Multcolib Research Picks: Sephardic roots
Annotation:Detailed lists of resources for Sephardic genealogists in libraries, archives, history centers, and museums.
Annotation:From historical writings, ship manifests, wills, land grants, DNA testing, genealogies, and settler lists, and the widespread presence of Jews and Muslims in prominent positions in all of the original colonies, this work looks freshly at the early American experience, postulating that many initial US colonists were of Sephardic Jewish and Muslim Moorish ancestry.
Annotation:French academic Courtine-Denamy traces her family's roots back to the Spanish village of Cuenca, where her earliest known ancestors were Sepharadic Jews exiled during the Inquisition. Ranging over three continents, several countries, and a dozen generations, she recounts the fates of various relatives up through her parents as they move through Salonika, Constantinople, Bayonne, Varna, Vienna, Israel, America, Paris, and the Nazi occupation.
Annotation:New York Times journalist Doreen Carvajal traces her own family’s genealogy, and tries to answer the question: were her ancestors Spanish conversos, forced converts from Judaism to Christianity?
Annotation:During the 1990s, historian Sandra Malamed conducted a series of probing interviews with people of Spanish and Portuguese descent across the country and abroad, who considered themselves Christians or even non-believers, but who nonetheless practiced various Jewish traditions-often without knowing where the traditions came from. When she explained to them what these customs were all about, they were fascinated to learn that Judaism might be part of their families' history.
Annotation:A history charting the story of "New Christians," secret Jews who were persecuted by the Inquisition, from Mexico to Peru, together with the story of Sephardic communities that flourished openly from Romania, Syria and Turkey to the U.S. and Barbados.
Annotation:An overall history of the Sephardic people, including their ascent during Spain's Golden Age; Sephardic settlements in Cairo, Sicily, Baghdad and Persia; the gradual decline of the Sephardim, which paralleled the decline of the Muslim world; and the “ingathering'' of Sephardic Jews to Israel. Includes many illustrations.
Annotation:“The Jews of Spain, integrated into Arab culture since the 10th century, flourished under Islamic and subsequent Christian rule, becoming scientists, poets, merchants and farmers despite periodic outbursts of Christian fanaticism and conversionary pressure. Expelled from Spain in 1492, Sephardic Jews sought refuge in the Ottoman empire, North Africa, Italy and elsewhere. . . . [Howard] Sachar's vibrant odyssey charts Sephardic Jewry's dispersal, acculturation and achievements.” - from the review in Publisher’s Weekly
Annotation:This history brings to vivid life the rich and thriving culture of medieval Spain where, for more than seven centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in an atmosphere of tolerance, and literature, science, and the arts flourished.
Annotation:In 711, a ragtag army of Muslim North Africans conquered Christian Spain and launched Western Europe's first (and to date only) Islamic state. In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella vanquished Spain's last Muslim kingdom, forced Jews to convert or emigrate, and dispatched Christopher Columbus to the New World. In the years between, Spain's Muslims, Christians, and Jews forged a golden age for each faith and distanced Spain from a Europe mired in the Dark Ages.
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An array of books about Sephardic history: practical advice for Sephardic genealogists, stories from researchers who have delved into Sephardic family history, general books about Sephardic history, and histories of Spain in the period *before* the expulsion of the Jews 1492. - Emily-Jane D.