Because Spanish and Portuguese “New Christians” or “Conversos” became involved in slave trading and massive agricultural businesses that found their way onto American shores, someone with Southern ancestry might follow history back far enough to find Jewish ancestry. Remember, not all but many of these “Conversos” or “New Christians” were still proud and fond of their Judaism and when caught were executed for practicing it. They built big empires and amassed great wealth with their plantations along Africa’s coastline and into the interior. They colonized the coast of Brazil and the West Indies and the Caribbean Sea. Barbados and Jamaica were used as stopover ports where cargos of humans were revitalized before going to the early colonies along the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Again, some of these “New Christians” and/or “Conversos” of Jewish ancestry intermarried with Native American captives, African American captives and Scottish, Irish, Italian, German Indentured Servants. Before the middle 1700s there were well over thirty thousand African Americans in South Carolina. South Carolina began cultivating rice and the planters needed experienced agriculturalists and the enslaved Africans provided that. In the north, Rhode Island depended on Jamaica and Barbados for molasses to make rum. There was an amazing growth of agricultural endeavors closer to the equator that eventually spread to the warmer southern areas that we now know of as Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, etc., which brought the practice of multi-ethnic sexual relations, both consensual and non-consensual.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy a how-to for tracing ancient Jewish ancestry and Secret Genealogy II, Uncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, both available at Amazon, B&N and Ocean-Hose.