According to author, Emma Moya, in an article written for La Herencia Del Norte, Volume XXII, Winter, 1996, there is evidence that many of the families who settled in New Spain were forced to convert to Catholicism during the Spanish and Mexican Inquisition(s).
Abstract: The Author, at a meeting with a group of Hispanic-Sephardic researchers, discovers that she has a common ancestry with a woman who has traced her own Sephardic roots from Spain to Mexico to New Mexico. Emma Moya is a poet, historian, writer, and musician residing in Los Duranes, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Some Sephardic Names taken from La Herencia Del Norte, Winter, 1996 are:
Alvarez, Andrade, Armijo, Barrios, Campos, Chaves, Cordova, Cruz, Diaz, Dominguez, Duran, Espinoza, Flores, Garcia, Gomez, Gonzales, Gutierrez, Hernandez, Juarez, Lopez, Marquez, Montano, Montoya, Nunez, Ortega, Ortiz, Pena, Perez, Rubin (19th century Galacia), Rubin (18th century Palestine), Ruiz, Sandoval, Torres.
These are just a few of the published names. There are many more . . .
Since this website was originally published in 2002, there have been numerous viewers that have asked whether our ancestors were Sephardic Jews. I could not respond to this question until my nephew attended a lecture given by Dr. Stanley Hordes. He asked Dr. Hordes if he thought that the surname Rubi was of Sephardic origin. Dr. Hordes replied yes to his question.
If our ancestors were among the men and women who fled Spain, Portugal, and Mexico to avoid religious persecution, then it is likely that DNA testing will reveal genetic markers that will confirm Jewish heritage. Does this mean that the Rubi and Lopez trees living today are Jewish? Not necessarily. There is a significant difference between genetic heritage (ethnicity) and religious practice. My belief is that if family members undergo DNA testing the results will take us one step further in our search for the truth of our ancestry. One need only read a few of the numerous articles on the Internet to recognize that many of the earliest settlers in the Southwest had indeed “traveled to the ends of the earth” to avoid persecution.
Note – The quotation in the previous paragraph was taken from the book, To the End of the Earth – A History Of The Crypto-Jews Of New Mexico, Dr. Stanley M. Hordes, 2005
Read Randy Baca’s heartfelt story about her journey to find her truth as published in Ha Lapid –(the official newsletter for The Society for Crypto-Judiac Studies)