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Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames:
Second Edition
(Dicionário Sefaradi de Sobrenomes)
 by Guilherme Faiguenboim, Paulo Valadares, Anna Rosa Campagnano

Winner: Best Judaica Reference Book (2003) by the Association of Jewish Libraries. A compilation of 17,000 surnames presented under 12,000 entries. All names were used by the Jews who lived in Spain and Portugal for 15 centuries and later spread across the world as Sephardim, marranos and conversos. Hundreds of rare photographs, family shields and illustrations. It is more than a dictionary; it also contains a 72-page summary of Sephardic history, before and after the expulsion from Spain and Portugal and a 40-page linguistic essay about  Sephardic names, including an interesting list of the 250 most frequent surnames.

The dictionary itself has 274 pages and appendices: geographic glossary, remissive index (replacing the soundex), a detailed list of all 335 bibliographical sources on which the book is based. The period covered by the dictionary is of 600 years, from the 14th to the 20th century. The researched area includes Spain and Portugal, France, Italy, Holland, England, Germany, Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Ottoman Empire, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America (including colonial times), Australia and others.

The text is bilingual: Portuguese and English.
8½" x11" 528 pp. softcover $45.00 

Sample page from Dictionary  (2.5MB PDF file)


Foreword (Marcio de Souza) 10
Introduction (Guilherme Faiguenboim) 20
Historical Introduction (Reuven Faingold) 25
Jews in Spain: Myths and Legends
Visigothic Legislation
The Strength of the Councils (450-711)
Muslim Spain
The Dhimi Status (711-1212)
Christian Spain during Reconquest (1212-1492)
Jews in the Royal Courts (1148-1496)
Pogroms and forced Conversions (1391-1506)
Religious Controversy in Spain (1263, 1412-1414)
Literature against Converts and Christianized Jews
Expulsion Edicts: Spain, 1492 – Portugal, 1497
Jews in the Age of Discoveries
Exile and Redemption after the Iberian Expulsions
Judaizers and Iberian Inquisitions
The Sephardic Dispersion (Paulo Valadares) 79
The Sephardic Dispersion after the Expulsion
Expulsion as Disruption
Diaspora within the Diaspora
Routes and Centers of Attraction
North Africa (The Magreb)
Leghorn, Tuscany
New York
São Paulo
Sephardic Onomastics (Guilherme Faiguenboim) 101
Entries, Basic Forms and Variations
Transliterations, Languages and Alphabets
Cultural and Social Criteria to be considered a Sephardi
Reliability on the Names in this Dictionary
The more Sources, the more Sephardi will it be
Entries based on One Source Only (Mono-Entries)
Medieval Names
Compound Names
Names Associated to Historical References
Names Associated to Historical Personalities
Names with an Allusive Note
Classification of Sephardic Surnames
Personal Characteristic
Biblical References
Rabbinical Origin
Linguistic Origin of Sephardic Names
Alexander Beider’s Methodology and the Sephardic Dictionary Methodology
Different Historical Timing
Different Linguistic Timing
Geographic and Temporal movement
The problem of Transliteration
The List of Sephardic Surnames Most Mentioned 143
(250 most common Sephardic surnames classified according to number of sources)
How to read this Dictionary 154
The Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames 161
Geographical Glossary 439
Bibliographical References 453
Main Sources
Other Sources
Referral Index (equivalent to Soundex) 470
The Authors 525
Acknowledgements 526