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Possible Sephardic Ancestry

January 7, 2012

Back in 2008 I mentioned in this post that it was strange that I didn’t have any Sephardic Jewish genetics. I was ignorant enough to assume that only Y-haplogroups J1 and J2 indicated “genetic jewishness” when in reality, although those are the most common, they aren’t the only ones.

Jewish Origin of the Montes de Oca Family of Gran Canaria

In any case, new evidence suggests that at least one of the branches in my expansive family tree were Sephardic in origin.  The photo above clearly shows that the Montes de Oca of Gran Canaria were Jewish. One of my paternal great grandmothers, Dolores Montes de Oca, was from Gran Canaria. There are no oral histories in my family that hint at a Jewish past, but with time and distance these things fade. Dolores Montes de Oca may not have been Jewish herself,  but a descendant of Sephardic Jews who sought refuge in the Canary Islands from the Spanish Inquisition.


Built by my 13th great grandfather, Vicente Montedeoca:

I hope to explore this further. I really enjoy every bit of information that makes my heritage more intricate and interesting.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew Rapoza permalink
    February 13, 2014 7:10 am

    Hi! It looks like we’re cousins because Vicente Montesdeoca is my 14th great grandfather! I have not had the pleasure of going to the Canaries yet, but I have been trying to learn more about the Montesdeocas and their home that is now a restaurant. Could you tell me where you learned that they also built the chapel San Anton Abad and they had “escape routes” built into it? I would REALLY appreciate it!! Thanks –Andy

    • April 16, 2014 10:25 am

      Hi Andrew. My cousin visited the Canary Islands and hired a genealogist (Faneque Javier Hernandez) to investigate and give him some history.

  2. January 19, 2016 11:31 pm

    It’s interesting that there is an oral history of a Jewish past that came down to me via Dolores Montes de Oca’s sister Angela (my Great Grandmother) through to my mother. We will have to compare notes on our respective families’ religious practices.

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