Over 500 years ago the Spanish & Portuguese Inquisitions forced local Jewish populations to convert to the Catholic church on pain of torture and death, driving thousands into hiding and exile around the world. A newly launched online database may help their descendants to trace their heritage; today, they make up significant numbers of the populations of South America and south western states of the US, as well as Spain and Portugal, and may be completely unaware of their ancestry.
NameYourRoots.com enables visitors to research their maternal and paternal Latin surnames and receive a free personalised report about its origins, in a choice of English, Spanish or Portuguese. The report cites references from hundreds of records and sources which mention the surname, as well as locations where registries of Christianized Jewish families have been traced.
This clip shows the background to the project: