read it over a period of time.

When I started this post and this journey I had no idea what I would find. I will be updating this post until it is full (like my Hebrew Israelites and the trans Atlantic slave trade post which is full and can’t be added to) I pray for guidance and for truth in my study and retrieval of the history of my ancestors.

This is our story.


The ancestors found were Igbo & Akan described in Jamaica as Eboe & Coromantee


Before I get into the exploration of who these ancestors were, I’m going to drop this Jamaican poem here

According to records my first ancestors into the new world were Charlotte (birth 1765ish) and William senior (birth 1767) and their descendants they started the lineage that I stem from in Jamaica.  Charlotte was born in Africa. Charlottes son Quamin formerly known as William had Billy also known as William after his father. Charlotte was described as Igbo in the census listing on the plantation. Billy was described as a Creole Negroe.  Creole was sometimes used to describe people born on a different island such as America or a different Carribean Island. Creole could also refer to a mixed race person. I have already discovered a line of family born in America from this side of the family and every record points to them stemming from this William or his relatives. I researched the name Quamin and it relates to West Africa and the Akan and Ga tribe.  Although the jamaican records describe my ancestors as Igbo it is quite possible that they used one umbrella term “Igbo” to describe slaves who may have called themselves something else.


By about 1810 my ancestors have gone from being called Igbo to Maroons.

Afro-Jamaicans are Jamaicans of entirely or predominantly African descent. The first Africans to arrive came in 1513 from the Iberian Peninsula. They were servantscowboys, herders of cattle, pigs and horses, as well as hunters. When the English captured Jamaica in 1655, many of them fought with the Spanish who gave them their freedom and then fled to the mountains resisting the British for many years to maintain their freedom, becoming known as Maroons. The British in this point in time, brought with them mostly Akan slaves, some of which ran away and joined with Maroons and even took over as leaders.

Documentation later lists my relatives as escapees known as Maroons in the late 1700 and they are advertised as missing.

The Maroons are descendants of West Africans, mainly people from the Ashanti region of what is today Ghana. After being brought to Jamaica in the course of the Transatlantic slave trade, many slaves fled from the oppressive conditions of plantations and formed their own communities in the rugged, hilly interior of the island. A minority of slaves originated from other regions of Africa, including the Congo and Madagascar; they were known as Coromantie or Koromantee, and were considered ferocious fighters.[3] People who escaped from slavery joined the other Maroons.[3]

These ancestors and many in the Diaspora would have past through the many ports that lined the coast of West Africa.

The Ports

Fort Kormantin

Fort Kormantin was built by the English between 1638 and 1645 and sits on a hill in Kormantin-Abandze in the Central Region of Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast). In 1661, the Royal African Company obtained ownership of the fort, and it became the headquarters of English Gold Coast activities until 1665 when Dutch Admiral Michiel Adriaensz De Ruyter captured the fort after a bloody battle.3 

Fort Kormantin Ghana West Africa 1661

Renamed Fort Amsterdam by the Dutch, the fort is believed to have housed the first slave prison on the Gold Coast, and the name Kormantin became synonymous for the toughest men who had resisted capture. The Kormantin from the Gold Coast, were sold from the Slave Coast (Kingdom of Juda) and passed through the Door of No Return at Ouidah before being transported to the Caribbean Islands.4  By far the largest number of Jamaicans and Haitians are Korantin.


Door of no return Benin




The below is the return of the runaway slaves list  where I found my ancestors

1806 SR1817 p1 They worked on Golden Grove Estate in St Thomas-in-the-East in Jamaica.



This West African map shows there was a St Thomas in the bottom right corner a tiny Island. I wonder if there was a connection. It is quite possible that my Spanish ancestor came from this Island. This line of family were Catholic and possibly Jewish in the past. I have always wondered why a particular line of my family took part in the Catholic traditions. The connection could be from Sao Tome St Thomas or from Portugal or Spain.


São Tomé and Principe islands lie off the coast of Western Africa, in the Atlantic Ocean.  St Thomas and Prince Islands translation, English … São Tomé and Príncipe An island country in the Gulf of Guinea 



São Tomé e PríncipeEdit

King Manuel I of Portugal exiled about 2,000 Jewish children under the age of ten, to São Tomé and Príncipe around 1500. Most died, but in the early 17th century “the local bishop noted with disgust that there were still Jewish observances on the island and returned to Portugal because of his frustration with them.”[10][Although Jewish practices faded over subsequent centuries, there are people in São Tomé and Príncipe who are aware of partial descent from this population. Similarly, a number of Portuguese ethnic Jews were exiled to Sao Tome after forced conversions to Roman Catholicism.

These islands were uninhabited until their discovery by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. Gradually colonized and settled by the Portuguese throughout the 16th century, they collectively served as a vital commercial and trade center for the Atlantic slave trade. The rich volcanic soil and close proximity to the Equator made São Tomé and Príncipe ideal for sugar cultivation, followed later by cash crops such as coffee and cocoa; the lucrative plantation economy was heavily dependent upon imported African slaves. 

The first successful settlement of São Tomé was established in 1493 by Álvaro Caminha, who received the land as a grant from the crown. Príncipe was settled in 1500 under a similar arrangement. Attracting settlers proved difficult, however, and most of the earliest inhabitants were “undesirables” sent from Portugal, mostly Jews.[9] In time these settlers found the volcanic soil of the region suitable for agriculture, especially the growing of sugar.

By 1515, São Tomé and Príncipe had become slave depots for the coastal slave trade centered at Elmina.[10]


Below are some records of the Portuguese and Spanish Jews in Jamaica.









My ancestors were also enslaved in Jamaica St Mary.


I found a book online which describes the owners and the slaves at the plantation my family were enslaved on in St Mary. The slaves worked producing coffee and sugar. The book states that the first person listed there with the surname was Charlotte born in Africa in or around 1760. This I think is correct she was the first person there with the surname but only in that part of town. She had a life as a Maroon on a different plantation that she fled prior to the records at St Mary. As in most cases the records compiled by the British Scottish and Spanish only begin when they believe the natives got there. I calculated Charlotte would be my 6x great grandmother. The book I have regarding the family was written by the descendants of the slave owner so I doubt my x6 great grandmother would have told them the truth. Further research now points to her living as a maroon for sometime and being from St Thomas Parish prior to being a Maroon escaped slave. When the plantation owners thought she arrived may be incorrect as she could have been part of the maroon family and lied about how long she had been on the island as to not expose the truth of the Maroons who had been there as early as the mid to late 1500. There were Portuguese Arawak Taino and African  people on the island before Christopher Columbus got there. My first female Maroon ancestor would have likely escaped to West moreland. She would have possibly travelled to the Trelawny Maroon area across the island. I have family who have lived there for hundreds of years according to their birth records and family oral story. The dates on record don’t add up I estimate she was born around 1750 either in Africa as recorded or Maroon Town.


The book Saving Souls: The Struggle to End the Transatlantic Trade in Africans talks of  Quamin Tacky and Blackwall who were Maroons in 1790 who led a rebellion in St Mary. The book also states  “The Scott’s Hall Maroons were bound by a 1739 treaty to keep the peace and supress the war” and this explains why when my 6x great grandmother and her children were recaptured it said the maroons brought her in. The Maroons who signed a treaty had to abide by the rules of the officials who granted the land. They were expected to catch any new runaways and return them to the officials of the time.

Pictures of Jamaican Maroons below

Here is a link to 2 documentarys on Maroons in Jamaica.


I also saw the migration of one of my possible maroon ancestors Billy, to Haiti on record and note that many Haitians also share a high Benin Togo score as do I. Haiti was also known for its Maroons and I think that my Maroon ancestor it appears fled the island for a time to Haiti. This is my only slave ancestor to die rich according to records.

The distance from Kingston, Jamaica to Carrefour, Haiti is 261 miles and if there were a direct flight, it would only take 35 minutes on a plane. Boukman, the Jamaican, who was sold to a Frenchman and brought to Haiti from Jamaica because of his rebellious spirit, played an instrumental role in the revolution that lead to Haiti being the very first country in the new world, in 1803, to throw off the shackles of slavery, and gain its freedom.

My ancestor Billy who went to Haiti left with a lot of money. I have been intrigued about what he did there.


See the history of Creole people in Haiti a short clip

the clip leads me to believe he lived as a free man in Haiti (but was a runaway slave from Jamaica) he went to Haiti because Haiti had already abolished slavery on his arrival. The free mixed people had their own industries and he was able to slip in and go un noticed amongst them. Slavery continued for much longer in Jamaica.


This is how Creole descendants looked.


Exploring my Creole ancestors and possible connections

The Maroon who went to Haiti was married to a Mary Drew who was also Creole. My first thoughts were that she could have been a qudroon like the little girl in the above picture. It turns out that my ancestor married the daughter of the plantation owner she was born to a slave mother I believe. Billy brought his slave mother’s freedom on his death. Billy would have probably been able to earn his own money being married to the plantation owners mixed slave daughter. I do not descend from his wife and her children as I do not share the family name in my DNA . I am also surprised to find that I am only 5% European. I now know that the Maroons were away from the slave plantations and therefore the women removed the likelyhood of being raped. My Igbo and Akan ancestors from the Maroons were certainly full blooded African’s as there is only the one ancestor mentioned as Creole in this side of my lineage.

Amelia Briscoe Drew, 8, Creole
Mary Lavinia Drew, 18, Creole

James Briscoe a free Creole Negro man aged about 46 (formerly a slave belonging to Elizabeth Fielding a free mulatto woman) married at Bellemont Pen on June 30, 1819 to Helen Grier Drew a Creole aged about 27 belonging to S. Drew Esq. of Bellemont.

Stirling, Billy, apprentice labourer residence Ardock, and Mary Ann Stirling residence Spring Mount, married 5/27/1838, page 13

The above could be Billy and Mary, William’s son and his wife descendants of Charlotte if their names were changed when they were resold or relocated. I decided to look into this and found that there was a Stirling Castle in St Mary which increases the chances of the above being the same Billy and Mary as the family surname connections are recorded in that area tying the above ancestors together. Their surnames, birth dates and locations and the names of their owners place them exactly where they were at the time and line up with the rest of the family.


Black women slaves might marry a black man and have black children and be raped and have a mixed race or Creole child as they called it. The children might be sold off to different areas that became red skin people areas such as was Clarendon and Redhills as described by one of my grandmothers. Creole slaves came from Africans and either Scottish British French Portuguese Spanish invaders ie colony owners who raped them or sometimes they mixed with runaway slaves such as the Arawak Indians, and Spanish Taino the original inhabitants before Britain entered.  Those who had fled to the hills when Britain invaded Jamaica became what we know of the Maroons.





My ancestor almost 70 years prior to the picture below would have probably fit right in with the below Rebellion.


Tracing African roots website Haitian results


My DNA 95% African

2% Iberian Peninsula  which is not surprising considering the Spanish And Portuguese slave trade history.

The below is from an African American 


Tribe matches for the above were Bantu and Yoruba

Bantu Ke= 0.370 Mandenka= 0.444 
Maasai= 0.130 Yoruba= 0.685 
Maasai= 0.159 Yoruba= 0.662 
O-Ethiop= 0.110 Yoruba= 0.718 Irish= 0.172 or

I know that in the late 1800 to mid 1900 some of the family moved to America. The DNA below is from one of those descendants.


Regions: Cameroon/Congo, Benin/Togo, Ivory Coast/Ghana, Nigeria, Mali

Trace Regions: Senegal, Finland/Northwest Russia, Africa Southeastern Bantu, Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers, Native American, Iberian Peninsula, Ireland


The Ethnicity and history of my ancestors

Corroborating Romer’s assertion, Henderson-Quartey (2001), citing from the work of Bruce-Myers (1927, pp.70-72) quoted him as saying, “the Gas came all the way from the central part of the Continent…and they are kinsmen to the Benins, who by their own choice, kept back in the course of the migration.” This gives credence to the assumption that the Ga ethnic groups were once part of the people of Benin from the mid-western part of Nigeria. See Sheikh Mustufas blog click

The coastal Egbo who were generally known to the slave traders as
Calabaris provided the majority of “ Igbo descended “ captives and were often referred to as KWA IBO. The general tendency to associate the Calabaris with “ Igbo “ is a result of the understanding that the Egbo tribes were related to the “ Greater Igbo Nation “ and therefore Herskovits refers to Calabari as a generic name for “ Ibos “ in the United States.

In Cuba it is understood that those known as Calabaris descend from the Egbo tribes such as the Efik and Ibibio. During the time of the slave trade the most powerful and numerous of the Egbo tribes were those known as THE KWA. In generalizing the Egbo Nation with the dominant Kwa tribe, all of the Egbo tribes were collectively known as Kwa Ibo.
Through the dominance of the Kwa tribe,the Egbo Society was also
known as the AbaKwa Society meaning of the Kwa people.To this day the Egbo Society continues to actively function in Cuba.

Link to full post click


The Maroons in Jamaica say they are made up of Koromantee Akan Ashanti and Igbo.

Some Maroons were recaptured and it appears my 6x great grandmother was one of them. There is a story of some of the churches and plantations being burnt down by Maroons when some of them were recaptured.

Guerrilla warfare in the 18th century states the below link

The Windward Maroons also subjected themselves to the severe discipline made necessary by the constant threat of battle. The head man at Nanny Town ordered the entire military operation, and anyone who committed a crime was shot to death. Here too, those men who were least noted for their courage worked with the women in raising provisions. The Nanny Town Maroons were well coordinated for fighting. A captured Maroon told of the way in which they prepared for the advance of troops toward their settlement: “… there were at Hobby’s [a plantation captured by the Maroons] 2 Gangs of Men 100 in each Gang & Several women which they had brought to help carry off the Spoil: . .. they left one Gang in the Negro Town to Guard the rest of the Women & Children; … they had determined on hearing the Partys coming to Ambush them in the River’s Course, that a Gang of 100 was to lay on Carrion Crow Hill & 100 more Hobby’s way, that a Drum was to be placed on the ridge over the Town to View the Partys and the Women in the town to burn the houses in case the Party should be too Strong, if not the three Gangs to Surround them on the beat of Drum, all under the Command of Scipio.”

In addition to their headmen, Maroons in both ends of the island relied on obeah men and women, that is, magical practitioners, for help in their battle for survival. One of them, Nanny, after whom Nanny Town was named, is still revered and remembered as a heroine for turning back the British fire by magic. Such supernatural aids may have given the Maroons a boost in confidence, but the bulk of their defense was provided by careful planning and ingenuity and a great deal of courage and resourcefulness.

 see this article Maroons settlements in Jamaica

Accompong (from the Akan name Acheampong) is a historical Maroon village located in the hills of St. Elizabeth Parish on the island of Jamaica. It is located in Cockpit Country, where the local terrain enabled Maroons and indigenous Taíno to establish a fortified stronghold in the 17th century. They defended it to maintain independence from the Spanish and then later against British forces, after the colony changed hands.

Jamaican woman 1920



Benin woman


Here is some real records of that time I note Quamin in there and Cudjoe and Cuffee Quashiba and Quamina being there also. Quamin is my relative Billy is there and I suspect some of those mentioned could also be relatives from the record below.


The Schedule to which the annexed Indenture refers-








M.B. Quashie




Rob) Roy













E. Adam

H. George


M. B. Rodney








Eboe Sylvan



M. B. Ned


M.B. Boatswain




M.B. Billy








C. Billy




C. Boatswain



C. Sam




Tom Williams






Jack Williams


C. Tom


M. B. James



















M. B. Cudjoe




H. Cuffee


E. Primus
























Macco Mole










Ole Beneba
















C. Beneba


Nancy Duncan





Creole Rose































E. Patience









90 Steers




60 Mules

What is interesting is that one of my African cousins in my DNA matches has a surname that is said to be from a royal family in Ghana and so is Nanny of the Maroons in Jamaica. Nanny is described as being from the Ashanti tribe and the mother of all Jamaicans. Nanny had about 5 brothers taken as slaves including Cudjoe. It does seem that my Maroon ancestors may have been related to people who lived in the same area of Africa as Nanny. The Igbo in Jamaica practised their African traditions. Also they continued the naming practice prevalent in the Ga Akan and Ashanti tribe. The evidence is that my ancestors tracing Charlotte’s line were from the Ashanti region. The Ashanti Akan Ga Dangme are the same group of people genetically found in the Ghana region. In Jamaica they were called Igbo. In modern times we now consider Igbo to be predominantly Nigerian but this is based on the definition of Europe during the slave trade.


The below maps show how Europeans continuously relabeled West Africa. The Aethiopian Ocean translates to the ocean of the Blacks or burnt faces.


Ethiopia spanned a much larger area



Below Negroland was called Soudan and Western Soudan. Sudan means black the o in Soudan has been dropped in modern times.




The Sudan, a region stretching across Africa south of the Sahara and north of the tropical zone: inhabited chiefly by Negroid tribes rather than Arabs. Word Origin and History for Sudan. 1842, from Arabic Bilad-al-sudan, literally “country of the blacks,” from sud, plural of aswad (fem. sauda) “black.”

1777 map below

AMD8254L - 1771 Map of Africa - R. Reynolds - U. of Florida Map & Imagery Library.jpg

1827 map below


Ashanti Empire – Wikipedia › wiki › Ashanti…
The Ashanti (also spelled Asante) Empire (1701–1957) was an Akan empire and kingdom in what is now modern-day Ghana. The Ashanti Empire expanded from Ashanti to include the Brong-Ahafo, Central region,


The Ashanti empire was well established when my ancestor left Africa in the mid 17th century. This adds credibility to the Maroons account of who the people were. The area was called The Gold Coast and they traded in Gold and Kent cloth to name a few things.


CoromanteeCoromantinsCoromanti or Kormantine (derived from the name of the Ghanaian slave fort of Fort Kormantine in Koromanti, Ghana[1]) was the English name originally given to enslaved Ashanti people in Jamaica, but became synonymous for all Akan groups from the Gold Coast or modern-day Ghana. The term Coromantee is now considered archaic as it simply refers to Akan people, and was primarily used in the Caribbean.

Coromantins actually came from several Akan ethnic groups and were sent to separate European colonies in the Caribbean based on their alliance with Europeans back in the Gold Coast – Asante(or Ashanti) being opposed the Fante (Fanti) and the British were shipped to Jamaica and Barbados; the Fante, being opposed to the Asante and the Dutch, were sent to the Guianas, etc. as war and kidnapped captives, respectively.[2] Owing to their militaristic background and common Akan language, Coromantins organized dozens of slave rebellions in Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Their fierce, rebellious nature became so notorious among white plantation owners in the 18th century that an Act was proposed to ban the importation of people from the Gold Coast, despite their reputation as strong workers.

The Asante had the single largest African cultural influence on Jamaica, both on the Jamaican Maroons and the larger non-maroon population, whose culture and language was seen as a derivation of Asante-Twi.[3] Names of some notable Coromantee leaders — such as CudjoeCuffy, and Quamina — correspond to Akan day names Kojo, Kwame, Kofi, and Kwamina, respectively. A large amount of the enslaved population also had Akan day names, as the name “Quashee” (a distortion of “Kwasi”) was the British planters’ way of implying the Asante majority. The word became the Jamaican British term to mean “black person or slave”;[4] similarly, a white individual was called “obroni” (Twiwhite person) by the enslaved populace. The term is still used and is considered a slur.

The Asante Kingdom documentary

Akan people

Strong’s Concordance
Akan: an Israelite name

Original Word: עָכָן
Part of Speech: Proper Name Masculine
Transliteration: Akan
Phonetic Spelling: (aw-kawn’)
Short Definition: Achan

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance


From an unused root meaning to trouble; troublesome; Akan, an Israelite — Achan. Compare Akar.

see HEBREW Akar

Strong’s Concordance
Akar: a man of Judah

Original Word: עָכָר
Part of Speech: Proper Name Masculine
Transliteration: Akar
Phonetic Spelling: (aw-kawr’)
Short Definition: Achar

 The Akan people are believed to have migrated to their current location from the Sahara desert and Sahel region of Africa into the forested region around the 11th century,[4] and many Akans tell their history as it started in Eastern region of Africa as this is where the ethnogenesis of the Akan as we know them today happened.[5][6][7]


Oral traditions of the ruling Abrade (Aduana) Clan relate that they originated from ancient Ghana. They migrated from the north, they went through Egypt and settled in Nubia (Sudan). Around 500AD (5th century), due to the pressure exerted on Nubia by Axumite kingdom of Ethiopia, Nubia was shattered, and the Akan people moved west and established small trading kingdoms. These kingdoms grew, and around 750AD the Empire of Ghana was formed. The Empire lasted from 750AD to 1200AD and collapsed as a result of the introduction of Islam in the Western Sudan, and the zeal of the Muslims to impose their religion: their ancestors eventually left for Kong (i.e. present day Ivory Coast). From Kong they moved to Wam and then to Dormaa (both located in present-day Brong-Ahafo region). The movement from Kong was necessitated by the desire of the people to find suitable savannah conditions since they were not used to forest life. Around the 14th century, they moved from Dormaa South Eastwards to Twifo-Hemang, North West Cape Coast. This move was commercially motivated.[8]

The kingdom of Bonoman (or Brong-Ahafo) was established as early as the 12th century,.[9]Between the 12th and 13th centuries a gold boom in the area brought wealth to numerous Akans.[10]

During different phases of the Kingdom of Bonoman, groups of Akans migrated out of the area to create numerous states based predominantly on gold mining and trading of cash crops.[11][12]This brought wealth to numerous Akan states like Akwamu Empire,[13] (1550-1650) and ultimately led to the rise of the most well known Akan empire, the Empire of Ashanti,[14](1700-1900), the most dominant of the Akan states.

The Akan

With a population of 20 million, the Akan represent the largest ethnic group in Ghana and Ivory Coast. The Akan are a matrilineal society believed to have originated in the Sahel region and who then traveled south into Ghana and Ivory Coast.

The Ashanti, a subgroup of the Akan, formed a number of states in Ghana built around trade and gold. They traded with the Songhai and Hausa along traditional inland routes and also with European partners, starting with the Portuguese, who arrived on the coast in 1482.


The Asante (Ashanti) Gold /Ghana Gold Coast

New crops, such as maize and cassava, and slave labor allowed them (the Ashanti) to push farther into the forests, clearing land to farm and mining gold. In fact, before the transatlantic slave trade began in earnest, the Ashanti bought slaves from the Portuguese.

The Ashanti Empire was established in 1701 by Osei Tutu, who began unifying Ashanti states around the city of Kumasi. The Ashanti continued to expand, through diplomacy and military conquest, building one of the most advanced and powerful empires in sub-Saharan Africa. Not all Akan people wanted part in the empire, and some fled west into modern-day Ivory Coast. These included the Abron, the Baoulé and the Agni. In the 19th century, the Ashanti fought a series of wars with British troops, as England tried to firm up its hold over Ghana. Eventually, the Ashanti kingdom, known as Asanteman, became a British protectorate in 1902 and today is a state within modern Ghana.

French sovereignty over Ivory Coast was recognized by the British in 1889, and the country became a French colony in 1893. Ivory Coast continued to attract new immigrants in the 20th century when two decades of prosperity and relative peace followed independence in 1960. we

The Jews of Ghana



African surnames identified from my DNA matches Include


Nwokocha a Nigerian Ibo Surname. The surname is from The Bight of Biafra. I have seen this name on a list of tribes of Hebrew descent.

Nwagou which is from The Bight of Biafra Port Harcourt region with people sharing the name as far as Abuja Igbo 

Onu which is also Nigerian.

Quartey which is Ghanian Akan Ga Dangme 

Ageypong which is a Ghanaian Ashanti surname.


Statistics and meaning of name Nwokocha

Usage: 6% firstname, 94% surname.
Nwokocha first name was found 19 times in 2 different countries. (USA,Nigeria)
Surname Nwokocha is used at least 267 times in at least 13 countries.

See this extract below

Onyejeocha, Waiyiocha, Wokocha, Okparaocha, Aturuocha, Ewuocha, Onyiyeocha, Onyeocha, Onyeisiocha, Nkwocha, etcetera.
The name, though of Igbo origin, never existed as an Igbo village both in ancient times and now in Ikwerre land. The name, ‘Igweocha’, was used to describe the beauty of Port Harcourt city during the colonial era as the city was well planned, decorated with beautiful flowers, gardens, streets with street lights.

Igocha Ikwerre tribe are listed as part of the 12 tribes of Israel here click


Port Harcourt (IkwerreÍgúọ́cha;[12][13][14] PidginPo-ta-kot[3][Note 1]) is the capital and largest city of Rivers StateNigeria. It lies along the Bonny River and is located in the Niger Delta. As of 2016, the Port Harcourt urban area has an estimated population of 1,865,000 inhabitants, up from 1,382,592 as of 2006.[15][9]




I have checked through records and consensus and my DNA matches and Charlotte was described as Igbo on records by her captors however she would have had family in Nigeria and Ghana Accra aswel. The surname Kwatei or Quartey is what I believe could have been her family name. Here are my reasons, she was described as Igbo jamaican maroon. I have a cousin by the name of Quartey who matches this line of family. Maroons  were created by Nanny and Cudjoe who said they came from royalty in Ghana. The African names that Charlotte chose to call her children was in custom with the GA tribe Naming patterns after the day of the week. Many slaves from Ghana said they were of royal descent. Some say Nanny took her own boat to Jamaica and did not arrive as a slave. If Nanny and her family did make their way to Jamaica themselves from the Ashanti empire it would make sense that they would be the original inhabitants along with the Taino and Arawak Indians who were there before the colonists. Oral history states Nanny and many of the Maroons were Ashanti. The Maroons were either Coromantee or Ashanti and the Coromantee were not happy when the Ashanti signed the peace treaty confirmed by the Maroons oral history. Nanny of the Maroons was the only woman to receive her own designated land which someone of royalty might demand. The lineage of Kpakpatsewe and Kwei Quartey and Quartey Papafio have a record of their history in Ghana. Whilst I was researching my Spanish lineage I noticed one ancestor kept changing their names and it was because they were hiding  their Jewish ancestry. Quartey Papafio is the African Spanish named side of the lineage.

A picture of a Quartey Papafio African female who was originally from Ghana but was taken to Spain and the US. The family once in Europe were listed as indentured servants.


These families are of Asere lineage and show a migration through slave labour and as indentured slaves from Africa to Spain The Carribean and Americas. Names such as Kwatei Kwatei, or spelt Qwatei or Quartey are part of this lineage and named their children in the custom above and records are readily available online.

My cousins DNA below is Ghanian ancestry from the Ga Dangme an Akan tribe.


Regions: Ivory Coast/Ghana, Benin/Togo

Trace Regions: Cameroon/Congo, Nigeria

As per my thoughts there is a Ghanian and Nigerian mix in my families case higher Ghanian than Nigerian.

I now know that one of my ancestors definitely came from the Akan Ga tribe because I asked my cousin DNA match. MY ancestry results are matching Akan Ewe people.

This DNA below I believe is also from the same side of family and related to me through my Paternal side. I believe the 2 DNA matches are my Paternal side.


Regions: Cameroon/Congo, Benin/Togo, Ivory Coast/Ghana, Nigeria, Mali

Trace Regions: Senegal, Finland/Northwest Russia, Africa Southeastern Bantu, Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers, Native American, Iberian Peninsula, Ireland

This DNA above in reflection to others of the slave trade descendants see the below from Tracing African roots



See for more DNAbreakdowns

Ewe People of Ghana, Togo, Nigeria , Benin and  Ivory Coast.
Ewe People also known as Evê can be found in Ghana, Togo, Benin, some parts of Nigeria and Ivory Coast, they are part of the Gbe Speaking People and related to the Fon, Mina and Aja people.  According to Professor Amenumey he claimed they originally came from Ketu in Dahomey See this link for the original post Ewe People of Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Benin and Ivory Coast

The Ewes moved into the area which is now Togo from the Niger river valley between the 12th and 14th centuries. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese explorers and traders visited the coast. For the next 200 years, the coastal region was a major raiding center for Europeans in search of slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name “The Slave Coast.”



The Bight of Biafra is situated between Niger River and near Cape Lopez. An old map shows Biafra was once in modern day Cameroon.


Originating primarily from what was known as the Bight of Biafra on the West African coast, Igbo people were taken in relatively high numbers to Jamaica as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, beginning around 1750.

The primary ports from which the majority of these enslaved people were taken from were Bonny and Calabar, two port towns that are now in south-eastern Nigeria.[5] The slave ships arriving from Bristol and Liverpool delivered the slaves to British colonies including Jamaica. The bulk of enslaved Igbo people arrived relatively late, between 1790 and 1807.[6] Jamaica, after Virginia, was the second most common disembarkation point for slave ships arriving from the Bight of Biafra.[7]

Igbo people were spread on plantations on the island’s northwestern side, specifically the areas around Montego Bay and St. Ann’s Bay, and[8]consequently, their influence was concentrated there. The region also witnessed a number of revolts that were attributed to people of Igbo origin. Slave owner Matthew Lewis spent time in Jamaica between 1815 and 1817 and studied the way his slaves organised themselves by ethnicity and he noted, for example, that at one time when he “went down to the negro-houses to hear the whole body of Eboes lodge a complaint against one of the book-keepers”.[9] 

Igbo slaves were known, many a times, to have resorted to resistance rather than revolt and maintained “unwritten rules of the plantation” of which the plantation owners were forced to abide by.[11] Igbo culture influenced Jamaican spirituality with the introduction of Obeah folk magic; accounts of “Eboe” slaves being “obeahed” by each other have been documented by plantation owners.[9] However, it is more likely that the word “Obeah” was also used by enslaved Akan people, before Igbos arrived in Jamaica.[12] Other Igbo cultural influences include the Jonkonnu festivals, Igbo words such as “unu”, “una”, idioms, and proverbs in Jamaican patois. In Maroonmusic were songs derived from specific African ethnic groups, among these were songs called “Ibo” that had a distinct style.[13]




The Esan people migrated from the Bini Kingdom in Nigeria. The word Esan is a Bini word meaning “they jumped away, or they have fled.” The name became the accepted name of the group of people who escaped from the reign of Oba Ewuare of Benin in the middle of the 15th century. During the 15th century, the Oba Ewuare of Benin had two sons that both tragically died on the same day. Oba Ewuare then declared for mourning the death of his sons to the whole kingdom that there shall be no sexual intercourse in the kingdom; no washing, sweeping of the houses or compound, drumming or dancing; and making of fire in the land. Oba Ewuare insisted that these laws be strictly adhered to for a period of three years as a mark of respect for his dead sons.


What is represented as the Esan monarch are not monarch or separate kingdom per ser, as the Benin(Edo) monarch but dukedoms. This also extends among many villages and towns across territories of the Great Benin(Edo) Empire, Geographically touching South-South, South-East, South – West and South – East. To this day the Esan chiefs and traditional rulers, the Enogies(Enogie is the Esan title for a king), sometimes called kings of the Esan people are crowned by the Oba, the supreme head or king of the Benin Empire. The Onojie of Uromi and the Onojie of Irrua are direct sons of the Oba of Benin.
Prof. Iyi Ademola Eweka on his Irrua and Evbohinmwin Relations to Benin-Edoland of Nigeria, explained that the people of Irrua are not only from benin but Benins. Irrua (Iruwa), he said, was named after the Benin princess who married the first Enogie of Irrua, with the people of Evbohimwin belonging to the Ishan/Esan clan, of the (Benin)Edo-speaking group. In the last hundred years, the Enogie of Irrua suddenly became the leader of Enigies in Ishan/Esan land. Whenever the Ishan/Esans are gathered, the Irrua man would normally demand the right to break the almighty kola nuts, but not without a fight from other Ishans/Esans and the reason for this phenomenon can be broken into these parts: a) Although the dukedom of Evbohimwin is probably the oldest, it has always been a haven for Edo princes fleeing from the oba of Benin after a protracted succession struggle. It was also a sort of military out post.
ESAN was a division in the old Benin Province of Bendel State now broken into Edo and Delta States. It is bounded on the North and North-East by the old Kukuruku Division which became Afemai before that division was split into Owan, Etsako and Akoko-Edo Local Government Areas; on the South by the old Asaba Division now broken into Oshimili, Ika and Aniocha Local Government Areas; on the West by Owan, Orhiomwon, Ohumwode Local Government Areas, and the East, by River Alika and the lordly River Niger.
Until 1945 the Ora speaking people of Sabongidda were classed with ESAN people. The population of UJAGBE, AMA with many AWAIN districts and ERHA speak ESAN – but like Anegbete on the North-East of Ugboha and the Northern half of Ifeku (IHEKU) ISLAND are now classed with Etsako Local Government Area.


The Yoruba Peoples

Olowe of Ise was a Yoruba, one of Africa’s most numerous peoples. The Yoruba-speaking peoples share a rich and complex heritage that is at least one thousand years old. Today 18 million Yoruba live primarily in the modern nations of southwestern Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. The Yoruba diaspora, a result of the Atlantic slave trade and religious pilgrimages to Mecca, extends from Senegal to the Nile in Africa and from North to South America. Through most of their history, Yoruba-speaking peoples have referred to themselves by particular group names (e.g., Oyo and Ekiti) or town names (e.g., Oyo and Ise). Their language, of which there are numerous dialects, provides the main evidence for a common identity. In addition, the various groups, including many in the Ekiti region, share the belief that the world was created at Ile-Ife, the first Yoruba kingdom.

Map of eastern Yorubaland



Extract from  Facts about Benin origin of Ikwerre
For example, the Igbo tribe, I learnt, is of Israeli origin through their progenitor Nri. Granted that this is true, the question now is, do the present Igbo people possess the same skin colour as the Jews, speak Jewish language, bear Jewish names, practice their culture and tradition? The answer is no. Yet the Igbo people claim Israeli origin. How would one believe their claim?
The Yoruba tribe, I learnt, is of Middle East origin through their progenitor, Oduduwa. Granted that this is true, the question now is do the present Yoruba people possess the same skin colour as the people of Middle East, speak Middle East language, bear their names, practice their culture and tradition? The answer is no. Yet the Yoruba people claim Middle East origin. How would one believe their claim?
The Bini tribe, I learnt, is of Egypt origin. Granted that this is true, the question now is, do the present Bini people possess the same skin colour as the people of Egypt, speak Egypt language, bear Egypt names, practice their culture and tradition? The answer is no. Yet the Bini people claim Egypt origin. How would one believe their claim?
The Ogoni tribe, I learnt, is of Ghana origin. Granted that this is true, the question now is, do the present Ogoni people speak Ghana language, bear Ghana names, practice their culture and tradition? The answer is no. Yet the Ogoni people claim Ghana origin. How would one believe their claim? The list is inexhaustible.
To that point above I want to add that my family was in Jamaica and America for 400 years yet I and many of my cousins do not have Jamaican and Native American DNA. Many Americans don’t have American DNA it doesn’t do away with the fact they have family members who have lived there sometimes for hundreds of years.







My opinion in brackets (Ashanti Yoruba Efik???)


Suggestive of this person having a multi-ethnic background.  ethnic groups surrounding Igboland such as the Ijaw, Efik, Edo etc.



I have no certainty about the ethnic background of this person. Although there is valid reason to assume at least a partial Igbo background. The breakdown on display is atypical compared with what i have seen sofar for Nigerians and especially for Igbo’s. “Nigeria” is being trumped by both “Benin/Togo” and “Cameroon/Congo”! Although the composition is actually pretty much balanced in between these 3 overlapping regions. I suppose this might be suggestive of this person having a multi-ethnic background. Inter-ethnic unions possibly involving ethnic groups surrounding Igboland such as the Ijaw, Efik, Edo etc. (see ethnolinguistical maps of Nigeria in section 5). This ethnic mixing might have taken place just 1 or a few generations ago but it could also be dating from further back in time, beyond family recollection even. Naturally all of this is just speculation on my part 😉 For all i know this person selfidentifies as fully Igbo and so would her parents, grandparents etc. The sample size i managed to collect is very small still so it might turn out a result like this might not be that unusual afterall. Perhaps it’s also more representative for certain Igbo subgroups. Link

I would say the above DNA could be reflective of an Ashanti person from the Dahomey Benin area rather than Igbo. My DNA make up has surprisingly low Nigerian ancestry only 7%  Such high Benin and Togo and Cameroon scores likely reflect some Nigerian ancestry however the tribes would have to me been something other than Igbo. I will continue to research and update this post with my findings.

So in summary the oldest traceable maroon ancestor was  Akan Ga but described as Eboe in Jamaica. There is definitely evidence in my cousin matches and DNA that I have an Igbo/Ebo Ibo ancestor also from Nigeria Lagos region with their surnames and migration patterns. Many if not the majority of Ghanian’s have some Nigerian ancestry and so are related to the Igbo Yoruba and Ashanti of Nigeria by blood. My high Benin and Cameroon scores I believe is because like the maroons of Jamaica my ancestors were Ashanti and Koromantee ie Akan from Ghana and Ashanti from the Benin Dahomey region.



Originating primarily from the Bight of Biafra in West Africa, Igbo people were taken in relatively high numbers to Jamaica as slaves, arriving after 1750. Besides Virginia, Jamaica was the second most common disembarkation point for slave ships arriving from Biafra.

They were spread on plantations around Montego Bay and Savanna-la-Mar. Igbo slaves resorted to resistance rather than revolt. Many of them committed suicide because they believed after death, they would return to their homeland.

Igbo slaves were also distinguished physically by their “yellow” skin tones. Today, in Jamaica, “red eboe” is used to describe people with light skin tones and African features. Igbo women were paired with Coromantee (Akan) men to subdue the men because of the belief that the women were bound to their first-born sons’ birthplace.


My maternal sides colour exactly the same as above picture

Red eboe were considered more tame than the darker Eboes who ran away and there is a copy of a plantation owner describing this in detail online. The plantation owners also raped these women  which produced very light mixed race people at this time who were favoured over their darker relatives. As mentioned by others who are researching the Igbo slave, it is possible that they were called Eboe Igbo because they could understand the language and they could have been from neighbouring tribes. We say these people are red skin. Red skin like the rich land. See the pictures below.



Extract below:

The West Indies planters prefer the slaves of Benin or Eboe.”

“ Deformity is indeed unknown amongst us.I mean that of shape. Numbers of natives of Eboe in London might be brought in support of this assertion for in regard to complexion ideas of beauty are wholly relative.” (GatesJr.1987:17)

The Ebo connection to Benin is further supported by Onyebuechi Amene who states the following;

“ Ebo is a Benin name. It was the Binis that went to Igala and
formed the Igala Royal families that took the name to Igala.”

“ The Ebo family of Isiskre still retain their ancestral Bini

Those captives who came to the Americas from Ghana and Benin
(Dahomey) were those known as Ebo or the Mina tribes. In fact a Mina tribe remains in the Kwara State of Yorubaland and refer to themselves as Igbo-Mina using the original Igbo spelling of the name.

It was the Portuguese Jewish slave traders who began selling Ebo captives from Benin to Ghana where they were used to work the Gold Mines. These traders coined the Ebo as “ Mina tribes “ meaning those destined for El-Mina, a Portuguese word meaning “ The Mines “. El-Mina became central to the slave trade in Ghana.

The most powerful amongst the Ebo(Mina) to arrive in Ghana were those called Ewe.

The word Ewe derives from the Igbo name Eke. Eke in the Igbo culture
refers to the feminine, motherly or birth giving attributes of the Supreme Deity Chineke. Through the interchangeable nature of the letters v and w Ewe is also pronounced with the v sound of Eve(Yeveh). It is from the life giving Eke,Ewe or Eve that a female lamb is called a Ewe and the mother of all humanity Eve.

Some reports estimate that over 3 million Ewe were brought to the
American South alone. Amongst the followers of African religions in Cuba, Ewe refers to the life giving herbs,while in Haiti,the Ewe deity Nanan Boclou is remembered as the god of life giving herbs and medicine..

The Ewe are closely related to the Mina tribe known as the Fon(Fongbe). In fact the word voodoo often associated with Haitian religious practice is a Fongbe word. The last Fon ruler of Dahomey was named Agbo.



The slave coast covered Benin Togo Ghana and Nigeria and the people taken would have had a mix of West African heritage from those and surrounding areas. It is said that most descendants of West African slaves have at least 1 Igbo ancestor. I found the records for one of my Eboe ancestor’s but my Eboe ancestor also had Akan Ga ancestry or was just wrongly named. With 2 parents on each side of a family that gives 4 grandparents and the further back you go the more people you find so finding one tribe to me is unrealistic although doable if you are native to the country. In Jamaica they separated the tribes and tried to pair slaves with people outside of their tribe to balance out the temperments.


 I am a mix of tribes and so are most of the trans atlantic descendants . You cant really find one tribe because who would that be reflecting? We have a Paternal and Maternal side and when you trace your DNA you will be going back 5-10 generations of both sides. Imagine the mix of places they lived. To lunp yourself into one tribe in my personal opinion is doing an injustice to the ancestors. Do the research yourself see where they came from and the belief of the people and what tribes were in the area. If you have more than a few regions that is not likely to be just one tribe. The Ghanians left Nigeria to set up their own neighbour hood centuries ago. There may be some 100% Ghanian’s and 100% Nigerians  I haven’t seen any DNA results of the many African results out there yet.

Igbo women were paired with Akan or  Coromantee men and this shows in the DNA of many of the descendants who often have equal Nigerian and Ghanian main regions in their DNA.

The DNA of the Akan Ga Yoruba Igbo is almost identical.

Adebowale et al made the shocking discovery that whereas there was 99.9% within-population variance, the between-population variance was less than 0.1%. This means that Yorubas, Igbos, Gaa and Akan are 99.9% similar as populations, while within each of the groups there are differences/variations between individuals as high as 99%, i.e. One Igbo may be 99% variant to another Igbo, or one Yoruba to another Yoruba.

Read more:


See this similarity between the Ashanti Coromantee abeng and shofar. This isn’t merely a coincidence they are the Hebrews.

Below Asante evidence of Hebrewisms

The collage above shows an Ashanti priest with the 12 tribes necklace.



 The meaning and location of Ashan that appears in the bible


a’-shan (`ashan):

An unknown site in the domain of Judah (Joshua 15:42), possessed by Simeon (Joshua 19:7), and mentioned among the priests’ cities in 1 Chronicles 6:59. (44) = Joshua 21:16 (`ayin is a corruption of `ashan). Chorashan (or Borashan), which was probably the site of some reservoir in the Southwest part of Judah (1 Samuel 30:30), is the same as Ashan.

Ashan is just above Beersheba in tribe of Simeon area map above. Ashan was burned down and the people fled.


Strong’s Concordance

ashan: smoke

Original Word: עָשָׁן
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Transliteration: ashan
Phonetic Spelling: (aw-shawn’)
Short Definition: smoke

Among the ASHANTI tribe the priesthood is hereditary to a specific family such a family has little or no possessions, is exempt from all taxes, supplied with food and advises the king. Compare this with the Levities of ancient Israel and you will see that both are exactly the same.

The name ASHANTI has Hebrew origins, the “TI” at the end means race of or people of, Ashan was the name of a city located in southern Israel Judah (Joshua 15:42 – 19:7 / 1st chronicles 4:32 – 6:59).

The word Ashan in Hebrew means smoke city / burning city. ASHANTI means the people of Ashan or the people of the smoke city, This was the reference to the city of Ashan after the Romans destroyed it in 70 C.E.



CAMEROON: or Camerun: Yaounde (capital), Jehudi  Yahudi   Yeremiyah 36:14-23







a city in and the capital of Cameroon, in the SW part.




Jew, y’-hu-DEE, יְהוּדִי
The term Jew passed into the English language from the Greek Ioudaios and Latin Iudaeus, from which the Old French giu was derived after dropping the letter “d”, and later after a variety of forms found in early English (from about the year 1000) such as: Iudea, Gyu, Giu, Iuu, Iuw, Iew developed into the English word “Jew.” It thus ultimately originates in theBiblical HebrewwordYehudimeaning “from the Tribe of Judah“, “from the Kingdom of Judah“, or “Jew“. The Jewish ethnonym in Hebrew is יהודים‎,Yehudim (plural ofיהודי‎,Yehudi).


Who is Yehuda in the Bible?
Judah (Hebrew: יְהוּדָה‎, Standard Yehuda Tiberian Yəhūḏāh) was, according to the Book of Genesis, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Judah. By extension, he is indirectly eponymous of the Kingdom of Judah, the land of Judea and the word “Jew”.




Below is some research  into where the Igbo originated from.








Guinea/ Benin in 1747 was known as The kingdom of Judah in negroland.





So from old maps as shown above we can see that on the slave coast and gold Coast was the kingdom of Judah. Deserts of Seth country of Adam Tribe of Benjamin. Ender and Gihon. No wonder they called them the Heeboes ie Hebrews.







Oral history had it that Ga-Dangmes people migrated from Israel about 6th Century B.C through Egypt, then to Ethiopia, having been expelled or exiled by the Assyrians (Hebrew Biblical Revelations, July 2008; see also: OMANYE ABA by A.A AMARTEY).  In Ethiopia, they settled in the Gonder Province in northern Ethiopia, where the Blue Nile originates.  That is where the name NAI WULOMO, meaning, HIGH PRIEST OF THE NILE comes from. In 640 B.C, the Assyrians attacked the Ga-Dangmes again while they were in Ethiopia.  From Ethiopia, they travelled through Southern Sudan and settled for a period of time at Sameh in Niger and then to Ileife in Nigeria.  They migrated again in 1100 A.D and settled at Dahome and later, travelled to Huatsi in Togo where they stayed briefly.  

From Huatsi, the Ga-Dangmes travelled to the eastern banks of River Volta (know as JOR). From there, they crossed the Volta River at a place between the Old Kpong and Akuse and established settlements on the plains of Tag-logo where they lived till 1200 A.D. Later, the Ga-Dangmes migrated to the plains of Lorlorvor between Lorlorvor and Osudoku Hills.  The Shai occupied a settlement in Shai highlands.

The Ga-Dangmes claim to be descendants DAN and GAD, the fifth and seventh sons of Jacob.  Biblical history suggests that Jacob, whom God named YISRAEL had Leah as his wife who gave birth to four sons for him.  When Leah noticed that she had passed child-bearing age, she gave her maid servant, ZILPAH, to Jacob to wife. Through Zilpah, Jacob had and Gad and four more sons.  Jacob has two sons with Rachel.  Rachel gave her maid servant Bilha to Jacob to wife when she passed her child-bearing age. Jacob had Dan with Bilha.   Gad’s fifth son was Eri who later formed a clan known as Erites (Genesis 30:9, Genesis 46:16, Numbers 26:15-19 and Deuteronomy 3:12; Genesis 30:4-8, 3:12.The descendant of Eri, son of Gad are believed to have founded the Nri Kingdom around 900 A.D of the South Eastern and parts of the mid-western Igboland in Nigeria with other tribes of Levi, Zebulon, Ephraim and possibly more.   In the Book of numbers, the Bible had made extensive references to the children of Israel, which includes Gad and Dan and their children (Numbers 1:1-54).

Gad was the full brother of Asher (Genesis 35: 26; Genesis 46:16-18; Exodus 1:4;
I Chronicle 2:2).  Gad (1749 BCE) was the 7th son of Jacob, first born of Zilpah (Leah’s maid) and uterine brother of Asher.  Numbers 26:15 cites the “son of Gad.  The sons of Gad by clans: Zephlon and the Zephonite clan; Haggi and the Haggite clan; Suni and the Shunite clan; Ozni and the Oznite clan; Eri and the Erite clan; Arondi and the Arondite clan; Areli and the Arelite clan.  The clans of Gad numbered about 40, 500 men (20 years and older, able to serve in the army of Israel.

Areli was the son of Gad according to Genesis 46:16 and Numbers 26:17.  Areli was one of the 70 souls that migrate to Eqypt with Jacob (Genesis 46: 27).  The GaDangmes of Ghana claim to be descendants of Gad and Dan according to their oral history and supported by their ancient Israeli traditions.  Eri was the 5th son of Gad.  The descendants of Eri were believed to have founded the Nri Kingdom about 900 A.D in Nigeria.  The Igbos practice many of the same laws that GOD(YAH) gave to the Israelites.

Hosid Levi (2005) suggested in his writing, THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL IN AFRICA, that  the name Igbo is a form of the name HEBREW. In many ways, the affinity between the native Igbo law and the Mosaic legal system is remarkable, according to Levi (2005).                                                                                 

The GaDangmes of Ghana are believed to be related by blood to the Igbos of Nigeria.  However, in his book, GA HOMOWO, Charles Nii Ammah (1982) stated that according to oral tradition, the Ga believe they migrated from Israel.  Ammah suggested that the Ga people are descendants of Cush (Benjamin) from the twelfth tribe of Israel.  He contends that the Ga people were really ‘JEWS’ who migrated from “Egypt” and settled on the land they now occupy.  However, it is   believed that the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were left behind in Israel following the attack of Israel by the Assyrians in 6th Century B.C.  Ten of the twelve tribes were exiled by the Assyrians.  If the GaDangmes were decendants of Benjamin as  Charles Nii Ammah claims, they would probably have remained in Israel with tribes of Benjamin and Judah following the attack by the Assyrians. Regardless of whether one accepts Ammah’s assertion or not, it is clear that the GaDangmes are Hebrew Israelites as suggested by their oral history, Hebrew names, customs and traditions.

Biblical history strongly lends support to the claim by Ga-Dangmes that they are HEBREW ISRAELITES due to the fact Ga-Dangme names are found throughout the OLD TESTAMENT.  Examples are: NIIKOILAI (Rev:2, 6, 15); AMASA (2 Samuel 17, 25; 1 Chronicle 33 20-21 DJAANI/JANNE, 2 Timothy 3: 8;  AMON, 2 Chronicle 33: 20-21; ASHALE (ASAHEL), 1 Chronicle 2:16, 2 Samuel 2: 18-19.

King AYI KUSHI, spelled Cush in Hebrew, Genesis 10: 6 Jeremiah 13:23, Isaiah 18:12) led the Ga-Dangmes from Cush in Jerusalem to Ayawaso and was the founder of the GA DYNASTY. It is believed that the Ga-Dangmes Kingdom at AYAWASO was the first Kingdom in GHANA.  It is interesting that Queen Dode (Dodi) Akaibi’s name DODI is a Hebrew Name.  Also, the name of the hunter, KADI, who found a group people at OSU DOKU and introduced them to the Nungua Mantse, is a Hebrew name.  The Nungua Mantse, in consultation with the Ga Mashi Mantse gave Osu lands to the “KADI GBOI” or ” guests of KADI as people of Osu were referred to.

Ga-Dangmes custom of circumcision (Luke 2:21; Acts 15:1-2,7,10; Romans 2:17-19; Romans 3:1; Col.2:8-14) of their male born; their Outdooring/Sanctification (Kpodjiemo) and naming of the GaDangme newly born baby on the eight day after birth, is in accordance with ancient Hebrew custom (Matthew 2:1-12); and their patriach or patrilenial traditions (Gen.15:5; Gen.25:19; Gen,12:2) further lend support to their claim that they are of Hebrew Israelites origins (Genesis 17: 1-12). The HOMOWO FESTIVAL ( FEAST OF PASSOVER, Matthew 26:17); (Exodus 11:4-7, Exodus 12: 1-50, Exodus 13: 1-9, Numbers 9 1-5) celebrated by the Ga-Dnagmes supports their claim that they are Hebrew Israelites, descendants of children of Jacob. One may note that in traditonal Ga Mashi (Accra) and other areas of Greater Accra, the GaDangmes used to paint the door posts of their houses with the blood of a lamb during the Homowo Festival.  This was done to commemorate what the angel of God told Moses to ask the Israelites to do when they were under bondage of Pharoah.  That way, the angel of God would only kill the first male born  Egyptians babies and not the Hebrews (Exodus 11: 4-7).  The door posts of houses painted with the blood of the lamb would let the angel of God know that those houses belong to the Hebrews; and thus, the angel would not  enter those houses to kill the first male born. After the angel of God had passed, the Hebrews were to feast (Exodus12: 1-50); Exodus 13:1-9); Numbers 9:1-5). This is exactly what the GaDangmes do during the Homowo Festival.  In subsequent years, the GaDangmes replaced the blood of the lamb with a red mud known as “ntsuma”, when the lamb became too expensive for most GaDangmes to afford.Oral history had it that Ga-Dangmes people migrated from Israel about 6th Century B.C through Egypt, then to Ethiopia, having been expelled or exiled by the Assyrians (Hebrew Biblical Revelations, July 2008; see also: OMANYE ABA by A.A AMARTEY).  In Ethiopia, they settled in the Gonder Province in northern Ethiopia, where the Blue Nile originates.  That is where the name NAI WULOMO, meaning, HIGH PRIEST OF THE NILE comes from. In 640 B.C, the Assyrians attacked the Ga-Dangmes again while they were in Ethiopia.  From Ethiopia, they travelled through Southern Sudan and settled for a period of time at Sameh in Niger and then to Ileife in Nigeria.  They migrated again in 1100 A.D and settled at Dahome and later, travelled to Huatsi in Togo where they stayed briefly.