American surnames going back to the Colonial era often have Portuguese origins.
In the 1640’s, Brazilian “Conversos” (former Jews from Portugal) played a role in the marketing of slaves. 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. Keep in mind that to some Jews it is very offensive and not historically accurate to imply that Jews were the “main” slave merchants.
Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:
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