There are many indicators that the name Serruya 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 Serruya is cited with respect to Jews & Crypto-Jews in at least 4 bibliographical, documentary, or electronic references:
ETSI (a Paris-based, bilingual French-English periodical) is devoted exclusively to Sephardic genealogy and is published by the Sephardi Genealogical and Historical Society (SGHS). It was founded by Dr. Philip Abensur, and his professional genealogist wife, Laurence Abensur-Hazan. ETSI's worldwide base of authors publish articles identifying a broad spectrum of archival material of importance to the Sephardic genealogist. A useful feature of ETSI is the listing, on the back cover, of all Sephardic family names, and places of origin, cited in the articles contained in each issue
History of the Jews in Venice, by Cecil Roth
In this work, Cecil Roth covers the long course of Italian-Jewish history extending from pre-Christian times, comprising in a degree every facet of the evolution of Jewish life in Europe. Contains a huge store of facts tracing regional variations over a period of 2000 years.
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.
Genealogia Hebraica: Portugal e Gibraltar (Genealogy of the Hebrews: Portugal & Gibraltar), by Jose Maria Abecassis.
This is a genealogical masterpiece written in Portuguese concerning Sephardic families from Portugal and Gibraltar. There are five volumes that provide genealogical information on families that in fact lived on the west part of the Mediterranean basin and not only Portugal and Gibraltar. The work contains a list of names of Sephardic families that returned to Portugal and Gibraltar after hundreds of years of expulsion. It has also a very rich photographic documentation.
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 Serruya are Serrouya, Serrulha, Serruia, Serouya, Seruya,
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