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You searched for: "Chaves",
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The English meaning of Chaves is Keys, the name of a city, Chaves, Portugaal.
The name Chaves is of Portuguese origin
There are many indicators that the name Chaves may be of Jewish origin, emanating from the Jewish communities of Spain and Portugal.

When the Romans conquered the Jewish nation in 70 CE, much of the Jewish population was sent into exile throughout the Roman Empire. Many were sent to the Iberian Peninsula. The approximately 750,000 Jews living in Spain in the year 1492 were banished from the country by royal decree of Ferdinand and Isabella. The Jews of Portugal, were banished several years later. Reprieve from the banishment decrees was promised to those Jews who converted to Catholicism. Though some converted by choice, most of these New-Christian converts were called CONVERSOS or MARRANOS (a derogatory term for converts meaning pigs in Spanish), ANUSIM (meaning "coerced ones" in Hebrew) and CRYPTO-JEWS, as they secretly continued to practice the tenets of the Jewish faith.

Our research has found that the family name Chaves is cited with respect to Jews & Crypto-Jews in at least 11 bibliographical, documentary, or electronic references:

Finding Our Fathers: A Guidebook to Jewish Genealogy, by Dan Rottenberg

In this work Dan Rottenberg shows how to do a successful search for probing the memories of living relatives, by examining marriage licenses, gravestones, ship passenger lists, naturalization records, birth and death certificates, and other public documents, and by looking for clues in family traditions and customs. Supplementing the "how to" instructions is a guide to some 8,000 Jewish family names, giving the origins of the names, sources of information about each family, and the names of related families whose histories have been recorded. Other features included a country-by-country guide to tracing Jewish ancestors abroad, a list of Jewish family history books, and a guide to researching genealogy.


From the publication, "Los Sefardíes" (The Sephardim),by Jose M. Estrugo. Published by Editorial Lex La Habana, 1958.(Surnames common among the Sephardim)

When the Romans conquered the Jewish nation in 70 CE, much of the Jewish population was sent into exile throughout the Roman Empire. Many were sent to the Iberian peninsula. The area became known by the Hebrew word "Sepharad". The JEWS in SPAIN and PORTUGAL became known as "Sephardim" or and those things associated with the SEPHARDIM including names, customs, genealogy and religious rituals, became known as SEPHARDIC.


The Sephardim of England, by Albert M. Hyamson

A history of the Spanish & Portugese Jewish Community, 1492-1951.


Sangre Judia (Jewish Blood) by Pere Bonnin. Flor de Viento, Barcelona, 2006. A list of 3,500 names used by Jews, or assigned to Jews by the Holy Office (la Santo Oficio) of Spain. The list is a result of a census of Jewish communities of Spain by the Catholic Church and as found in Inquisition records.

Pere Bonnin, a philosopher, journalist and writer from Sa Pobla (Mallorca), a descendant of converted Jews, settles with this work a debt "owed to his ancestors", in his own words. The book, written in a personal and accessible style and based on numerous sources, includes a review of basic Jewish concepts, Jewish history in Spain, and Christian Anti-Semitism. There is also a section that focuses on the reconciliation between the Church and Monarchy and the Jews, which took place in the 20th Century. In this study, Bonnin deals in depth with the issue of surnames of Jewish origin. In the prologue, the author explains the rules he followed in the phonetic transcription of surnames of Hebrew origin that are mentioned in the book. The researcher cites the Jewish origin, sometimes recognized and other times controversial, of historically prominent figures (like Cristobal Colon, Hernan Cortes, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and many others) and links between surnames of Jewish origin with some concepts in Judaism.. The book also includes an appendix with more than three thousands surnames "suspected" of being Jewish, because they appear in censuses of the Jewish communities and on the Inquisitorial lists of suspected practitioners of Judaism, as well as in other sources. In the chapter "Una historia de desencuentro", the author elaborates on surnames of Jewish origin of the royalty, nobility, artistocracy, clergy, and also of writers, educators and university teachers during the Inquisition. Special attention is given to the "Chuetas" of Mallorca, the birthplace of the author.


Raizes Judaicas No Brasil,(Jewish Roots in Brazil) by Flavio Mendes de Carvalho.

This book contains names of New Christians or Brazilians living in Brazil condemned by the Inquisition in the 17th and 18th centuries, as taken from the archives of Torre do Tombo in Lisbon. Many times details including date of birth, occupation, name of parents, age, and location of domicile are also included. The list also includes the names of the relatives of the victims. There are several cases in which many members of the same family were tortured and sentenced so some family lines may end here.


Noble Families Among The Sephardic Jews, by Isaac Da Costa, Bertram Brewster, and Cecil Roth.

This book provides genealogy information about many of the more famous Sephardic families of Iberia, England and Amsterdam. It documents the assimilation, name changes and conversion of many Sephardic families in Spain, England and The Netherlands. There is a large section dealing with the genealogy of the members of Capadose and Silva families in Spain and Portugal. This reference includes genealogical tables and a translation of Da Costa’s 1850 work "Israel and the Gentiles", with chapters by Bertram Brewster on the Capadose conversion to Christianity and by Cecil Roth on their Jewish history.


A Origem Judaica dos Brasileiros (The Origin of The Brazilian Jews), by Jose Geraldo Rodrigues de Alckmin Filho

This publication contains a list of 517 Sephardic families punished by the inquisition in Portugal and Brazil.


The Circumcision Register of Isaac and Abraham De Paiba (1715-1775) from the Archives of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation of Bevis Marks (London. England).

This register is from the manuscript record preserved in the Archives of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation of London named "Sahar Asamaim" transcribed, translated and edited by the late R.D. Barnett, with the assistance of Alan Rose, I.D. Duque and others; There is also a supplement with a record of circumcisions 1679-1699, marriages 1679-1689 and some female births 1679-1699, compiled by Miriam Rodrigues-Pereira. The register includes surnames of those circumsized as well as the names of their Godfathers & Godmothers.


Dicionario Sefaradi De Sobrenomes (Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames), G. Faiguenboim, P. Valadares, A.R. Campagnano, Rio de Janeiro, 2004

A bilingual (Portugese/English)reference book of Sephardic surnames. Includes New Christians, Conversos, Crypto-Jews (Marranos), Italians, Berbers and their history in Spain, Portugal and Italy. Contains over 16,000 surnames presented under 12000 entries, with hundreds of rare photographs, family shields and illustrations.It also contains a 72-page summary of Sephardic history, before and after the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, as well as a 40-page linguistic essay about Sephardic names, including an interesting list of the 250 most frequent Sephardic surnames. The period covered by the dictionary is of 600 years, from the 14th to the 20th century, and the area covered includes Spain and Portugal, France, Italy, Holland, England, Germany, Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Ottoman Empire, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America and more.


Dicionario Sefaradi De Sobrenomes (Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames), G. Faiguenboim, P. Valadares, A.R. Campagnano, Rio de Janeiro, 2004

A bilingual (Portugese/English)reference book of Sephardic surnames. Includes New Christians, Conversos, Crypto-Jews (Marranos), Italians, Berbers and their history in Spain, Portugal and Italy. Contains over 16,000 surnames presented under 12000 entries, with hundreds of rare photographs, family shields and illustrations.It also contains a 72-page summary of Sephardic history, before and after the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, as well as a 40-page linguistic essay about Sephardic names, including an interesting list of the 250 most frequent Sephardic surnames. The period covered by the dictionary is of 600 years, from the 14th to the 20th century, and the area covered includes Spain and Portugal, France, Italy, Holland, England, Germany, Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Ottoman Empire, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America and more.


Ruth Reyes, "Sephardic Family Names from Puerto Rico", The Casa Shalom Journal, Volume 10, Published by The Institute for Marrano-Anusim Studies, Gan Yavneh, Israel 2008

This list is compiled from a catalogue the author found on a visit to Puerto Rico in the Museum of San Juan.


Around the 12th century, surnames started to become common in Iberia. In Spain, where Arab-Jewish influence was significant, these new names retained their old original structure, so that many of the Jewish surnames were of Hebrew derivation. Others were directly related to geographical locations and were acquired due to the forced wanderings caused by exile and persecution. Other family names were a result of conversion, when the family accepted the name of their Christian sponsor. In many cases, the Portuguese Jews bear surnames of pure Iberian/Christian origin. Many names have been changed in the course of migration from country to country. In yet other cases "aliases", or totally new names, were adopted due to fear of persecution by the Inquisition.

Some common variations of Chaves are Chaviz, Chayes,

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